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Breakthroughs in business operations and data management enable a 30 percent reduction in satellite development time
SATREC Initiative was founded in 2000 as a specialist in small-satellite development. The company developed Korea’s first satellite – KITSAT-1. SATREC Initiative’s satellites are primarily used for the observation of the earth. The company’s expertise enables the development of full satellite platforms, as well as earth observation cameras and ground stations. “We provide satellite solutions to both domestic and foreign institutions and companies,” says Yang Seung-Uk, principal research engineer, SATREC Initiative. “The ultimate objective of our company is to be a leader in the worldwide small satellite market.”
“We have succeeded in many space missions,” says Seung-Uk, “but we are increasingly confronted with growing customer demands across our product offerings. While we are small and agile, it was becoming quite challenging to concurrently develop new, highly customized products according to rigorous schedules. The specifications for satellites are often altered during development according to the changing objectives, orbits and lifecycles of the satellites, as well as the kinds and quantities of the launching rockets and payload modules. As a result, our custom projects had grown to the point where the systematic control of data was becoming an issue, especially in managing 3D data.”
With the company increasingly challenged to find ways to improve its operations and turnaround, data re-use had become a key target of opportunity. In addition, due to the competitive nature of the high tech industry, customers were increasingly requiring higher levels of data security throughout development and delivery. Seung-Uk explains, “We remained competitive, but our resources were stretched. It had become obvious that we could not continue to effectively address future opportunities and pursue a leadership position, without significant improvements to our data management and security approach.”
Siemens PLM Software’s NX™ software is fully utilized by SATREC Initiative, from design to mechanical and thermal analyses on a satellite system. However, the company also needed an efficient solution to fully leverage its NX knowledge base. After exploring a number of systems, the company selected Teamcenter® Express software, also from Siemens.
Now, SATREC Initiative is able to achieve significantly enhanced management utilization of drawings, payment, design and production, as well as product quality. Management of actual drawings, bill of materials (BOM) and the overall product lifecycle enabled such achievements. The BOM system maximizes designer convenience by providing a much more integrated environment than the prior process. Minimizing repetitive input by designers prevented errors throughout operations and resulted in significant improvements to product quality. This in turn increased BOM data reliability, while the automation of simple repetitive tasks reduced designers’ workload and dramatically cut cycle time.
“In assessing the problems caused by our previous work process, we identified a lot of duplicated codes as well as high costs associated with creating, maintaining and managing 2D blueprints,” says Seung-Uk. “Since the BOM build was completed either manually or through Excel, there was no integration with the CAD (computer-aided design) data. It was very difficult to trace back the history prior to the BOM adjustment. Human errors were not uncommon. Moreover, considering the time it took to verify the BOM, distribute the blueprint and update it, the process had become a detriment to our agility.”
By introducing Teamcenter Express, SATREC Initiative began its transition to a dramatically improved product development environment.
The company divided the implementation into three classifications: 1) the standardized component code system, 2) the management of the CAD blueprint, and 3) the electronic distribution of the blueprint.
First, SATREC Initiative launched a single-source data management system, achieving compatibility between CAD and BOM, thereby significantly increasing the level of efficiency for development.
Second, the company addressed the management of the CAD blueprint by systematically classifying its engineering data for optimum re-use. By leveraging its existing component repository, the company eliminated a great deal of re-work. “With Teamcenter Express, a number of important functions are integrated, automated and easily managed,” says Seung-Uk. “These include CAD blueprint numbering, 3D library, BOM, the searching process, and data history. Teamcenter Express supports a highly efficient design process through a structured and disciplined product data management approach.”
Third and finally, the digital distribution of the blueprint accelerated the electronic publication and distribution process. The management of design changes is now easy. In addition, issues of data security have been essentially eliminated.
All files for more than 10,000 registered blueprints have been successfully encoded. “In other technology rollouts, a lot of time was required,” says Seung-Uk. “Not in this case. We feel it is a remarkable accomplishment, completing the establishment of the PLM system within a relatively short period – 21 days. Since Teamcenter Express was implemented out-of-the-box and migrated separately, we saved a great deal of time and money. Many people worried that we would need to customize the implementation to our specific requirements to be successful. However, out-of-the-box Teamcenter Express has worked fabulously. In fact, we remained extraordinarily productive during the process. It was a smooth transition.”
Seung-Uk also feels the system update process is a distinct advantage. “The software is continuously improved, and our users can update their systems simply by executing the install process for the new versions.”
Using Teamcenter Express, SATREC Initiative has realized its goal of a systematic approach to information storage, considerable knowledge re-use and improved data security. The product development process is faster and more efficient. “Specifically, by increasing the level of efficiency in managing CAD data, we now design products faster, and the products reflect greater innovation, says Seung-Uk. “It is now possible to easily find and re-use information. For example, a fast blueprint distribution process, enabling quick internal inspections, is a great advantage.”
Seung-Uk concludes, “Our technical infrastructure is tangibly improved with the addition of Teamcenter Express, and as a result, we are now realizing important business benefits. Teamcenter Express is a real difference-maker. We find that our existing customers are impressed by our ability to quickly respond to changing requirements. And we are converting more prospects to customers due to our ability to accelerate product time-to-market, as well as achieving a 30 percent faster process for product development. And we are now well positioned to become a leader in the worldwide small satellite industry.”
Caminhos para o sucesso:
Principal Negócio do Cliente:
SATREC Initiative provides solutions for earth observation missions. Deliverables include satellite platforms, electro-optical instruments, ground systems and components.
Sede do Cliente:
"Teamcenter Express is a real differencemaker. We find that our existing customers are impressed by our ability to quickly respond to changing requirements. And we are converting more prospects to customers due to our ability to accelerate product time-to-market, as well as achieving a 30 percent faster process for product development."
Principal Research Engineer
"Since Teamcenter Express was implemented out-of-the-box and migrated separately, we saved a great deal of time and money."
Principal Research Engineer
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