Aerospace & Defense
Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
LIG Nex1 is a global leader in the defense industry, developing and producing a wide range of advanced precision electronic systems including missile, underwater weapons, radar, electronic warfare, avionics, tactical communication, fire control, naval combat and electro-optics. The company also provides integrated logistics support and services. LIG Nex1 is a leading supplier of defense electronic systems to the South Korean Defense Department.
LIG Nex1 develops and produces a wide range of advanced precision electronic systems – missile, underwater weapon, radar, electronic warfare, avionics, tactical communication, fire control, naval combat and electro-optics. The company also provides integrated logistics support and services. LIG Nex1 is a leading supplier of defense electronic systems to the South Korean Defense Department.
With world-class people and technology, LIG Nex1’s vision involves identifying, creating and delivering unique product benefits proactively, before customers request them. In order to accomplish its vision, the company has identified core values and business activities intended to give its primary stakeholders (customers, shareholders and employees) the best satisfaction possible.
A key part of these business activities involves product lifecycle management (PLM) from Siemens PLM Software.
LIG Nex1 used an internally developed method to manage projects, including product data. While the company was using several shape management software or 3D systems, there was no enterprise-wide solution for managing product information completely digitally.
“From a corporate perspective, there was a definite need for the systematic and ongoing management of data to support continuous innovation,” says Kim Myung Ho, senior management at LIG Nex1, noting, “Corporate wanted its R&D (research and development) group using the most advanced technologies and capabilities in support of a variety of customer initiatives.” Information and knowledge management are critical to effective business management at LIG Nex1. This is especially important due to the nature of the defense industry product lifecycle. The size of products is considerably large and typically quite complex. Development time is often a five-year venture, with successfully launched products often in production for 10 years or more. Managing development and production throughout a defense industry’s product lifecycle, especially the various research and development R&D stages, requires absolute control.
LIG Nex1 made a strategic decision to implement comprehensive PLM. “We invested in PLM to substantially enhance cooperation throughout the whole value chain, to enable continuous accumulation and sharing of information resources from an enterprise-wide perspective, and to become a basis for performing tasks standardization and continuous innovations,” says Ho.
The company reviewed a number of solutions and immediately began conducting benchmarking tests with several companies. This included holding proposal presentations to review the PLM software, taking into consideration systematic and objective perspectives.
The company’s emphasis was on 1) user convenience/ease of use, 2) user involvement and 3) user acceptance.
That meant the simultaneous development of cycles per second or CS (for speed and performance) and web (for convenience), a user interface and menu reflecting the needs of business users, the integration/leveraging of other information systems including enterprise resource planning (ERP), I-deas™ software and a systematic approach to drawings considering mass production. It also meant user needs should be reflected through the users’ ongoing involvement in system selection and implementation stages, with the pulse of the user community continuously manifested through ongoing change management requirements, especially relative to process compliance and capability maturity model integration (CMMI) quality audit activities.
LIG Nex1 selected the <a href="https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en/products/teamcenter/">Teamcenter</a> software from Siemens PLM Software because it best met its needs – both short- and long-term, especially relative to delivering its vision. LIG Nex1 was particularly impressed with the “new ideas” that Siemens PLM Software brought to the table and technology that allowed integrating all information related to products that can occur during the product lifecycle into one system. Teamcenter enabled tight management of the development history and sharing real time data by linking development and production. Such capabilities generated opportunity and the company intended to fully leverage the technology to further advance its product portfolio in terms of quality, value and uniqueness.
After carefully considering the characteristics of its R&D needs, the company instituted implementation stages in order to establish a reliable, productive environment from the start. In the initial stage, the company used Teamcenter to build an R&D user-oriented environment designed to enable system expansion and to link with existing systems while taking production into consideration.
The system was launched in September of 2008. Since that time, LIG Nex1 has increasingly utilized the system through systematic training and the nurturing of power users. “The implementation success is leading to impressive and tangible results,” notes Ho.
The use of Teamcenter evidenced substantial benefits shortly after implementation, including enabling significantly increased collaboration throughout the value chain. This has resulted in the continuous banking of knowledge and experience, and valuable collaboration across the enterprise. With Teamcenter, tasks have been standardized. In addition, Teamcenter serves as a catalyst that enables detailed inspection in each department in order to achieve project goals. From a strategic perspective, management notes that Teamcenter is playing a key role in stimulating continuous innovation and discovery.
Ho points out, “Teamcenter has provided the company an R&D advantage over its competition. Using Siemens’ PLM technology, LIG Nex1 is meeting its goals relative to cost management, product planning, design and manufacturing-related schedule management throughout the product lifecycle. Specifically, Teamcenter enabled early predictions of development project results, which allowed the organization to quickly respond to market requirements to achieve profit goals. Not only is the company maximizing physical resources using Teamcenter, but human potential as well. That also means selectively excluding unrealistic development projects from the start.”
The results have been measured. Ho explains, “Using Teamcenter, enterprise-wide cost savings are projected to be about 30 percent and time saved represents an approximate 30 percent gain compared to the prior method. In addition, there have been productivity improvements across operations.”
LIG Nex1 is planning additional enterprise-wide enhancements via Teamcenter, including further strengthening project management communications and value chain collaboration. The company also plans to enable purchasing through PLM.