ENOVIA bridging the gap
Swedish APM August Pettersson AB, a control fixtures maker with the majority of its clients in the automotive industry, used to keep all of its records and 3D Computer Aided Designs (CADs) in a file system which was stored on a local hard-drive.
Although this file system worked fine for the most part, it was extremely vulnerable to the human factor, wholly relying on designers and production staff to never make mistakes when labeling and saving documents.
“In a few cases, people would go into the archive and retrieve an outdated CAD-model, thinking they had the right version when they actually didn’t just because things hadn’t been labeled correctly,” Johnny Fälth recalls, noting that such a mistake could cost the company weeks in lost production time, sometimes forcing it to postpone scheduled delivery dates. “In our business, that’s a mistake you can’t afford.”
Bridge between CAD and PLM
When APM’s business grew, and the number of design engineers rose from three to five, the situation became unsustainable. After scanning the market for different solutions, APM finally opted for the Dassault Systèmes-developed Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) platform ENOVIA. There were three main reasons for APM’s choice.
Firstly, APM was already an established user of Dassault’s software suite CATIA – a solution that supports multiple stages of product development, including design, manufacturing and engineering. By choosing ENOVIA, APM could stay within the same elite Dassault product family, ensuring the communication between CATIA and the new PLM solution would be the smoothest possible.
Secondly, the bulk of APM’s automotive industry clients – representing 90 percent of its revenues – use these platforms themselves. “If you want to be part of the game in a serious way, you need to have the same equipment as your customers,” Johnny Fälth says.
Thirdly, it meant that APM minimized the number of suppliers. “Since we don’t have a dedicated IT-person in place, it really helps us only to have to call TECHNIA (previously TechniaTranscat) if we run into problems,” he says, adding that TECHNIA by far outshone its market peers when it came to knowing ENOVIA. “They know it by heart,” Johnny Fälth says.
One of the main advantages was the ease with which the engineers could make new variants of a product simply by quickly retrieving previous designs and making some modifications. “It means we don’t have to invent the wheel all over again.
We can already see that this is saving us both time and money,” Johnny Fälth says. And no one needs to keep track of a file system. “It really eases the stress and workload for the project manager.” Johnny Fälth says ENOVIA also helps APM to keep deadlines. “It lends us a competitive advantage,” he says.
If everything goes according to plan, the platform is forecasted to have paid itself off within just one or two years of use by which time APM hopes to have increased its production rate by 10 percent. “So we’ll be able to take on more work, but with the same amount of staff,” he concludes.