When Information Technology (IT) meets Engineering

IT has been around for a long time, back to the days when an Engineer Clive Sinclair used his engineering skills to invent the ZX Spectrum, and, this probably the last time IT and Engineering worked in true harmony.

In today’s environment we have lots of manufacturing skills and lots of IT skills but how often do they work together for the greater good of the staff and the company?

Over the last 3 years GemDT working with Oracle (The database experts) have been working together with engineers to see how this issue can be addressed. Looking at how data that is generated by an organisation can be shared both internally and securely externally.

If we look a single scenario, Inspection. Inspection is key to all companies manufacturing products, the OEM’s, the supply chain and the maintainers of products. The Original inspection data is the Golden Record of that part, before it becomes an assembly (more inspection) and then the fully assembled product (more inspection),

In a number of situations products are manufactured in remote sites or through the supply chain, and then assembled in a different location, with those doing the assembly not having advanced notice of the parts they will be assembling, this is typically because the inspection data stays with the location of the inspector/inspection machine.

But this does not have to be the case. The Engineering Hub powered by Oracle can take that data, from the inspection machine and make it available to the Manufacturing Engineer (ME) ahead of the part arriving. Taking this data in advance can flag potential issues, it can also enable the ME to look at quality control of the supply chain. They can make decisions on scheduling of tasks, enable concessions to be managed ahead of the arrival of the product if required.

This data is then available to management on a Business Information (BI) dashboard, enabling the HR system to ensure the right ME’s are available to do the task in hand, linking The Engineering Hub to disparate systems, PLM, HR, BOM, ERP etc, etc enabling seamless tasking of jobs on the manufacturing floor.

“The journey of any product starts with the inspection of the parts that make the product”.

By having this data in The Engineering Hub enables the start of the Digital Twin, by utilising The Engineering Hub across the business and the supply chain the utilisation of the companies IP, there manufacturing data can be used in ways never seen before, but wanted by the company.

Another benefit of deploying The Engineering Hub in the supply chain and also the support after sales maintenance arena, allows companies to share data in a secure way, data that typically a company would not share due to IP concerns.

One example of this is CAD data, companies are not always comfortable giving CAD data to the supply chain or in the case of Aerospace the MRO network. But by having the data in The Engineering Hub using technologies like Blockchain CAD data can be shared for Inspection, taking the data from the Inspection machine, analysing it in a secure Cloud environment against the nominal CAD and giving more accurate reports.

These reports are then available to not just the supply chain or maintenance organisation, but also the OEM, building on their Digital Twin. This symbiotic relationship with OEM and client enables both organisations to improve the through life of the product, and also reduce time repairing or maintaining a product.

These two examples are just a small part of how The Engineering Hub can help a company and the supply and support network.

Having The Engineering Hub deployed linking to your existing solutions also has a benefit for the cleansing of data or Master Data Management (MDM).

Deploying tools like Oracle EDQ while the client is constantly populating The Engineering Hub we can be cleansing the data, removing duplicated part numbers, reducing errors in Bill of Materials (BOM) by ensuring the data is cleaned and de duplicated. The first step on the MDM journey.

To find out more about the GemDT Engineering Hub go to www.gemdt.co.uk

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