Streamlining Engineering Data Migration

How Migration of Engineering Data turned into an operation to Eliminate Data Duplication & Part Standardizing

In the ever-evolving world of auto OEM, proper management of engineering data is critical for its functioning. At the same time, accurate management of engineering data is a daunting challenge. It’s like trying to arrange a massive puzzle where each piece needs to fit perfectly, but all the puzzle pieces (the data) are all over the place.

To achieve excellence, or to innovate, the manufacturers need to navigate and optimize these unorganized vast datasets. So, when it comes to moving/analysing this data, the routine operation becomes a more significant mission. Similar situation occurred for one of the largest bus manufacturers in the world.

To gain a competitive advantage by optimizing existing processes and implement advanced technology the leading global auto component manufacturer decided to streamline its engineering data. The challenge of streamlining extends beyond the sheer volume of data. The diversity of formats, inconsistent structures, and the persistent issue of data duplication further complicate the challenge.

BWC undertook a typical data migration project, which eventually transformed into a full-scale operation to clean up and organize the data better. We not only helped in moving 13 BOM data with 15000 parts each but also swiftly dealt the messiness that comes with it, like, having the same data stored in different places, or standardizing parts attributes.

This Data Migration project unearths the layers of complexity that exist in achieving operational excellence in the engineering data management.

Navigating the Complexity of Engineering Data Management

The management of engineering data in auto manufacturing is filled with inherent multi-faceted challenges, demanding a strategic and meticulous approach.

Diversity of Data Formats

The first hurdle lies in the diverse formats in which engineering data is stored. From CAD files to spreadsheets, each format brings its own set of challenges, making data integration a complex task.

Inconsistent Data Structures

Inconsistent structures further compound the challenge. Different departments may use varying templates and structures, leading to a lack of uniformity in how data is organized and accessed.

Persistent Data Duplication

Data duplication, like an elusive shadow, remains a persistent issue. Identical sets of data scattered across different systems not only hinder efficiency but also compromise data accuracy.

Volume Overload

The sheer volume of data can be overwhelming. Managing large datasets requires not just storage capacity but also efficient processing and retrieval mechanisms.

Standardization Challenges

The challenge of standardizing parts added another layer of complexity. Each component presented varied identification methods, leading to potential confusion and errors in the manufacturing process. Additionally, the management or transfer of inventory in SAP further compounded this challenge.

As we delve into the complexities of engineering data management, the need for a comprehensive solution becomes apparent.

BrainWave's Strategic Solutions

To address the complexities outlined above, BrainWave Consulting (BWC) embarked on a comprehensive strategy to streamline engineering data,
The data, previously stored separately on designers’ PCs, posed a challenge. BWC collected this data, corrected it, matched it to the respective design, and looked for duplications before migrating it into the streamlined system.
3D Data Migration Process
  • Identify Unique Parts per BOM
  • Identify Revisions of reused / modified parts
  • Identify non Engineering Parts (Medical Kit, Toolkit, Consumables)
  • Identify ASR quantity
Data Upload
  • Upload assemblies & Child parts
  • In case of multiple revisions of part, upload previous versions
  • Generate new Part numbers
  • Add Part Attribute information
  • Upload associated drawings and documents
Data Gathering & Cleansing
  • Gather 3D data for each of BOM (including Versions)
  • Gather 2D Data
  • Gather Documents related to Parts
  • Identify correct data using proprietery tools like KDISCOVER
Data Validation
  • Clinet validates structure and all associated information
  • BWC releases the BOM post validation. (Validation will limit to the BOM completeness and location & not the content of 3Dor 2D)
We categorized the engineering data into two main types: CAD items (such as detailed design blueprints, 3D models, and simulations) and non-CAD items (including specifications, materials, and manufacturing guidelines). This segregation allowed for targeted and efficient handling of diverse data structures.
BWC implemented a multifaceted approach to identify duplicated parts, utilizing our proprietary tools, like KDISCOVER. This involved scrutinizing parts with similar names, conducting 3D searches for identical components, and comparing parts on a 3D level to detect any variations. For example, we conducted a 3D search for engine components and compared their BOMs at the 3D level to eliminate any discrepancies.
The Bill of Materials (BOM) is the backbone of manufacturing. We ensured its accuracy by validating it from both a structural and quantity perspective. For instance, in validating a BOM for a particular vehicle component, we cross-checked the specified materials and quantities against the actual manufacturing requirements. This meticulous validation by our client instilled confidence in the data integrity.
Discrepancies between 2D and 3D data were identified and corrected with help of client. Ensuring alignment between these data sets was crucial for maintaining consistency and accuracy.
Incorrect versions scattered across systems were identified and removed. BWC implemented robust version control mechanisms to prevent future discrepancies.
Specific parts had incorrect attributes and metadata. BWC identified and corrected these discrepancies, ensuring accurate data representation. Following data mapping was used for PLM migration.
Recognizing inefficiencies in the existing design processes, our team introduced an improved methodology. Previously, design processes were fragmented, causing delays and inconsistencies. The enhanced approach streamlined design workflows, ensuring that the data generated aligns seamlessly with the broader engineering data structure.
BWC configured the systems to align with the defined business process. This involved setting up configurations that optimized the handling of both CAD and Non-CAD data.
To streamline the renumbering process, BWC created connectors and APIs for scripting. This automated the renumbering of components, reducing manual effort and minimizing errors.
As BWC implemented these strategic solutions, the once-fragmented engineering data began to transform into a streamlined, organized system. The complexities that once hindered efficiency were systematically addressed, paving the way for a new era of operational excellence in the management of engineering data for bus design components.

Results Achieved

The implementation of BrainWave Consulting’s strategic solutions brought about transformative outcomes, reshaping the landscape of engineering data management,
  • The streamlined processes and improved design methodology significantly enhanced overall efficiency, making design workflows more cohesive and reducing delays and inconsistencies.
  • Rigorous validation of the Bill of Materials (BOM) and meticulous correction of data inaccuracies ensured a robust foundation of accurate data.
    • BWC team reduced at least 2000 duplicate parts per vehicle.
    • Per BOM, Reduced 1500 to 2000 duplicate parts.
    • 13 BOM (Buses were migrated) and approx. 15,000 parts per BOM.
  • Effective version control mechanisms and the removal of incorrect versions brought about consistency across the entire data infrastructure. This alleviated the risk of working with outdated or erroneous data, improving the overall quality of engineering data.
  • The implementation of connectors and APIs for scripting facilitated a seamless renumbering process. This automation not only reduced manual effort but also minimized the likelihood of errors in component identification.

Business Impact

The amalgamation of these outcomes translated directly into tangible business results. With accurate, consistent, and seamlessly integrated engineering data, our client experienced,

  • By eliminating duplicated parts, ensuring accurate data, and automating processes, the organization witnessed substantial cost savings in both time and resources.
  • Accurate and consistent data empowered the organization to make informed decisions, fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability.
  • Streamlined processes and cohesive data structures enhanced overall productivity, allowing teams to focus on value-adding activities rather than grappling with data discrepancies.