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How Eaton Created a More Resilient EV Supply Chain with aPriori

 | April 11, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • Manufacturing insights can enable a resilient electric vehicle supply chain
  • Accelerate time to market and boost profitability with manufacturing insights

The Full Article:

According to Gartner, over the next five years, 80% to 90% of supply chains will focus on four key areas of operations – customer enablement, sustainability, real-time execution, and human-centric work design.

Supply chain disruptions have a trickle-down effect, not only delaying products but lowering customer satisfaction and enablement. Gartner’s February 2023 research also noted that only 23% of supply chains provide their customers with a satisfactory experience that enables them to perform their jobs efficiently. The article also indicated that though the vast majority of suppliers support sustainability, only 19% believe they have those capabilities. Supply chain leaders said they lacked real-time decision execution (93%) and more than half (54%) reported an inability to access talent. What do they all have in common? They require a holistic manufacturing simulation solution that enables a more resilient supply chain.

If You Enable a Resilient EV Supply Chain, You Will Thrive

With the right manufacturing simulation solution, all manufacturers including those in the electric vehicle (EV) market can streamline processes, collaborate, innovate better, reduce costs, ensure manufacturability and sustainability, and get to market faster.

With so many moving parts in the product development lifecycle, manufacturers cannot afford to have one of those parts come to a grinding halt. By leveraging investments in digital transformation, particularly a product digital twin, the digital thread can be extended to a digital twin of the manufacturing process to unlock highly precise, insightful real-time communication, collaboration, analytics, and decision-making. This digital thread provides seamless collaboration between all product development stages and players. It is particularly critical to increasingly competitive sectors such as EV production.

It is imperative for U.S. EV manufacturers to have a solution that not only ensures a resilient supply chain but one that addresses sustainability, manufacturability, and profitability. One company, Eaton, recognized the value of such a solution and as a result, has thrived.

Speed to Market with Manufacturing Process Simulation Software

According to EV, a total of 10.5 million new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) were delivered during 2022, an increase of +55% compared to 2021. A BBC article noted that 20% of all new cars sold globally will be electric by 2025, according to investment bank UBS’s recent forecast. By 2030, UBS noted that number will be 40% and by 2040, virtually every new car sold globally will be electric. Eaton is ahead of the curve.

Eaton is a premier power management company including electrical, aerospace, hydraulics, and vehicle eMobility, with $19.63 billion in revenue. Founded over a hundred years ago as an automotive supplier, it now has nearly 90,000 employees in 175 different countries. The company wanted to improve time to market and profitability in a highly competitive market. They needed a manufacturing simulation solution to improve collaboration and sourcing as well as enable a resilient EV supply chain.

“Having a tool like aPriori allows your design and sourcing teams to say, ‘I have this part. I think there may be a better way to manufacture it.’ Instead of having to redesign the component, send it out to RFQ, and play the waiting game. We can make small changes to our digital simulation to skip all of that.”  EATON

The company uses several aPriori solutions to help improve manufacturability and cost. Additionally, they help Eaton understand how design affects their supply chain as well as enables them to remediate procurement risk.

Eaton Improves EV Supply Chain Resiliency with aPriori

The Gartner findings underscore how critical a solution like aPriori can be to EV manufacturers. The entire product development lifecycle benefits from such a solution and addresses the four aforementioned key operations areas. Design is the pivotal point for enhancing supply chain resiliency as well as the other factors mentioned above. For instance, a common supply chain issue is material availability. Manufacturers can reduce their supply chain risk by simulating production, based on various materials, machines, and process. With nearly 90 regional data libraries, and growing, aPriori helps manufacturers facilitate faster quoting times. The necessary parts can be obtained quickly and cost-effectively. Accelerated quoting times help innovate and get to market faster. They also reduce the number of people necessary in the quoting process.

Global supply chain disruptions and raw material shortages typically result in higher premiums on supplier prices. aPriori’s regional data libraries allow you to compare several or all supplier pricing at once, identifying and analyzing cost outliers (where you might be paying too much for supplies). It can help you determine which supplier is best and ensure you secure a lower price, gaining deeper product knowledge within the supply chain.

aPriori’s solutions integrate with major 3D CAD and PLM systems, ensuring seamless product development across all stages and one that is connected to your digital factories. Now you can automate cost evaluations for specific supplier capabilities or the most favorable supplier environments. Cloud-based collaboration accelerates products to market. Design for manufacturability issues can be identified early in the process, reducing engineering change orders (ECOs). Cost engineers can collaborate with both design engineers and sourcing – costing hundreds of parts easily and accurately – to ensure the most optimal suppliers, improving supplier relations and negotiations in the process.

Manufacturing Insights = An Agile Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

Supply chain bottlenecks persist, and EV adoption and competition continue to increase. A solution that integrates with their operations and holistically addresses manufacturing challenges ensures a resilient EV supply chain. The earlier potential issues in the product development process can be identified and remediated, the better. They will be able to innovate, getting to market faster and ensuring a competitive advantage.

aPriori’s solutions speak for themselves. Like Eaton, other aPriori customers have improved their supply chains and reduced costs. One customer reduced quoting times by three weeks and saved 40% in supplier costs. Another accelerated their quoting process, boosting their Request for Quote (RFQ) win rate from 15% to 68%.

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