What is Digital Manufacturing?

Digital manufacturing is the concept of digitizing your entire manufacturing process — from design to production — using manufacturing simulation software. This enables businesses to virtually simulate the entire product lifecycle in a digital factory. Now, it’s easier than ever to optimize your manufacturing processes, reduce product costs, and accelerate time to revenue.

In the early 1980s, global manufacturers saw the potential of digitization and started switching from drawing boards to UNIX workstations and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. This was a major paradigm shift that changed the world of product design and engineering forever.
Today, a similar paradigm shift is happening in the world of manufacturing.

For years, manufacturers have been testing the validity of new product designs by manufacturing physical prototypes. What if you were able to test the validity of a new product design by simulating the exact same manufacturing processes used in the physical world without ever having to waste time and money building a prototype? Think of how much faster you could bring products to market on-time and under budget. That’s what digital manufacturing can do for you.

Imagine this. aPriori can leverage all the rich information in your 3D CAD model designs and automatically stream that information through a digital factory. We offer nearly 100 digital factories representing different regions around the world. Simulate the entire manufacturing process in - literally - minutes.

Our digital factories will automatically identify specific areas of the design that will create problems in the manufacturing process and provide guidance on how to fix those problems before they are compounded.

The result - you identify costly manufacturability problems early in the design lifecycle, significantly reduce late stage ECOs, and enable you to more consistently launch new products to market on time.

Manufacturing Simulation Technology

Engineers have no insight into potential manufacturability issues as they are detailing their product design concepts in software. By the time your CAD design leaves the engineer's desk and gets in front of your cost engineer, weeks have passed. Your designer is working on other projects while your cost engineer sends the original design back for modifications that will reduce product cost.

This creates “churn” at the end of the design lifecycle and has the potential to hold up a product launch. Manufacturing Simulation digitizes this process so you can identify and eliminate potential manufacturability problems early in the design lifecycle. This reduces the number of late stage ECOs and lets you more consistently launch new products to market on time.

The Digital Factory

A digital factory perfectly replicates the capabilities of a real world, physical manufacturing facility in software. It includes raw materials that you would use at the factory, all the machines you might have at a factory (including all the performance statistics and tooling of these machines), the labor required to run the machines, all the logic of your manufacturing lines and how a product progresses through primary and secondary processes to yield a finished product, all the overhead costs of running the factory, and more.

Benchmark digital factories are available out of the box representing the cost structures of nearly 100 manufacturing regions around the world. Digital factories allow you to very quickly assess manufacturability of a new product design at any point in the design lifecycle so you can identify and eliminate potential issues that may prevent you from launching your new product to market on time and on budget.

Design for Manufacturing

In the world of discrete product manufacturing, the cost of goods sold can often reach 85-90% of revenue. COGS has a significant impact on the overall profitability of new product initiatives (NPI) and the company overall

Design for Manufacturing is the practice of considering the manufacturing cost of a NPI early in the design lifecycle so you can avoid potential manufacturability issues that will negatively impact profit margins and time to market.

aPriori’s Digital Manufacturing Simulation software helps you do just that. Import your 3D CAD model into aPriori at any point in the lifecycle, and the software can quickly identify potential problems in your design and provide guidance to your engineers on how to quickly eliminate those problems long before you release the new design to manufacturing.


With Digital Manufacturing Software, it’s possible to:

Save time

aPriori has completely changed the design process. Manufacturability and cost analysis happens automatically in the background while you design, saving hundreds of hours in ECOs.

Save money

Now, you can highlight and eliminate expensive features from your CAD model and save thousands of dollars.

Save resources

With aPriori, design to cost can be accomplished without years of cost modeling or manufacturing process knowledge. This leads to fewer changes after release, and a better utilization of your factory.

See aPriori in action

It’s easier than you think to get up and running with digital manufacturing software. Plus you’ll have the support of our experts to get started. See how your organization can benefit from digital transformation with a short, personalized demo.