Manufacturing Simulation Software for Suppliers
aPriori was designed with suppliers in mind. Now your estimators, designers, production planners, and management can get on the same page by using simulation software to create a digital thread between siloed departments.
Learn how suppliers can leverage simulations within aPriori’s digital factories in order to win new business, stay competitive, and maintain margins. This recording features a 10-minute product demonstration followed by five minutes of Q & A.
Erik Osvold: Hello everyone and welcome to Simulating Manufacturing for Suppliers. My name is Erik Osvold and I’m a senior testing consultant at aPriori. I’m joined by Anthony Giuffrida, manager of North American Implementation Services.
EO: As a supplier, the main goal is to grow the business. To grow the business you need to win bids and maintain margins. Winning bids requires you to respond to RFQs and stay competitive to achieve or exceed the desired win rate. Maintaining margins requires you to understand the should cost during estimation and leverage that information when the job is before. So what if you could utilize CAD in order to help automate your estimation process? What if you could evaluate alternative routings in order to determine the most competitive option? What if you could identify opportunities to purchase new equipment to optimize the build process? And what if you could utilize the estimate information during production planning?
With that in mind, I’m going to show you how to quickly generate an estimate within aPriori’s manufacturing simulation software. I have imported this CAD model into aPriori and defined a few inputs.
Simulation Models for Specific Manufacturing Process Groups
I’ve defined the process group, the digital factory for production, the material and production information. I’ve also tagged this scenario with the opportunity number that can be referenced at a later time. So each digital factory will have its own assumptions associated with it and default behavior. Each digital factory will have materials, we’ll have different material compositions, and the associated cost per pound. Now, as a user, I do have some control. If I understand I need to expedite material for this bid package, I can override the material here. I can also determine what additional secondary processes are required for this part during production. So if I wanted to add anodize, I could do that in this window here.
Now moving on to the routings. Each digital factory has specific routings associated with it. By default, aPriori will evaluate each routing for feasibility and determine the cost for each feasible routing. By default, aPriori will select the most competitive option. But if as a user I understand there’s capacity restraints due to machine outages or things of that nature, I can also select the routing I would like and have aPriori only evaluate that routing. Now, once aPriori finishes costing, I’m going to show you the different routings that it has evaluated. So coming back to this routing window, I can see aPriori has evaluated many routings and it has determined that the three axis and four axis mill are both feasible options. Now the four axis mill routing we can see is about 35 cents or $35 less than a three axis mill routing and is the most competitive option. Now, I understand that there may be times that we want to evaluate multiple parts within a bid package, and we also may want evaluate multiple variations of those parts within that bid package. I can achieve that by performing bulk costing.
Evaluating, Decision Making, and Profitability
With this analysis, I have a bid package of five parts and I want to evaluate my two manufacturing sites for each of these parts. Once I’ve determined all of the same inputs as I did in the previous example, I can go ahead and hit the cost button. Once I hit the cost button, aPriori will then process these parts within the batch. Once the parts are finished costing, I can then go to aP Analytics in order to see which factory is the most competitive for this given bid package. I’m going to switch over to aP Analytics. In aP Analytics. I have a specific report that outlines each scenario and the cost for each one, and I can compare them side by side in this bar chart. So as I can see in this given bid package, manufacturing site one is the most competitive option for just about every part. The last part on the right, both sites are relatively competitive compared to each other.
Now, before I respond to this RFQ, I would want to go and see the capacity required for the bid package of both sites. To go into a different report, I can see the capacity required for each batch of manufacturing site one and manufacturing site two. Manufacturing site one would require 96 hours total, 35 on the three axis mill, around 58 on the four axis mill, and around 3.5 on the bandsaw. Now manufacturing site two was the least competitive option of these two sites and requires about double the time required from total machining required, as well as almost double on the three axis mill and just under triple on the four axis mill. Now at this point, I can cross-reference the capacity required for this batch to actual capacity of my factory.
Now we can also take this a step further and look at what would other competitors potentially be bidding on this same package? In order to do that, I’m going to compare each scenario produced to a scenario with aPriori USA, a factory that has machines that are not in my current factory. So I’m gonna go ahead and click apply. And now I can see on the right, this part, aPriori USA in red. Actually both of my factories are relatively competitive in the marketplace. Now, on the left side, I can see that manufacturing site one is relatively competitive in comparison to the marketplace as well. But the other scenarios were not as competitive. To dig a bit deeper, I’m going to go to a scenario comparison report and I’m going to look at the scenario with the most cost associated with it.
So opening up the scenario comparison report, I have my three different scenarios with my three digital factories and I could review the cost for each factory. Now, looking a little deeper I noticed that the routing of both of my factories have a three axis mill, yet aPriori USA is being produced with a five axis mill. So, five axis mill is a machine that has more degrees of freedom than the three axis mill and is typically used for more complex parts. So, knowing this, I can then start an investigation to see if it may be opportunistic in order to purchase this equipment in order to respond to my bid package. Now, this is a machining example, but the same thing applies for other processing groups. Another example in sheet metal, if my factory is set up with laser cut machines, there may be a bid package where it’s actually more competitive to have a third press machine.
Utilizing Digital Twin Automation and Functionality to Increase Profits
And in that same instance, I can then investigate if the capital is worth investing in order to respond to a specific opportunity. So, as I just demonstrated, it is possible with aPriori to utilize CAD and the digital twin in order to help automate my estimation process, evaluate multiple routings to determine the most competitive option, identify opportunities of purchasing new equipment to optimize my build process, and I could utilize the information in my estimate during production planning. Oops.
So at this time, I’d like to take a couple of moments to respond to some of your questions. The QA panel is still open, so there’s still time to answer your questions via the chat. Anthony, do we have any questions?
AG: You showed the quote reference in the cost guide. Would customers be able to add their own fields to the cost guide based on how they would like to track and report on data in the future?
Yes. To add additional tags (and it’s really good to add tags to the data in order to be able to leverage it in a meaningful manner in aP Analytics) go to the system admin tool, set, system administrator and user defined attributes. Here you can add as many attributes as you’d like, and you can make them searchable and things like that.
AG: Can aPriori data be integrated into my PLM or ERP systems?
EO: Yes! aPriori data can be integrated into other systems, and it’s typical to have them integrated utilizing our reporting database. So systems that we’ve integrated with our CPQ tools, ERP, but how the system is integrated is really dependent on the system that you have.
AG: You showed bulk costing, can you just explain for everyone how that’s licensed and if they’re interested in understanding if they have access to bulk costing, how they can do that?
Yes, bulk costing is licensed separately. You can ask your aPriori administrator if you’re licensed to it, you can also see within the main screen in your help window. So they’re going to help view license, it’ll come up with everything that you’re licensed for. And this bulk loader would be bulk costing. So one additional item, bulk costing can be a very powerful tool, if it’s leveraged strategically and effectively. So definitely look into that If you are not licensed.