Product engineering

Best collaboration practices for product engineering

  • Blog
  • Read time: 5 minutes

Why is it important for the business?

The design and manufacturing of a product inevitably involves a level of collaboration and information sharing both internally within the organization across different departments and disciplines as well as externally across an extended enterprise, be that with the customers, suppliers, design partners, manufacturers or with service providers.

It is essential to efficiently design, manufacture and support high quality products that the sharing of product information, such as CAD models, bill of materials, technical documentation, software, and etc is accurate and timely. The different disciplines involved in the design of products need to share up to date information with each other and ensure that everyone is working on the latest design. People in manufacturing also need access to the relevant and latest design information. Issues identified in manufacturing and in-life need to be fed back to the design organization and resolved before manufacturing can begin.

Are you wondering how could your product information be shared effectively across your value chain? Read our 3 steps to solve the problem of data silos in your supply chain.

What are the different collaboration stages in product engineering?

Different organizations typically deploy different styles of product engineering collaboration throughout the life-cycle of a product. This is dependent on the nature of the relationship between the collaborating organizations and the life-cycle stage of the product within which the collaboration takes place. The ShareAspace suite of products explicitly supports the collaboration processes in these different life-cycle stages.

Examples of typical business relationships related to the design and the manufacture of products which ShareAspace supports are:

– Collaborative Design
– Design and build
– Build to print / Manufacture to plan
– Equipment supplier
– Standard part supplier

What data sharing approaches are used in the industry?

Organizations employ a variety of methods to share the product data across an extended enterprise, from exchange of file based data packs to fully managed collaborative data sharing. The different methods adopted by the organisation are dependent on the maturity and nature of the business relationships. It also depends on the maturity of the information management capabilities of the organizations, as well as the accepted practice within an industry.

The most used methods are:

– Collaboration tools such as cloud storage or messaging apps
– File Transfer Protocol and the likes.
– Hub-based Data sharing platforms

A more detailed breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of different data sharing tools can be found in our article on File Transfer Protocol (FTP) vs SharePoint vs Supplier Collaboration Hub.

The ShareAspace Hub based approach in combination with the transactional approach enables secure, auditable, timely product data sharing across the extended enterprise. The hub manages and shares product data and associated documents at a detailed level, whilst protecting the Intellectual Property of the organizations and respecting export controls. Check out CIMdata’s report on how ShareAspace offers a collaboration environment approach to support increased business speed, agility and systems complexity that is essential for bottom-line profits.

Collaboration management patterns

Regardless of the sharing approach adopted, the collaboration process needs to be managed and controlled. There are a number of different patterns or styles for achieving this, again dependent on the maturity and nature of both the business relationships and the information management capabilities of the organizations. It is desirable that the collaboration solution selected can be configured to cater for a wide range of collaboration patterns.

In this regard, Eurostep has clients using ShareAspace in business critical operation for more than 20 years in industries such as Aerospace, Automotive, Defence, Energy and AEC. ShareAspace has made their collaboration instant, easy and secure!

Learn how to manage contract manufacturing data in the cloud…

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