Director Product Design & PLM

Director of Product Design, Product Lifecycle Management commercial vehicle

The challenges for a Director Product Design & PLM working in Automotive - Commercial Vehicles include ...

Lowering the cost of quality 

Reducing waste and costs 

Managing complexity

Sub-optimal productivity

Lowering the cost of quality

With ever increasing complexity and variability, manufacturers must find new ways to enable and overlay quality controls without increasing costs or process waste.

The high-value manufacturing industry is undergoing unprecedented change, driven by consumer choice and the growing demand for built-to-order products. Driven by transformative digital technologies, the factory of the future will need to be flexible, standardised and efficient to maintain or grow competitive advantage.

The need to minimise cost of quality is a fundamental challenge since quality issues arise across the manufacturing value-chain, including:

  • Late, incorrect or out-of-sequence delivery of kits and subassemblies
  • Wasted time due to manual product identification
  • Paint mutilation from physical tethers
  • Inability to incorporate mobile processes including online rework and digital inspection
  • Inability of workers to rapidly switch between work packages driven by product complexity and variability
  • Inability to implement reliable audit and compliance processes
  • Bottlenecks and congestion causing quality and throughput issues

Managing complexity

Competition for market share is driving an ever greater need to offer consumer choice and build-to-order products.  In so doing manufacturers must quickly adapt to the variability and complexity this drives in both product design and process execution. 

For manufacturers that are reliant on large labour forces to manage significant levels of inventory, asset and WIP movement, the challenge is further compounded and manifests itself in production issues across the value-chain, including

  • Lack of situational awareness required to coordinate complex production flows
  • Lack of situational context for enabling self-configurable processes
  • Fixed workstations and rigid identification strategies unable to support higher degrees of product complexity
  • Inability to adapt and re-plan against errors in real-world delivery status
  • Cost and complexity of maintaining multiple disparate systems
  • Realisation of Industry 4.0 strategy limited by an inability to optimise the system rather than the silos
  • Proliferation of multiple functionally similar systems

Sub-optimal productivity

High-value manufacturing with complex moving processes presents many productivity challenges for manufacturing OEMs. The movement of inventory, tools and assets is tightly tied to production planning and delivery schedules, so much so that deviations from plan can result in significant downtime, reduced productivity and order-to-delivery delays. 

These challenges exist across the entire value-chain, from inbound logistics through to end-product distribution, including everything from:

  • Production downtime caused by container docking errors, parts delivery delays and point-of-use errors
  • Inability to adapt and re-plan against errors in real-world delivery status
  • Inefficient and inflexible assembly workstations resulting in waiting time, process waste and stressed processes
  • Lost, forgotten and ageing WIP
  • Under-utilised value-adding processes and over-utilised buffers and storage
  • Low productivity driving high WIP inventory build-up and high labour costs to hit delivery schedules
  • Lack of information sharing required to adapt and respond to upstream departmental delays
  • Realisation of Industry 4.0 strategy limited by an inability to optimise the system rather than the silos


Below you can find related information regarding your selected challenge

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