The Optimisation Process
The Optimisation Process:
- During this initial stage we get to understand and define what ‘performance’ means to our client.
- This is crucial as working within high performance and competitive environments, is to continually evolve and maximise the performance of a product or equipment, keeping it at the leading edge within its environment.
- The optimisation review process can also be used at concept or early design stage, ensuring that the idea is designed to be as competitive and technologically advanced within its market. Once we understand the key challenges we can tailor a project to budget and timescales.
Opportunities we consider:
Costs– This could be by reducing the overall cost of the product or moving it into a premium band and therefore driving greater market value and optimising profit.
Material selection– Reviewing weight, strength, durability, aesthetics and also trends, fashions and availability.
Carbon footprint requirements– What is the clients ethos and mission in relation to carbon reduction and product sustainability?
Manufacturing processes– Either through reduced timescales and operations, greater efficiency or simplifying the process, if that is what is required, to ensure that your team, or manufacturing partner has the capabilities to reproduce multiple parts consistently and effectively, reducing wastage of time material and training costs.
Data capture and digitisation of legacy parts– If the equipment or product was designed by the traditional drawing method, pre-digitisation, then before you can start any optimisation process we would have to White light scan (WLS) the product and transfer the image to CAD to produce a fully functioning digitised model. Once this data has been captured we can then start to manipulate the model and run simulations.
Data capture of other comparable products– Competitiveness is everything and therefore bench-marking, your current product or concept, against your nearest competitor is something that can save you time money and also help to de-risk your project giving it a great opportunity for success when going to market. You of course cannot just ask for this information and therefore we would capture the data using our WLS as with a legacy part.
- Product Evaluation and Simulation- Using the CAD data of the product we can run this information through a number of simulation software, including CFD and FEA, to optimise the performance and therefore reduce cost and risk ‘downstream’ before moving to the pre-production phase.
- Product testing- Some clients prefer to carry out testing in an environment that more readily replicates the physical environment in which the equipment will operate. Also, physical testing may also be a requirement before the product can be released to the market. We can manage a testing program e.g. wind tunnel testing. In some cases, the testing process is used by the client as a powerful marketing tool.
- Rapid prototyping (RP) and Rapid Manufacture (RM)- The greatest advantage of RP and RM and utilising this technology in the prototype development stage is that we can create a physical model of the part. This can be used to carryout testing and evaluation before moving to a full operation prototype. It also allows the client and the team to review and re-evaluate the design in a physical form saving potential costs down stream. Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Manufacture.
- Sustainability- This process can be a project in itself and also tied into the carbon reduction process. Simplified we look to identify the lifecycle and durability with the product. This will tie into the product lifecycle influencing the pricing and product upgrade strategy.
- Additional Value- During the optimisation process we work with the client to identify any Intellectual Property (IP) opportunities and also ‘halo sales’ through the development of ‘bolt on’ products.
For a full glossary of terms relating to design and optimisation, click here