Another item that isn't taken into consideration of New Product Development cost is travel expenses. This tool would definitely save dollars by reducing travel expenses. Also, delay in work hours will be minimized based on reducing travel hours as well. To much wasted work hours occur because of waiting in airports and air fly time. Again, this virtual plant tool would keep projects on task because of reduction in travel time.
mrdon, you have a good point. With a high fidelity model of a plant a lot of this travel can be elimanted. I know an engineering manager whose company has plants all over the world. He has to go to customer locations, but he also finds that he is traveling to company locations to review how they are doing and how they do things. It takes a lot to even get a hold of the designs and drawings from these plants. This will be one challenge to many companies that have operations in multiple countries. They often do not share.
Yes, MrDon, they can look at seven different plants and see how each does a particular task. they can take the best iteration and deploy it across all plants. They can do this function-by-function to reach optimal efficiency.
I see big benefits behind this Virtual Plant Visit tool: one being a reduction in company travel expenses. The fact that one can drill down to individual assembly stations to see development of new components being manufactured is an awesome feature of the tool. Combining this tool with Video Conferencing will allow quick response to resolving manufacturing concerns between suppliers and OEMs within hours as opposed to days. Very nice article!
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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