Engineering Change is probably one of the most important and complicated disciplines. I had a chance to meet people that told me – all what you are doing is about ECO management. You can see many examples of ECO management solutions. Almost every software vendor in the field of engineering and enterprise software will propose you kind of the solution. Here is the definition, I grab from Wikipedia about Engineering Change Order:
In a typical system development cycle, the specification or the implementation is likely to change during engineeringdevelopment or during integration of the system elements. These last-minute design changes are commonly referred to as engineering change orders (ECOs) and affect the functionality of a design after it has been wholly or partially completed. ECOs can compensate for design errors found during debug or changes that are made to the design specification to compensate for design problems in other areas of the system design.
However, product development process is very diversified when it comes to real manufacturing companies. To find a system that can answer on the user’s requirements for ECO is not a simple task. In addition to that, the diversity of available solutions raises multiple questions about what is the most appropriate system for every case.
Engineering Change: Do It Yourself (DIY)?
Last year I posted – How to Manage ECO without paying $1’500 per seat? The point I wanted to make was about how reuse some of the modern technologies to simplify the overall ECO management in the organization. My conclusion was that different organizations can manage ECO differently depends on specific characteristics of product, company environment and organization, which can make DIY approach quite complicated. It made me think and analyze different packages implementing ECO solutions.
Arena Change Management
Take a look on this following video from Arena Solution. I found it very educational. The power of Arena on demand was clear to me in this example. The ability to have seamless access via cloud-based services (or how Arena called it in the beginning “on demand”) can keep all participants in sync regardless on location and time.
Aras Workflow Management
What happens if your company has a high level of change processes complexity? The following video fragment is presenting Aras Innovator Workflow solution. It enables you to realize a comprehensive change process as a workflow. The workflow can be adapted to a specific customer needs. The openness and adaptability is an ultimate advantage of this system.
Kubotek ECO Manager
Few weeks ago, I learned about the new tool released by Kubotek. The interesting aspect I discovered in this tool is how it focuses on geometrical aspects of product and changes. It is clear not something you need in every industry. However, for the type of manufacturers in automotive, aerospace, industrial equipment and many other industries requiring 3D and geometry, Kubotec ECO manager can provide a significant value in the way to handle changes.
What is my conclusion? ECO is a an important, but very complicated process. It involves many people from organizational departments to work on this and following ECO related activities from inside and outside organization. To have an appropriate tool is important. When you choose a tool, take into the consideration what are specific characteristics of your organization from the standpoint of mobility, complexity, need for visual and 3D before you make a right choice. In parallel, the simplicity of a tool is another important thing. To have a simpler can be a much bigger problem for manufacturers in coming years.
Just my thoughts…