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issue: May 2004 Web-Exclusive

Web Exclusive - Manufacturing & Design
Digital Manufacturing In Norrkoping

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Whirlpool's plant in Norrkoping, Sweden links design and manufacturing data for production of new microwave ovens.

The Whirlpool Corporation plant in Norrkoping, Sweden had no integration between its materials and planning systems. Three new microwave oven platforms were about to be introduced. As Production Manager Anders Claesson explains, "We recognized it was a good time to move to a digital environment, allowing the sharing and re-use of data across disciplines."

He explains, "In the past, our simple database did not connect CAD data with assembly times or cost of materials and there was no link between the ordering of tools or materials."

Whirlpool began studying the marketplace, including the digital manufacturing technology being offered by Delmia Corp., a Dassault Systèmes company, offering the Delmia Process Engineer, V5 DPM Assembly solutions, and the Delmia Manufacturing Hub.

Whirlpool learned that Delmia's Manufacturing Hub could be integrated with its existing PDM system, ProductCenter.

"We realized that product and manufacturing data could be transparently shared," Mr. Claesson says. "In addition, we will improve our concurrent engineering using Process Engineer and V5 DPM Assembly for process verification and documentation."

Before adopting the software, Whirlpool ran a pilot program using the Delmia tools. Delmia applications engineers were stationed on-site at Whirlpool, helping to implement the software and workflow around the software, as well as the integration with ProductCenter.

At the time this article was written, all data entry was complete and Whirlpool designers were exploring their virtual prototypes in 3D. The first family of microwaves is complete and engineers are gearing up for the next product line.

In addition to designing the microwaves in 3D, Whirlpool will rely heavily upon the Delmia Manufacturing Hub, which serves as a data repository for historic and current product, process, and resource information. Engineers can continuously update and share the most current data to better manage all processes and equipment orders. Manufacturing processes that can be created and evaluated include time analyses, rough balances, ramp-up scenarios, and capacity analyses. The various scenarios are stored in the Hub, allowing engineers quick access to information for reuse and to support decision making.


Whirlpool adopted Delmia digital manufacturing technology for three new microwave oven platforms. Product and manufacturing data is shared and re-used, helping accelerate time-to-market with faster product and process verification.


The Future of Digital Manufacturing At Norrkoping

It is conceived that Whirlpool's Engineering Department will be able to provide CAD models and the engineering bill of materials (EBOM) to develop the necessary assembly processes and manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) in one seamless and interactive process. The structuring of data analyses and calculations will be handled by V5 DPM and Process Engineering applications.

"Ultimately, we anticipate that Delmia technology will accelerate time-to-market through faster product and process verification and validation," said Mr. Claesson. "Manual data transfers should become a thing of the past and our assembly line workers may even complete their training in a Delmia environment."


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