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Material Optimization Requires More Than a Database

As the number of new materials choices and processing options continues to explode, companies are left with a dilemma: how do they innovate their portfolios to create lighter, more sustainable, or cheaper products (DfX) while ensuring that they will also perform according to requirements and meet any specifications or regulations? This isn’t just a simple material change, but a complicated strategy that will result in characterizing new materials, testing products, looking for new suppliers, modifying existing processes, investigating new technologies and implementing new capabilities across multiple departments.

Choosing a potential new material is easy, right? Just compare the material properties of the old material with the new candidates and pick the best one. However, this isn’t really the case. Additional questions need to be answered, such as:

  • What properties are different, and how will they impact desired performance?
  • How will the virtual product perform?
  • Can we easily source this new material?
  • Can we use existing equipment to manufacture with this material?
  • How does the new product actually perform when tested?

To answer these questions, and more, a company must:

  • Capture, manage and share relevant product data,
  • Be able to request, schedule and execute tests,
  • Simulate the new material performance,
  • Create and validate new production processes, and
  • Incorporate any lessons learned across the lifecycle.

 

As you can see, this requires more than a simple database, so companies typically try to address these needs by using multiple tools, databases, processes, and integrations that are usually disconnected, expensive to create and maintain, and certainly don’t support the traceability/auditability necessary to comply with global quality or testing standards (ex. ISO).  So, what can be done to more effectively implement the necessary capabilities to accomplish this new material strategy and compete in the global economy?

First, a company needs to look at this holistically, rather than in silos, so that technology, people, and investments be can cross-leveraged resulting in higher impact, lower investment and higher returns.

Next a company should look to create partnerships with those companies that can provide solutions that can integrate with existing tools, support multiple workflows, manage multiple data types, provide security of information, and be implemented across multiple departments. Companies like Bassetti.

Bassetti is unique in that it offers a technology backbone that allows a company to plug and play solutions across the enterprise to address such needs as Materials Data Management, Quality, Test Requests and Laboratory Management (LIMS), Manufacturing (incl. Additive), Project Management, Environmental Compliance, Maintenance (MRO), and Knowledge Management. All of these solutions use a common user interface and database that connects your processes and captures information/ knowledge for easy consumption and use.

 

To find out more and how Bassetti can help your company, please contact us at: https://bassettiamericas.com/contact-us/