Meet Will Spencer
SolidWorks Series

Decision Making and Record Keeping

Hardware teams want to make decisions which improve their product and enable it to get to market as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible. Design engineers need input from the rest of their team and other teams in order to do this. In an ideal world, a product could be designed internally by the development functions alone - the mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and industrial designers. After the design is complete, it would be transferred to the supply chain for implementation. In reality, design engineers are constantly receiving input from various teams as different designs and considerations are evaluated. Often they also need to review prior decisions and data (such as factory or test results) made on a particular part or product line in order to make future decisions. Therefore, hardware teams need a way to make design decisions iteratively and flexibly with input from many stakeholders. They also need to be able to understand the history and rationale behind these decisions. Unfortunately, a legacy PDM system only helps design engineers record the changes to the design itself. It does not support efficient decision making or record keeping of those decisions. For example, a legacy PDM system can record when a design changed to increase a hole radius and what the new size is. However, that change may have been a significant decision made after a series of inputs, including potentially numerical data. In a legacy PDM like Solidworks PDM, there’s no way to capture all of that information and tie it to the decision change.

With Bild, hardware teams can make better design decisions and track their design progression for record keeping. First, Bild enables design feedback, design reviews, design approvals, and issue tracking to all be captured intuitively within its platform. These forms of design input are all stored underneath a particular project. This way, each project is a one-stop-shop for the work that’s going on. As a result, engineers and other stakeholders can see all of the inputs that are going into making decisions. Second, all of this information is stored in such a way that it can be associated with a particular revision of a design. For example, feedback items are associated with the design version they were made in. This means the team can look back at that feedback down the line and still have the original context. As a result, record keeping becomes automated and is easily searchable when your team needs it. With Bild, hardware teams can make better design decisions and easily look back at the inputs into those decisions.