The TraceParts Enterprise solution enables the world’s leading tire manufacturer to optimize its standardization processes using a vast online 3D component library
Saint Romain, France – 9 July 2013 -TraceParts, a world-leading digital engineering 3D content company, today announced the global deployment of its 3D Enterprise Content Management solution within Michelin’s Mechanical Engineering Design Offices. To turn out nearly 200 million tires every year, Michelin employs some 2,000 people worldwide to handle the design, maintenance and operation of thousands machines at Michelin and subcontractor sites on every continent.
Using TraceParts since 1995
Michelin has been using TraceParts 2D and 3D component content since 1995. To prevent designers from getting mired in electronic and printed catalogues offered by manufacturers, the Michelin Parts Library (MPL) was already limited to components that had been approved and codified by the Michelin Methods department. The approved components were associated with a classification, a bilingual “group” description, and simplified 2D and 3D representations.
Azimuth alignment tool model designed by Michelin’s Mechanical Engineering Design Offices.
It positions the “green” tire in accordance with the heating press requirements, depending on the position of a “barcode” on the side of the tread.
This model combines market components with Michelin-specific components from the MPL.
MPL Michelin Parts Library: “Methods” driving standardization
Manuel Calamote, Mechanical Methods Manager at Michelin, explains why standardization matters: “It naturally limits the diversity of parts used on our machines around the world, and the potential benefits in terms of costs and productivity are enormous: a purchasing policy centered on suppliers recognized for the quality, reliability and price of their articles, the rationalization of supplies, the optimization of stocks for machine operation and maintenance, etc. Not forgetting, of course, faster and more efficient design processes thanks to a large database of standardized components.”
In 2010 Michelin invited TraceParts to submit a RFQ for a new MPL project that specified a number of objectives that reflect its continuous improvement initiative:
- To provide in-house and at subcontractor machine designers with a comprehensive online component library of 2D and 3D CAD models that integrates seamlessly with their existing PDM solution;
- To update the online component library in real time as required by the Methods department;
- To provide the global mechanical design offices with an open selection process, during the CAD phase of a project, that conforms to the component prioritizing system specified by the methods department: standardized, restricted use, prohibited or obsolete;
- To automate engineering requests to the methods team when the use of a non-standard component is needed;
- To deliver an interactive workflow, between designers and methods experts, for tracking, justifying, monitoring the processing of requests, and reporting component non-conformity;
- To be able to combine components from different suppliers, in the same Michelin item code, to facilitate interchangeability or integrate regional constraints within a tolerance defined by the methods team.
Judith Noyelle, IT Support Manager for the Design Office teams, headed the project, which is now being rolled out:
“We want to provide our hundreds of designers, in-house and at our subcontractors, with a modern tool that reminds them of the importance of standardization for the Group while helping them design new machines more quickly and more efficiently. Specific requests from the Design Office for market components should be processed by the Methods department within 7 days. That doesn’t mean that the part will be standardized in that time. Methods may propose an alternative from among the listed components or suppliers, or they may decide to incorporate the component into the MPL database. In any case, a process will be initiated to find the best solution, and the request will be followed up.“
The MPL contract was awarded to TraceParts. “It’s true that our design offices were already accustomed to using TraceParts libraries, but that wasn’t the main reason behind the choice”, says Judith Noyelle.”TraceParts demonstrated their ability to integrate the legacy of the previous BCM library and were able to propose a complete workflow management tool for dealing with user requests, one that integrates seamlessly with our existing selection process and PLM system. We now have available, on-line, a component database that will evolve in real time and will generate powerful synergies between Methods and the Mechanical Engineering Design Offices.”
Component vendors involved in MPL
“The Methods department, in synergy with Group Purchasing, will now play a central role, by giving the Design Offices a Group vision, and by reinforcing its specification and support mission for MPL users” adds Manuel Calamote. “Our suppliers are also asked to provide us, and TraceParts, with the CAD models for their products, and with all relevant information that will facilitate their integration into MPL. This will make it easier for us to discover other products in their line-up, which may be added to the database over time, and the component usage history will make it easier for us to manage obsolescence. And it’s also an opportunity for other suppliers to convince our teams of the technical quality of their products”.
“We are proud that our TraceParts Enterprise solution has been selected by Michelin” concludes TraceParts Managing Director Gabriel Guigue. “This achievement recognizes the hard work our teams put into this project. It also underlines the relevance of an offering that enables organizations to go beyond the mere provision of 3D component libraries: TraceParts Enterprise allows industrial firms to integrate their own specific PLM processes while benefiting from the richness and flexibility of our 3D catalogues. This success also demonstrates to component suppliers that being included in our content delivery network showcases their products around the world”.
TraceParts is a world-leading digital engineering 3D content company, offering progressive business solutions through powerful web based products and services. TraceParts helps customers improve marketing efficiencies by increasing the value of their existing digital product data. The TracePartsOnline.net CAD portal is freely available to millions of CAD users worldwide featuring hundreds of supplier catalogs and 100 million CAD models and product datasheets suitable for the Design, Purchasing, Manufacturing and Maintenance processes. For more information about TraceParts, please visit www.traceparts.com