Defy Appliances, manufacturer and distributor of major domestic appliances, has embarked on an aggressive new product roll out - using the latest in 3D design software - to outgun the increased competition from imported products. The company, with a 40% market share in South Africa, is investing more than R20 million in its new aesthetically enhanced product range.
Defy has standardised on Pro/Engineer software from Nasdaq-listed product development company PTC, to produce pleasing products that much faster and better.
Says Len Todd, product timing manager at Defy: "We are currently working on a new product range, including a range of refrigerators and stoves - and we are designing them with Pro/Engineer, a design software package which we have standardised on at our factories in Ladysmith, East London and in Jacobs in Durban - our head office."
During the past 60 years Defy has taken a leading role in appliance manufacturing, pioneering, among others, the manufacturing of gas stoves, washing machines, tumble dryers, continuous clean ovens and convection ovens in South Africa.
Commenting further, Todd believes the company's new software package will give it 'the edge' in its gambit to produce new products faster. "Time-to-market is always critical and, because of the design functionality of the 3D software we are using, we will be able to design faster, and better, than we were in the past. By placing the emphasis on the competitive development of new products, we believe we will be able to maintain our market share - and possibly increase it."
The goal - to make use of full software collaboration
Todd says the company's ultimate goal is to make use of the software's collaboration features. "The idea is to ensure that all our documentation at our various factories is in order and in sync so that we can harness the collaboration features inherent in Pro/Engineer. What this will mean is that if we make a design change at our Ladysmith factory on a product, this will automatically be made at the other factories. In other words, all changes will dribble down into one source and enable us to design better and faster. While we have not reached this level of software collaboration yet, we have already improved our time-to-market by 20% - and this does make a difference. With Pro/Engineer our designers are able to produce a 3D image with true both-way integration between design and dimension. They are able to use the software for detailed analysis and optimising testing, as well as testing all components for fit and clearance long before the need for a prototype. These images can be sent via a photo rendering to anyone involved in the design loop for checking or changes - and any changes made are automatically made by the software, which makes all the design adaptations that will be required due to the change. Thanks to the ability to work in 3D, and view things in 3D, we know that once the products roll off the production line that they will be 100% optimised. There will be no costly errors."
Dayne Turbitt, MD of productONE, says the company's software is designed to enable clients to produce better products faster. "This is at the heart of PTC's very existence. That is why they spend in excess of 20% of profits on product development. In today's hotly contested manufacturing environment it is imperative that companies use design solutions that are able to effectively communicate and collaborate, that are able to analyse and optimise. The key advantage of 3D software solutions like Pro/Engineer is that analysis and optimisation are realtime functions of the design. This is also true of the entire suite of design, analysis, optimisation, manufacturing and communication systems. Change anything, from the concept to the production stage, and everything changes. So the optimum for minimum mass, for instance, can immediately be updated in the model, which will update the dimensions, the BOM (bill of materials), the costing, photo renderings and the NC tool paths."
For more information contact Dayne Turbitt, productONE, 012 673 9300; Len Todd, Defy, 031 460 9711, firstname.lastname@example.org