Optitex 2D/3D tools to power your transportation seating systems
Transportation seating manufacturers may have several reasons for rethinking their CAD solutions, where their decisions are directly related to technical and support issues. But more often than not, it’s to gain a competitive edge.
To enhance their market position, transportation seating companies are turning their attention to new and advanced product strategies. One example is the recent development in the cover seat replacement market, resulting from the increased awareness of hygiene, and disinfecting the car, due to the current pandemic and the growing popularity of ride sharing. Drivers can now easily replace seat covers as often as they like. Personalization is another example of an up-and-coming trend, enabling car owners to create a more private interior space.
Today, transportation seating companies must consider several key factors, such as innovation, performance, customization, and end-product quality. Time-to-market and costs, although fundamental, are now viewed as results, rather than objectives.
Transportation seating design software, and CAD systems in particular, are essential to successfully achieve these goals and implement additional product strategies. With the support of robust design and development tools, transportation seating companies can deliver trendy, high-quality, high-performance products to their clients – on time, and on budget.
But the key challenges these companies face when choosing to update their engineering and design processes with a new CAD tool, are the learning curve, interoperability, ability to reuse existing data, decline in productivity during the transition, and employees’ resistance to change.
Here’s a closer look at you should take into account before you forge ahead and onboard a new CAD system.
Identify the ‘right’ CAD solution
Whether an organization is investing in new software or reshuffling their current CAD department, there’s a lot to consider. The software itself is not enough. The long-term investment and the ROI that follows, matter most. Ideally, the implementation should be fast, easy, and hassle-free, complemented by strong customer support.
In addition to achieving fast ROI, if a company is considering a new in-house system, they must first ensure that their vendor can provide reliable support and professional services, software updates, an intuitive UI, and system openness and interoperability to optimize existing workflows
Let’s see how Optitex responds to these and other system implementation challenges.
Support & Professional Services – A “must have”
Transportation seating companies need a viable solution matched with expert implementation planning to mitigate the risks associated with decreased productivity when integrating a new CAD system. When it comes to user support, Optitex offers introductory training courses to facilitate skill upgrades and project-by-project support, to ensure continuity, and high-level productivity during the transition phase.
What’s more, Optitex experts manage the implementation process from start to finish, enabling a company’s investment to be fully optimized. Implementation teams are led by industry professionals who identify the ‘right users’ for each product. Remember that onboarding any new software is always a trial-and-error process, and employees will inevitably make mistakes as they learn and master the new system. Here, professional services and user training are key in reducing valuable time, resources, and costs. Together with the Optitex implementation team, organizations decide on the most suitable training option to meet their employees’ needs – onsite, via eLearning, online, individual, group, or companywide, including dedicated support from conception to production.
Learn the software based on actual use cases
An ideal option for companies that require practical, frontal training, where/when permitted. It allows operators to learn the software on their work environment via current company use cases, such as product type, quality required, interface with production facilities, and more.
Learn at your own pace, from any location
Led by software experts, online training is a great option for users who prefer to work at their own pace. It enables more practice time between sessions, where users with busier schedules can receive information in smaller chunks versus all at once.
Individual coaching sessions with an expert
Suitable for any size organization, mentoring can be scheduled individually for each user to have 1:1 time following the training session, face-to-face or online. It ensures that the user is confident, and optimizes the software.
Keep up your skills anytime, anywhere!
An excellent way to keep your operator’s skills up-to-date following training, where they can learn about the software’s new features and functionality. Plus, prior to initial training sessions, future operators can use eLearning to get a better grip on the software, so they’re well prepared beforehand, and the training session is focused on processes and workflows.
Optitex’s Professional Services team ensures a seamless implementation process, from start to finish. The team is skillfully trained to handle user questions, queries, and concerns, and to quickly prioritize support requests. Ultimately, it’s a trusted support team that ensures a close working relationship with its customers. At the end of the day, the new software is powered by the teams who implement the system, train the staff, and support users’ needs. Partnering with its customers is a win-win for Optitex and the organizations it serves.
“Our decision to partner with Optitex was because of their smooth and seamless integration into our design and development processes, and more important, the software’s compatibility with all cutting machine manufacturers.”
Sergio Ribeiro, Manufacturing Engineer, Faurecia, Italy
Openness & Interoperability: Accurate data sharing
One of the greatest concerns organizations have when integrating a new CAD system into their design workflow, is the interoperability between various systems and the accuracy of file conversions. To maintain a high level of quality, users must be able to access company data quickly, easily, and securely at all times.
With Optitex’s advanced Import/Export functionality, it’s easy to accurately import and export various 2D file formats. All file layers can be accessed, with several options available to ensure the most accurate file transfers, where the parameters can be saved and reused for future imports.
“We work around the clock, to make our automotive seating better, safer, and smarter, but a successful process starts with precision design and cutting of fabrics, first.”
Jean Francois Lapetite, Manufacturing & Engineering Director, Faurecia, Italy
“We were able to quickly and easily integrate Optitex Marker with the various cutting machines at our sites around the world, and deliver quality output. With Optitex, we knew we had a winning solution from the start.”
Sergio Ribeiro, Manufacturing Engineer, Faurecia, Italy
Another example of how Optitex helps deliver product accuracy and ease-of-use in the transportation seating industry, is the Viewer. This tool enables users to inspect all aspects of workpiece conformity, including outer and inner contours, and mounting notches in actual size on a large monitor.
With Optitex Tech Pack Essentials, users can gather and share all their seating system data in a central location, and quickly and easily generate customizable reports that include all project information – materials, measurement charts, perimeters and areas, stitching, instructions, and 3D renders and their modifications.
To further support its transportation seating customers, Optitex provides a robust 3D flattening tool, to extract 2D parts from 3D models imported from leading 3D design systems. Optitex offers two types of flattening, Face and Path flattening. Face flattening is used to flatten the surfaces of imported 3D models automatically, while Path flattening allows operators to draw and adjust lines directly on the 3D model, and extract and flatten the parts. In addition to preparing the parts for production, 3D flattening functionality enables operators to quickly and accurately extract parts from models and proceed directly to costing using the automatic placement module.
Intuitive User Interface & Optimized Workflows
Ease-of-use and an intuitive UI should never be underestimated. Optitex’s UI, work area, and work processes are customizable, simple, and straightforward. When it comes to workflow optimization, Optitex’s automated workflows accelerate the design-to-production process, significantly saving time, resources, and costs across the entire supply chain. These attributes are all a must-have with any new CAD system.
For example, operators can customize the UI to their workflows, so that creating a piece is easy and intuitive, supported by visual and interactive measurement and verification tools. What’s more, creating auto-nesting files is an automated process, where users can calculate multiple operations at the same time.
“Optitex was the only vendor to offer a high-performance, 100% automatic Marker solution that came in first place in fabric consumption. We wanted a powerful and reliable product that would save on man hours, and hands down, it was Optitex Marker.”
Sergio Castro, Process Engineer & Acquisition Manufacturing Leader, Faurecia, Italy
Timely Software Updates
Optitex consistently updates its software versions, and effectively communicates new product features by offering its customers educational webinars and training sessions. Optitex’s end-to-end solutions are uniquely designed to provide customers with the greatest number of integration options, for example, from standard 3D design software, all the way to production. Customer feedback is an integral part of the software development process. Optitex listens to its customers, responds to changes and modifications requests, and implements these changes into future releases, if and when it’s a good fit.
When it comes to replacing your CAD system or updating your current CAD, here’s our take on the most important things at the “top” of your shopping list:
- Define your business objectives, and essentially, understand what you need most from your industrialization process, and if the new CAD software meets your expectations.
- Consider more than just the software’s features and functionality. Carefully assess its ability to communicate and accurately import, export and share data, the experience and responsiveness of the support team, and system openness and flexibility, that can grow as your business grows, such as implementing 3D, collaboration tools, and automating specific processes.
- Avoid overestimating training requirements and decreased productivity, and turn your attention to ease-of-use and available resources, such as technical support.
It’s equally important that you deep dive into your prospective vendor’s services offering, and customer satisfaction. Gain insights into how other transportation seating system manufacturers deploy the system, what features and functionality they use, and why they selected one vendor over another.
Updating a design-to-production solution can result in value-added benefits, starting with gaining a real competitive edge, retrieving ROI, growing your brand, and ultimately, your sales. Remember that choosing a new CAD software vendor is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership, and you can get it right from the get-go.
Want to learn more? Contact us to schedule a no-obligation call with one of our 2D implementation experts.
- Building the Road Ahead, Faurecia Case Study 2021 – https://3dinsider.optitex.com/
- Global and China Automotive Seating Industry Report 2021: Market is Dominated by American, European and Japanese Brands – May 25, 2021; Source – Research and Markets