Location: South Darenth, UK + Global
VinZero Partner: Cadline
Industry: Manufacturing & Data Management
Autodesk Solutions: Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle (Fusion Manage)
Based in Darenth, near Dartford in Kent, Brigade Electronics is a global market leader in vehicle safety systems, offering a comprehensive range of products to reduce collision risk and maximise efficiency, including camera monitor systems, reversing alarms, ultrasonic proximity sensors, digital recorders and thermal image cameras.
Many of the company’s projects start with a new idea – the need, for example, for a sensor system capable of predicting future collisions and enabling the user to take action to avoid them. Projects typically move on into, first, a business case of what proposed systems should look like and deliver, and second, a developmental and commercial review phase, evaluating whether the solution has met the business case, or further tweaks are needed.
SCOPING THE CHALLENGE:
To make this process as efficient as possible, Brigade Electronics is focused on streamlining operational procedures and working practices. It identified the need to both enhance visibility over live projects and to restructure its new product introduction (NPI) process. At the same time, it wanted to move away from siloed, linear ways of working to reduce project delays, improve supply chain collaboration and more accurately meet customer delivery dates. In doing all this, Brigade Electronics was also looking to reduce manual working and eliminate tasks that did not contribute to core business goals.
FINDING A WAY FORWARD:
To help it address these challenges, standardise critical business processes and tailor workflows to its needs, Brigade Electronics decided to implement Autodesk Fusion Lifecyle, now Autodesk Fusion 360 Manage, a product lifecycle management (PLM) platform that connects people, processes and data across departments and geographies. Autodesk sold the product and took the lead on the implementation, before handing the account over to its platinum partner, Cadline, because of the reseller’s skillset and capability in PLM solutions delivery.
Ryan Bates, PLM Systems Developer and Technical Administrator, said: “We were recommended Cadline by Autodesk and were immediately impressed with their service, support and knowledge of the Autodesk software. It was therefore an intuitive choice to work with them on this project.”
Cadline focused on using Autodesk Fusion 360 Manage to digitise processes ranging from item and bills of materials management to change management, and from documentation management to snagging and problem reporting. At the same time, it concentrated on restructuring the whole NPI process to give Brigade Electronics enhanced visibility and control, enabling the company’s leadership teams to ensure any issues were identified and resolved quickly, project milestones were met and costs minimised.
SUPPORTING DATA SHARING:
Building on this work, Cadline has helped develop a range of workspaces for Brigade Electronics but has gone further by developing a bespoke approach that supports data sharing across the organisation and beyond.
As Cadline’s commercial director, Scott Woolven, explains: “We have written a piece of bespoke code which sits around the system, so when a project is released, it gathers the right files for the right people and puts them into the right locations. And then all those people are notified so everyone has access to the correct version of the data at the right time.”
REAPING THE REWARDS:
Brigade Electronics is now reaping the rewards of having Autodesk Fusion 360 Manage and a new approach to data storage, management and sharing in place. The company now has solid and reliable product, project and business information, which is held within the system but can be made available to those stakeholders who need it when they need it.
Brigade can quickly and easily share relevant data with distributors and suppliers downstream. The new approach has largely eliminated manual keying and manual entry into other systems and, partly as result of this, errors and delays in project delivery to customers. It can also share data with its engineering team which uses the Autodesk computer-aided design software solution, Autodesk AutoCAD LT ® for engineering drawings.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE:
Brigade Electronics is happy with the success it has achieved in using Fusion 360 Manage to streamline operational processes. It currently has more than 50 users of the software across multiple departments. The company expects adoption levels to ramp up still further over the coming months and years as more and more stakeholders see the benefits of the product lifecycle management (PLM) data that Fusion 360 Manage offers up.
Today, Brigade Electronics has several new projects in progress, including one aimed at improving meeting management which involves migrating data about supplier meetings and from supplier issues logs into the Autodesk system. It now wants to spread the word about the benefits of Fusion 360 Manage. The next phase therefore is getting suppliers to buy into and start using the solution and the processes that support it. Over time, Brigade Electronics is confident about extending the approach across its whole project ecosystem.