Summary 

 

KCM Corporation leverages lightweight XVL to improve business processes from product design to customer support. 

 

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The Challenge 

 

KCM Corporation is a manufacturer of construction machinery such as wheel loaders. 

In the mid-2000s, the market for construction machinery was challenging. KCM was forced to shorten time-to-market, reduce costs and focus on improving customer satisfaction. 

 

KCM realized that such challenges could not be addressed using traditional development methods. It decided to adopt 3D design and implement concurrent development with the goal of shortening time-to-market by about 30-50%. 

 

In the design department, use of 3D data proceeded very rapidly with the introduction of 3D CAD. However, KCM had a hard time extending the use of 3D data downstream from design. 

 

 

The Solution 

 

In order to break through the problem, KCM turned to XVL. 

 

XVL is a unique 3D format. After converting from the original CAD system, file sizes are typically 1% of their original size, while maintaining CAD-level accuracy. For KCM, this meant a 2.5GB file in 3D CAD could be compressed to 68.5MB in XVL, as shown in Figure 1  yes, Gigabytes to Megabytes. This was crucial for enabling sharing and collaboration throughout the organization. 

 

 

 

KCM_XVLusecase_Figure1

Here are the results and improvements realized in KCM’s downstream processes as described by Mr. Kanemoto of KCM. 

 

 

1. Design Department

 
  • Interference checking with XVL in addition to CAD 
    Previously, interference checks could be done by only CAD users. Now, XVL allows even non-CAD users to perform interference checks. 
  • Collaboration between designers  
    XVL enabled technical collaboration in 3D between designers, including non-CAD users. 
  • Result: By using 3D for interference checking and technical collaboration, KCM reduced the number of design changes by 48%.

 

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2. Production Department

 

  • Process Planning 
    XVL enables early collaboration between the Design Department and Production Department  even before drawing release. Also, 3D collaboration documents like those shown in Figure 2 are easy to understand and have significantly reduced the amount of rework caused by misinterpretation. 
    With XVL-based 3D collaboration documents, the Production Department can now determine optimal production processes and orders for mass production.  

 

KCM_XVLusecase_slides_Figure2

 

 

  • Work Instructions 
    XVL-based 3D work instructions give experts on the shop floor a clear picture of the optimal production processes before production begins (Figure 3). 

 

KCM_XVLusecase_slides_Figure3


  • Altogether, the use of XVL has enabled the Production Department to significantly reduce the lead time to production and the number of design changes (Figure 4). 

 

KCM_XVLusecase_slides_Figure4

 

 

3. Product Support Department

 

  • XVL allows the Product Support Department to easily create illustrations for parts catalogs and detail views for operation manuals. This has resulted in a significant reduction of man-hours for creating documents (Figure 5). 

 

KCM_XVLusecase_slides_Figure5

 

 

4. Sales Planning Department

 

  • The Sales Planning Department uses XVL to create product brochures, sales materials and even videos for exhibitions (Figure 6). 

 

KCM_XVLusecase_slides_Figure6

 

 

5. Global Collaboration 

 

  • In addition to using XVL to collaborate between local departments, KCM also uses XVL to collaborate with KCMA in North America (Figure 7).KCM_XVLusecase_slides_Figure7
  • XVL allows KCM and KCMA to share not only 3D models, but also M-BOM data from the XVL Studio manufacturing and process trees. This additional information enables them to quickly determine the optimal task sharing to achieve fast production and launch in the US, including which modules should be supplied from Japan and which should be procured locally in the US (Figure 8). 

 

KCM_XVLusecase_slides_Figure8

 

Implementation Challenges  

 

Mr. Kanemoto reports that adoption of XVL into downstream had challenges. At first, the additional workload for creating 3D data in the Design Department increased the development time rather than decreasing the time. Also, there was concern about the geometrical accuracy of the lightweight 3D data and accuracy of the BOM data. Finally, there was concern that the 3D data would not be available when the Production Department needed it.  

 

In order to address the problems, Mr. Kanemoto’s team made the following three commitments: 

  1. Assure and maintain geometrical accuracy. 
  2. Assure the consistency between E-BOM and the structure of 3D data in XVL. 
  3. Release the 2D drawings and 3D models simultaneously. 

In order to implement these goals, they developed an internal database that manages XVL models accompanied by 2D and allows users to retrieve 3D data at any time. 

 

These commitments and the system encouraged people in downstream departments to use 3D data. As a result, Mr. Kanemoto is expecting to achieve 30% reduction of lead time from starting development to product release to market. 

 

Future Vision 

 

Mr. Kanemoto and his team have a challenge and an expectation regarding the future utilization of 3D XVL data. 

 

Extend Concurrent Work 

 

The challenge is to promote concurrency in product process planning. For instance, in the past, the assembly process planning could not begin until completion of previous tasks such as planning the welding process of components needed for the assembly. In other words, process planning was a sequential process. However, 3D digital data should enable them to make multiple process plans in parallel. 

 

Virtual Configuration for Sales 

 

The expectation is to create a system which allows sales to configure products that reflect customer requirements. With all the information stored in the database about shape, BOM, component and module information, the system will be able to generate a 3D model of the product, including cost and lead time, tailored to customer requirements in almost real time. 

 

Given KCM’s experience with XVL, Mr. Kanemoto is confident that it will be able to meet such challenges and expectations. 

 


See XVL in Action 

 

XVL allows companies to leverage their 3D CAD data from the development to downstream functions. Would you like to receive unique customer stories to learn how XVL can benefit your enterprise? Click below to subscribe to a 4-week customer use case email series. 

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