How the Automotive Industry Can Cut Cost by Outsourcing 3D Modeling

Published by - On June 26, 2019

For decades, industries have been disrupted by those that can come up with ways to deliver products and services in a faster, cheaper, or better way. While in the past this might have been displayed in improving supply chains or harnessing natural resources and simplifying assembly lines, these days industries are being disrupted by a new force – CAD software.

That said, while CAD software (and specifically 3D modeling) is vital for businesses to have, economically, it just does not make sense to operate a department exclusively for CAD software usage and training.

First off, the capital required for the proper functioning of a CAD department is significant — expenses around optimal usage of 3D design software, as well as training of designers and engineers. Secondly, due to continuous updates in technology, CAD systems need to be bought several times. Thus, outsourcing CAD is a practical solution that can enhance productivity and cuts costs.

Take, for example, Volkswagen, one of the most successful automobile giants in the world, who have despite naysayers, are captains of industry. There were lots of variables at play, but the main reason was that the company preferred to outsource it’s CAD 3D modeling.

How 3D Modeling Is Driving Growth in the Automotive Industry?

For the past few decades, 3D modeling in the automotive industry was primarily used by carmakers to create prototypes to check their form and fit. This allowed automakers to create aesthetically pleasant parts. However, they were weak and could not be used for long periods.

According to engineering.com, today there are more robust technologies for automotive 3D printing, such as fused filament fabrication (FFF), which can be used not only for the production of prototypes but also for end-use parts.

These days, designing and modeling of automotive parts has become the go-to method in the industry because 3D printed plastic parts are cheaper, and production time is shorter. Also, there is a range of options for the designers to try, which brings more flexibility too. Just 11 years from now, it will no longer be necessary to use welding machines to fuse steel sheets as the job will be completed by industrial 3D printers.

Core Applications of 3D Modeling in the Automotive Industry

  • Design and concept communication: High detail 3D printed scale models are very often used in the automotive industry to debut designs and concepts of new vehicles.
  • Prototyping validation: 3D printing allows for rapid prototyping in the pre-manufacturing stage.
  • Pre Production sampling and tooling: 3D printing can be used to make molds, grips, jigs, and fixtures, allowing a business to produce samples and tools at low costs.
  • Customized parts: Additive manufacturing is used by automotive enterprises to tailor the parts to specific vehicles or even the driver’s unique needs. For BMW’s MINI series, a new online shop was set up where clients can indicate the customized changes they would like to have implemented for specific parts of the BMW MINI – such as the door handle or parts of the side plate.

Cost-Saving Benefits of 3D Modeling in the Automotive Industry

In terms of specific cost-saving benefits, many vehicle manufacturers who have employed 3D modeling have noted the following:

Inventory reduction:

Low demand parts, performance parts, and high-priced parts are usually kept at remote locations. This means they are often unavailable or can be purchased, but with a long lead time. A great solution – produce parts on-demand using 3D printing technologies.

Take Porsche, for example. The production run for this vehicle is extremely short, and, as a consequence, the costs of storing replacement components are restrictive. Therefore, the company is using 3D modeling technology to make these rare components available for collectors.

Shorter assembly process and lower production cost:

Additive manufacturing enables companies to create complex designs that require fewer parts to produce components. Consequently, companies can decrease assembly time and also experience a reduction in quality problems.

Delphi was able to make an aluminum diesel pump, as a single piece, using a metal 3D printing technique known as Selective Laser Melting. By doing so, the company reduced the number of parts needed for the pump, simplifying the assembly process. The final product was of higher quality since it was less susceptible to leakage, all with lower production costs.

Simplified supply chain:

The automotive sector currently operates with gigantic supply chains, and each OEM deals with multiple companies that supply different automotive components. This results in a complex supply chain, which requires a lot of time and money to manage. Simplifying the supply chain through outsourcing then becomes a no brainer.

Direct electrical installers:

Working closely with installers and contractors for much of the project lifecycle, electrical CAD drafters must review diagrams and documents with installers early in the process, answering any questions regarding power or material needs. Later, they are responsible for inspecting work to ensure contractors are adhering to specifications and following diagrams.

Working with IndiaCADworks as a Partner

Companies evolved their infrastructure along with each wave: some have elected to establish their own facilities in countries like India, while others have opted to outsource to Indian companies who have established processes and capabilities. Some others have gone the mixed-model way, maintaining a small presence in India to monitor the work they have outsourced to offshoring partners.

Many companies have also adopted the “onshore-offshore” model: having a critical number of people co-located with their employees on-shore, who can liaise with and guide the work of a large workforce in India. India CAD Works has been at the forefront of this as a trusted and expert leader within the sector.

The field of 3D vehicle modeling has progressed into such enormous proportions that the automobile designing industry is all set to become paperless in no time. Stylish, productive, and cost-effective cars are being developed by engineers after the dawn of this technology. If businesses want to survive and succeed in this changing environment, they must embrace 3D outsourcing and start exploring its potential. Contact India CAD Works today, and we will help you cut costs in all aspects of 3D modeling.

– India CAD works

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