How well companies extend digitalization strategies outside the enterprise will be critical to achieving greater efficiency, higher quality and faster time-to-market. A new technical paper reviews what is necessary in this regard for the electronics supply chain.
For a PCB-led systems project, ‘Digitalizing the Systems Value Chain‘ considers the different elements that need to come together. Overarching the necessary infrastructure will be a combination of desktop and cloud-based tools that seed more collaboration and interaction between the main design team and partners such as suppliers (and developers) of components, design services, and manufacturing. Also important will be enabling the greater level of traceability now required for finished products.
The papers considers the main requirements for this kind of multi-disciplinary, multi-enterprise network that will optimize six steps in the value chain:
- Component Research
- Concept Exploration
- Component Sourcing
- Design and Management
- Manufacturing Hand-off
- Trace and Traceability
All those processes will already be familar and improvements in them are and have been achieved by moves to, for example, common data formats and software interoperability. However, for digitalization, author Matt Walsh of Siemens EDA, suggests a number of further enhancements. These include functional digital twins of components that not only make candidate parts easier to identify in an initial pass but which can be used for exploration within an evolving design; deeper cross-functional cockpits located within the cloud that tie together players in the supply chain; and greater in-built ‘intelligence’ around aspects such as product lead times to aid specification.
As Walsh notes, the digitalization drive out into the broader supply chain rather than just internal processes has become more pressing due to Covid-19. “The realities of the pandemic have laid bare the frailties of global supply chains and of businesses that do not have a robust digital presence,” he writes.
‘Digitalizing the Systems Value Chain’ is available for download here.