The pandemic has made it difficult for those who order manufactured parts from overseas to inspect and see the part before delivery. Fictiv offers a solution. Including visibility and traceability features into its Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem (DME), customers can have the visibility, traceability, speed, and quality benefits they need for their high-tolerance, custom mechanical parts for prototyping and production. In response to evolving customer work-from-home requirements as well as more compressed NPI timelines, Fictiv’s transparency initiative brings into focus the otherwise opaque nature of traditional onshore and overseas manufacturing and introduces significant risk mitigation and cost-savings opportunities.
Key Transparency Features:
–On-Demand Production Status: detailed current production status of all the parts within every order, immediately and online;
–Virtual Inspection Photos: inspection photos from manufacturing partner facilities, before the parts are delivered;
–Centralized Access to Quality Documentation: material certifications, certificates of conformance, and inspection documentation all available in one place;
–Order Configuration Details: centralized access to 2D and 3D design files, thread specifications, material and process configurations, and invoices for all Fictiv orders;
–Historical DFM: digitally call up previous manufacturability feedback for all ordered parts to inform future design cycles;
–Reorders: streamlined quoting process to reorder parts and lock-in previous pricing;
–Shipment Tracking: aggregate tracking links from third-party providers to keep all shipments in one secure place.
These new features integrate seamlessly into the Fictiv digital thread. The data produced from Fictiv’s digital thread helps drive automation through the Fictiv DME to speed up production and prevent errors.
For example, every part produced through the Fictiv DME receives a minimum of five-dimensional inspections, with the resulting data captured digitally for fast and simple validation by Fictiv teams and customers.
“Historically, companies were working in the dark, relying on paper-based workflows, including phone calls late at night, file transfers, emails, and time-consuming site inspections when it came to overseas manufacturing – a risky, expensive process that often resulted in delays and quality issues,” said Fictiv CEO Dave Evans. “Fictiv’s transparency initiative is better because our quality engineers and customers can inspect a part all along the way. These features introduce a disruptive set of visibility controls and prompts that peel back the covers and make it possible for engineers and supply chain managers to clearly see, communicate, and track progress of manufacturing work and come away with complete confidence in quality outcomes, delivery times, and costs.”
Gregg Miner is a product development and prototyping specialist who has spent his career helping bring products to market for companies like Oculus, Facebook, Apple, and Bell Helmets. “Quality control for overseas manufacturing is an expansive, herculean effort, requiring multiple week-long trips every year pre-pandemic for an entire team, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in hard expenditures and lost opportunity costs,” explained Miner. “Now, there isn’t even an option for travel, forcing companies to accept whatever product shows up at their door. Fictiv is breaking new ground with its initiative.”
Transparency is particularly important to unlock innovation in the robotics sector, which is expected to reach $64 billion by 2023, according to a 2019 BCC Research report. Fictiv already serves a significant number of all venture-backed robotics companies requiring high-tolerance machined parts.