The sound of efficiency: Harman tunes up its product development processes

It’s unlikely that even the most informed audio equipment buyers realized that until recently the Harman Specialty Group’s product development methods were less than state-of-the-art. That changed when the group adopted a formal set of product life-cycle management (PLM) processes.

09/26/2007


Most audiophiles know the name Harman . Many of them also know
It’s unlikely, however, that even the most informed audio equipment buyers realized that until recently, Harman Specialty Group’s product development methods were less than state-of-the-art. That changed when the group adopted a formal set of product life-cycle management (PLM) processes.
“We were looking for ways to reduce product development time, improve accuracy and efficiency, and
A crucial step was installing a PLM system from Omnify Software .proved vendor lists (AVL) existed in different file formats stored on various servers throughout the company.
“Finding documents could take days,” Scott says. “Often, the documents didn’t exist, existed only on paper, or existed in a state where the accuracy of the file was suspect.”
Engineering changes presented more challenges. While documents relating to engineering change orders (ECO) were printed and manually routed for review, only people in the document control group actually understood how the engineering change review process worked. The design team members had no way of knowing the status of a change, or even where documents should be routed next.
Additionally, there was no formal procedure for notifying other reviewers whenever someone revised an ECO. Manually processing this information resulted in a number of change requests simply not being completed, without creating any record of why the projects had stalled.
Douglas says this led to the conclusion that Harman needed a unified system to manage, track, and store product information.
With the
Consequently, Harman employees can easily and quickly link all of the associated data with every part—including vendor datasheets, fabrication and assembly drawings, and programming files.
The processes of creating new parts or making changes to existing parts are now completely automated and supported by electronic documentation and workflow technology.
When new parts requests (NPR) are created, for example, the Omnify system immediately generates a new part number. The appropriate people also receive messages on their desktops, notifying them to go into the system to review the part number and an accompanying description, and sign off on the
Previously, the document control group created the part numbers and descriptions, and then routed paper documents containing that data through a cumbersome, manual sign-off process.
The Omnify System also streamlined Harman’s ECO process. All team members can check the status of an engineering change at any time. In addition, the change history tracking in Omnify allows users to see what was changed, why, and who made the change. This capability has established a level of accountability that did not exist before, Douglas says.
“The sign-off process for ECOs is now as short as a few hours, compared with the previous paper process that could take weeks,” Douglas adds.
Harman management has to like the sound of that.





The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me