Milford, Ohio, May 26, 2016 – International TechneGroup Incorporated (ITI), the global leader providing reliable interoperability, validation and migration solutions for product data and related systems, today introduces a white paper outlining seven recommendations to help manufacturers develop a strategy to improve profitability by managing engineering errors, changes and escapes.

Engineering escapes happen as a result of routine product data exchange throughout the lifecycle and across the supply chain. Escapes are typically very costly in terms of labor waste, material, and part scrap, assembly errors, and manufacturing delays; but escapes are often not thoroughly or accurately identified and measured.

Over the past 15 years, ITI consulting projects revealed that engineering changes throughout the product lifecycle result in engineering escapes, or “unidentified changes to 3D product data that lead to a negative economic consequence.” 

Traditionally, the management of engineering escapes, changes and errors has been viewed as an opportunity to reduce costs. Many authors and industry experts have written on the topic, including Ed Lopategui, Michael Grieves, Dean Beutel, Donald G. Reinertsen, and Frank B. Watts. In this paper, ITI’s EVP of Business Development, James Flerlage, proposes that managing engineering escapes should be viewed as a legitimate profit center that proactively adds to the bottom line, and should be a priority for any manufacturer that is using 3D models and Model Based Definition (MBD).

“It’s time for manufacturers to stop accepting that losses from escapes and engineering changes are a natural part of the product development process. With a diligent process, committed leaders, and the technology that is available today, $5M to $100M can be added to the bottom line, depending on the program size” states Flerlage, author of the white paper.

“This topic is important to ITI because we are in the business of helping companies move, validate, access and use their 3D data,” added Tom Gregory, CEO, ITI. “As such we are witness to a wide variety of manufacturers and their processes, and thus have insights and solutions for managing changes to 3D data upstream, before engineering changes become escapes, errors or lost revenue, and when they are much more cost-efficient to address.”

Design change cost order of magnitude by Jack Lemon ITICreated by ITI founder Dr. Jack Lemon, this chart illustrates that design costs stemming from design changes are an order of magnitude cheaper to absorb if the changes are made earlier in the product lifecycle.

 Doug Cheney, ITI expert on 3D product data variation and validation, adds, “If you expect downstream users to rely on the model to make decisions that not only affect their function, but also their livelihoods, then you have to consistently produce CAD models that are reliable. The engineers I know don’t want to make mistakes. A proven, automated, non-disruptive solution for identifying 3D CAD model variation and communicating change upstream is essential to winning user trust and eliminating unprofitable work processes.”

 “Unless these issues are addressed, escapes will still mean lost or missed revenue,” adds Flerlage. “As organizations explore whether or not addressing ‘engineering escapes’ is worthy of time or resources, perspective must shift. Manufacturers must view the engineering change process as a potential profit center rather than accept that such losses are a natural part of the product development process.”

 This white paper explains the origins and realities of 3D product data engineering changes and offers organizational insights, a labor cost savings formula, and initial steps to minimize the escapes in 3D product data that compromise product data quality.

“Reducing the Cost Impact of Engineering Errors, Changes and Escapes for 3D Product Data” can be downloaded here: