“We have always done it this way.” No longer simply a hated phrase, this statement is a warning of impending disaster. Entropy – the disorder that happens when energy disperses and systems simply fall into chaos – happens when things do not change. But it’s a slow process you don’t see day-to-day. Continuing with traditional “build and break” development methods instead of embracing CAE and simulation has many long-term risks but it will only be after stagnating for some time that rubber parts manufacturing firms, and even the entire rubber industry, will realize the pitfalls:
People are the key to it all and we start here since intelligent, hard-working, productive people are the fundamental reason any business succeeds. When the best and brightest employees leave a company, the fundamental reasons often include the lack of opportunity, learning, and career development. When not allowed to work with emerging technologies and are no longer challenged to grow, top performers find new opportunities taking not only raw potential but also institutional memory with them. And if they don’t see the industry as a viable long-term option, switching companies can also mean leaving the sector completely.
Liability issues arise when product usage, applications and environments bring risks that may not have been factored in to the original designs and/or production methods. Traditional testing methods cannot be used to investigate “what if?” scenarios the way CAE and simulation can. Recalls and litigation can be significantly more costly than new technology implementations.
Lost Opportunity Costs
While harder to measure than fixed and variable business costs, there is an expense to every choice known as opportunity cost. Refusing to enter a new business sector may result in significant loss of revenue and profit. Taking on a big client project may strain production capabilities. “Standing still” eliminates those risks, but at what potential gain? As the rubber industry wrestles to “go green” we are all weighing and measuring the opportunity costs involved. The real lost opportunity is in refusing to embrace a fundamentally better design platform.
Incompatibility or Obsolescence
At some point, everything being produced right now will become obsolete. Even if you produce the best “widgets” anywhere, the environment around that “widget” will change and will no longer be needed in its current form. The rubber industry standard procedure of building a product then breaking it in physical testing to determine the next design rendition is incompatible with the time available for new product development. It just does not work anymore.
How quickly your business can adapt to or anticipate change is a key factor in continued success. The reasons companies do not make continued progress often include:
Change is expensive
Investments in training, new production systems, updated software and computers add up, but these numbers are not insurmountable when factored against the ongoing and often increasing costs of waste, repairs and downtime associated with outdated systems and equipment.
Learning new technology is time-consuming
Remember when you were thinking about going to college and four (6-8-10) years seemed like FOREVER? What was your ROI? What will it be now? Time invested in learning reaps many rewards beyond the subject at hand and often provides renewed overall energy.
The status quo works
For today, yes. For a brighter future for you company and the industry, NO. Companies that don’t evolve face certain death. Day-to-day operations may appear stable, but firms who do not keep up with technology do not stay in business. Covid forced many to embrace technology in new ways and those firms continuing to provide progressive working arrangements are gathering more than their fair share of the best and brightest talent. Enabling people to work beyond traditional geographic boundaries requires accountability and processes for measuring valued contributions rather than simply time at a desk. Firms embracing CAE and simulation technologies have realized this and are at the top of the leading rubber industry rankings.
Six reasons to adopt Endurica workflows
- Technically superior (click for details)
- Save big on development out of pocket costs (click for details)
- Reduce the need for physical testing (see page 2, blue box on right)
- Speed to market (able to use the tools immediately)
- Accuracy in meeting client needs (click for details)
- Easier answers down the road (click for details)