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Arena Fall 2021 Release Helps Manufacturers Drive Faster Product Innovation

Product Team AlignmentAs product teams and supply chains become more dispersed, it’s critical that everyone has full visibility into any changes or issues that impact the product design or final production. Lack of visibility can delay the implementation of product changes and create confusion around product requirements—leading to bottlenecks in the product development process.

Arena’s recent Fall 2021 quality management system (QMS) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software release was all about helping manufacturers remove these bottlenecks and drive faster product innovation. Here’s a review of the key enhancements, the product teams that are most impacted, and how these enhancements help increase productivity.

Streamlined Change Implementations
An engineering change is not complete until the tasks needed to build the new product or new revision of the product are completed. Arena made collaboration with suppliers throughout this part of the change process easier by streamlining the assignment of engineering change implementation tasks and enabling suppliers with a user license to be trained on the new procedures or other documentation.

Examples of tasks that must be completed prior to making a new part or revision include:

  • Update documentation with new work instructions
  • Train the operators and suppliers on the new procedures and instructions
  • Design new tooling, fixtures, or molding, and then buy them from subcontractors
  • Reprogram manufacturing equipment including robots
  • Update inspections and tests to reflect the design changes
  • Purchase parts needed for the new design
  • Scrap purchased parts no longer used in the new design (“material disposition code”)
  • Rework assemblies, when possible, to match new design (another disposition)

Operations and supply chain management will receive automatic notifications to complete the necessary training and have better visibility into all the tasks that need to be completed before the product change is implemented. In turn, quality assurance and quality control teams can complete engineering change requests more efficiently. Ultimately, product changes will be implemented much faster and with fewer errors, resulting in a higher manufacturing yield.

Better Team Alignment With Product Requirements
Faster Product InnovationDespite the diverse roles that make up a product team, they all need to work toward the same product development goals which are detailed in the product requirements.

As requirements change throughout the product lifecycle, how do you keep everyone on the same page?

Arena Requirements enables organizations to manage product requirements and ensure that their product development objectives are met throughout the entire lifecycle. The ability to link requirements to the product record allows teams to effectively manage and track product issues, defects, and customer needs. Product teams also gain greater visibility into requirements that change over time.

With the latest Fall 2021 Release, users can easily trace or link requirements to specific product assemblies or components. Users can also baseline requirements to see how certain product attributes evolve over time. And users can export requirements to an edit-friendly format such as Microsoft Word.

The team members most impacted by this feature set are program management, engineering, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance staff, who need to ensure that product changes don’t have unintended consequences.

  • Program manager manages the changing product requirements and dependencies
  • Lead design engineer guides the engineering team to incorporate new requirements into the design
  • Systems engineering makes sure the change doesn’t have negative downstream effects
  • Quality assurance revises tests to comply with the new requirement. This may require new or upgraded test equipment
  • Regulatory and export compliance evaluates the change to verify that the new design complies with all applicable laws and regulations

By keeping these team members aligned on requirement changes and enabling better traceability, companies can innovate faster and meet the needs of their customers.

Additional PLM and QMS Software Enhancements
Many more features and enhancements were included in the Fall 2021 Release, including Arena Events Engine, which simplifies the creation of custom API-based integrations with Arena. The Events Engine will be highlighted in further detail in an upcoming blog.

For a full overview of the Fall 2021 Release, customers can visit our Tour Doc in Help, watch the recording of the Fall ’21 Sneak Peek, or consult with your Arena Coach.

Not an Arena customer? Request a demo to experience the Fall 2021 Release.