Process Validation

Let us test your designs and validate them virtually. Instead of waiting until you've installed and commissioned your new process to identify design errors and limitations, you can gain from the experience of hindsight, and make informed corrections, while your design is still on the drawing board.

Designing a new process is a complex challenge. At the big picture level, it must:

  • Meet safety requirements.
  • Meet your product quality requirements.
  • Meet your throughput requirements.
  • Meet the requirements of upstream and downstream processes.
  • Support, and be supported by, your supply chain.
  • Be implemented with the minimum possible total cost of ownership.
  • Become operational on schedule.

At the detail level, there are a multitude of further issues to be dealt with that support the big picture: the spatial arrangement of each sub-process; material & product movement and storage; operator environment; heating, cooling & air conditioning; lighting; power distribution; handling of hazardous materials; etc. The result is a complex system of highly inter-dependent components whose behavior is beyond human intuition.

Furthermore, the design of the system is typically represented by static CAD layouts, data spreadsheets, parts databases, project schedules, etc. The real-life system will have random processes (inspection outcomes, breakdowns, tolerance variability, etc.) and dynamic elements (operator breaks, part-specific processing, set-up operations, etc.) that these static representations do a poor job of capturing.

Consequently, all of this complexity makes it all too easy to lose track of the big picture – a classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Oversights are made, throughput bottlenecks go unnoticed, redundant storage remains, and costly additional operating expenditure creeps in.

Because the system is too complex for the human mind to grasp, each individual will form a different opinion of its capabilities and performance; arguments develop between those collaborating on the design that simply cannot be resolved objectively. Petty, political considerations then start to surface that have little to do with the big picture.

We can help.

We create virtual models of your designs, capturing all of the necessary static data as well as the dynamic, random elements. We work with your engineers and designers to approve the behavior of the model, ensuring that we create a simulation that accurately captures the behavior of your system should it proceed to implementation. You and your engineers can then visualize how your process will perform by watching a 3D animation of the system in operation. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is it worth to you to see your process in operation before you purchase, install and commission it?

Indeed, one of the biggest benefits our approach provides is to bring your team together, and to harness their experience and creativity, to improve the design of your process.

Since the design is still on the drawing board, we can achieve a lot more than just getting the original design to work. Hindsight, in collaboration with your team, will aggressively examine your design to highlight and remove non-value-added process steps and wasteful features. This results in a process that doesn't merely meet your objectives but demonstrably exceeds them: they will perform better and cost less to run.

If you are designing the process for a customer, you can utilize the virtual model, with its 3D animation, as an effective sales tool to highlight the robustness of your design, address customer concerns and get their buy-in to your proposal.

We add metrics to these models that provide objective measures of performance that you can use to determine whether the process meets its objectives. You can use the model to identify errors and limitations in the process, rank them by priority according to their impact, then compare proposed solutions objectively. Instead of making design decisions based upon the experience and seniority of an idea's proponents, you can take an egalitarian, apolitical approach that doesn't pit your team's members against each other. You can also entertain a number of what-if scenarios that test the robustness of your system to proposed future operations, whether real or imagined.

Quite simply, you gain from the experience of hindsight.

If you are considering or actively designing a new process, call us now on +1 (313) 451-4001 to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.