Resource Library – Case Studies – Ceramaspeed2018-12-04T14:49:38+00:00

Upchain Success Stories

Cooking up true product innovation at Ceramaspeed

Ceramaspeed

Ceramaspeed’s Story

Ceramaspeed is a US manufacturing company specializing in heating elements for glass stoves. They make stove parts for household names like Electrolux and Samsung, offering their clients unparalleled flexibility, reliability, and price. They approached Upchain to help them streamline and simplify their design process and grow their business by fuelling product innovation.

Ceramaspeed has a long history of producing best in class products. Their vision is to become the world standard in OEM suppliers, doubling down on serving their clients in a flexible, customer- centric way. Unfortunately, their outdated, written workflows and procedures just didn’t fit the current way of working and their vision for a customer-first company.

As a result, manual workarounds crept in to manage design control. And while the manufacturing side of things was rigorous to guarantee the best quality product, the design process was chaotic and uncontrolled. “It was a crude process of controlling those design files,” says Brandon Roberts, Director of Engineering. What’s more, Ceramaspeed was struggling with cascading changes. A design tweak on a product meant that the rest of that product family had to be checked for changes and impacts.

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These changes aren’t just abstract though — within weeks, Ceramaspeed was seeing their Upchain investment pay dividends:

  • Instances of incorrect sampling have fallen, reducing error cost and increasing the speed of testing and innovation.
  • Machining errors have been reduced.
  • Before, about 50% of the designs that came back from the factory had mistakes in them. Now, those mistakes are caught early before design and spec files ship, vastly reducing lead times.

They were combing through their files, product by product, change by change in a slow and error- prone process.

Finally, there was a disconnect between the design team and the manufacturing floor. Samples were regularly made incorrectly, and the cost could spiral into the thousands. They’d looked at several solutions, but couldn’t find one that suited their needs at the right price. So they went back to the manual way of doing things — processes that got the job done, but created problems along the way.

Without a structured and logical workflow, it was impossible to get everyone on the same page, and design files were released without oversight and review. According to Tyson Proffitt, a design engineer at Ceramaspeed: “Broken communication between 5-6 engineers was a real struggle, especially when there are borders between those engineers.”

With engineering leading business growth by shaving inefficiencies, there was no room for mistakes. Ceramaspeed was on a mission to build products their clients loved and consumers could rely on. We had the chance to help them structure their processes into a consistent, repeatable, and automated system to do exactly that.

"
Broken communication between 5-6 engineers was a real struggle, especially when there are borders between those engineers.
"

Brandon Roberts, Director of Engineering

The toast of the town.

Their Victory

Ceramaspeed was able to get up and running with our cloud PLM in weeks. Our goal was to give Ceramaspeed the structure they needed to review and approve designs in a documented and automated way. We wanted to remove the obstacles standing between their engineering team and true product invention and innovation.

And that’s exactly what we did.

Our workflows created a structured system that guaranteed all the relevant stakeholders could see, review, and approve a design change before it made it down to product sampling and testing. And with automatic email notifications, users get reminders for when they need to look at a new design or change. This keeps projects moving and teams innovating because as Tyson put it: “We’re no longer waiting for an email or waiting for a weekly conference call.”

Now, Ceramaspeed is building out the software in their design office and is planning on expanding to their manufacturing floor so there’s even better collaboration beyond engineering.

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Changes that used to take weeks or months can now happen in minutes.

The Results

The biggest change at Ceramaspeed has been streamlining how projects get delivered and how easy it is to see, review, and approve design changes. Teams are no longer waiting on a single stakeholder or (worse) proceeding without that approval. Changes that used to take weeks or months can happen in minutes.

But there’s also been a cultural shift at Ceramaspeed.

Engineers and designers no longer have to worry about missing a step or overlooking an error. Teams can rest easy knowing that product innovation happens within a structured system. “Process control forces everyone to be involved,” says Tyson. “We know what’s changing and what’s happening. It’s allowed us to R&D better and more efficiently.”

Now, they can achieve documented, rigorous approvals without sacrificing innovation speed.

"
The support we've received from Upchain has been really nice, which is always a concern when we're entrusting product data, the basis of our company, in a vendor's hands.
"

With Upchain, Ceramaspeed has designed out errors and mistakes. Before, product innovation was time-consuming and error prone: “It was ‘fly by the seat of the pants,'” says Tyson. Now, product innovation is a consistent, repeatable, and cost-effective process that drives business objectives without countless sleepless nights for the engineering team.

Ceramaspeed is now able to stretch their product innovation further and rest easy at night knowing that everything’s where it should be.

“Before Upchain, we had a non-professional paper trail and design control. Now, our design work is like how we do things in our factory — standardized and repeatable. We needed a standard way to make a design, and Upchain provided that solution.”

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We’re Upchain. We work with manufacturers to make product innovation easy. Our goal is to take product data beyond engineering while letting people use the tools they already know and love. With Upchain cloud PLM, people can work the way they want with a software that just… works.