Continuous technological progress and changing customer preferences require that today’s manufacturers conceive, develop, test, and introduce new products faster and more efficiently than ever before. This is driving changes to every stage of the product development cycle, and forcing manufacturers to uncover new ways to speed and streamline operational processes, enhance product quality, and improve collaboration between employees and partners.
A crucial stage of the product lifecycle, the research and development (R&D) function helps contribute to the development of new offerings as well as investigates ways to improve existing products. The R&D process has become particularly important in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive climate, where manufacturers must continually rethink their designs and expand their range of product offerings in order to survive.
In many cases, R&D activities are driven by a centralized group that is responsible to oversee and guide the organization’s product development activities. However, many manufacturers are realizing that collaborating with customers, partners, and even competitors during this process can be even more effective. This type of collaborative R&D is helping organizations make faster and more informed decisions, increase the quality of their offerings, and speed the time-to-market of new products.
Collaborative R&D is quickly gaining traction among manufacturers and has become easier than ever thanks to recent advancements in computing technologies. However, traditional means of collaborating are no longer sufficient to sustain businesses in the digital age of manufacturing. There are also data security concerns associated with sharing data over long distances and with many different parties. Today’s manufacturers must continually look for new ways to improve collaboration in a safe, secure, and seamless way.
Remote visualization is a high-performance computing (HPC) technology that is helping manufacturers dramatically improve collaboration. Remote visualization technologies offer the ability to visualize complex data sets from any location by allowing users to access valuable data on the server side. This enables multiple users to interact with the same model simultaneously, while eliminating the time-consuming and risky act of downloading large amounts of information onto a local workstation.
Remote visualization technologies are helping manufacturers improve collaboration in a variety of ways:
- Multiple users and work teams can view the same models and images with real-time synchronization, allowing employees from multiple disciplines and organizations to work simultaneously.
- Employees situated in remote offices can interact with business data as seamlessly as their colleagues in the central office.
- Shared sessions allow geographically dispersed engineering teams to manipulate the same design simultaneously, improving overall productivity and speeding the product design process.
- Mobile workers can access large data files from anywhere so they can stay connected to central design teams even when they are traveling or working from home.
Remote visualization not only enhances collaboration among employees and departments, but also allows manufacturers to address the security implications of an increasingly mobile workforce. With remote visualization, only the pixels from images are transmitted over the network, and that pixel stream is encrypted. This allows critical information to remain safe in the data center, and reduces the risk of compromising critical corporate information.
As manufacturing processes become increasingly digitized, new HPC technologies are helping businesses collaborate more efficiently than ever. With remote visualization solutions, manufacturers are improving collaborative R&D and the result is shortened product development cycles, better quality, and streamlined processes across the board.
To learn more about how remote visualization and other HPC manufacturing solutions are enhancing collaboration in the manufacturing industry, please follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Mannel.