Carbon fiber is a light but extremely strong and durable material that is used in everything from aerospace to fishing equipment—and it’s finding its way into more products every day.
Meet Inhon, a PTC Creo customer based in Taiwan that focuses exclusively on carbon fiber for its own products and those of its customers. Inhon is behind the Papilio G1, an Android smartphone encased in a carbon fiber shell that weighs just 127 grams—about ¼ pound. The company also makes the GUSTO line of bikes and an award-winning ultra laptop, the CarbonBook.
Launched in 2008, Inhon targets any consumer product that can benefit from light, thin, and sturdy cases and chasses.
While this has been a winning business strategy for the company, it’s also led to a lot of data. Data for designs, molds, customer products, etc. Each revision has be saved, and customers don’t always use the same CAD tools as Inhon, or each other. Without some kind of strategy to deal with it all, Inhon risked losing a lot of time and resources just to manage the growing pool of data.
The company also had to think about effectively using all that data. For example, a mold maker might receive CAD files from a client. Will he or she be able to load the file? And what if he or she needs to apply expertise to the file (that is, change it) to make it more manufacturable? Will the mold maker be able to add draft angles and parting lines?
The company needed a CAD and PDM system that would help improve multi-CAD design and multi-CAD data management, large assembly management, document management, change management, and configuration management.
It worked. Inhon spends less time on design and gets to market measurably faster than before. Overall, taking an initial design to full production has been reduced by 25%. That is, what once took 6 months, now takes 4 – 5 months.
Plus, Inhon has expanded collaboration among its different departments, and that’s led to more innovate product design.
“The implementation of PTC Creo and PTC Windchill PDMLink has provided strong support for improvements in product design and collaboration,” says senior engineer, Holiday Su. “Our level of services to our clients, our ability to compete in the market, and our ability to reduce product development costs have all improved noticeably.”