Customers as Partners: Simultaneous Engineering and Collaborative Thinking

Ahaus engineer working
Unique, Custom Projects Require Custom Workholding

At Ahaus, our vision is to be the most highly sought-after partner to create quality products, life changing experiences, and a sense of community because people trust and value us. In using words like life-changing, sense of community, trust, and value, we know we are setting up a different kind of relationship with our employees, community – and our customers.

That’s why we prefer to see our clients less as standard customers and more as partners.

Using simultaneous engineering and a collaborative thinking process allows us to individualize every element of a project to the exact specifications of what is needed according to our client-partner’s unique practical requirements, and within their equally unique budgetary and time allotments.

So what exactly is simultaneous engineering? For businesses in the industrial field, the value of simultaneous engineering is in its ability, for companies utilizing it, to improve manufacturing processes more profoundly.

Simultaneous engineering – also known as “concurrent engineering” and “integrated product development” (IPD) – is a collaborative work process between client and manufacturer in which all major pathways toward the finalization of the client’s design, engineering, and manufacturing journey are consolidated and streamlined.

This narrowing of pathways toward project/service completion affords the manufacturer the ability to provide suggestions to the client on how to cut out inefficient elements – such as those concerning material resources, labor hours, and financial considerations – involved in the project completion process.

For Ahaus, the term often applies to industrial workholding: Simultaneous engineering in this context means our engineers working directly with a client’s engineering team to design and build custom workholding solutions, providing a range of fixtures including manual, hydraulic, and pneumatic clamping. Ahaus provides consultative engineering expertise that improves manufacturing processes and efficiencies, saving customers time and money.

“For us, simultaneous engineering is all about figuring out how we can be involved in the product design to make it easier to hold and machine,” elaborates Ahaus vice president Jeff Sheridan. “This allows us to not only machine according to our customer’s design, but to possibly find ways to improve upon the design for a better end result. That’s a very typical occurrence for us here at Ahaus: figuring out what features could be added and where they can be added, so that we can make it an overall faster, smoother, easier process to manufacture. It’s about efficiency, accuracy, and quality, as well.”

Although we certainly didn’t invent the term, we at Ahaus remain one of the few specialists in custom workholding who ensures our clients receive the inherent value of simultaneous engineering in our project completion strategies.

Aside from establishing a far more efficient and less wasteful process overall, simultaneous engineering is also a staple of Ahaus’ strategy due to the frictionless collaboration it allows with our clients on their custom workholding needs.

ahaus - custom workholding engineerOur emphasis on project management – featuring our Project Engineering team – allows for this to be a standard and valued part of our process with our customers.

Most recently we showcased our use of simultaneous engineering in working with a high-profile construction equipment manufacturer on a series of frame fixtures, which were physically quite large. With one of the most prestigious equipment manufacturers worldwide, we created frame fixtures that needed to be absolutely precise in design, engineering, and manufacturing. It was essential that we worked intimately with our client-partner on that project throughout the completion process to ensure we were creating to their exact parameters for which their brand is known the world over.

It is our incorporation of concepts such as simultaneous engineering that has led Ahaus to be a pioneering force in custom workholding since the mid-1990s, right as CNC machining first became the predominant production line throughout manufacturing. We pursued that swift sea change in the market then and continue to remain at the forefront of such evolution in custom workholding today.

To find out how Ahaus can work with you on your custom workholding needs, contact one of our Sales Engineers here.