American Axle Reduces Costs Using EPCM in Early Design

August 6, 2015 Rick Burke

American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE: AXL) is a $3.7B annual revenue per year, Tier 1 automotive company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan in the USA.  They design and manufacture complex automotive components and systems such as axles, driveshafts, torque transfer devices, etc.

AAM Products

Engineering Teams Need to Meet Target Costs and Hit Time-to-Market Schedules

American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) is working within a highly competitive environment with many new product introductions (NPI) each year and escalating government fuel economy and emission regulations, specifically the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The consequences of working in this environment are that their engineering team is constantly under pressure to produce innovative new products that are lightweight but highly durable, are completed within routinely shrinking time-to-market windows, and meet target costs as often as possible so that costs are associated with value engineering activities are minimized. All of these activities when completed successfully contribute to improved product profitability.

To improve the probability that they can meet target costs for new product initiatives (NPI) on a more predictable basis, and consistently hit tight time-to-market schedules, AAM chose to implementing an enterprise product cost management (EPCM) process and technology infrastructure from aPriori.

One of the early programs that has found traction using EPCM is a program to more effectively evaluate early-stage “architectural” design studies. Designers are able to very quickly open up their product design within aPriori, input a few basis pieces of information to drive a cost study, and understand in just a few minutes the cost implications of different design decisions. Sometimes they evaluate the cost impact of alternative materials. Other times, it might be a design alternative.

American Axle & Manufacturing Case Study

In the 12-minute video below, listen to Mr. Ravi Desai, Director of CAE & CAD at AAM, reveal the business challenges that led to the selection of aPriori (2:55), examples of how AAM is currently using aPriori (6:53), and plans for integration with program management (10:15) to enable visibility into cost throughout the product lifecycle.

Want to Learn More?

Download our whitepaper, How Automotive Manufacturers Can Navigate the Cost of Increased Government Regulation, for more information on how EPCM solutions help automotive manufacturers address challenges related to fuel efficiency and emissions.

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