This is about Brad Whitmore from Procter and Gamble. He is the technology section head of the global CAE department helping to build new plants and improve existing ones.
Procter & Gamble sells their products in 180 countries around the world with operations in more than 85 countries. Most of these plants are multi category plants which manufacture a variety of products like paper towels, tooth paste or shampoo which are just a few of the products. P&G has more than 300 brands which lets you imaging the complexity Brad has to handle when designing plants.
One of the challenges he face is the required collaboration between the global and regional teams to discuss different plant concepts and optimize them. P&G was designing these plants by using 2D drawings. But not all people involved in the discussion understood these 2D drawings. Switching to a 3D layout design system solved this issue: “Seeing a layout in 3D brings it to life, especially for people wo have trouble interpreting 2D drawings,” Brad says. “We now get input from people who might not have given their input in the past.” He estimates that as many as 20 design review meetings can be held to fine-tune a plant layout. It is important for the team to understand how operators can access the manufacturing equipment or where material for the manufacturing process can be placed. All these discussions are now based on the 3D factory layout which gets optimized before the plant is physically build.
BTW: A lot of the plant equipment was design using Solid Edge or comes from the equipment vendor. JT is used as the 3D format for this equipment, which is then easily used for the 3D plant layout design and the optimization.