What are the likely benefits of the cad design technology

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Reference no: EM131353760

Product Design at Regal Marine

With hundreds of competitors in the boat business, Regal Marine must work to differentiate itself from the flock. As we saw in the Global Company Profile that opened this chapter, Regal continuously introduces innovative, high-quality new boats. Its differentiation strategy is reflected in a product line consisting of 22 models. To maintain this stream of innovation, and with so many boats at varying stages of their life cycles, Regal constantly seeks design input from customers, dealers, and consultants. Design ideas rapidly find themselves in the styling studio, where they are placed onto CAD machines in order to speed the development process. Existing boat designs are always evolving as the company tries to stay stylish and competitive. Moreover, with life cycles as short as 3 years, a steady stream of new products is required. A few years ago, the new product was the three-passenger $11,000 Rush, a small but powerful boat capable of pulling a water-skier. This was followed with a 20-foot inboard-outboard performance boat with so many innovations that it won prize after prize in the industry. Another new boat is a redesigned 52-foot sports yacht that sleeps six in luxury staterooms. With all these models and innovations, Regal designers and production personnel are under pressure to respond quickly. By getting key suppliers on board early and urging them to participate at the design stage, Regal improves both innovations and quality while speeding product development. Regal finds that the sooner it brings suppliers on board, the faster it can bring new boats to the market. After a development stage that constitutes concept and styling, CAD designs yield product specifications. The first stage in actual production is the creation of the "plug," a foam-based carving used to make the molds for fiberglass hulls and decks. Specifications from the CAD system drive the carving process. Once the plug is carved, the permanent molds for each new hull and deck design are formed. Molds take about 4 to 8 weeks to make and are all handmade. Similar molds are made for many of the other features in Regal boats-from galley and stateroom components to lavatories and steps. Finished molds can be joined and used to make thousands of boats.

Discussion Questions

1. How does the concept of product life cycle apply to Regal Marine products?

2. What strategy does Regal use to stay competitive?

3. What kind of engineering savings is Regal achieving by using CAD technology rather than traditional drafting techniques?

4. What are the likely benefits of the CAD design technology?

Reference no: EM131353760

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