Why OEMS are using a new tool called CoLab

OEMs in 2023 have to engineer toward an EV future while simultaneously hitting ambitious cost reduction targets. As an engineering leader, are you considering how to balance innovation with cost optimization without sacrificing speed?

CoLab is used by major OEMs, like Mercedes Benz, to free their engineers from messy collaboration practices and an endless loop of unproductive design meetings.  

“Our process is just too cumbersome. It’s really, you know, 20 years old… There’s no interaction in real-time. You’ve got to schedule a meeting, and the follow up meeting — it’s just loops of meetings and tasks.”

- Engineering Leader 

CoLab was built to make it easier for engineers to get specific feedback directly on drawings and models themselves, instead of everywhere else. 

Engineers upload 2D/3D CAD (and other docs) into CoLab. Then they have design conversations directly on the CAD itself, where all design feedback is automatically traced + associated with specific components. 

Some teams do live design reviews in-platform, others use it asynchronously as a way to get design feedback from engineers in other locations and departments without having to set up extra meetings.

We play with your existing tools, like Teamcenter. Use CoLab alongside any CAD tool and with your PLM.

With CoLab, Mercedes Benz engineering teams can:  

  1. Review designs faster and identify design errors earlier — which means avoiding costly mistakes and getting to market up to 30% faster
  2. Shorten design review cycles with quicker, clearer communication among all design stakeholders
  3. Automate administrative tasks, like taking notes and organizing design feedback
  4. Cut down new vehicle development timelines with asynchronous design collaboration with cross functional internal teams, and with external partners
  5. Drive down cost with more effective VA/VE through virtual events (where you can involve more engineers), auto-generated Kanbans, 2X more cost-saving ideas, and more time to implement ideas

How Ford Pro Accelerated Time to Market by 30%

Before CoLab, Ford Pro manually responded to requests from converters to share CAD files.

Now, they use CoLab to share CAD with their partners on demand. Both parties can also exchange design feedback right from an internet browser.

Initially, Ford Pro rolled out CoLab with a few converter partners. Right away, the productivity impact was clear.

Projects completed using CoLab were finished 30% faster, resulting in shorter lead times. That means commercial fleet operators getting the best vehicles faster.
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CoLab is trusted by Fortune 500s and innovators. Here’s what our users say about us:

“When it comes to sharing data and being able to transfer accurate files between the three different parties, it’s really important for us to be able to make sure we’re all working on the same piece of CAD, so that there’s no ambiguity when it comes to what we’re discussing.”

Dr. James Kerr
Design and Engineering Director at MS-RT

“CoLab digitizes all of that. It creates that design environment on a single online platform, so it simplifies that product design journey – makes it much more interactive, collaborative and quicker turnaround times.”

Milan Shah
Director, Ford Pro Special Vehicle

“In six months, I think the key success point was that we did a cost reduction redesign of our product enclosure. We realized we’d landed a 50% cost reduction on that, and our overall design cycle was half the time of prior design cycles. So something that used to take a full year, we got it done in six months.

Kevin Walters
Senior Director of Hardware Engineering

“Being able to jump into CoLab and have it be so intuitive is definitely helpful. We have a core design team that’s outside of our mechanical design team, so being able to show them quick markups or snap to sections so they can clearly understand what our intents were—that was a big game-changer for me.”

Igor Beric
Manager—Global OE IVI

“Using CoLab in production means my manufacturing manager can notify our design team of an issue in Mexico, we can turn around a design update from the US, and they can have the new design on the CNC Machine right away.”

Mike Zamalis
VP Global Chiller Product Engineering

"I really don’t think we would have delivered the quality we did without CoLab. We have at-home figured out and we’re really efficient. We can get a block from a client and back to them in a week and I don’t think any other team could do that without CoLab."

Jessica Chiasson
Designer III / Lead at Genoa Design

Results our users have seen after using CoLab:

51% time reduction across 80,000 reviews

27% lower review time

4X cost reduction ideas

2X product development speed

30% reduction in design cycles

 200% More issues found before ECOs

 Cost of mistakes lowered by 15%

Happy engineers

Happy management

GM, ready to explore CoLab?

Shorten design review cycles , cut the new vehicle development process down, identify design errors earlier, avoid costly mistakes, get to market up to 30% faster, ALL with Colab. 

Talk to a CoLab product expert today.