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With a little help from 3D printing and some robotics, four-year-old Emma Lavelle has overcome the limitations of a congenital disorder and can use her arms for the first time. Using a Dimension 3D printer from Stratasys, Inc., researchers at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Philadelphia were able to create what little Emma calls her "magic arms." The device is a custom-designed robotic exoskeleton that enables her to conquer greatly limited joint mobility and underdeveloped muscles.But 3D printing isn’t just giving a little girl new arms – it’s also beginning to change the way products are manufactured. In addition to its role in manufacturing robotic exoskeletons, NASA has used the 3D printing technology to develop a human-piloted rover to explore Mars."Some of our world's greatest ideas are being 3D-printed," says Scott Crump, chairman and CEO of Stratasys. "Engineers want their technical work to connect to a greater good, and 3D printing is helping them bring their ideas to fruition to improve lives and the world around us. As more people become aware of the possibilities of 3D printing, its impact outside of traditional manufacturing and design realms will continue to grow."The technology can help manufacturers design and build prototypes faster as well. "It seems that almost any problem involving three-dimensional objects can be solved faster and better with the use of additive manufacturing technology," 3D-printing market consultancy Wohlers Associates wrote in its Wohlers Report 2012.
The Curiosity Mars rover has landed safely and has been sending back stunning images of the red planet. But did you know that the software used to design the rover is very similar to the kind used in manufacturing? Check out some of the work the University of Leicester has done with NASA and Siemens PLM Software to help develop different spacecraft.
Siemens PLM Software has announced it will offer a free student edition of its Plant Simulation software as part of its Tecnomatix portfolio. Full- or part-time students at any academic level can now download the digital manufacturing application at no charge and to help them develop real-world skills that are highly sought after within the global manufacturing industry.Plant Simulation is a 3D visualization and discrete event simulation software. The student edition can be installed on computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system to create digital logistics models through the use of built-in object libraries to optimize material flow, resource utilization and operations. The digital model enables students to run experiments and “what-if” scenarios while having access to extensive analysis tools, statistical models and charts to evaluate different manufacturing situations and to prepare them to make fast, reliable decisions in production planning.“With the current crisis in manufacturing – from a global aging workforce, increased product complexity and current education gap – we are expanding the software and resources we provide students and professors,” said Bill Boswell, senior director of partner strategy, Siemens PLM Software. “Our customers need the next generation of engineers to enter the market with digital manufacturing expertise. With free access to Tecnomatix Plant Simulation, students can now develop those skills to address this critical gap.”The Plant Simulation student edition is non-transferable and is not intended for commercial use. To download the free student edition, click here.
Bill Lewis, Senior Marketing Manager at Siemens PLM Software, spoke with our sister publication Design Product News' editorial director Mike Edwards at the recent Siemens PLM Connection conference in Las Vegas. Lewis went into depth on his company's High Definition PLM vision aimed at the customer user experience from Siemens applications such Teamcenter 10.1, NX and Solid Edge, as well as embracing data files from its competitors.
For almost three decades, CVG, Inc. and CVG-Avtec Systems, Inc. has offered systems engineering services to the aerospace and defense industries, providing custom hardware, software, algorithms, simulations and analyses to solve its customers' toughest real-world engineering problems. Growing beyond its service origins, CVG-Avtec has grown into a communications systems provider, supplying advanced data communications products to aerospace, telecommunications and defense organizations worldwide.As a provider of advanced communications systems, CVG-Avtec generates a large volume of complex engineering products. This environment inevitably results in a high quantity of engineering changes. CVG-Avtec needed a way to accurately track all of the bill of material (BOM) changes and have the ability to view previous revisions with a clear history of the product’s lifecycle.The company initially tried to track and manage their engineering change/revision process with Excel spreadsheets. Managing detailed change information with Excel spreadsheets did not provide the security or history tracking that CVG-Avtec needed to effectively manage product revisions and the manual entry of information was highly susceptible to data inaccuracies. The company also tried using their existing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to manage revisions. Tracking different revisions of the same BOM in their ERP system proved to be time-consuming and tedious, requiring the creation of a different BOM part number for each revision that did not have any relation to each other.CVG-Avtec knew that it needed a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system to meet its goals. Designed to manage detailed engineering information, a PLM system would allow CVG-Avtec to clearly see and understand what the actual changes are from one product revision to the next, as well as implement staged workflows for review and approval on all changes to ensure accuracy, accountability and create structured processes. Prior to selecting a solution, the company evaluated several PLM vendors. It chose the Empower PLM solution from Omnify. “We selected the Empower PLM solution because it offered many of the features we were looking for such as robust search capability, flexible workflow processing, easy import and export of data, and report generation,” says Quang Le, configuration management for CVG-Avtec. “In addition, the tool allows us to create different groups such as Users, Engineers, and Administrators, to control access to certain information.”All of CVG-Avtec’s product data is now centralized and managed within Empower PLM. The company met its primary goal of eliminating the tedious task of managing BOM information within their ERP system that required multiple BOM part numbers for all BOM revisions. With features such as complete BOM revision control, audit trails, BOM comparisons and full BOM hierarchy views, Empower PLM makes CVG-Avtec’s BOM management process much easier and more efficient. All BOM revisions now exist solely in the Empower PLM system with only the current released BOM residing in ERP. Managing revisions in Empower PLM has not only resulted in about 70 per cent time savings compared to managing this process in their ERP system, it also ensures that manufacturing is building to the correct BOM every time. “By keeping all revisions in Empower PLM, I no longer need to worry about changing effective dates on individual BOM parts in our ERP system in order to maintain current and prior revisions,” says Le. “This not only keeps the BOM in ERP visually clear and simple to read, it has helped us to improve revision tracking and accuracy by an outstanding 100 per cent.”The Empower PLM workflow engine, which provides both parallel and serial processing, has streamlined CVG-Avtec’s engineering change and release process. Using stage-based workflows helps CVG-Avtec to assure appropriate personnel have verified and approved all product changes, permitting only necessary users to view, change, accept, and/or reject changes at any particular point. This guarantees that the change information is accurate and ready for the next phase and creates better resource efficiencies by only including appropriate team members on their specific stage(s). Revision history, markups/redlines, and full audit trail functionality provide CVG-Avtec with visibility into who, what, where, when and why on all changes made to any item in the Empower PLM system. The company has implemented formal release processes for new part requests and BOMs, and is now able to formally document the changes to existing parts and BOMs. This provides CVG-Avtec with the structured processes, history tracking, and accountability they were looking for to meet their product development goals. “Empower PLM has helped improve our configuration management processes tremendously,” says Le. “Having the ability to easily bring up past product revisions, retrieve all information and associated documentation, such as datasheets and vendor quotes, and see all redlines has helped to reduce the time spent searching for information by at least 95 per cent which allows me to do my job much more efficiently and effectively.” Omnify Software is a provider of business-ready, product lifecycle and change management solutions designed to meet the needs of manufacturers in the electronics, mechanical, medical and defense industries.
By now you know that ERP should be treated as a business project, part of a larger transformation project. You probably also know that ERP success depends on your business' ability to find an ERP vendor that's capable of meeting your business' key requirements. But, you're probably wondering, "What the heck are business requirements?", "When should we define them?" and "Where should we start?".
Autodesk, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of Autodesk PLM 360, the cloud-based alternative to product life cycle management (PLM) that the company unveiled last November at Autodesk University. The solution is meant to be a "powerful, affordable and easy-to-implement solution at a fraction of the cost of traditional PLM systems," the company explained.
SolidWorks product manager Craig Therrien spoke with Manufacturing AUTOMATION's sister publication, Design Product News, at SolidWorks World 2012 in San Diego, Calif. In this exclusive interview, Therrien explains why both designers and supplier-manufacturers can benefit from exploiting the Costing module inside Premium and Professional copies of the SolidWorks 2012 release.
Hayward Gordon designs, manufactures and distributes process equipment, products and systems relating to pumping, mixing, filtration and bulk solids handling. With 78 employees and branch locations in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, Hayward Gordon is headquartered in Ontario, home of its custom-built 50,000-sq.ft. office and plant facility, which opened in 2006.
Altium business development manager Lawrence Romine spoke with Manufacturing AUTOMATION sister publication, Design Product News, at SolidWorks World 2012 in San Diego, Calif. Romine outlined how Altium product design software bridges the ECAD-MCAD gap, in conjunction with Mecodes mechatronic collaboration design software and the SolidWorks solid modelling platform.
There is a lot of talk about cloud computing today, and its exponentially growing presence among enterprise technology, particularly product life cycle management (PLM). While PLM "in the cloud" is available today, its adoption can be slow. Customers are having a difficult time deciphering when, how and even whether to use PLM in a cloud. With the type of sensitive information that is managed in PLM, there has been some apprehension about moving to the cloud. Adoption is slowly gaining momentum as more customers see the available options and advantages.
All business leaders want to take their organizations to the next level. In an effort to do so, many have invested heavily in ERP implementations and have suffered through associated business disruptions. Notwithstanding their good intentions, most companies haven't come close to realizing the value achieved by those featured in various ERP case studies. Revenues haven't leapt 20 percent. Operating costs haven't been slashed by 15 percent. And on-time deliveries haven't reached record highs of 95 percent. So, what's holding them back?
InterWrap Industries manufactures and distributes plastic and paper products for packaging and industrial use. You may see its product wrapped around a stack of lumber, a hay bale or a roll of steel. The company has a reputation for relentless research and development, innovative value-added services, and the strategic adoption of technology. Its dynamic personality and commitment to continuous improvement have raised the bar in the industrial packaging industry.
Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Canada
June 4-6, 2019
Western Manufacturing Technology Show
June 4-6, 2019
PDTA Canadian Conference
June 5-7, 2019
APMA Annual Conference & Exhibition 2019
June 12, 2019
Avnet IoT Workshop
June 16, 2019
Product Safety & Liability Prevention Seminar
August 7-8, 2019