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Posts Tagged ‘SolidWorks 2013’

Cost Management Moves Up-Front in Design Process with SolidWorks 2013

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Something I considered to be the “sleeper” capability in SolidWorks 2012 was Costing because of its potential impact the top and bottom lines, as well as an engineering tool that upper management could understand and appreciate. It’s gotten better and more comprehensive for 2013. Automatic cost estimation estimates part manufacturing costs using built-in cost templates. These manufacturing templates are customizable, allowing entry of specific manufacturing costs and data, such as material, labor, machine speed and feeds, and setup costs.

Cost management or costing is a process for planning, managing, and controlling the costs of doing business. Ideally, product design projects should have customized costing plans and companies as a whole should integrate costing into their business models. When properly implemented, costing translates into reduced costs for products and services, as well as increased value being delivered to the customer.

Taking this approach to costing helps a company determine whether they accurately estimated expenses initially, and will help to more closely predict expenses in the future. However, costing cannot be used in isolation – projects must be organized and conducted with costing as a vital part of an overall business strategy.

Using SolidWorks Costing, designers can automatically calculate manufacturing cost estimates to ensure they are within design cost goals, and manufacturers can instantly create detailed quotes that are accurate to their specific manufacturing costs and processes. SolidWorks Costing works directly from 3D models – no pre-processing of the models is required. As a design is created, manufacturing costs are automatically calculated allowing designers to always have a current and accurate cost estimate.

A project that is defined through costing will facilitate effective management of the costs it incurs. Effective costing strategies will help deliver a high quality product within a predetermined budget, as well as making it more valuable to the customer.

SolidWorks Costing lets more people in your organization become engaged in reducing product cost while maintaining product quality. It provides a method for establishing and monitoring cost priorities. It improves both bottom line (cost reduction) and top line (increasing sales through higher quality products). Costing is part of an overall business solution that maximizes profits and product quality.

Although it got a relatively slow start, I’m starting to see Costing used earlier in and a true part of the product development process, much like up-front simulation was in the beginning.

SolidWorks Costing is a tool for getting more people to think about both material and process costs from different perspectives. Engineering personnel can leverage costing/cost reduction knowledge and pass it along to others within an organization, so costing is repeatable and becomes a vital aspect of overall corporate culture.

InspectionXpert For SolidWorks 2013 First Article Inspection

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

With SolidWorks 2013 now available, the roll out of partner products is just beginning. One of the first we’ll cover is InspectionXpert for SolidWorks 2013, an add-in for SolidWorks 2013.

InspectionXpert for SolidWorks is first article and in-process inspection software that automatically creates bubbled print and inspection reports for quality control inspection purposes. This automation minimizes time-consuming, error-prone processes for (according to the company) a time savings of more than 90%.

Integration into SolidWorks ensures direct access to the necessary dimensions, tolerances, units, and custom properties of SolidWorks 3D models and 2D drawings, so ballooned drawings and inspection reports can be created quickly.

InspectionXpert’s Characteristic Tree displays the dimensions, geometric tolerances, notes, hole callouts, weld and surface finish symbols extracted directly from SolidWorks drawings. Filtering capabilities enable specification of which types of drawing annotations to include in an inspection form. This alone can be a big time saver.

Inspection characteristic data is saved in a SolidWorks file for reuse or subsequent updates. InspectonXpert revision changes require just a refresh of an inspection project with InspectionXpert when a revision change is made. Accept the changes to re-balloon a drawing or model, as well as export the updates to a new inspection report form.  Another time saver.

InspectionXpert integrates with quality systems including a direct publish to Net-Inspect and synchronization with CEBOS MQ-1.  Because InspectionXpert exports to Excel/CSV inspection data can be imported into almost many database or other software programs, including CMM, ERP, MRP, etc.

I’ve reviewed InspectioXpert in the past and have found it to be one of the easiest to use and comprehensive first article inspection programs available.

The price for InspectionXpert for Solidworks 2013 is $1,395 for the license and $279 for first year maintenance — a total of $1,674.

For more information on InspectionXpert for SolidWorks:
Editor’s Note: Because a lot of innovation is still taking place with partner products of all types, we’ll be taking a quick look at several of them over the coming weeks and months as they are introduced as complements for engineering software applications from Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, PTC, Siemens, and others.

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