CMM-Engineering - Automated Inspection for SolidWorks

PAS Technology, a developer of CMM inspection automation, announced PAS CMM-Engineering, a standalone inspection package for SolidWorks. The new standalone package is a part of the PAS CMM-Inspection Lifecycle Management Suite, allowing designers, manufacturers, inspectors, and managers to create a complete, automated inspection process directly from the CAD data. The automated solution ensures that reliable inspection results can be shared, analyzed and simulated by all the participants of the Design/Manufacturing cycle.

PAS CMM-Engineering enables SolidWorks users to initiate a complete inspection process automatically, directly from the SolidWorks screen, with just a few mouse clicks. As Mr. Mike Free from Noranco stated, “PAS CMM- Engineering is above and beyond ballooning,” and, unlike other solutions, PAS CMM is an integral part of the entire design process. From start to finish, PAS CMM performs a geometric analysis of a part’s features and links them to the specified GD&T to create the inspection instruction automatically including placing ballooning on drawings. PAS CMM-Engineering supports SolidWorks engineering changes by adjusting the GD&T labeling scheme to the changes and synchronized to drawing ballooning and with the customer’s PDM\PLM system.

The inspection process data is accessible to manufacturers, inspectors and to other participants in the supply chain. The inspection information and instruction process is available in multiple formats (including FAI), either through a customer’s LAN\Intranet or PAS TECHNOLOGY’s secured platform. Inspectors, manufacturers, and viewers can view, analyze, simulate, and comment using the PAS CMM model viewer before manufacturing starts thus eliminating potential costly errors. Having an identical PAS CAD\CMM model, the manufacturing process is synchronized with the inspection requirements eliminating future conflicts using different translated models and different manual interpretations by inspection and manufacturing. CMM inspection results provided directly on PAS CMM model and in a pre-defined form generated by the inspection planner (including FAI) and it is completely synchronized with the ballooned CAD Drawing generated by the SolidWorks user.

“We are excited to bring such a breakthrough solution to the SolidWorks World 2012,” says Sam Golan, PAS Technology’s President and CEO. This solution will help SolidWorks users worldwide become the initiators in cutting down inspection programming time up to 95%, reducing cost and expediting delivery time, automatically and without having to be inspection experts. “PAS CMM has a successful track record of enabling leading manufacturers to dramatically reduce the time and effort required to produce CMM Inspection. The tight integration between PAS CMM and SolidWorks will provide even greater time and cost savings to organizations that use SolidWorks. ”

PAS (Production Automation Solutions) is focused on the quality assurance process of complex parts—one of the most costly steps in the manufacturing value chain. Based on advanced feature recognition and patent-pending algorithms, PAS CMM automates the creation of CMM programs from any CAD file, delivering proven time and cost savings of up to 95%. The PAS CMM solution is used by leading manufacturers worldwide, including Applied Engineering, Caterpillar, Cygnus Aero, IPEX industries, IMP Aerospace, John Deere, Koss Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Magellan Aerospace, Primus international, Raytheon, Rafael Systems, Weber Industries, and many more. For more information, visit

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

Inspection using specialized software has really come into its own during the past few years, both by companies specializing in developing inspection software from the ground up, as well as software vendors coming at it from the reverse engineering angle.

Historically, and regardless of how it was performed, inspection has always been about quality and performed as a function of an organization’s quality assurance/management effort. First article inspection has also, historically, been a time-consuming process (especially for geometrically complex parts, such as turbines and manifolds) because it was such a painstakingly physical measuring process. That, however, has changed with the advent of coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and specialized first article inspection software that runs in conjunction with the CMM device and CADC software used to create a part.

First article inspection is used to improve product quality and improve the overall effectiveness of a company’s overall quality management program. The primary objective of first article inspection is to verify that all applicable specifications and requirements pertaining to customer product are satisfied at the completion of an associated process on the first part. Approval to run additional parts with the process being monitored will be given when first article inspection indicates that all contract requirements have been satisfied.

The secondary objective of first article inspection procedure is to ensure that basic requirements are established and maintained as required by customer contract. These requirements are specific to a company’s responsibility to provide control over processes, provide objective evidence of product conformance to specification, and continued effectiveness of the quality management system.

The result of the first article inspection process is objective evidence the manufacturing process is capable of manufacturing conforming product before additional products are manufactured with the process being monitored.

So, let’s be honest – while inspection may not be the most exotic part of the product development process, it is, nonetheless, one of the most vital for producing consistent and quality products. Software and digital methods have vastly improved inspection methods, workflows, repeatability, and results.

Advancements in inspection software and hardware will continue to drive the convergence of physical and digital design workflow. Look for the integration and the capabilities of inspection to continue to evolve and become more comprehensive, not to mention even more affordable and easier to use.

We’ll be spending some time with the PAS Technology folks at Solidworks World 2012 to see their CMM-Engineering technology and how it stacks up with the competition.

The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

ITI TranscenData Now Offers Feature Based CAD Translation for Autodesk Inventor
ITI TranscenData announced the addition of a native Autodesk Inventor interface in its Proficiency Collaboration Gateway solution. Collaboration Gateway enables the transfer of complete design intelligence between major CAD systems, including geometry, features, sketches, manufacturing info, metadata, assembly information, and drawings in the conversion process. The new interface offers support for parametric assemblies and parts as well as associative drawings. It is fully integrated into the Collaboration Gateway product suite and provides complete automatic solution for legacy data migration and OEM delivery to the users of Autodesk Inventor. The new interface incorporates the use of CADIQ, ITI TranscenData’s CAD model quality and validation solution. CADIQ offers visualization and comparison for assemblies and parts, as well as analysis for assemblies, and manufacturing diagnostics for parts. Proficiency Collaboration Gateway also supports automatic feature based data exchange for I-deas, NX, Pro/Engineer, CATIA V4 and CATIA V5.

MSC Software Teams Up with UNED to Bring FEA Masters Program to Engineering Communities
MSC Software Corp. announced that it has teamed up with the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Spain’s biggest distance learning university with more than 200,000 students, to train postgraduates and professional engineers in Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) analysis and simulation with MSC’s finite element software. In collaboration with Ingeciber S.A., distributor of MSC products in Spain, UNED offers an International Master in Theoretical and Practical Application of Finite Element Method (FEM) and CAE Simulation. Though the FEM Master was first imparted in 1993, it was not until last year that Ingeciber started to use MSC’s Patran and MSC Nastran for training purposes. Miguel Angel Moreno, General Manager of the company, expects the usage of MSC’s CAE tools for education to promote software sales in Spain as companies tend to buy the tools their engineers are familiar with. The master addresses the growing demand of training in CAE technology through an adaptive educational program and distance program which allows students to achieve three different levels of expertise: CAE Expert, Specialist, and Master. The program is oriented towards a rapid adoption of the “lessons learned” in professional life, using the most advanced CAE tools available on the market for practical lessons. Students have access to the UNED’s modern e-learning infrastructure, including virtual classrooms, forums, video conferencing and local language tutorials, which support fast and flexible learning. The FEM Master has a mechanical engineering and a civil engineering branch which share common lectures on FEM theory and material behavior. Best practices in mechanics are taught using Patran and MSC Nastran.

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