Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Optimizes Digital Human-Product Interactions
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Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Optimizes Digital Human-Product Interactions

PTC announced the launch of Pro/ENGINEER Manikin, a 3D digital human modeling solution that enables design teams to add a digital human model to a CAD product model to simulate and communicate human-product interactions. Two new modules, Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Extension and Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Analysis Extension, provide ergonomic and human factors analysis capabilities for customers of Pro/ENGINEER, PTC’s parametric 3D CAD/CAM/CAE software and a key component of the PTC Product Development System. By accelerating detailed design processes and reducing the need for expensive physical prototypes, Pro/ENGINEER Manikin helps customers create innovative, winning products with faster time-to-market, improved quality and reduced costs.

“PTC’s new manikin software is notable for its tight integration with Pro/ENGINEER. Pro/ENGINEER Manikin brings digital human visualization and simulation to the engineer’s desktop within the CAD user interface and without the need for the engineer to be a human factors expert,” said John MacKrell, senior analyst, CIMdata. “This is a very impressive first step for PTC for supporting a human-centric design approach. Pro/ENGINEER Manikin will enable customers to better optimize their products for the people who will use, manufacture and maintain them.”

Pro/ENGINEER Manikin, the industry’s first ISO standards-based solution, provides comprehensive, easy-to-use, capabilities to simulate and communicate human-product interactions for a global population. Highlights of Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Extension and Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Analysis Extension include:

Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Extension

Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Analysis Extension Additionally, beginning in December 2008, basic manikin capabilities that enable users to insert a pre-defined manikin into a CAD model and easily manipulate the posture to gain an understanding of how a human would fit or interact with a proposed design will be included in all Pro/ENGINEER packages at no additional charge for those customers on the latest maintenance release of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0.

“The new capabilities introduced in Pro/ENGINEER Manikin will dramatically improve our ability to design innovative products for our customers. These same features are also applicable to considerations for improvements in the manufacture, assembly and service of our products. The vision cones, reach envelopes and other human factors analysis capabilities provide valuable insight earlier in the product design and development process,” states Patrick Hodgins, chief engineer, Callaway Cars. “The seamless integration with Pro/ENGINEER and ease of use will also help accelerate adoption of the product. These new modules will enable our company to reduce time-to-market and decrease physical prototyping costs.”

“Having the capability to perform human-product interactions early in the development cycle supports innovation and helps optimize the design process,” said Michael Campbell, senior vice president, product management, PTC. “Allowing design engineers to know how a customer will physically interact with a product during the design process enables them to design products that will be optimized for their target audience. This technology enables customers to create safer, more comfortable and more usable products, while at the same time reduce the typical, costs associated with prototyping. Pro/ENGINEER Manikin underscores PTC’s ongoing commitment to delivering superior technology and value to our customers.”

Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Extension, Pro/ENGINEER Manikin Analysis Extension and free, basic manikin capabilities available to all customers on the latest release of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 and later are expected to be available in December 2008 in English, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Italian and Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

With the current state of the manufacturing economy, human factors and ergonomics seem to have taken a back seat to other productivity, profit-making, and survival issues, but they are vitally important, nonetheless, and PTC has taken it to heart with Pro/ENGINEER Manikin.

With so much human capital available these days you might ask, “Why use digital humans?” The same question could also be posed about robotics, but that’s another topic for another day. Digital humans are used to study man-machine interaction and can refer to the control of machines in general using devices like a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or a button on a production machine.

Ergonomics is concerned with designing according to human needs, and the discipline applies theory, principles, data, and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and system performance. Ergonomic research studies human capabilities and relationships to work demands. Information derived from these studies contributes to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments, and systems to make them compatible with the needs, abilities, and limitations of people.

The five generally accepted areas of ergonomics include safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity/performance, and aesthetics. Based on these ergonomic areas, products or systems can benefit from initial design or redesign based on ergonomic principles.
Companies in many industries are facing the same problem of the human element not being considered early or thoroughly enough in product design, assembly, and maintenance. This historical lack of consideration is having an increasingly negative impact on product cost, time to market, quality, and safety.

Luckily, though, ergonomics seems to be moving away from a reactive approach, where jobs that cause injuries are modified, to a proactive approach that emphasizes assessing each job for feasibility and safety as a product, workplace, and processes are designed. Some aspects of job design can be reduced to a checklist or a set of numerical criteria, such as maximum lifting weight or a maximum part insertion force. But when the potential problem includes an awkward posture or a difficult reach, a more demanding analysis is necessary. This is exactly where software representations of humans, digital human models, are becoming more widely used to perform the analyses for these more complex tasks.

The largest market and application for digital human models are automotive and aerospace vehicle design. Physical mockups are being replaced with virtual prototypes that are assessed using digital humans as drivers, passengers, production and maintenance personnel. Starting in the 1970s, many of the early human modeling tools were developed by the U.S. military and its contractors for aircraft cockpit design. Since then, automotive manufacturers have extensively used human models as a vital part of the digital design process – concept through production.

Until I saw this announcement by PTC, the “guy” that came to mind whenever I thought about digital humans was Tecnomatix (now a part of Siemens PLM Software) Jack – a digital man (and Jill – a digital woman) – a human modeling and simulation software package for improving the ergonomics of product designs and workplace tasks. With digital humans like Jack and Jill you can:
Digital humans can provide great utility during all phases and aspects of the product development process, including (but not limited to) product design, manufacture, maintenance, and training. During the product design process, human simulation allows you to explore general operation and interaction, positioning and comfort, and visibility. In the manufacturing phase, digital humans let you check out workcell layout, workflow simulation, energy expenditure, physical requirements assessment, and safety analysis. In the maintenance stage of the product lifecycle, human simulation allows you to assess maintenance accessibility, as well as part removal and replacement and the physical and visual characteristics needed to carry out these tasks. Finally, digital human simulation data can be reused for manufacturing and maintenance training purposes.

For a growing number of companies I see factoring the human element into design, manufacturing, and maintenance as no longer just an afterthought, but as an integral requirement, strategy, and competitive advantage. Companies that have employed digital humans, such as Manikin and Jack are already or will likely realize benefits, such as shorter design time, lower development costs, improved quality, increased productivity, and enhanced safety. All reasons to give digital humans more than a probationary period, and “hire” them on as adjunct “employees.” Digital humans will never replace the real thing, but they can make life on the job easier, safer, and more fulfilling.

Editor’s Correction

Following the publication of the previous edition of MCADCafe Weekly on Autodesk’s recent ECAD acquisition, I made a statement that may have been misinterpreted by some of our readers. We received the following statement from Autodesk that should clarify things. We stand corrected.


“Thanks for your piece on regarding Autodesk's recent ECAD acquisition. There was one statement in your editorial that we'd like to clarify.

[A sentence read] ‘Is Autodesk the first company to move in this direction? No, not exactly - PTC and SolidWorks, for example, are already there, as well.’

This statement implies the recent acquisition of ESCAD was our first move toward mechatronics, following in the footsteps of PTC and DS SolidWorks. In fact, we have been focused on the integration of mechanical and electrical subsystems longer than either of those firms and actually were a pioneer in mechatronics.

While this acquisition bolsters our offering in the area of data-driven methods for controls system design, Autodesk has been focused on the role of Electrical in the mechanical design process for quite some time. Specifically, we started driving the integration with AutoCAD Electrical four years ago, [leading to our focus] on ECAD and current mechatronics capabilities.”

Clay Helm
Sr. Public Relations Manager
Manufacturing Solutions Division

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.

Procter & Gamble Extends Strategic Relationship by Selecting Dassault Systèmes for New Product Development
Dassault Systèmes (DS) announced that Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), the world’s largest consumer goods company, has chosen to implement DS’s ENOVIA solution as its enterprise-wide PLM backbone. P&G also uses 3DVIA, SIMULIA, DELMIA, and SolidWorks. P&G will use a common backbone built on Dassault Systèmes’ V6 technology integrating existing systems to better manage product, packaging and process information. Building on the 16,000 ENOVIA users (12,000 internal and 4,000 external) currently deployed in the Corporate Standards Systems, P&G will implement the ENOVIA Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Accelerator for Global Specification Management to better manage products spanning multiple brands and markets.

ViewPlus Technologies Replaces Previous 3D CAD Solution with PTC CoCreate
PTC announced that ViewPlus Technologies, a manufacturer of assistive technologies including Braille printers, has standardized on CoCreate solution. Using CoCreate Modeling, ViewPlus reduced its design process by six months, enabling the company to bring its specialized products to market in less time. Because its primary customers are educational institutions, the product development schedule at ViewPlus is externally driven by the fiscal year of the institutions. Frustrated with its previous 3D CAD solution, which, ViewPlus found difficult to use and severely limited in functionality, the company sought a replacement that would enable it to quickly create 3D CAD models and support integration with 2D drawings to help accelerate product development. After conducting a comparative benchmark between three competitive solutions, ViewPlus chose CoCreate as its 3D modeling standard, replacing its previous solution.

Tower Automotive Invests in Dassault Systèmes DELMIA Body-in-White
Dassault Systèmes (DS) announced that Tower Automotive Holding GmbH will soon implement its DELMIA Body-in-White solution to optimize planning and manufacturing processes associated with body and frame construction. The German subsidiary of Tower Automotive develops and produces a wide range of parts employed in the construction of vehicle bodies, including stampings and assemblies for bodies and frames. In the past, any simulation of the sheet metal joining processes has been performed by outside companies using models. From this point on, Tower Automotive plans to run its own simulations using the Body-in-White Metal Structure module on all new and ongoing projects that use complex manufacturing processes. The objective is to efficiently design, modify, and manufacture components through a more straightforward procedure than has been used thus far. The solution's modular approach allows users to merge different plan segments into their systems at any given time. These partial segments can then be integrated into one complete process later on. In addition to the Metal Structure module, Tower Automotive plans to implement other modules to enhance the independence of its workflow processes so product modifications and manufacturing processes can be validated, simulated, and evaluated directly.

2009 CAD-ERP Data Integration System for SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD and Navision Available
Elmo Solutions announced Agni Link 2009, a live, bidirectional CAD-ERP connector for SolidWorks and Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision), Dynamics AX (Axapta) and other ERP applications. Agni Link is a companion application to SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, and AutoCAD that provides real-time, bidirectional integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) databases. Every time a SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, or AutoCAD document is updated, the user may enter and/or edit data shared between SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor or AutoCAD and Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision) using possible values obtained "live" from Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision). Upon end-user confirmation, data is updated in both the SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor or AutoCAD document and the Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision) database, thus ensuring perfect synchronization of both data sets and completely eliminating redundant data entry.

Audi Sport Wins DTM Championship Title with PTC Product Development System
PTC congratulated its technology partner, Audi Sport, on its recent win of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) Championship 2008. Audi Sport has used Pro/ENGINEER for almost a decade to develop its A4 DTM engine. This year, to address its heterogeneous CAD data management needs and enable collaboration among its different engineering departments, Audi Sport implemented Windchill. As a result of deploying the PTC Product development System (PDS), Audi Sport has experienced an additional improvement of product quality and process efficiency, realizing a 50 percent increase of evaluated design variants during product development. Audi Sport, the motor sport department of German premium car manufacturer Audi, develops and tests highly competitive cars for long distance races thereby maintaining a closely reciprocal exchange with Audi’s serial development organization. Audi won the DTM championship for the second consecutive year, however, this year Audi started with a completely new car.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

This Week

Lead Story

PTC Introduces Pro/ENGINEER Manikin; New Solution Optimizes Human-Product Interactions

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GETRAG Chooses Actify's SpinFire Solution for 3D Visualization
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Immersion Corporation Reports Record Revenue for the Third Quarter of 2008
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Van Alphen see payback on their nesting software in just over three months Reduced programming, reduced waste and more throughput
JETCAM releases SolidEdge importer
Oguma Industry Improves Design Process and Quality with Dassault Systèmes’ Mid-Market PLM Solution, CATIA PLM Express
DriveWorksXpress - Design Automation Examples and Videos
Alenia Aeronautica Selects Fiper from SIMULIA for Enterprise-Wide Simulation Integration and Collaboration
Accelerate Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma During Economic Uncertainty
New TransMagic Website Offers Valuable CAD Interoperability Resources
SolidWorks Reseller, CATI, Acquires QTE Manufacturing Solutions’ SolidWorks Division
Stratasys Reports Record Third Quarter Financial Results
Delcam launches world's first Tribrid Modelling design software
Learn about the Power Electronics: Technologies and Global Markets
Bunkspeed chooses INNEO as Reseller
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Delcam's PowerMILL specified by India's largest toolmaker
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HP Improves Productivity, Lowers Cost of Virtual Infrastructures With New Storage Platform
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Fisker Automotive Announces New Engineering and Development Center in Pontiac, Michigan
46th Design Automation Conference (DAC) Names Exhibitor Liaison Committee
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First Rocket Parts of NASA's New Launch System Arrive in Florida
NVIDIA Redefines Entry-level Professional Graphics for Small and Integrated Form Factors

Corporate Moves

Dassault Systèmes Names Michel Tellier CEO of ENOVIA
Centric CTO Honored by Georgia Tech
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Hobart Birmingham and Taft Symonds Join Schilling Robotics Board of Directors
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Michael Gambrell Joins TRW Automotive Board of Directors

Industry Events

Anark Corporation to Exhibit at 11th Annual Boeing Product Data Exchange Conference
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Google to Sponsor daratechPLANT 2009 Conference; Aidan Chopra, Product Evangelist, Google SketchUp, to Deliver Keynote Address
PTC to Speak at the UBS Global Technology and Services Conference on November 19, 2008
Call for Speakers Opens for 2009 Collaboration & Interoperability Conference
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TransMagic Exhibits at Boeing Data Exchange Conference
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Theorem Shows Cost-Saving Solutions at European PTC User Community Conferences
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PTC to Speak at Goldman Sachs Software & IT Services Retreat
Cimatron Partners With Leading Machine Vendors at JIMTOF
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Corporate Newsletters

Topsolid Newsletter Issue #34 September
Mastercam Notes - Third Quarter 2008
e-dynamics Newsletter - October 2008
SolidCAM Newsletter - October 2008
Delcam Newsletter - (Issue 41c 2008)
Topsolid Newsletter Issue #35 October