March 24, 2008
Dassault Partners with AutoForm
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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One of the driving pressures on businesses today is the need to deliver more “personalized” products to their customers. Customers are demanding that the products they purchase be tailored to their specific needs. The growth of Engineer-to-Order (ETO) products and manufacturing is a reflection of this trend, according to a report produced by PLM market research firm, CIMdata. Delivering individualized products in a cost-effective, timely manner requires that manufacturers be better able to leverage previous designs, capture more knowledge about their products and how they were designed and built, and be able to impart that knowledge effectively to all employees. Capturing product knowledge in a manner that enables sharing and reuse of that knowledge has proven to be very difficult. RuleStream’s SBE solution embodies a number of characteristics that distinguish it from earlier knowledge-based design approaches. These include having a database that contains the definitions of the rules and the how the rules are to be applied. RuleStream’s method of creating rules and capturing knowledge allows different groups within an organization to enter their rules within a common database. Product design parameters and calculations are stored in the RuleStream database to ensure that a proposed design meets customer-specific requirements as well as basic
structural quality standards. RuleStream’s integrations to many 3D CAD systems drives product knowledge directly into the 3D CAD too and the dynamic, bi-directional integration keeps an accurate and dynamic 3D model constantly in front of engineers so they can quickly and easily visualize the feasibility of a new design before it is committed to production.

Siemens PLM Software's Velocity Series portfolio is a comprehensive, preconfigured portfolio of digital product design, analysis, manufacturing and data management software for the PLM mid-market, so claims the company. "In the past, we used to think of PLM as a tool for the engineering departments of the 'big boys,'" said Joe Barkai, practice director, Product Lifecycle Strategies Manufacturing Insights, an IDC Company. "But more and more smaller companies are using PLM not only because they are required to do so by their customers, but also because PLM tools are becoming more accessible, and easier to implement and use; all at a lower total cost of ownership. The growth of PLM
investment in the SMB market has accelerated over the last several years and is now outpacing the overall PLM market." Siemens PLM Software announced several new customers for its Velocity Series portfolio, several of which selected the company's software over competitors, including The UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, IHC Merwede, Algar Plastics, Verhoeven Oss B.V., G & H Tool & Die Inc., Kunming Precision Mechanics Institute, and Burgmann Industries GmbH & Co.

The New York Industrial Retention Network (NYIRN) in partnership with Solar Energy Systems, LLC (SES) announced the installation of a 15.12 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system at Worksman Cycles, the oldest bicycle manufacturer in the U.S. Worksman Cycles manufactures heavy-duty bicycles used by delivery services and factory workers as well as specialty cycles including adult tricycles and hot dog vending carts. SES designed and installed the solar electric system on the facility's rooftop. It will generate more than 600,000 kilowatt-hours over its expected 40-year lifetime. Combining this production with NYC electrical cost savings programs will reduce Worksman's monthly electric bill by
over 20 percent. In addition to the roof-top solar panels, Worksman Cycles also replaced every light fixture in the 100,000-square foot facility with high-efficiency lighting.

Dell unveiled its first fully ruggedized laptop, the Latitude XFR D630. The rugged laptop is available today in the U.S. and starts at $3,899. The Latitude XFR D630 meets MIL-STD 810F standards from the Department of Defense for products that operate in extreme temperatures, moisture and altitude, to name a few. The system shares common components with Dell's current line of Latitude laptops to simplify deployment and maintenance. The Latitude XFR D630 includes several features that keep users productive, including:

•        Five times more data durability of leading competitors with solid state drives

•        Latitude ExpressCharge charges batteries at least 30 minutes faster than competitors

•        Outdoor readable screen at 500 nits

•        Integrated resistive touch technology for interfacing with the system

•        Shock isolated mounting to help protect hard drive, LCD, and core electronic elements

•        Sealed keyboard designed to withstand driving rain and dust.

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

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