December 27, 2010
Better Times Ahead For Manufacturing Technologies?
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Here's to a good 2011 for the manufacturing industry and the technology hardware and software vendors that support it!
A Letter to the Editor The following is an email we received regarding the previous MCADCafe Weekly article on Mechatronics:
In your “Addressing the Challenges of Mechatronics” article, you failed to include modeling fluid power components as part of mechatronics.
We design and build low volume specialized off highway equipment that have hydraulic cylinders to actuate steel structures. We have used FEA for many years but spend more time calculating the forces and force vectors than doing the FEA. Over the past 15 years I have tried several kinematic and dynamic modeling tools to simplify defining the forces and vectors for FEA, but none are capable of accurately or cost-effectively simulating a simple hydraulic cylinder actuating a structure.
My last frustration was with Simulink. I have tried Dynamic Designer (now part of SolidWorks) and before that Working Model 2D and 3D. I have had several Webex demonstrations from other software companies only to find none provide a simple hydraulic cylinder model that a person can input industry available information into to define the cylinder bore and rod size, the stroke, the operating pressure, the flow volume going into it and an acceleration/deceleration rate.
It is a shame that fluid power is the bastard child of the design community but we cannot build the infrastructure we depend on for food, clothing and shelter without it driving off highway equipment.
The Week's Top MCAD News Items
At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the news items that were the most viewed during last week.
ANSYS and SpaceClaim Announce Significantly Enhanced 3D Direct Modeling Design and Editing Capabilities
SpaceClaim announced new enhancements toANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler software. Since 2009, SpaceClaim has been available as an option to ANSYS customers, and this new version further enables simulation engineering teams to address business, engineering, and geometry issues in 3D. ANSYS recently released ANSYS 13.0, the latest version of its engineering simulation technology suite. ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler 2010 SP1, which is compatible with ANSYS 13.0, brings 3D solid modeling to analysts who work in a 3D world but do not want to become experts in traditional, feature-based CAD systems. According to
the companies, it enables product development and design engineers to create and modify 3D geometry models without needing to learn complex and expensive CAD systems. As a result, simulation can be conducted earlier in the product development process, where it can have the most impact on performance, cost, and time-to-market.
GstarCAD, a provider of 2D/3D CAD software announced the release of functions for GstarCAD2011-a group of 3D solid model commands-SOLPROF, SOLVIEW and SOLDRAW. SOLPROF expands users' visual effect for real-time operations and practical exercises. As plan, elevation and section drawings of a 3D model are frequently drawn engineers and designers in the field can place the visible contour profile, invisible contour profile and so on of a 3D model in the different layers and can set different view directions such as front view and plan view in the model space by SOLPROF. SOLVIEW transforms 3D solid models to 2D engineering drawings. By using SOLVIEW, designers can use orthogonal projection
to create new viewports, and automatically generate new layers for visible lines, hidden lines and section lines in the viewport, setting proper view orientation and scale. Real-time section views of user-defined shear planes of the model are created and filled with patterns, thus realizing the visualization of 3D model section and forming projection views. SOLDRAW creates 3D solid model contour profile and section views.
Dassault Systèmes announced that its subsidiary Exalead, a provider of search-based application platforms, released CloudView 360, an extended package of CloudView modules developed specifically to integrate information from legacy CRM, ERP, HR enterprise applications, PLM systems and web content. Built around Exalead's CloudView version 5 search technology, CloudView 360 adds semantic processing and information mash-up capabilities to enable, simplifies and accelerates complete views of enterprise status and direction. CloudView 360 extends its core capability by semantically relating key business activity relationships such as customer relationship records, past transactions and
customer service dialogs. Results of user queries can be mashed-up into dashboards and real-time executive summaries that include traditional charts and graphs, descriptive extracts, key facts, relationship graphs and web-oriented representations such as word clouds.
German tool maker Formenbau Kellermann GmbH reduced lead times by more than 20% after investing in high-end VISI software and installing a palletized production process with a zero-point clamping system. The company has become a partner to the automotive industry providing complex single- and multiple-component tools for high-quality plastic parts such as intake manifolds, oil modules, air filter housings and cylinder head covers. The milling and electrical discharge machining (EDM) departments are equipped with two HPM1350 U and HPM 1850 U 5-axis milling centers from Mikron/AgieCharmilles and one 5-axis Huron EX machine. In addition, there is a Mikron HSM 700 milling machine for electrode production, an AGIE 100 wire EDM machine, three vertical eroding machines (Exeron, Hansen), as well as numerous manually operated machines for additional milling, drilling and grinding operations. Process automation is a specialty of Formenbau Kellermann and this starts with the tool design. Components, such as pressure plates or guides, are uniform in all tools. addition, there is an in-house company standard for design, as well as a standard component catalog. The CAD/CAM software of choice at Kellerman is VISI from British manufacturer VERO Software. "As a progressive company, we had already invested much earlier in 3D," explained Sabine Kellerman, an engineer for the company.
"Prior to our switch to VISI in 2003, we worked with ICEM DDN, a product that had been on the market for many years but could no longer compete with modern systems."
Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 719.221.1867.
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.
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