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February 06, 2012
CMM-Engineering - Automated Inspection for SolidWorks
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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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.

Theorem Provides Long Term Data Archiving (LTDA) Solutions using STEP and JT

Theorem Solutions is providing long-term data archiving solutions using STEP and JT to Archive Engineering and Manufacturing data. STEP and JT are now considered by many to be the safest formats to use because they are neutral standards based formats that are not proprietary. Using Theorem’s Long Term Data Archiving Solutions powered by TPM (Theorem Process Manager) which incorporates automated validation and checking procedures at the point of archive completes the process by avoiding corrupt or invalid legacy data being stored. Theorem's automated Long Term Data Archiving solutions have many benefits, including:
  • Removing the cost of maintaining Legacy Data and Proprietary Systems
  • Providing a solution for addressing the problem of legacy data
  • Helping maintain data for 35-50 years
  • Integrating and automating validation and checking applications in to the process
  • Processing and validating existing legacy data to an archive format
  • Providing automated notification and supporting interactive review of corrupt or invalid data
  • Defining automated alternate solutions for data that fails the standard process.

  • Datakit Helps Mixed CAD Translations

    Datakit announced support of heterogeneous CAD assembly conversions with CrossManager 2012, a front-end file-to-file translator is now fully embedding the powerful Datakit SDK, allowing unified data processing across a wide range of CAD formats, without requesting any third-party CAD licensing. Translation robustness is required between major CAD systems, including re-using and migrating legacy data. Guided by customer demand, Datakit released the CATIA to JT translator that will handle assemblies that nests CatiaV6 (.3DXML), CATIA V5, CATIA V4 and CGR (CATIA Graphics Representation) parts and assemblies. This supports CATIA versions
    up to CATIA V6 R2012 and CATIA V5 R21. CrossManager 2012 will allow bi-directional JT to CATIA V5 translations as well. Datakit is also releasing a PLMXml assembly reader, that can refer to various CAD formats. All input data (assemblies and parts) can be converted seamlessly and automatically to available CrossManager output formats, including IGES, VRML, CATIA V5, and others.

    TFTLabs announces new CAD Format Support

    TFTLabs S.A.S, announced support for new CAD system versions. TFTWeb gathers a comprehensive set of functionalities to communicate and collaborate on 3D data on various operating systems and browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari. TFTWeb works directly on data from all native or generic CAD formats (more than 20 formats). TFTWeb V1.0 supports all major 3D CAD formats, which now include latest release of CAD systems, including:
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA V6 R2012
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA V5 R21
  • SIEMENS NX 8.0
  • Dassault Systemes SolidWorks 2012
  • PTC Creo Parametric 1.0

  • Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of
    MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
    jeff@ibsystems.com or 719.221.1867.

    This Week

    Lead Story

    Automated Inspection for SolidWorks

    Product and Company News

    New 3D-Printed Plastic Heat Exchanger Shows Complex Geometries Are Possible from Additive Manufacturing

    PTC Announces Strong Q1 Results, Increases FY2012 and Long-Term Targets

    Over 15,000 FCI Connectors 3D Models Powered by TraceParts Technology

    The ZW3D 2012 Beta is live!

    Theorem announces latest integrated NX and Creo Parametric Solutions

    Delcam adds new strategies for roughing and turn-mill to FeatureCAM

    MSC Software Announces New Releases of Patran and MSC Fatigue

    Autodesk Simulation Helps Company Create Ultimate “Go Anywhere” Craft

    Integware Announces Systems Integrator Agreement With Siemens PLM Software

    CCES Edupack 2012 Enhances Support for Materials Education Across Engineering, Science, and Design (Granta Design)

    MecSoft announces Strong Sales Growth for 2011

    Creaform’s HandyPROBE arm-free portable CMM in BMW’s Automotive Plant

    Siemens Selected by Dow Corning as Strategic Process Automation Partner

    Delcam’s PartMaker CAM supports growth for medical device manufacturer

    Concurrent Analysis Corporation Announces the Launch of Lumino Modeler and CAEFEM 9.5

    PADT Adds Flownex Thermal-Fluid System Simulation Environment to Simulation Product Offerings

    CCE ODX Libraries Updated to Read NX 8 Files

    Tech Soft 3D Announces 40 Percent Revenue Growth for FY 2011

    DoD STARBASE Program Continues to Invest in Children with $1 Million Order for Stratasys 3D Printers

    New fe-safe Component for ANSYS Workbench (Safe Technology Ltd)

    3D Systems Boosts Innovation At A. O. Smith With 3D Printers

    Geometric declares revenues of Rs. 2,190.37 Mn, a Q-o-Q rise of 14.5%

    Autodesk Manufacturing Community Invited to Vote for 2011 Inventor of the Year

    Compumod analysis assists Perth Mint cast record breaking 1 Tonne Gold Coin

    X-Rays, the Latest Tool in 'Green' Manufacturing

    Dassault Falcon 2000S Receives "Good Design" Award for BMW Interior

    Nikon Metrology announces its completely re-designed website

    Kubotek KeyView CAD Viewer

    Siemens PLM Software Technology Used by Nearly All Companies Unveiling New Vehicles at North American International Auto Show

    Stratasys Conference Call to Discuss Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results

    Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM) Selects aPriori for Product Cost Management

    ProtonMedia Introduces ProtoSphere 2.0: the Immersive, Social, Learning & Collaboration Software for the Enterprise

    The Chrysler Foundation Awards $133,000 in FIRST Robotics/FIRST Lego League Grants to Advance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education

    Autodesk Software Helps Company Create Distinctive Transit Shelters and Displays

    ANSYS to Release Fourth Quarter and 2011 Earnings on February 23, 2012

    CDS CAD Download Solution Now Live on CUI Inc Website

    2011 Autodesk University General Session Keynote Presentation (MCADCafe Lens Video)

    Flow Science collaborates with Sigma Technology to offer free IOSO trial licenses

    Applied Software Earns Autodesk Factory Specialization

    IronCAD Signs Simulika Solutions & Consulting as New Reseller

    Related MCAD News

    US Industrial Company Manufacturers Expect Moderate Growth in 2012, According to PwC's Q4 2011 Manufacturing Barometer

    Countering the Braindrain Threat to Engineering

    Autodesk Named One of FORTUNE’S “100 Best Companies to Work For”

    Microsoft Enterprise Software Roadmap for 2012

    WorkNC Dental CADCAM website now in Chinese (SESCOI)

    HP’s e-Print and Share Service for AutoCAD WS – Transcribed Interview with Emre Ozgu

    Granta to Provide NIMS Creep and Fatigue Data for Energy and Processing Plant Applications

    iBASEt Receives Boeing Performance Excellence Award

    Ford C-MAX Energi Wins 2012 Green Car Vision Award

    HP to Commit webOS to Open Source by Fall 2012

    Siemens Industry and Viking Electric Collaborate to Improve Performance

    PPG Aerospace Donates Coatings to Restore V-22 Osprey Aircraft for Museum

    Intergraph Releases Video Overview of Its New CADWorx DraftPro for Intelligent 2D Plant Design

    Zero Robotics Challenge Winners Decided in High-Tech Competition

    Rally Software's Agile ALM Platform and Services Now on GSA IT Schedule 70

    VAI Partners with Agile-Network to Deliver End-to-End Global Shipping Solution

    HP Helps Small Businesses Create Professional-Quality Color Prints In-House

    Dassault Falcon's West Palm Beach Satellite Service Station Opens

    CollabNet Adds Board Member and Senior Executives to Fuel Continued Growth in Agile ALM and Enterprise Cloud Development

    Océ Outlines Five Key Attributes to Consider When Purchasing a Wide Format Scanner

    Microsoft Publishes Case Study for First Tech Direct's Recent Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Implementation for Saab North America

    Ford Uses Kenaf Plant Inside Doors in the All-New Escape, Saving Weight and Energy

    Corporate Moves

    Siemens Announces Plans to Hire 300 Veterans in 2012

    Robert D. Strain Named COO at Ball Aerospace

    Industry Events

    Countdown to SolidWorks World 2012: “Father of the iPod” to Keynote

    GibbsCAM's New Capabilities to be Presented at SolidWorks World 2012

    SofTech Exhibiting ProductCenter PLM at SolidWorks World 2012

    Geometric to display automation solutions for design and machining at SolidWorks World 2012

    SURFCAM 6 to Showcase at SolidWorks World 2012

    Society of Manufacturing Engineers Announces RAPID 2012 Conference and Exposition Lineup

    Longview Advisors Announces Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) Workshop at 2012 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Congress

    Sescoi and Ingersoll seminar shows machining from start to finish

    Webinar - The Fundamentals of PLM - January 25, 2012 (Siemens PLM)

    Delcam to show latest software for 2D and 3D signage at ISA

    Webinar - NX Nastran / NX CAE Solutions Forum - February 16, 2012 (Siemens PLM)

    Delcam to launch new Delcam for SolidWorks at SolidWorks World

    CIMdata Announces its 2012 PLM Market & Industry Forum Series

    Cleaning Dirty CAD Geometry in SpaceClaim - (Thursday, January 26, 2012)

    Manufacturers: Prepare for Takeoff at the Manufacturing Conference & EXPO in Cleveland

    Entries Open for the Tenth Annual KOMPAS-3D Modeling Contest

    Automotive Manufacturing in Mexico in 2012 Is the Subject of Offshore Group Podcast

    Delcam to make the most of multi-tasking machines at Mazak

    PartMaker Modeling to Debut at Westec 2012 (Delcam)

    New Waveform Roughing; One of Many Enhancements On Show at Southern Manufacturing 2012 (EdgeCAM)

    SpaceClaim and CATIA®: Direct Modeling and Interoperability (Wednesday February 8, 2012)

    Aras Sponsors the Microsoft Global Energy Forum

    Dassault Systemes Schedules Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Results Webcast and Conference Call for February 9, 2012

    Delcam offers free training day for ArtCAM Insignia 3D CADCAM

    Corporate Newsletters

    Vero Newsletter - January 2012

    FEA Journal - January 2012

    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.