That kind of integration from supplier to plant to customer has been going on for a few years now in automation and control. It drives the IT folks nuts, since the network now goes beyond the plant, bringing up security issues. When you bring in your suppliers, you have strangers on your network.
Good point, Rob. We tend to stay so focused on the engineering aspects and CAD interoperability has been a huge challenge for such a long time. But going a step beyond and integrating production and manufacturing is a big step in terms of tying the overall organization together around product development as well as a means of creating efficiencies, not to mention, closer ties to suppliers.
Using Elysium's technology, Renault Sport F1 has created a supplier portal that integrates with its ERP system and product data management system and allows suppliers using different CAD programs to exchange data and models quickly and accurately without manual translation or cleanup on Renault's end.
That's impressive on a number of levels. That's a bunch of integration and collaboration. I can see that CAD interoperability is a step forward here, but it looks like Renault has already taken big steps to integrate its suppliers.
MIT students modified a 3D printer to enable it to print more than one object and print on top of existing printed objects. All of this was made possible by modifying a Solidoodle with a height measuring laser.
Siemens released Intosite, a cloud-based, location-aware SaaS app that lets users navigate a virtual production facility in much of the same fashion as traversing through Google Earth. Users can access PLM, IT, and other pertinent information for specific points on a factory floor or at an outdoor location.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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