The new CATIA V5 software from Dassault Systèmes (www.catia.com) will feature special modules for use in aerospace and automotive applications. In that regard, says Pascal Daloz, Dassault's vice president for R&D, it marks a turning point for the application.
The new modules in CATIA V5R11 focus on three general areas: design capabilities, improved analysis and simulation, and a new composites module intended for the aerospace industry. New design capabilities include enhanced Shape Morphing and enhanced Shape Sculptor, which Daloz insists is important for the automotive sector. Morphing was first introduced in release 9, where it enabled users to modify 3D models by applying specifications.
With release 11, users can now do the opposite of morphing as well. For example, when adding a surface part to a car model, the part will automatically adapt to the design rules. However, the part specifications for the overall model will be automatically altered as well, says Daloz.
New CATIA V5 dynamic analysis modules have also been added to enable design engineers to perform early analysis directly within CATIA. "Design engineers, particularly in the automotive sector, need to perform analysis earlier in the design cycle," he asserts. "We also plan to continue to improve the analysis capabilities of CATIA V5, so that the application can function as the central repository of all analysis results. This is particularly important for the automotive manufacturers that need to reconcile different product attributes when optimizing product design."
The new release of Dassault Systèmes' Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) portfolio includes new versions of ENOVIA V5, SMARTEAM V5, and DELMIA V5. New ENOVIA products include "light" versions of digital mock-up (DMU) and a Web viewer. "The new DMU module is an entry-level solution for non-engineers to enable visual validation of product design. The new viewer is designed for use on corporate web sites, so it is particularly light and easy to use. This module will also be integrated into the SMARTEAM application" said Daloz.
SMARTEAM V5R11 includes authentication and signatures to improve the protection of product data and analysis results (using IBM's WebSphere technology), and bidding management, which applies best practices during the bidding process.
The new release of DELMIA V5R11 offers a process planner to define manufacturing phases and resources for better integration with manufacturing resource planning (MRP). Other improvements in V5R11 include tools for welding that automatically define the weld points for a given set of constraints, and automatic generation of the assembly process from the original CATIA file.
And what's coming in the next release? "The reverse engineering capabilities in release 11 introduces our 'Digital Clay' concept, which will be expanded in the coming releases," says Daloz. "In the automotive industry, clay models often need to be digitized back into the system. CATIA V5's ability to create a digital model, and then enable the user to modify this digital model as if it were still clay, is the basis of our new modeling concept for the new release."