Tokyo's Big Sight once again hosted the 11th annual Design Engineering and Manufacturing Expo, June 14-16, sponsored by Reed Exhibition Group (REG). Over the years, this exposition has won a reputation as one of Japan's best showcases for new developments in computer aided design and virtual reality applications for industry. Aided by an improving Japanese economy, this year's show also saw an expanding number of exhibitors showing mechanical components and materials, boosting exhibitor space by 30% versus 1999, according to Shuhei Shimada, show manager. Also attracting attention from a record 44,000 attendees were several new exhibitors, such as Intellution, NEC, and Omron, who focused on software to manage factory automation, the supply chain, and the entire industrial enterprise.
Computer technology: CAD and more
As was the case in 1999, many of the world's leading CAD vendors emphasized their latest 3D CAD releases. One example: SolidWorks Windows native 3D mechanical design software, SolidWorks 2000.
… CADKEY presented CAD-KEY Parametrics, a package that fully integrates complete parametric definition and editing of dimension-driven solid models into CADKEY software.
…Japan's NK-EXA Corp. sees its "Design Spinnaker" 3D software as a valuable tool in cutting design time in the fast-paced consumer electronics market.
… MSC.Software highlighted Acumen, analysis software based on NASTRAN and other MSC products but tailored and simplified for specific applications
… Spatial Technology introduced to Japan its newly created engineering portal, PlanetCAD, featuring e-commerce and applications for design engineers
…Among the many rapid prototyping systems on display was NTT Data Corp. 's SOUP 600 GS, which can handle parts as small as connectors and as large as instrument panel assemblies
… Z Corp. demonstrated its Z402 ink jet prototyping system, capable of printing from 25 to 51 vertical mm per hour.
… Roland showcased the company's low-cost model PIX-30 and PIX-4 3D scanners.
… Minolta touts such benefits as high speed, low cost, and portability for its Vivid 700 non-contact 3D digitizer.
…At Logitech 's booth was the LogiCad Magellan, a 3D motion controller
This year's show featured several vendors with software dedicated to special functions. For example, visitors to the stand of Systems Integrator HZS (Hitachi Zosen Information Systems Co., Ltd.) saw demonstrations of more than ten different systems for die and mold design
…Looking ahead to tough new Japanese recycling laws taking effect in 2001, Omron demonstrated new product lifecycle management software.
… Intellution displayed its Dynamics family of industrial automation software, that allows manufacturers to integrate plant floor operations with the rest of the enterprise
…At the National Instruments exhibit, engineers learned about TestStand, a ready-to-run test program for organizing and controlling automated prototype, validation, and test systems
… The Amada Group offered two new products for metal working: both SheetWorks for Design and SheetWorks for Production accept CAD data to drive machinery
…On display at the Core Corp. stand: a prototype version of the company's Webcentric PDM product, to be offered commercially this autumn.
Building blocks of design
Strawberry Corp. showed its patented miniature flipper hinges
…Taiwan's MCC Roller Chain introduced Mega Chain, a new, higher-strength roller chain made from 304 stainless steel
…Also from Taiwan: Hi-Light Int'l. showed its high-precision gears for auto transmissions and planetary gears
… Greene, Tweed featured its Chemraz elastomeric seals, designed for long-life performance in harsh environments
… Schneeberger showed off its self-lubricating SPL linear guideway, designed to minimize scheduled re-lube maintenance
...At the Kistler stand, showgoers could learn of a new force sensor with integrated electronics
…And, from igus : a demonstration of the company's family of low noise cable carriers, the E4/100