If the enthusiasm of design engineers attending what is arguably Japan's best CAD show is any indicator, the nation's economy may at last be on the rebound. Nearly 30,000 engineers jammed Tokyo's Big Sight convention center June 16-18 for the Tenth Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo. Sponsored by Reed Exhibitions, the show attracted the top vendors of CAD/CAE software, as well as producers of rapid prototype systems and virtual reality systems. In addition, showgoers could sample the wares of other exhibitors at the Mechanical Components & Materials Expo, held in the same hall.
3D CAD: The big draw
Business in Japan doubled for 3D Systems in 1998, and there's hope for an even better performance this year. Over at the Autodeskstand, AutoCAD 2000 was the crowd pleaser. The reason? Within AutoCAD 2000's Multiple Design Environment, users can open, edit, and design multiple drawings in a single AutoCAD session...Ansoft demonstrated the company's Maxwell 2D and 3D Field Simulator software. Designed for virtual prototyping of electromagnetic devices, the simulation software allows electric field, magnetostatic, and AC magnetic analysis...Microcadam Inc., meanwhile, introduced its Helix Interactive Training System. HITS provides a computer-based, controlled simulation of the actual Helix 99 Modeling application using a series of real-world scenarios...Two new products were being promoted at the MSC stand: Working Model Studio and Working Model View. MSC claims they represent the first simulation, visualization, and collaboration system available on a native Windows platform. Both products interface with most of the popular desktop CAD systems...Interest in CoCreate's design management solution-new modules for both ME10 and Solid Designer-appeared strong. The product set is specifically tailored to help design engineers effectively manage 2D drawings, 3D parts, assemblies, and other design information, providing full scalability to an enterprise-wide PDM solution without requiring a technology change...Other software making a mark included SolidWorks XchangeWorks and IronCAD 2.0 from Visionary Design Systems. XchangeWorks is a free data exchange plug-in that enables engineers to import solid modeling CAD data directly into AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop ...IronCAD 2.0 offers unique "handle" functionality, drag and drop sheet metal part creation, improved 2D profile creation, and "Hyper-operability enhancements".
Electromechanical components and more
Mechanical Components and Materials Technology Show benefited from the busy traffic generated by the computer segment of the show. TOK Bearing Co. attracted visitors with a new pneumatically-driven "wobble'' bearing designed to operate in underwater environments ranging from food processing to swimming pools...Bishop-Wisecarver showed its Lo Pro dual-vee linear motion system, which can be driven by belts, chains, pneumatics, or ball screws...Lapcon stainless steel cabinets with "soft down" arms were featured by LAMP for such industries as semiconductor processing, wood working, and food processing...Nakano Tanzosho touted the advantages of parts consolidation to design engineers when specifying the forging and hot-stamping processes offered by the company...New products from igus, maker of cable carrier systems, included the company's E4/100 modular Energy Chain and Energy Tube family...A dual-axis, planar-type, linear stepping motor-designed for BGA inspection within the semiconductor industry-provided the focus at the HIWIN Technologies booth...New from Keyence Corp.: the CV-301 Series Vision Sensor System said to be 1/5 the cost of conventional systems. It features RGB color differentiation, enabling it to perform applications beyond those of conventional monochrome systems...Seals for industrial applications were the primary attention getter at the Busak+Shambanbooth. Of particular note: the company's Turcon Double Delta seal, which offers stick-slip-free starting and excellent dry-running characteristics. Focus at the Kistler stand: its full range of piezoelectric, piezoresistive, and variable capacitance-based sensors and signal electronics for precise measurements of pressure, force, acceleration/vibration, and strain. Finally, National Instruments showcased its BridgeVIEW product, which combines monitoring and control functions with access to industrial measurements . For more information about other exhibitors and products, visit www.reedexpo.co.jp/inj/ .