TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Seat Belt and Inflatable Restraint Divisions are adapting to a virtual design-through-manufacturing process.
One of the first tests of this "master model" approach for TRW was when its Seat Belt group designed a D-ring, the ring that comes out of either the B-pillar or the door near the ceiling of the car. The value of this approach is that it lets the designer move from concept through prototype and on to manufacture quickly with more certainty about the shape, appearance and quality of the products. The design process featured a combined CAD/CAM and file managment system from EDS Unigraphics, which gave designers parametric capability to keep its designs consistent and explicit modeling functionality for increased flexiblity.
Until recently, TRW Seat Belt Systems had been using a 3D wireframe CAD/CAM system to design its products.
The ultimate aim of TRW is to link global operations into a master model network for digital design through manufacture of its products.
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
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