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.
What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Manufacturers of plastic parts recognize the potential of conformal cooling to reduce molding cycle times. Problem is, conformal molds require additive manufacturing (AM), and technologies in that space are still evolving. Costs also can be high, and beyond that, many manufacturing organizations lack the knowledge and expertise needed to apply and incorporate additive technologies into their operations.
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