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.
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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