Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical. Autodesk code writers developed this CAD package specifically for designers of control systems. The developers unite AutoCAD with a wiring-diagram product that the software company acquired from Via Development. The product is fully integrated with the base AutoCAD. Among the features: the ability to do PLC-I/O creation from spreadsheets, which should cut design time. Additionally, AutoCAD Electric audits designs to check for errors. (www.autodesk.com) Enter 692
MARC THIS NASTRAN PACKAGE
MSC.Software MSC.Nastran. This is the first and only version of MSC.Nastran with fully integrated MSC.Marc nonlinear analysis capabilities as well as embedded flexible-body transfer between MSC.ADAMS and MSC.Nastran. This eliminates model re-creation and allows nonlinear simulation of native MSC.Nastran models. In addition, engineers can represent flexible bodies with pre-stress effects and include these automatically in an MSC.ADAMS system motion simulation. MSC.Nastran 2004 also features new power spectral density response types and loading that can be used to optimize the behavior of vehicle design for noise, vibration, and harshness characteristics. www.mscsoftware.com Enter 693
SolidWorks 2004. More than 3,000 beta users played with this latest release from SolidWorks before the company finalized the product. And they had a lot to play with: New features for weldments, including automatic cut lists; mold automation, including undercut and thickness detection as well as tools for smooth surfacing; "real view" from the SolidWorks partnership with Invidia, which gives a real-life look at a product in real time; and a 10x performance enhancement from, among other things, making the product easier to use. Developers say users can open a 6,000-part assembly in a few seconds. www.solidworks.com Enter 694
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.