Software is targeting manufacturers of machine tools and production
machines with a new variation on its PLM platform that takes a systems
engineering approach to facilitate design.
Concept Designer, based on the NX CAD software and Siemens Teamcenter PLM
platform, delivers on the systems engineering approach by melding "voice of the
customer" input and early requirements with a multi-discipline product
definition that includes mechanical, electrical and software components. The
software also integrates easy-to-use, interactive simulation capabilities based
on video gaming technology in an effort to help companies in this space reduce
development time and improve product quality.
Given the complexity of today's machine tools and production
systems, product design teams require experts from different disciplines, all
of whom are typically using diverse tools that don't integrate well. In
addition, the traditional design tools used in this space don't take
requirements into account and lack a "common language." This adds up to a
fragmented development tool scenario, making it difficult to simulate and
evaluate design concepts to support effective decisions and which doesn't help
alleviate late-stage design changes that are far more costly in terms of time
"Mechatronics Concept Designer is intended to help companies
in this space be confident that the requirements coming from the customer and
what they've specified in the concept stage can be realized without having to
go back and redo costly designs or retrofit on the floor," explains Eric
Sterling, Siemens PLM Software's senior vice president of global marketing.
Using the built-in modeling and simulation capabilities,
users can quickly create and interactively validate design concepts.
Mechatronics Concept Designer employs NVIDIA's PhysX technology,
a physics engine similar to software technology used in modern video games.
Developed with the PhysX SDK from NVIDIA, the simulation capability within
Mechatronics Concept Designer allows users to interact with the digital machine
model while the simulation is running, letting them test effects of different
inputs in real time. This ability to model real-world physical behavior in a
virtual world based on simplified math models, helps verify early concepts and
lets teams detect and correct errors when they're least expensive to resolve.
Siemens PLM Software specifically targeted the machine tool
industry segment with the release of Mechatronics Concept Designer, but
Sterling says the technology has applicability for other industry segments. "We
wanted to stay focused and target the machine tool industry with the knowledge
that what we're developing will expand," he says.
Industrial workplaces are governed by OSHA rules, but this isn’t to say that rules are always followed. While injuries happen on production floors for a variety of reasons, of the top 10 OSHA rules that are most often ignored in industrial settings, two directly involve machine design: lockout/tagout procedures (LO/TO) and machine guarding.
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