After hearing about how and why the closed loop capabilities of a PLM system are so important for the better part of a decade, it's nice to see that vendors like PTC are finally putting their money where their mouths are. By extending PLM suites to incorporate modules that will allow for critical information about the product's performance in the field as well as as-maintained data to be fed directly back into the product system of record, engineers will have an even richer set of information to draw from, which improves their ability to optimize future designs.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.