Good observation, Naperlou. PLM software, which is pretty well entrenched in a variety of industries--including automotive and A&D, among many others--is now taking a page from software engineering and looking to broaden out to requirements while at the same time integrating both hardware and software requirements in a shared platform. The idea is that a systems engineering approach isn't really possible if software, electrical, and mechanical systems data is maintained in separate systems. Siemens isn't alone in pursuing this level of integration. PTC and Dassault have also done a ton in this area with their PLM platforms and design suites.
Beth, you have written a lot of articles on this PLM area. Systems engineering has often been tied into software engineering as far as requirements are concerned. On the other hand, integrating hardware requirements has been harder. These PLM systems seem to be following the software world, where there is a two way link between implementation and requirements. This is very important, but it is often not done. It would be interesting to see how entensively these tools will be used in industry and in which industries.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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