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Siemens PLM Software Launches Machine Design Solution

Siemens PLM Software Launches Machine Design Solution

Siemens PLM 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.

Mechatronics 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 and money.

"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.

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