In the ultra-competitive automotive industry, it's vital for manufacturers to gain any possible advantage over rivals, from the design phase through the production process. To build the most innovative, powerful and efficient models, many companies have turned to Dassault Systemes for 3D design, product lifecycle management (PLM) and simulation solutions.
PSA Peugeot Citroen, a French manufactuerer of automobiles and motorcycles, recently deployed Dassault's popular DELMIA product in its powertrain division, enabling the company to support assembly simulation, factory layout and powertrain production.
"Following a successful experience with PSA in the Final Assembly domain, PSA had a high level of expectation for value in powertrain. Thanks to a strong collaboration between PSA and Dassault Systemes, we have been able to confirm the high expectations in a short timeframe and we are very pleased with the value PSA is reporting," said Olivier Sappin, vice president of transportation and mobility at Dassault.
Emmanuel Chamouton of PSA Peugeot Citroen's powertrain department said implementing DELMIA has allowed the company to integrate work processes for more than 400 users at seven production locations. According to Chamouton, PSA is already experiencing numerous benefits since adopting the DELMIA solution nine months ago.
"The adoption of DELMIA in our powertrain division gives us a flexible and powerful solution, company-wide," he said.
Dassault's technology should help PSA reduce development and operating costs, increase production speed and accelerate innovation, all benefits that multiple other automotive manufacturers are gaining with products like DELMIA, CATIA and ENOVIA. Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota and BMW are just some of the well-known automotive companies using Dassault software, demonstrating the technology provider's dominance in the sector.
Engineers and manufacturers use printed circuit boards (PCB) in nearly every product, from defense and medical devices to electronics and automobiles. However, industry experts say designers make several common - but avoidable - mistakes when building PCBs for a variety of functions.
In a recent column for Venture Outsource, PCD expert Terry Kozlyk explained multiple common errors designers make during the production process. According to Kozlyk, large companies usually have structured design procedures, immense resources and more advanced technology, while engineers at small startups are more on their own.
Kozlyk said not having product reviews is one of the most common mistakes PCB builders make during the design phase, adding that marketing or sales staff should be included in reviewing the project to detect any deficiencies. Meanwhile, he said backing up work is a simple task, yet many designers still fall victim to system crashes and accidental errors, resulting in lost progress and productivity.
Furthermore, Kozlyk explained that communication is essential between circuit designers, project managers and other stakeholders.
"It is so easy for miscommunications to occur when the days are long and fatigue, stress and multi-tasking begins to taint one’s perception," Kozlyk wrote.
With more data than ever before and collaboration between stakeholders increasingly critical, many enterprises adopt integrated design programs. For example, Altium, a leading provider of electronics design software, enables engineers to work together in a remote, unified environment, increasing production speed, reducing costs and facilitating greater innovation. Altium's PCB design and data management programs allow electrical engineers to manage and back up projects in a cloud environment, ensuring no data is lost during the production process.
SolidWorks is a leader in 3D design, simulation and product data management (PDM) solutions, and increased enterprise adoption of each technology has made the annual SolidWorks World conference a premier event for designers, engineering and manufacturers.
MCADCafe contributing editor Jeff Rowe had the opportunity to interview SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot before the beginning of this year's conference, held from February 12-15 in San Diego. Sicot revealed the company's focus for SolidWorks World 2012 and several interesting trends impacting computer aided design (CAD) and other products.
According to Sicot, this year's conference focused on bringing the Solidworks community together to exchange ideas and create a network of committed users, resellers and partners. On the technical side, one major theme was the 3D experience, Dassault's new integrated platform that enables enterprises to connect designers, engineers, marketers and consumers in a social environment.
"We continue to be better integrated in Dassult with each release, but the biggest change will come with the V6 release [of SolidWorks]. Keep in mind, though, that SolidWorks as a brand accounts for approximately 20 percent of Dassault Systemes' overall revenue," Sicot said.
Sicot also said SolidWorks is working on cloud-based and mobile applications to support greater mobility and collaboration, but the company is developing the solutions slowly to ensure the quality and overall functionality of the programs meet the demands of SolidWorks users.
"Mobile apps are not just a checklist item for us just to say we have some," he said. "We would rather be a little late to market than come out with something that is wrong and needs to be fixed."
Dassault Systemes and its subsidiary, SolidWorks, both achieved record revenues last year, signifying increased demand for CAD, PLM and other product development solutions. According to a recent Dassault press release, SolidWorks software revenue expanded 12 percent in 2011, a result of higher demand for design, PDM and simulation software.
Zuken, a global provider of advanced software for electrical and electronics design and manufacturing, recently announced the release of E3.WireWorks Unified, a new software that enables users to improve time-to-market and enhance efficiency.
E3.WireWorks is part of Zuken's E3 product line, a state-of-the-art solution for schematic, cable, panel and fluid systems design. Electrical designers are drawn to E3.WireWorks for its ability to flawlessly integrate with SolidWorks' computer aided design (CAD) and product data management (PDM) programs.
"The design automation features and flexible application programming interface were key reasons we chose E3.WireWorks, and we've now achieved significant time savings by automating many of the drawing functions," said Dominic Locas of Fortress Technology, a provider of secure wireless mesh networks.
According to Zuken, E3.WireWorks Unified will help users design projects faster, improve connector handling and simplify signal management, increasing overall efficiency related to product development.
Manufacturers in numerous industries have added Zuken's software to its design process and are realizing positive, measurable benefits. Automotive, consumer, marine, medical, defense and power companies are among the enterprises using Zuken's products.
With computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAD) skills becoming more prevalent at engineering and manufacturing companies, it's essential for prospective employees to gain knowledge regarding both topics at a young age.
F1 in Schools, a nonprofit company that combines the excitement of Formula One racing with the educational benefits of learning CAD/CAM skills, is currently holding its annual global challenge, in which students aged 9 to 19 use advanced software to design, analyze, manufacture and race miniature gas-powered F1 cars. According to British news source Sky Tyne and Wear, three regional teams have advanced to the national final in Birmingham after weeks of designing, manufacturing, testing and racing the balsa wood cars.
"The skills the students are learning about are computer aided design, computer aided manufacture and business skills … It's the whole design and make process that a real F1 team would go through," David Howes, an F1 in Schools representative, told the source. "We've got some fantastic success stories. We're actually seeing students taking roles with F1 and we've got students at Mclaren."
According to F1 in Schools' website, the challenge includes 12 million students in 34 countries. The teams develop a budget, use CAD software to design the cars, analyze the project in a virtual wind tunnel and use CAM technology manufacture the end product.
SolidWorks World 2012 recently concluded in San Diego, and some industry experts came away from the annual conference encouraged by the progress of mechanical computer aided design (MCAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) vendors.
In a MCADCafe blog post, expert David Heller examined the new-found optimism of many of the MCAD/CAM exhibitors at SolidWorks World, which took place from February 12-15. Heller, who interviewed about 30 vendors and spoke with several attendees, said attendance at the conference was up year-over-year, and all of the exhibitors he interviewed expressed enthusiasm regarding the state of the U.S. manufacturing industry.
Heller said the conference was "a showcase for innovation that drew enthusiastic attendees who physically vied for a close-up view of newly released software and hardware to experience the wow factor of these game-changing technological advances."
The American manufacturing industry has experienced a slight resurgence in recent months, a trend some experts believe is the outcome of companies investing in advanced manufacturing technologies. According to the Institute for Supply Management, manufacturing activity increased in January at its fastest rate since June.
Many manufacturers have implemented CAM solutions from HSMWorks, which enable users to integrate computer aided design (CAD) and CAM functions inside SolidWorks 3D design software, resulting in faster production and better design quality.
Designing, engineering and manufacturing printed circuit boards for military technologies involves managing sensitive technical information, prompting the U.S. government to examine the industry's current export control regulations.
IPC, a global trade association for the electronics industry, recently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding potential reform of export controls for PCB designs of military technologies. Mikel Williams, chairman of the IPC Government Relations Committee, said the organization supports altering the current system.
"Reform of the current export control system is long overdue, and IPC supports reform and the opening of foreign markets to our manufacturing companies. The current system is complex, bureaucratic, and does not adequately protect our national security nor facilitate the export opportunities we need to grow our economy," Williams said.
According to Williams, it's vital that new regulations improve the security of technical information related to PCBs for military equipment, as manufacturers design each PCB for a specific, customized military product.
Several electronic computer aided design (ECAD) software providers offer products to ensure the safety and security of project information. Zuken, a leader in ECAD and electronic design automation (EDA) software, enables military and defense manufacturers to provide engineers with data only essential to their portion of the project.
SolidWorks is primarily known for providing enterprises with 3D design, simulation and product data management solutions, but it's also helping up-and-coming engineers and designers gain an advantage in the ultra-competitive job market.
SolidWorks, a subsidiary of Dassault Systemes, recently announced that it awarded its 50,000th certification in the SolidWorks training program. The program provides students and professionals with critical skills related to using SolidWorks products, and a leg up securing job opportunities. Furthermore, the certification adds to prospective and current employees' value, as it proves dedication and expert knowledge regarding the company's many products.
"Our users are committed to continual learning and development to further career growth, and they are using our certification program to help support that," said Jeremy Luchini, certification program manager for DS SolidWorks. "Training and learning are critical components of evolving design, and we take certification seriously - it has to be of value both to our users and to their employers. We've achieved that with the program to date, and are looking forward to the next milestone from our highly engaged and accomplished user base."
SolidWorks said Emma Singer, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Boulder, was the 50,000th certified user. According to the company, the certification establishes the user as someone who demonstrates considerable skills in SolidWorks programs and is capable of creating high-quality designs. Having an industry-recognized certification also benefits students, who often need accolades to stand out from fellow classmates.
The company offers several certifications, including the Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE) and Certified Sustainable Design Associate (CSDA). CSWE certifications are awarded to SolidWorks experts who demonstrate an ability to use advanced tools to build intricate 3D designs. In order to gain CSWE certification, users must achieve a grade of at least 85 percent on a three-hour exam, according to the company's website.
Infinite Z, a provider of technology that enables designers to view and manage 3D objects in a virtual-holographic environment, recently announced a proof-of-concept partnership with Dassault Systemes, a leader in computer aided design (CAD) software and other similar technologies.
Dassault will test its CATIA Geometric Modeler with Infinite Z's zSpace system at the annual SolidWorks World 2012 conference. Infinite hopes allowing a cutting-edge company like Dassault to assess the capabilities of its product will provide valuable feedback regarding the prospects of zSpace.
"zSpace provides an incredibly responsive way to view, select and manipulate 3D objects," said Scott Harris, co-founder of SolidWorks, a subsidiary of Dassault. "Being able to look around an object in zSpace is much easier than manipulating a view with a mouse. zSpace allows the user to be spatially aware and directly move around in space, which is much more natural than using separate translation and rotation functions."
Paul Kellenberger, CEO of Infinite Z, said partnerships with companies like Dassault are essential to expanding the potential for 3D experiences.
Dassault's CATIA software is widely known as one of the world's leading solutions for product design and innovation. Major automobile manufacturers including Ford, Honda, Toyota and Audi have used the technology to design award-winning, state-of-the-art vehicles.
Record numbers of engineering and manufacturing enterprises throughout the world adopted computer aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions last year, fueling all-time high revenues for one of the industry's leading technology providers.
Dassault Systemes, a leading provider of CAD and PLM systems, recently announced it garnered record revenues and earnings in 2011, the result of increased PLM demand and the release of several new, innovative products.
"Thanks to PLM adoption, we delivered double-digit growth in new licenses revenue, across our brands and geographic regions," said Bernard Charles, Dassault Systemes' president and CEO. "The V6 platform has evolved with our customers in the last few years. The addition of Intelligent Information search-based technologies, social innovation capabilities and realistic virtual experiences, made us ready to pioneer a new technological wave."
Automotive and aerospace businesses especially contributed to Dassault's strong revenue growth, as many enterprises in both industries adopted CATIA, ENOVIA, SIMULIA and DELMIA solutions. Additionally, SolidWorks, a Dassault subsidiary and provider of 3D CAD design software and other technologies, experienced a 12-percent revenue increase in constant currencies, led by strong sales of its design, product data management (PDM) and simulation software. The total of SolidWorks commercial and educational licenses sold reached 1.7 million at the completion of 2011.
"Entering 2012, we see a good level of interest from our customers and key data points we track indicate a healthy demand environment," said Thibault de Tersant, Dassault's chief financial officer.
Increased demand and strong revenue projections for Dassault's products indicate the rising influence of 3D design, PLM and other innovative technologies on the complete production process. According to a recent Jon Peddie Research study, the worldwide CAD software market jumped from $6.4 billion in 2010 to $7 billion last year.
Computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) programs are helping companies in several sectors increase efficiency, including the dentistry industry, where patients are receiving custom repairs in one visit.
Barry Danzig, a dentist in Billerica, Massachusetts, is using CAD and CAM technology to quickly create detailed, perfect-fitting crowns the same day patients arrive for their first visit.
"No one wants wait weeks between their visits to receive the treatment they need to restore their teeth," Danzig said. "If a patient has a damaged tooth, we can now easily repair their tooth in one easy visit."
The advanced system uses an infrared camera to take 3D images of a tooth, enabling dentists to use CAD software to view and alter restoration models for each patient on a computer. The most significant benefit for customers is the system's ability to reduce wait time, creating a more efficient process for dentists and patients.
According to a recent OsseoNews study, 40 percent of dental offices plan to purchase 3D imaging systems in the next 1 to 3 years. Omnify, a global leader in 3D printing solutions, has helped numerous dental businesses expand into the landscape of digital dentistry with CAD, CAM and 3D printing technology.
Computer aided design (CAD) and advanced manufacturing technologies like rapid prototyping and 3D printing are continuously adapting to the the needs of engineering and manufacturing companies. In a recent Design News column, expert Beth Stackpole examined several design tool trends she expects to impact software providers this year.
According to Stackpole, CAD and product lifecycle management (PLM) vendors will begin offering their software as cloud-based and mobile applications, as many mainstream enterprise markets have already adopted both technologies.
"I think we'll see a lot more vendors building out their mobile design apps library as they figure out ways in which a mobile experience will enhance, not supplant, existing desktop CAD tools," Stackpole explained. "Last year's experimentation with cloud-based design platforms will likely continue as companies seek more scalable and accessible tools to outfit their mobile and globally dispersed design teams."
The report said software providers will also explore integrating 3D printing and 3D design tools, as 3D printers are becoming a consumer product, forcing design tools to accommodate users with limited CAD experience.
According to a report by an innovation consulting firm, PLM programs are increasingly being used in a cloud environment, enabling businesses to increase productivity and provide their employees with greater mobility. Dassault Systemes, one of the leading 3D design and PLM providers, offers several of its solutions in an on-demand, cloud-based environment.
Computer aided design (CAD) software has revolutionized several decades-old processes in many industries, including the jewelry sector, where one innovator in California is using CAD to produce customized pieces for customers.
According to a recent Ventura County Star report, Lynn's Jewelry Studio owner Bob Lynn is using advanced CAD software and traditional jewelry tools to design products. Lynn's specialty is modernizing older pieces of jewelry into new settings and designs.
"Every piece starts as a sketch or a curve or a line. Then you have to think in 3-D," Lynn, who has used CAD programs since high school, told the source. "My world is one of continuous updating. I spend more hours learning than the average neurosurgeon. Of course, it's a little different because what I do doesn't affect whether someone lives or dies."
Lynn studied engineering briefly in college, but he left early at the age of 21 to concentrate on jewelry, and proceeded to integrate his CAD knowledge and skills with his three years of working experience as a jeweler. Lynn was one of the first jewelers to start using CAD to design innovative jewelry pieces, but he said there are now thousands of businesses benefiting from similar technology, according to the report. Customers enjoy working with Lynn because of his ability to design customized, creative pieces that are unavailable anywhere else.
The jewelry industry is one of several sectors realizing the advantages of 3D design and other advanced engineering and manufacturing technologies. One jeweler in Michigan uses Dassault Systemes' DraftSight software to design pendants for necklaces, rings and earrings. Meanwhile, 3D printing systems, such as Objet's PolyJet, are enabling jewelers to develop prototypes that closely resemble the designed end product.