Did you know today is #WorldPhotographyDay?
In the spirit of celebrating the work of photographers around the globe, we'd like to highlight one of the many examples of how Solid Edge helps companies push the boundaries of innovation.
For nearly a decade, award-winning camera lens manufacturer Cooke Optics has used Solid Edge to meet to respond to customer demand for new specifications, accelerate new product introduction, and increase production.
The golden statuette on proud display at the Cooke Optics office in Leicester, UK illustrates the company’s contribution to the film industry. The company has been designing, developing and manufacturing lenses since the late nineteenth century.
At the 2012 Academy Awards® of Merit for Scientific and Technical, it was recognized for helping to define the look of motion pictures. Famous for the warm, natural “Cooke Look,” the lenses also have a reputation for being accurate, reliable and easy to maintain. Designed for artistic creativity in various filmmaking scenarios, they ease the technical challenges of shooting a movie. If, for example, a lens iris opens faster, it lets more light into the lens and filming can begin one hour earlier in the morning.
Cooke manufactures a full range of primes and zooms for 35mm, digital and super 16mm cinematography, and a variety of large-format stills lenses. The first choice of cinematographers around the world, all Cooke lenses are hand-built to advance precision and quality. It is a constant challenge to fulfill the order book while meeting customer demand for new specifications. In particular, Cooke customers expect to see innovative developments every spring and fall at the two major film industry fairs.
The present-day company stems from a management buyout of Taylor-Hobson’s optical division in 1998. At that point, Solid Edge® software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software was first adopted, and since then it has been intrinsic to the development process.
Paul Nettleton, a senior designer at Cooke, explains the task at hand:
“The engineering challenge is complicated. Each lens has about 15 different elements. These have slightly different curves that need to be set apart from each other at precise distances. In addition, we are creating complicated profiles to suit the system design.”
The manufacture of glass has a longer lead time than the metal work. The Cooke design team has to manage a range of complex parallel processes as it works towards a target deadline for both. Using Solid Edge assists throughout the product development process, delivering accuracy, the agility to switch between 3D and 2D, the ability to use both synchronous technology and ordered environment, and visibility for all involved.
Accuracy to within 20 microns Once the optical specification is confirmed, the mechanical engineering team has to design the glass to that specification and create the metal casing that holds the lens in position. The team needs to achieve tolerances of less than 20 microns.
“At this stage we liaise closely with our optical specialists as we work through potential clashes until we all agree on the design,” says Nettleton. “Some of Cooke’s components have complex geometries, so there are lots of reference planes and this is where Solid Edge is very helpful with features such as tangents. Calculating the weight of the components and showing their 3D movements all aid the design process.”
“From start to finish, there is extensive reworking and everything has to come together perfectly when it’s all ready. This requires a totally integrated approach for design and development, and that’s what we have with Solid Edge,” said Steve Pope, Engineering Manager at Cooke Optics.
When implementing a new platform, it is easy to make a costly error without realising until it is too late. Mistakes always cost money and can ruin your business if they’re big enough. It’s simpler, cheaper and far less painful to learn from other people’s bad business decisions.
Here are 6 common pitfalls when launching an additive manufacturing system and how you can avoid them.
This is the big one and it could bring an end to your own personal industrial revolution in additive production before it begins. Selecting an additive manufacturing system sounds simple, but this is complex, fast-moving technology. Even if you get the right system today, there’s a chance it could be the wrong one next month.
The only way to avoid the problem is to hire the right people before you commit to an AM set-up. Define your goals, account for other 3D printing tasks in the planning stages and make sure you have a solid system that serves all your needs.
Consider a modular design for your production line too, as both your company and the technology will evolve. A flexible floor-plan where individual units can be easily replaced is a basic requirement in the emerging science of additive manufacturing.
Until you’re truly familiar with additive printing and ready to invest serious money, it might be safer to order 3D printing online from an outside supplier using the 3D cloud. Metal 3D printing, in particular, is a challenge, and a smart move could be to entrust it to experienced professionals as you build your expertise.
The wrong 3D printing software package isn’t as difficult to fix as the wrong hardware, but it’s a mistake that could cost you money forever and you will never know. The inefficiencies and problems you come to accept, especially if you’re using several different packages, might never occur with the right manufacturing optimization software.
More and more companies are opting for end-to-end 3D printing software packages that deal with everything from the design stage through to the post-print validation. Packages like Solid Edge Additive Manufacturing software enable an end-to-end solution from design, through validation, to machine code generation. Miscommunication and other problems are eliminated by design.
Past performance is the best indicator for the future, so build a shortlist and talk to potential suppliers. Ask how this specific machine and software package has previously solved the problems you face.
Today, we’ll be sharing more of the exiting and informative sessions you have the chance to see when you join us for Realize LIVE June 10-13 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.
Realize LIVE offers four full days of learning and fun. Meet your fellow community members, Solid Edge experts from around the world, product managers, and other team members. It’s your chance to see the latest technology, learn new tips, and network with likeminded people at a great event.
Solid Edge customers can either save $300 off single admission OR receive three admissions for the price of two using the following promo codes:
One of the key benefits of attending an event like this is the knowledge and skills you gain that you can take back to work with you to see immediate improvements in your design workflows. The sessions we’ll be highlighting today especially demonstrate that.
Nate Emler of Ariel Corporation will present “How to Deploy, Manage and Maintain Solid Edge for Maximum Efficiency.” According to their website, Ariel Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer of separable reciprocating gas compressors. Their gas compressors are used to extract, process, transport, store, and distribute natural gas from the wellhead to end-users around the world. During his session, Nate will show the company deploys and manages more than 100 computers and 46 licenses of Solid Edge. It will be a technically oriented session perfect for Solid Edge administrators who are looking to implement Solid Edge more efficiently and provide ideas on how to administer Solid Edge in a different manner.
Another customer presentation we have lined up has practical benefits for the designer working in Solid Edge. Melissa Schultz of Polished Edge Consulting, whom many will recognize from her time spent on the community, will present “Learn Synchronous and Optimize the Use of Existing Features.” During this session, she plans to show many examples of how Synchronous Technology can be implemented quickly with a nearly immediate ROI for a variety of machine and product design applications. She will also demonstrate how properly created and purposely dimensioned models offer fast changes and reuse. Melissa has more than 20 years of experience using Solid Edge as both a designer, CAD administrator, and now as a professional consultant, and she has successfully transitioned large teams from ordered to synchronous modeling making her an expert at this topic. It’s a great informative session you won’t want to miss.
Another friendly face you will recognize from here on the community is Scott Wertel from IpX. Scott will be presenting “Prioritizing Your Product Requirements with Solid Edge.” Businesses run on requirements. Whether they are government regulations, customer requests, or company policies, requirements come in many forms. Proper structuring and linking of those requirements provides a means for efficient business processes—getting the requirements to the right people in the right place at the right time. Solid Edge Requirements Management is one tool to document requirements and get them in front of the designers (right people) within the very tool they use to design (right place) on demand (right time). During his session, Scott will share tips to do exactly that. As a Senior Transformation Specialist for IpX with over 20 years of experience in CAx, PLM, and Business Process Transformation, Scott has a wealth of industry experience to share with users.
Last but not least, Jamie Griffis from Sherpa Design will present “Clean Data for Teamcenter Migration.” Sherpa Design is a team of mechanical designers and machinists that like to push limits to find a better way of doing things and share their knowledge with clients every chance they get, according to their website. Jamie is the Teamcenter Architect for the company. During her session, she will cover the Solid Edge data prep tools. She’ll show hands-on examples of how to work with dirty Solid Edge data and strategies to be successful at cleaning data for successful Teamcenter migration. You’ll be sure to learn a lot during this session.
Don’t miss these amazing opportunities to learn and connect with other Solid Edge experts.
Register for Realize LIVE on June 10-13 in Detroit. Don't forget to register soon though, because our special offers won’t last long. Discounts will be honored on a first come, first served basis.
Last week more than 300 business partners and Siemens PLM Software managers including our own Senior Vice President of Mainstream Engineering, John Miller, gathered in Spain for the European Partner Leadership Summit that took place over the course of one and a half days. During the summit, many partners shared customer success stories and key topics to pay attention to for the future of digital transformation of businesses across all industries.
John Miller spoke about the unique opportunity that small-medium businesses have to realize innovation through a digital transformation of their business. Digital technologies level the playing field for small to mid-sized businesses as a result of the efficiency gained. Because of their size, SMBs are far more readily able to transform their business through investing in new technologies when compared to larger corporations. This helps them to meet their key goals of improving the product development and design processes, achieve a faster time to market, and improve collaboration across the board. Solid Edge with its portfolio of affordable, easy-to-use software tools that address all aspects of product development is especially well-suited to help SMBs meet these goals.
Nick Rakkar, EMEA Business Development Director of Mainstream Engineering, was joined by Eric Kane, Operations Director of Team Engineering Ltd., to discuss the success Airbus Defence and Space has had in using Simcenter FEMAP, an industry leading FEA software that provides a mesh-based approach for the specialist FEA engineer. As the largest defense supplier in Europe, Airbus manufactures tactical and strategic airlifters, multi-role aerial tankers and advanced combat aircraft. The aerospace division has a hand in everything from commercial satellite launches, telecom satellites, and Earth observation satellites. Because Simcenter FEMAP is CAD neutral, it works well with their very mixed design environment. They use thermal, flow, structural dynamics, and non-linear simulation as well to test and verify the equipment they design.
Finally, Swiss-based Limbic Chair and Schatti, a Swiss design and manufacturing business, showed their innovation onstage with an electrically operated stool that has sensors which allow it to be used much like a computer mouse. The chair designed in Solid Edge was used onstage to control Solid Edge on a PC. How is this possible? The Limbic Chair lets your body interact with the virtual world to make navigation more intuitive and free your hands for others tasks. It interacts with virtual reality and non-VR applications, such as the spacial tasks of zooming, scrolling, rotating and panning. Schatti helped get it off the ground by providing design and manufacturing assistance. The chair was developed using the Limbic Life company’s knowledge of medicine and neuroscience to allow the user to be in an effortless state of weightlessness, and to utilize touch and movement in an entirely new way.
All in all, the event at EPLS served as a showcase for all of the wonderful and exciting things our partners and customers are accomplishing together across Europe with the help of technology from Siemens PLM Software, and in the case of the examples we touched on today, with Solid Edge and Simcenter FEMAP specifically.
Kenesto are demonstrating the latest version of their cloud-based document management software at SEU16 and will be showing how design departments can use their “Kenesto Drive” solution to replace local servers with a cloud storage solution that is specifically designed for engineers. According to Kenesto, engineers typically make frequent changes to their CAD files and if they are using cloud-based files storage solutions that are not specifically designed for engineers, there is a good chance that users can work on older files by mistake. With the Kenesto Drive, users work just like they would on their own C: drive, but have exclusive access for editing and can implement file locking for other users - no more stomping on another user's edits. To get started you simply drag files to the Kenesto Drive, and users can easily work from home or when traveling, and can share selected files with external users when needed.
Some of the new capabilities that Kenesto are demonstrating at SEU16 include the ability to isolate parts and/or sub-assemblies when viewing a large Solid Edge assembly, and the viewer now automatically uses the same measurement units as the selected CAD files. And industrial equipment manufacturer Arnold Machine is presenting on their use of Solid Edge and Kenesto Drive at SEU16 – you can also read this blog post about how Arnold Machine is automating their equipment design process.
Solid Edge users interested in finding out more about the latest 3D Printing and additive manufacturing techniques can hear directly from our new partner Plural Additive Manufacturing at SEU16. Plural’s emphasis is both on improving individual prototypes and on manufacturing high quality parts in appropriate volumes with a low cost per part.
Ed Israel from Plural highlights these key areas that differentiate their additive manufacturing solution:
Ed invites you to talk with him at SEU16 about 3D printing, the move to additive manufacturing, and how to determine your ROI before investing in the latest technology. Ed will also be exhibiting some of the many different parts they have manufactured and will be participating in a panel we are hosting on 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing. This should be a great opportunity for our Solid Edge users to hear from industry experts and other manufacturers about their experience with 3D Printing their Solid Edge models.
I look forward to hearing more from Ed about the recent developments in the additive manufacturing industry from a focus on creating individual prototypes to industrial scale manufacturing.
CAD Partner are a regular supporter of Solid Edge University and this year will be exhibiting their new Smap3D "ScantoCAD" solution in addition to their well known Smap3D Plant Design software.
Smap3D ScanToCAD transfers high volumes of point cloud from 3D scans into Solid Edge easily and quickly . Smap3D ScanToCAD merges the various referenced scans or the individual scans into an overall project and transfers selected 3D geometry directly in Solid Edge.
CAD Partner will also present Smap3D Plant Design, a unique solution that allows you to bring P&ID data into Solid Edge for use in your design of process plant and equipment. If you want to use P&IDs, standard pipe specifications and isometric drawings in your Solid Edge design process, Smap3D Plant Design is a proven solution with several published case studies including from brewery equipment designer Kaspar Schulz.
Using the information from the P&ID to automatically generate pipes in Solid Edge significantly increases the speed and accuracy of the design process. Modifications to process plant design can be time consuming, but the integrated process chain provided by Smap3D allows implementation of all tasks in parallel. Best of all, changes can be made directly to parts and assemblies because Smap3D Plant Design automatically generates Solid Edge models. This allows the user to make changes at any time, to any part and assembly without the involvement of other software.
Benefits of Smap3D:
So please stop by the CAD Partner booth at SEU16 to check out the new Smap3D ScanTo3D software and Smap3D Plant Design. Alternatively, if you cant make it to Solid Edge University this year you can access a free trial of Smap3D.
We are pleased to welcome MechWorks to SEU16 (October 25th-27th in Indianapolis) where they will be demonstrating their DBSolidEdge PDM software. MechWorks are a valued Siemens Software & Technolgy partner and have been a consistent participant in our Solid Edge University events over the last few years.
According to Glenn Ponter from Integrated Partner Solutions, the MechWorks distributor for North America "Our goal is to accelerate our customers design cycle within a secure environment that promotes design integrity and accessibility which helps your organization save money and increase profits. MechWorks PDM provides a Single Source of Truth. Locations like Title Blocks, Bill of Materials, File Properties, and Item Master records can all reflect the same accurate data without ever having to be typed more than once. Through our method of linking documents and data, design integrity is always guaranteed. MechWorks PDM can easily link documents and their data no matter the file’s type."
For their presentation at Solid Edge University 2016 MechWorks will focus on how they offer a comprehensive configurable solution for Engineering Change, including some new features. Glenn comments "Design integrity and costs can be greatly impacted by the engineering change process. While we realize that the core engineering change process follows a similar premise, it is invariably unique between departments and/or companies. MechWorks PDM provides for flexible process definitions that can be configured to fit each organization,s specific engineering change process."
In addition to their presentation MechWorks will be available to answer questions from Solid Edge users and demonstrate specific features at their booth in the Technology Showcase in Griffin Hall.
One year ago, Soleras Advanced Coatings implemented Quadrispace 3D communication software for technical document creation, doing away with the variety of programs it had been relying upon.
“One of the main benefits to QuadriSpace is we can use this one software program to create all our documents,” said Ann-Sophie Verhack, Soleras technical writer. “In the past we’d been using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint or Excel, but they weren’t easy to work with for what we wanted to accomplish with our technical documentation, nor were they professional looking,” she said.
The company, headquartered in Biddeford, Maine and in Deinze, Belgium, makes sputter targets used to make energy-efficiency glass, thin-film displays and batteries, among other uses. Soleras components are necessary in the sputtering process, a high-speed technology in which superfast ions hit a metal target and dislodge miniscule particles that in turn coat a thin film over products like architectural glass, large-screen televisions and computer displays. The electronics industry has used sputtering technology for decades in items like integrated circuits, but the technology is now being applied to advanced displays and low-energy glass. (If you want to know more about Soleras and sputtering technology I found this interesting article)
Soleras uses QuadriSpace technical documentation software to create catalogs that detail sputtering components and to create documents that provide technical details about those components.
“The big benefit of QuadriSpace is that we can make our own templates; we’re in full control of layout without any obligation imposed by Quadrispace, so we can say ‘that table must be six columns and this table needs to be seven columns,’ Verhack said.
The company designs its parts and products in Solid Edge, from Siemens PLM, which is compatible with QuadriSpace, she added. The compatibility allows for interactive, online catalogs, in which customers can click on and rotate parts and see models within exploded views. Solid Edge models can be immediately imported into the technical documentation program and used within the technical catalog. If an engineer changes or updates a Solid Edge model, those changes are immediately and automatically reflected in the catalog and other pertinent technical documents, Verhack said. “Also within your catalog, you can have the parts table and the model itself interact,” she added. “So if you click on a line in your parts table, that part in your model lights up. For our customers and internal users, that’s a big benefit. Interactive catalogs are much more visual then when we provided a flat list with the pictures of a model.”
Documents created with QuadriSpace can be published within PDF, 3D PDF HMTL, and in QuadriSpace’s Share3D formats, Verhack said. The technical documentation software also allows Soleras to publish its documents in HTML5 format, which means they can be placed on a password-protected area of the Soleras web site for users to access. Soleras is currently at work on that capability, Verhack added.
“The customer will be able to see the technical documents they need on our web site, so they don’t need to print them or look for them on a CD,” Verhack said.
For a coatings company that has grown with the times and expects to see even greater growth as the markets for thin-films and for energy-efficient architectural glass and other types of low-e glass picks up, advances in their technical documentation capabilites were very necessary. QuadriSpace will help make document creation easy at Soleras and will help the company’s customers access exactly what they’re looking for with greater ease than ever, Verhack said.
This is the third in a series of blog posts on technical documention. You can read more on the challenges and opportunities for using 3D digital models for creating technical documents, and more about software solutions from QuadriSpace.