Siemens PLM

Read articles by industry leading experts at Tata Technoloiges as they present information about Siemens PLM products, training, knowledge expertise and more. Sign-up below receive updates on posts by email.

It always amazes me, the sheer complexity of the task.  We must take a detailed engineering design, start with a simple block of metal, and through the application of pressure and process, whittle that block down to a functional product, accurate to within microns.

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In order to accomplish this feat more efficiently and bring the cost/part down, CNC Machine Tools have added more of everything in recent years. They have become more powerful, allowing for higher cutting speeds that require advanced feed-rate controls to make effective.  They have also become more dynamic, with 5-Axis Mills and multi-spindle, multi-turret Mill-turn machines offering opportunities to minimize part setups, increase accuracy, and reduce overall machining time.

They have, in short, become more complex.  And with that complexity comes additional expense.  With machines that routinely cost multiple hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, the reality of the situation is that a machine collision is just not an option.

There are so many capabilities and options available on a modern NC Machine tool that ensuring that the machine is properly programmed to do what is expected becomes a monumental task.  You need a powerful programming tool to help you create the paths, controlling the cutting tool axis, speeds, engagements and retracts so as to efficiently and accurately machine the product.

Those paths, when initially reviewed by the CAM software, may look feasible from the context of the tool, but upon generating the code and loading it into the controller, often there are motions that are either positional in nature (rotating the part to align the tool), or controller specific (ex. Go home moves) that create collisions with objects such as fixtures or the part, or that require movement beyond the machine’s axis limitations. […]

Siemens PLM Software OfferHere is our latest and final post in our savings series!  Check out these offers from Siemens PLM Software and Tata Technologies, which expire December 28th.  It truly is the best time of year to purchase software for all of your manufacturing and design needs!

Siemens PLM Software Promotions

  • Add  a new product family license to your existing portfolio and receive an additional 15% discount on software and maintenance. For example, if you have an existing NX CAD license, you’ll receive 15% off a license of Teamcenter, CAM, CAE, Solid Edge or Tecnomatix.  This offer is only valid to existing Siemens customers.
  • Get 25% off Teamcenter Rapid Start and maintenance including a single CAD integration with either Autodesk, Solidworks, or Solid Edge. Rapid Start is an easy and cost effective solution that allows companies of any size to get their data under control and enforce common processes.

Terms and conditions apply. Please contact us here or email me at carol.hansen@tatatechnologies.com to inquire about an offer.

Tata Technologies SpecialsTraining and i GET IT promotions

  • Get a free Kindle Fire HD Tablet or a 3D Connexion Space Navigator mouse when you attend the the open enrollment class for NX Essentials for New Users or NX Advanced User.  Click here for more details and to have a sales representative contact you.
  • Our self-paced online learning platform, i GET IT, is now more affordable than ever.  Get 30% off annual subscriptions and learn the latest features and enhancements of Siemens PLM Software and more. Explore what package is right for you and purchase your subscription right online.  Make sure you use the
    coupon code CYBER2016 – valid through Dec. 31st.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later! Take delivery of your software, and let it generate revenue before making any payments.  We’ve partnered with Complete Capital Services to offer clients 12 – 60 month terms on financing products as well as training, maintenance, and implementation services. Don’t forget that IRS Section 179 tax savings can also help.  Let us know you’re interested here.

Predictive Engineering Analytics is a must in current product design and is required to integrate all the multi disciplinary inputs present in today’s complicated products. In the words of Siemens:

“Predictive Engineering Analytics (PEA) is the application of multi-discipline simulation and test, combined with intelligent reporting and data analytics, to develop digital twins that can predict the behavior of products across all performance attributes, throughout the product lifecycle.”

In the above quote, the concept of a digital twin is important; this is the goal of having a complete digital representation of a physical product throughout its design, manufacturing and in-service lifecycle. Such a digital twin can accurately predict all behaviors of the physical product.

There are five key ways that Simcenter(TM) helps achieve a digital twin.

  1. Simcenter(TM) has an integrated Engineering Desktop environment, which allows all pre- and post-processing operations to be carried out. This environment has best-in-class geometry editing tools, comprehensive meshing, and an ability to associate the analysis model to design data.
  2. The environment is completely extendable and can be scaled from simple to complex problems. The benefits include a common user interface and the capability to create automated routines for common simulation problems.
  3. Simcenter(TM) can be linked into other integrated products and engineering systems. This enables simulation data management and allows links to be established to test data, 1D simulations, and 3D CAD. Engineers now have confidence that the behaviors predicted by the digital twin correlate with real life.
  4. The solution produces a common environment across all engineering departments. This allows knowledge to be captured, automated, and then used by a broader team. Specific solutions and best practices become entrenched in the organization, allowing for more consistent design processes. Training requirements are also reduced.
  5. Simcenter(TM) leverages the extensive industry knowledge and capabilities of the Siemens PLM broader portfolio.

If we look at the specific functions that Simcenter(TM) can cover, here is a quote and graphic from a Siemens presentation:

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Another unique feature of the Simcenter(TM) solution is its open platform capability. The solution can be used as the primary pre- and postprocessor for Siemens PLM Solvers, NX Nastran and LMS Samcef, or for popular third party solvers, such as Abaqus, ANSYS, LS-DYNA, and MSC Nastran. This is illustrated in another graphic from a Siemens presentation: […]

Managing and tracking Teamcenter administrative data across multiple environments was never easy. Companies have relied on a wide variety of solutions for this – from manual process-based solutions like cheat sheets to automated custom build scripts to wrap numerous Siemens administrative utilities together. Some companies had a great deal of success in establishing a corporate standard Teamcenter environment from scratch using custom solutions; even for them, however, tracking the changes to admin data inside their Teamcenter environments or comparing admin data between different environments was a very tedious process. Not anymore, with the new set of admin data management capabilities Siemens introduced with Teamcenter 11.2

Now, we can easily perform the following four broad scenarios on nine types of administrative data (Access Manager rules, Organization data, Preferences, Projects, Revision rules, Saved queries, Style sheets, Subscriptions and Workflows), both in UI-based Teamcenter Environment Manager (TEM) and command line utilities modes.

1.      Analyzing how administration data is configured in any environment

A detailed administrative data report can be generated for any Teamcenter environment with all nine admin categories or with a few selected categories, or even a partial set from a specific category based on the filter set. These reports are static HTML reports and don’t have a live connection to the Teamcenter environment. These reports can be used to:

  • Document and review admin data configurations of any environment
  • Troubleshoot issues with any configuration
  • Include with IR for GTAC analysis of problems
  • Use for periodic reviews of production environments
  • Use as environment hand-off document
  • Use as a training document
  • Use to capture snapshots of admin data configurations at specific points in time

2.      Copying entire administration data or a subset from one environment to another

We can export administration data from one site and import it to another. This is very useful when we must ensure that one environment is configured the same as another, such as a test or training environment. We can also set up teams to work on specific parts of the administrative data in different test environments and then export only the administration data that changed from that environment. We can then consolidate the changes made by different teams by importing all of the administration data from multiple export packages into one environment. During the import, a dry run mode is also available, and it generates a detailed Java doc style report after import describing what changed. The tool also provides five broad categories for conflict resolution and merge during the import, but there is no graphical interface yet for manually overriding specific admin data.

3.      Comparing administration data between two sites

We can generate a report that compares the administration data from a source site to a target site. This can help us to determine the cause of differences in site behavior, determine the differences between customer environment and out of the box Teamcenter environment, quickly check if a new environment established using custom scripts is configured the same as a reference environment, or to see what is common and what is different between sites during a site consolidation effort.

4.      Tracking the impacts to an environment as administration data is imported over time

We can quickly determine when a particular change was introduced using a site’s administration data import history report. This report is automatically generated and maintained upon each successful import to a site.

These new capabilities are part of Siemens’ efforts to reduce the Teamcenter cost of ownership and help companies reduce IT costs through:

  • Setup environments becoming faster by automation instead of manual steps
  • Quicker learning curves by standardized and automated documentation
  • Easier bundling of admin data with software bundles
  • Faster troubleshooting

Siemens hasn’t deprecated any existing admin data utilities with the introduction of these new tools. All custom solutions using existing utilities should continue to work as is. The new tools use TCXML and closure rules behind the scenes, so it brings all related business objects used with admin data as a complete package as defined in the closure rules.

Do you have any questions about the new Teamcenter capabilities? Leave a comment and we’ll help you.

It’s that time of year in the Siemens PLM world.  Siemens NX 11 was released in late August, and new functionality and streamlined tools always gets me excited. This year marks the 10th year I’ve been using Siemens products, which I realize is a short time in our industries, but it does make me feel a bit nostalgic about my introduction to them.design_1

10 years ago, I graduated college with my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and gained my first job as a Project Engineer with a company that produced high-end carbon fiber performance parts.  A friend of mine, with whom I had gone to college, was also starting there at around the same time, and when I asked him which design software we would be using, he informed me it would be a product called NX. At that time, not being overly well-versed on all the options for CAD in the marketplace, I was not familiar with Siemens NX and worried that I was about to become experienced in a piece of software that wasn’t widely used.  As I said, I was not very well aware of the true marketplace!

We started on NX 2, and it would be new software for the company so, as the young engineers, we were to prove out what it was really capable of.  From the very beginning, I took to the software much quicker than I ever had when using PTC or Works while in school. NX offered not only ease of use but powerful design tools I had never had access to before. Since we were a manufacturing shop as well, we picked up NX CAM to program our NC Mills and Lathes to produce fixtures and tooling used to create our parts.  Once again, new software, new capability, but nobody knew it, so it fell again to us to learn another part of the software. Eventually, we also procured Femap to do Static and dynamic load analyses on our composite layups to ensure part strength and durability (we were creating carbon fiber prosthetic ankles at that time that had to cycle through millions of steps over the course of a month to pass quality requirements).  So within a year, I had come to know the CAD, CAM, and CAE side of Siemens applications quite well, and I continued to learn and grow with the software during my years there.

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Fast forward 10 years, a few jobs, and countless projects and experiences with Siemens products, and I still find myself impressed.  I remember when Synchronous Technology was first released, and the impact it had on the industry.  I remember year after year of functionality improvement, GUI improvement, dialog improvement, system stability and capability improvements.  I remember the advancement of freeform tools, and the “wows” as users and prospective users found ways to do their jobs they had never seen before.  The Siemens product line itself has continued to grow and become more diverse over that time, delving into every aspect of modern product design, from industrial styling to noise and vibration analyses. Siemens’ acquisitions of industry-leading software companies, and the integration of those technologies into their flagship products, have positioned them as a world leader in digital engineering, digital manufacturing, and Product Lifecycle Management.

I feel lucky that I have been able to touch so many different aspects of the software over the last 10 years, and I am always amazed at the improvements that come with each and every release.

Siemens PLM continues their long history of creating the most powerful and flexible design software in the world today. And as for NX 11, I covered some of the most exciting new features and functionalities in a webinar we hosted just last month. Missed my presentation the first time around? Click here to watch it on demand.

With globalization and distributed product development, adhering to a single CAD tool for the globally dispersed design teams and suppliers has become practically difficult. Business dynamics like mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and flexible supplier selections based on direct material sourcing processes can also present a multi-CAD scenario to companies. In such scenarios, if the PLM tool isn’t capable of supporting multi-CAD, that can limit the overall engineering business flexibility of companies. It can either force them to take up costly, error-prone, risky, and time-consuming CAD platform migrations OR the global teams continue to work in isolation using a variety of different CAD tools, data, and processes. During that period, each design group generates and stores design data independently, lacking mechanisms to work as an integrated whole. Time-consuming and error-prone processes for finding and managing CAD data and assembling release packages cause design decisions to be often based on incorrect/out-of-date information. This results in design delays, as users can’t see each other’s design changes immediately, and inconsistent adherence to changes and approval processes.

Teamcenter, with its ability to manage more than one CAD system on the same platform, helps companies to mitigate both present and future multi-CAD challenges. It has out of the box integration to all major commercial MCAD tools like NX, Solid Edge, CATIA, SolidWorks, ProEngineer/Creo, Inventor and AutoCAD. Teamcenter’s CAD integration and data management capabilities are very rich, including embedded TC ribbon, standalone TC integrated CAD tool launch, advanced search, update/save to TC, update/synchronize data being worked on by others, change impact analysis, initiate changes, and save revisions – all directly from CAD without the need to open the Teamcenter application. Along with these functionalities, Teamcenter’s 4-tier architecture, optimized for high latency environments, multi-site, security and supplier integration solutions, helps global engineering teams to operate and collaborate at different levels of business integration, from a tightly integrated process mode to a loosely coupled on demand mode.multi_cad

In a multi-CAD environment, design groups receive designs from other teams and/or suppliers, created using different CAD tools. They have difficulty in aggregating CAD data from multiple CAD sources to visualize and analyze assemblies. Also, BOM structures aren’t adequately connected to visual content for Digital Mock-Up. This lack of connection undermines the timeliness and quality of decision making, and forces them to spend time and cost to aggregate, review, and validate designs and design changes. So it is key to enable designers to visualize and analyze product data from different CAD systems and conduct design collaboration reviews across geographically distributed sites. Teamcenter, with its industry leading visualization capabilities, provides the ability to visualize multi-CAD in a neutral JT format and then simulate various assembly modes for downstream engineering, manufacturing and service processes.

All of this leads to:

  • Improved productivity: Enable design teams and suppliers to use the tools they are most familiar with and use/reuse component designs created by other teams/suppliers on other MCAD systems
  • Accelerated product development: Find the right design information quickly; structured workflows enable development groups to work together as a single entity irrespective of location.
  • Increased quality: Find the right data and understand the dependencies to intelligently assess the impact of changes
  • Reduced costs: Modify and share component designs created by other teams/suppliers on your preferred CAD systems and incorporate it into multi-CAD assemblies or product design

Do you have any thoughts to add? Questions on how Teamcenter might apply to your design environment? Leave a comment and let’s chat.

Here is a classic scenario associated with developing medium to large complexity products: A team of people (say, 50 to 100) have to be coordinated. Each member has deliverables and deadlines that must be executed in a specific order. You apply well-known project management techniques.

Now the question is – what technology do you use to support your project management? An informal survey shows that most organizations use a standalone project management tool for this purpose. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, it is disconnected from the PLM system supporting the product development.

This leads to the following scenario:

  1. X, the project manager, identifies that Y, a CAD designer has to complete a 3D CAD model by the end of the month.
  2. This is laid out in the gantt chart as a task with start and finish dates by X and sent to Y.
  3. Y starts working on the 3D CAD model but gets distracted by other priorities and starts running late.
  4. X, seeing that the task is due, calls Y and asked him if it is finished. Y, being human and under pressure to perform, misleads X and tells him it is complete.
  5. X updates his gantt chart to show that the CAD is complete and reports this to his upper management.
  6. A week later it emerges that the CAD is not complete, leading to delays, interventions, etc.

So what is the crucial disconnect in this scenario? The PLM system (where the CAD resides) is completely separate from the project management tool (where the gantt chart resides). Imagine the advantages if these two were connected.

Never fear, there is a solution – Teamcenter Program and Project Management tools allow you to do this. A fully integrated PLM solution that is part of the industry-leading Teamcenter platform, it allows complete connection between project management and design deliverables such as 3D CAD. You can manage your projects in one place and with one system, no matter how simple or complex they are.

Here are the features of the solution:

  1. Robust project management capabilities fully integrated in PLM.
  2. Full program and project management capabilities within the platform.
  3. Project tasks and deliverables linked to PLM data.
  4. Automatic task, deliverable, and project status updates as users store and release product data.
  5. Program and project reporting with standard reports, along with easy to configure dashboards.
  6. Tasks can be tied directly to other PLM data such as 3D CAD.
  7. A task can point to all the reference information required for that task. This means that a participant always has complete information to complete the task.
  8. Tasks can be tied to a workflow for more rigorous management of their execution.
  9. Project managers can access and check deliverables directly from the project timeline.
  10. Program and project reporting using standard reports or easy to configure dashboards.
  11. Project status automatically updates as tasks are completed.

Gantt Chart Workflow
Gantt Chart in Teamcenter                             Workflow in Teamcenter
So let’s replay the previous scenario:

  1. X, the project manager, identifies that Y, a CAD designer has to complete a 3D CAD model by the end of the month.
  2. This is laid out in the gantt chart within Teamcenter and a task deliverable is assigned to Y, who gets immediate email notification.
  3. Y starts working on the 3D CAD model but gets distracted by other priorities and starts running late.
  4. X, who has immediate visibility into the deliverable, sees that Y is running late without having to talk with them.
  5. X and Y work together to get back on track and the 3D CAD is completed on time.
  6. The gantt chart is immediately updated and visible to management.
  7. Everybody is happy!

Connecting project management to your product design activities in Teamcenter has huge advantages – what’s holding you back?

You have probably heard about Teamcenter. You know it is used extensively at the major OEMs. But what does it actually do? How is it made? This article will explain, from the very beginning, what Teamcenter is and how it is put together.

Teamcenter is a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) platform and is primarily designed to support the design and development of products that subsequently get manufactured. Siemens PLM Software gives a single-picture representation of Teamcenter as follows:

Teamcenter

Firstly, Teamcenter is a platform, meaning that it houses multiple capabilities (apps) in a single seamless piece of software. A user logs into one interface and is able to access all the installed and licensed capabilities of their Teamcenter from there. The platform is based on a database, allowing for storage and indexing of data.

Secondly, the platform is scalable to suit the requirements of each organization using the technology. In fact, Siemens PLM Software have categorized the apps into three groups: Start, initial deployment; Extend, increase functionality; and Transform, move to advanced capabilities.

Thirdly, Teamcenter grew out of the necessity to store and maintain all the digital data generated during product development after widespread adoption of CAD applications. It now has extensive capabilities beyond that.

Let us look at the three groups and define at a high level each one of the apps: […]

We hold a number of online events every month. Some showcase a software solution or feature, others celebrate a customer success, and others offer helpful tips and tricks for users. Here is what we have coming up this month. Click on the title of the event, or the “Register” link, for more details and to join us.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 16 – 1:00 p.m. ET
Wine Bottle Stability Simulation
The wine brewing process is complex, and so is the process of manufacturing wine bottles. A bottle must be of specified volume while also being lightweight, stable during motion, and aesthetically attractive. Learn more about a real-life simulation process used to virtually design wine bottles that not only look and feel good but also remain stable on a fast-moving conveyor belt in a packaging plant.
>> REGISTER


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24 – 1:00 p.m. ET
What’s New in Inventor 2017 R2
Autodesk will be releasing a significant update to Inventor, its flagship 3D design and engineering software. Join us and see these new features and a live demonstration of some of the more notable additions to Inventor 2017, followed by Q&A.
>> REGISTER


THURSDAY, AUGUST 25 – 1:00 p.m. ET
What’s New in NX 11
Siemens PLM will be releasing the latest version of NX at the end of August. Get a sneak peak of the new functionality, bells, and whistles that will be coming along with version 11.
>> REGISTER


TUESDAY, AUGUST 30 – 1:00 p.m. ET
Product Design Collection: What Happened to my Suites?
Your Factory Design and Product Design Suites have been retired. What does this mean for you? Join us to learn about the new Product Design Collection and the benefits the new collection offers.
>> REGISTER

 

Questions? Leave a comment and we’ll get right back to you.

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Getting a job done right requires vision, experience, and the right tools. In product design – especially initial product styling, where the look and feel of a product is flushed out – this often comes down to a creative and trained resource utilizing a collection of tools including hand sketches, preliminary form models from direct edit CAD programs, initial parametric models describing functional form, and advanced surfacing techniques to finalize the details.

Needless to say, the process can be cumbersome, requiring files from various systems be translated, and the overall time it requires can preclude a designer from trying multiple variations they might envision, in order to meet deadlines. Just as in every other downstream aspect of product design, finding processes, training, and or tools that allow us to cut overall design time gives us options and advantages that directly impact our bottom line.

In NX 9, Siemens introduced another great tool, NX Realize Shape, giving us a new sub-division modeling approach aimed at creating complex organic shapes (solids and surfaces) in an intuitive straightforward manner, without having to be a high-level surfacing expert.

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What is Subdivision modeling? It is a method of creating complex 3D models that originated in the entertainment industry as a facet-based technology, where it was used to create environments and characters by studios such as Pixar. More recently, Siemens has implemented and updated the technology to produce NURBS output surfaces, meaning the solids and sheets created are not only of high quality, but they are now associative, editable, and suited for use by all downstream consumers of CAD data.

The basic workflow is that you use primitive shapes to begin with, such as a sphere, block, or cylinder, and NX builds a control cage around it. This cage, when manipulated, pulls vertices and edges of the geometry it is connected to. You can then subdivide polygonal elements of that primitive into further polygons. This creates greater control and refinement over the shapes details. The primitive is pushed, pulled, rotated and scaled into shape using intuitive onscreen inputs with instant shape feedback, allowing for optimal control sculpting the shape.

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