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Increase Competitiveness Through Integrated  Mold & Tool Design

The pressure on mold and tool-makers is relentless. Time is always of the essence, and as cycle times reduce, further demands are made. Mold & tool production that took 4 months last year is now demanded in 3 months this year.  And so it goes on. Even when a part design is delivered late, the completion target for the mold or tool often remains unchanged

With these ever decreasing design-to-manufacturing cycle times and increasing complexity of the parts to be produced, toolmakers need to maximize the efficiency of the complete mold and tool design process

To do this toolmakers need to be able to:

  • Accelerate the design of molds & tools and ensure that that can produce the most complex of parts, reliably and to the required cost and quality targets.
  • Simulate, early in the design process, and compensate for the effect of deformation introduced by the manufacturing process such as material shrinkage, warping or spring-back.
  • Respond quickly to change requests – whether through late changes to the design of the part to be produced, or the need to address problems found during the manufacturing process itself. 

To addresses these challenges, the CATIA Mold & Tool design solution from Dassault Systèmes provides comprehensive and fully integrated capabilities specifically developed to meet the needs of mold and tool designers. These capabilities include the following features:

  • Rapid design of molds and tools
  • Process specific mold & tool design capabilities such as semi-automatic creation of parting surfaces, mold cores, cavities, runners, lifters and inserts.
  • Faster and safer design of complex tool assemblies through ‘smart’ components and standardized resources that embed custom behavior.
  • Advanced simulation & validation: Simulate the part forming process in order to quickly and accurately compensate for material deformation.
  • Integrated change management – Quickly identify the impact of a part change on the mold or tool, with full associativity between the part the mold and tool forming surfaces so that design changes can be propagated to the mold & tool designs.

Many leading companies have gained significant competitive advantage through these capabilities, with typical benefits being:

• Improved the whole mold & tool design process time by 70%.
• Achieved time savings of 30% across the initial mold design process.
• Reduced the time for manufacturability analysis from DAYS to hours
• Accelerated mold core & cavity design by 70 %.

Tata Technologies can help you get set up with CATIA Mold and Tooling. Contact us for a demonstration or visit our website www.tatatechnologies.com

While few of the Abaqus explicit enhancements in 2020x have been discussed in previous blogs on contact, this particular blog article specifically focuses on many more enhancements in explicit, with or without contact.

  • DT based element deletion: While explicit jobs never exit with fatal errors due to lack of convergence, they can still give fatal errors because of severe element distortion. An element deletion criterion has been introduced that allows user to set a trigger for element deletions based on element area, element volume, stable time increment and characteristic length. These triggers can be defined either as absolute or as ratios.
  • Linear Kinematic conversion: This is yet another approach to avoid fatal errors because of severe element distortion. In this approach, the elements are transformed to linear elements based on certain trigger threshold on distortion. It is applicable to most of continuum tetrahedral and hexahedral elements.

Enhanced CEL approach: Conventional CEL approach is good for solids only. When applied to liquids and gases, it may cause leakage especially when fluids create high pressure gradient, when fluids have large tangential velocity or at the location of sharp corners. The enhanced CEL contact formulation fixes this problem and is applicable to both solid and shell meshes. However, this enhanced formulation is more expensive in memory and computation.

Hybrid message parsing (HMP): This is an enhancement in parallel processing that can combine MPI (DMP) based parallelization and Threads (SMP) based parallelization. The solution can utilize thread based parallelism within a node as well as MPI to communicate between the nodes. It results in fine grained dynamic load balancing because when a thread completes its own elements computation work, it helps other threads within the same MPI rank.

Visit www.tatatechnologies.com to learn more about our PLM offerings and how we can help customers use the best technology for their needs.

Subsequent to the blog article on few functionalities in Abaqus CAE 20202x, this particular blog article mentions enhancements in Abaqus solver 2020x contacts and constraints. The enhancements would be mentioned in reverse chronological order and few of these have been introduced in FP’s of 2019x as well.

  • Interference fit in Abaqus explicit: This feature has been in waiting list since long by users and its finally available now. Earlier releases of explicit had an option of strain free adjustment only for overclosures. From 2020x, if initial overclosure is “x” and interference is defined as “y”, then strain free adjustment is performed till “x-y” and rest is treated as interference being resolved through a smooth amplitude curve. That means a “two in one advantage” for explicit. Moreover, it is supported in Abaqus CAE.

Change in contact status legend: To make output more meaningful for the users, the contact status has been changed to bonded and “not in contact” as shown below. This is applicable to both standard and explicit.

Rate dependent cohesive damage: The damage initiation and damage evolution laws now have parameters to include rate dependency in cohesive contact for explicit. Earlier this feature was available in cohesive elements approach only. Effective since 2019xFD04.

  • Material based general contact property assignment: The conventional process of property assignment in general contact is a three-step process. First, define sets of elements. Second, use sets to define surfaces. Third, use surfaces in property definition. From 2020x, material can be directly called for surface assignment if that approach helps. This is true for both standard and explicit.

Thermal expansion of rigid bodies: The analytical and discrete rigid bodies have been existing in Abaqus since long. However, when it comes to combined structural and thermal steps, a body very rigid from structural perspective may expand well when heated. To incorporate this effect, thermal expansion of rigid bodies feature is now included in Abaqus standard. This is applicable to kinematic couplings as well as for bodies are not explicitly defined through a CAD geometry.

  • Small sliding in general contact: This is again a BIG enhancement based in users request. Small sliding substantially reduces the contact search time because it is based on flat surface approximation. When used correctly, it results in convergence improvement and less overall solution time. However, its absence in general contact was a bit bothersome. From 2020x, small sliding exists in general contact for standard.

General contact enhancement for Multiphysics: Beam elements have been introduced in general contact for thermal and thermal electrical procedures. This may be helpful in approximating some large size applications such as heat exchangers by modeling pipes as beam elements.

Visit www.tatatechnologies.com to learn more about our PLM offerings and how we can help customers use the best technology for their needs.

Firstly, credit where credit is due. This article was inspired by fellow PLM soldier Rob Ferrone who includes the title “Digital Plumber” in his LinkedIn profile.

How does the plumbing analogy fits into PLM? A generalized definition of plumbing from Wikipedia:

“Plumbing is any system that conveys fluids for a wide range of applications” (Interestingly derived from the Latin word plumbum or lead – these were the first pipes used for water delivery).

Of course, the term has subsequently been extended to cover any system that facilitates the flow of fluids, information, air etc. For example, people talk about “a problem with the plumbing of my heart” when referring to arterial blockages. Or “Our network plumbing is inefficient” meaning that there are bottlenecks in the passage of data in the network.

So, how does this extended definition apply to PLM and why is it important to pay attention to “PLM Plumbing”. Let me try my own definition:

PLM Plumbing – The art and science of optimizing background systems to ensure that information, processes and workflows in a PLM system flow efficiently as possible for a user.

It is important to split this definition into two parts because really, we are talking about two different participants in a PLM system. Let’s examine the sides below.

The User

What does a user want out of a PLM system? Here is a partial list of features or behaviors that are likely to result in great User adoption:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Minimal button clicks
  • Fresh, modern look
  • Easy access to help screens, tooltips and other aides
  • Presentation of the right information
  • Easy “drill down capabilities” for looking up details
  • Dashboards and reports
  • Responsive screens (no “slow load”)
  • Use on any device
  • Work anywhere anytime
  • Accessible and intelligent search capability (users compare to Google)
  • Simple and easy to understand workflows
  • Simple process to create objects with uncluttered forms

The list above is obviously incomplete and high level. Also, many of the requirements are functions of the underlying software and its design, and cannot be changed easily, certainly not at a specific implementation.

The PLM Plumber

So, what are PLM Plumbers? They are the heroes of a PLM Implementation, constantly working in the background to provide Users with all their requirements. They take care of the “plumbing”; all the background setup, infrastructure and configurations that a User does not want to deal with but allows for efficient data flow.

Here are a few areas where an expert PLM Plumber can have an impact:

Infrastructure Design

A crucial part of any PLM implementation is ensuring that a robust infrastructure supports the system. Not designing this correctly can have implications for user performance and hence acceptance. Another complete blog could be written about this subject but, suffice to say the PLM plumber is an expert at these matters – this is the essence of plumbing. (Just a word of warning, don’t create something analogous to the title picture of this article)

Device Availability

It is a fact of modern life that everybody expects to be able to conduct business anywhere, anytime. More and more business interactions are migrating to smart devices – should not PLM? The system can be configured and enabled to allow for this. In terms of the plumbing, this may entail some behind the scenes IT systems (VPN, Mobile web pages, device security etc.). Include in implementations!

Workflows and processes

Often committees design convoluted and complicated workflows that are then implemented in a PLM system. The result of this is that Users do not understand them, are frustrated when they don’t work and make multiple mistakes. It is the duty of the PLM Plumber to simplify and streamline workflows and processes – Users will appreciate this. And, reduce the number of clicks to approve a workflow.

User Entry Forms

Another irritation to Users is the large forms that needs to be completed when creating an object in PLM. Multiple fields with lots of information are presented. The average user completes the mandatory fields only (those with *) and hits create. So why have the non-mandatory fields in the first place? It is the duty of the PLM Plumber to fight against unnecessary fields.

Organization and Security

This is an important part of any PLM Implementation and one where the PLM Plumber can have a large impact because most PLM systems must be configured from scratch when it comes to the security model. It should be noted that nothing is more annoying to a user than to get a message such as “the user is not authorized for this function”. Not only is it a blow to their ego, it also is one of the events guaranteed to result in non-adoption. Of course, there are good reasons to have security in place, one must prevent unauthorized actions in the system. This is where the PLM plumber comes in by designing a good security policy that balances corporate policies with User convenience. The actual design is transparent to the User, they want to get their job done.

Reports and Dashboards

All Users want certain information from the system that will allow them to effectively do their job. Each User may require a different set of information, presented in a certain manner. Here is where the PLM Plumber can become very useful by configuring the correct reports and dashboards for Users. In general, Users don’t want to be bothered with this task – they want to see the results.

The Art

Note that my original definition included the word “art”. This may seem an overreach when discussing a technology such as PLM, but it can be defended. For example, faced with trying to balance complexity and simplicity in a workflow the PLM Plumber applies his art and produces an elegant result. Consider also Reports and Dashboards – is not the correct design of a sleek dashboard an art?

Conclusion

Here is to Plumbing in PLM. Just as Plumbers create complex, background, invisible systems that deliver fluids, so does a PLM Plumber deliver information to Users in an efficient manner. Embrace your destiny!

Visit www.tatatechnologies.com to learn more about our PLM offerings and how we can help customers use the best technology for their needs.

During this unprecedented time our world is going through with COVID-19, many of the norms in our lives are changing, including the way we learn. Kids across the world are now using video communication services such as Zoom to communicate with teachers. Teachers are quickly adapting to online learning systems to manage homework. Employees are being directed to their online corporate learning modules. Classroom training is all on hold for the foreseeable future. We are all getting a crash-course in a world of remote learning.

Many engineers will be affected by the Coronavirus in our new remote working environments. Unfortunately, many engineers may even be forced to look for work elsewhere as jobs are lost. To help engineers throughout the world at this time of need, i GET IT, a learning solution of Tata Technologies, will make available our library of training courses for free for individual users. We are also offering special training packages for companies that wish to take advantage of online learning. This includes online courses for Autodesk, CATIA, 3DEXPERIENCE, SOLIDWORKS, NX, Teamcenter, PTC and a select collection from our engineering skills courses. These are the same courses used by the leading manufacturing companies around the world and focus on new and advanced user topics. We hope people take this opportunity to up-skill, learn a new CAD application or transition into a new version.

Free Access for Individuals

In support of the ongoing situation of the Coronavirus, Tata Technologies has provided over 11,000 individuals free access to i GET IT during April and May. Though registration is now closed, we are continuing to provide support through a 50% discount on our training subscriptions. Visit page https://myigetit.com/plans to view our plans and use coupon code covid19 at checkout on any of our plans.

Providing Assistance to Companies

During the COVID-19 crisis, companies are sending their employees to new remote work environments and planned classroom training sessions have been cancelled. Tata Technologies is helping companies with special i GET IT training packages to keep employees’ training on task. Employees can access i GET IT from anywhere, anytime, at their own pace. Companies can take this unique time to have employees learn new skills and sharpen up on the latest changes to your CAD applications. For more information on how i GET IT can help and learn about our special training packages, please submit a request below and an account representative will be in contact.

Submit a Request

About i GET IT

i GET IT is an online engineering knowledge development and sharing tool, which specifically addresses the engineering community with an extensive MCAD/PLM training library, powerful customization tools, learning management features and assessment capabilities. As online provider of engineering training for the past 20-years, i GET IT helps companies use the leading mechanical design applications from Autodesk, Siemens PLM, PTC Creo, Dassault Systems CATIA, 3DEXPERIENCE and SOLIDWORKS, along with topics in GD&T, FEA, Plastics, PLM and other engineering skills.

Unlike other generic learning providers, i GET IT is created by dedicated resources from industry PLM leaders at Tata Technologies. This allows us to offer the most comprehensive training solution for the leading engineering design and manufacturing applications plus industry skills, providing a consistent and updated offering for each release. It also allows i GET IT to consult directly with customers, providing customized solutions that fit your exact training needs and beyond.

To learn more about our learning courses and features, visit https://myigetit.com.

As-Is

Traditionally, a PLM implementation was carried out using large internal servers and associated IT infrastructure – what is now termed “on-premise”. Such implementations would be configured and customized to suit the processes and requirements of the business. Although most PLM customers would pay lip service to “Out of the box (OOTB)”, most would immediately turn around and apply customization’s.

So, what are the problems associated with this model? Let’s list a few of them:

Upgrades

Because an on-premise installation is static it is normally frozen at the level at the time of installation. The software vendors are constantly improving their offerings and normally have an annual upgrade cycle. Large implementations with multiple customizations and external connections are very difficult to upgrade (not least of the problems is that the original software vendor does not support customizations). This leads to the situation that these environments often are several years behind the latest release and are hugely expensive to upgrade when this becomes an imperative.

Underlying hardware and software

A PLM installation is dependent on underlying operating systems, databases and browsers. If these are upgraded or changed often the PLM environment will not operate

Supplier compatibility

A typical automotive or aerospace supplier (and there are many) runs at least 5 different versions of the same CAD package. This is required to make sure that they have the required version for each OEM they supply to. Large OEMs have lengthy and update cycles and are not synchronized. Of course, anyone who has touched a CAD file with the wrong version, will understand the potential pain.

In addition, suppliers must maintain a unique connection for each OEM they work for and must manually extract and upload data from these connections. Definitely wasted effort.

Software Bugs

Ever submitted a ticket about a software bug to a PLM company? The first response from their technical support will be – Can the error be replicated in an OOTB environment, we do not support customized environments? So, if the error is in a customized environment, you will largely be on your own trying to solve the problem.

Technical Team

To maintain a large on-premise PLM implementation, an organization needs a dedicated technical team. These resources are difficult to recruit and expensive to maintain.

Technology Access

Technology is constantly improving, including PLM applications. So, what holds back companies from using the latest? In a large majority of cases the answer is – we cannot move until our major customers move.

To-Be

Consider that Salesforce was founded in 1999 and in just over twenty years has revolutionized CRM applications. A large part of their success – a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) offering on a multi tenet architecture.

The PLM landscape is showing a shift toward a cloud-based SaaS model, similar to Salesforce. Its adoption is still small but growing.

So how does a cloud-based SaaS PLM approach overcome all the problems associated with the on-premise model? Here is a list.

Automatic upgrades

As the software vendor is responsible for upgrading the environment, every user is automatically up to date with the latest version – no more expensive, lengthy upgrades. Everybody always has the latest technology.

Simplified IT

Because all the complicated software behind a cloud-based PLM is transparent to the customer and users, IT requirements for a cloud-based system are greatly simplified. Usually these are restricted to browsers and workstation operating systems. Also, no more large IT team to support the PLM implementation.

Supplier Collaboration

This is one of the largest benefits. No more running multiple versions: everybody is automatically on the same release and patch level. The other potential huge benefit from a cloud PLM is the concept of a single license have access to multiple tenets – in this scenario a user would log out of his tenet, log into an OEM tenet, retrieve data or collaborate and then use the same license to access his tenet. No more custom connections, ftp or email!

Objections?

Of course, there will always be objections to progress. Here are a few:

Cloud security is a large technical topic and beyond the scope of this article. However, lets revisit the example of Salesforce mentioned earlier. Is not a company’s contacts, sales leads, pipeline and revenue forecasts very valuable and sensitive? All stored on the Salesforce cloud. Probably of equal value is engineering data and associated documents, so why not have them on the cloud?

It is true that a cloud-based application such as PLM requires a larger and reliable Internet connection. But think of the on-premise servers that are been saved.

Cloud based SaaS model allows little or limited configuration/customization possibilities. This goes to the heart of another age-old PLM debate – change business processes to suit the system or change the system to suit the business. Organizations always pay lip service to the former (“We want OOTB”) but adopt the latter (“Can we implement our smart part numbering system”). A cloud PLM will keep everybody honest.

The Future of PLM

This short article probably does not completely cover the topic but makes some compelling arguments. The future of PLM is on the cloud! Let’s embrace our destiny!

Visit www.tatatechnologies.com to learn more about our PLM offerings and how we can help customers use the best technology for their needs.

Computer aided engineering has always been a role of a specialist. This statement is very much evident from the fact that more than 50 percent of analysts today have a graduate degree; either an MS or a PhD. This is because these physics-based simulations are a lot more than collection of icons, toolbars and pull-down menus. Unless the user is well familiar with the core engineering aspect of the problem being solved as well as with the underlying governing equations that solve the problem, he is very likely to make an error in modeling that would lead to erroneous results. In such situations “a stress solver becomes a stress creator.”

If one dissects the subject of computer aided engineering, he would see several branches of it. The main ones are: finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, multi-physical simulation as well as multi body dynamics. Each of these branches have several sub-branches of it. For example, finite element analysis can be divided into structural analysis, thermal analysis, coupled analysis. The structural analysis can be further sub-divided into linear static structural, non linear static structural, linear dynamic, non linear dynamic etc. As one moves keeps digging inside, simulation becomes more niche and more specialized. This justifies the need of a specialist with many years of experience with advanced technical and academic credentials.

While we, at TATA Technologies do not provide work experience or academic credentials, we do transfer expertise in computer aided engineering and many other fields of engineering through dedicated technical trainings as well as on the job trainings. We offer software products specific trainings such as Dassault Systemes portfolio, Siemens PLM portfolio, Autodesk portfolio as well as several industry vertical trainings such as modeling of welds and connectors in automotive chassis, design for light weight etc. We do provide small sessions on best practices as well such as effective element selection in Abaqus, overcome convergence problems in non linear simulation etc.

We train people with various levels of experience and knowledge. The student may be a fresh designer out of college who has recently joined his first organization or may be a subject matter expert with years of design or simulation experience and trying to learn something new. As mentioned, we teach both software as well as methodologies and workflows.

If you have a high end engineering software in your organization that seems to be underutilized because of lack of human resource, please get in touch with us.

Visit www.tatatechnologies.com to learn more about our PLM offerings and how we can help customers use the best technology for their needs.

In today’s digital world it is more competitive every day. To get ahead of the curve, companies are looking for a means to expand their engineering capabilities such as electromechanical, human engineering, industrial design and styling, tooling and fixture design, or factory design. Many companies have a dedicated pool of NX licenses and are simply looking to add a couple of add-on modules for a few specific jobs but hesitate to buy them due to cost. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pool of add-on licenses from which to pick and choose for those one-off jobs?  Now you can — through Siemens’ NX Product Engineering Token Licenses, also known as Value-Based Licensing.

Whether you manage or own a small, medium, or large company…token licensing can add flexibility and value to your product design capabilities and save you money. You can have access to a broader NX product portfolio without making a large investment.

What is NX Token-Based Licensing?

Token licensing provides a flexible and cost-effective method for you to run almost any NX Product Engineering add-on module including multiple translators. The token pool does not include products with royalty or programming authoring tools (NX Open Authoring). However, with more than 50 products in the pool from which to choose, you will have the flexibility to perform the engineering and design work necessary for your needs without having to make a separate purchase. Look at the wheel graph below to see a sample of the many available modules.

Token licensing is like “per-seat” floating licenses as both require you to check out a needed license, then check it in when you are done using it — making it available for access by a different user. The two options differ in that access to products in the per-seat floating license scenario is comprised solely of the products the company has purchased whereby token licensing allows access to every product in the token license pool. You have a greater set of products that can be easily accessed when you need them. No more infrequently used software sitting on a shelf.

How does NX Token-Based Licensing Work?

For starters, tokens are added to a base application such as: Mach 1 floating and above, or an NX Automotive Bundle, or a Daimler Supplier Bundle. Each NX application in the token pool consumes a defined number of tokens when in use. The total number of applications and which specific applications can be checked out (on top of the Base Application) is limited by the number of tokens the user has available.

Here is an example of how tokens work. Let’s consider a configuration of five Mach 1 floating seats (NX11001) and a 100 token value pack.

At 9 AM the token pool is full and ready for use.

At 9:30 a User 1 starts using NX Human Modeling… the Human Modeling app uses 26 tokens leaving a remainder of 76 tokens available for use.

Now at 9:45 AM, User 2 starts using NX Realize Shape. This app uses 35 tokens leaving a balance of 39 tokens available for use.

At 10:15 AM, User 1 finishes with Human Modeling and the tokens are returned to the pool leaving a balance of 65 tokens available, and ready for use.

Finally, at 10:30 AM, User 4 starts Routing Base, and… well you get the picture…!!!

We can help you size the pool and get the best configuration to suit your needs. You will need to consider the number of users accessing the pool and the “daily use” NX products versus “occasional use” NX products. Tokens are best used for “occasional use” products, so if you have a product that you rely on daily, it may be better as a floating add-on. Token pools are most cost-effective when there is a wide variety of NX applications needed.  In general, if four or more add-ons are needed then token-based licensing is an attractive option. You can mix tokens and floating add-on licenses to give you the most flexibility at a good price.  For example, if you have someone who uses a particular floating add-on license every day and another person who uses it on occasion, it might be best to purchase one floating add-on for the every day user and a value pack of tokens for the occasional user.

NX token based licensing offers numerous advantages:

    Access to multiple products
    • More than 50 apps currently in the pool and growing
    • As new modules are added to the pool, you will be able to use them without additional effort from your internal purchasing team.
Extreme flexibility
  • Run the add-on module you need, when you need it
  • Run occasionally needed products without having to make a separate purchase
Useful for a variety of users
  • Electromechanical, Industrial Designers and Styling, Mechanical Designers, Tooling and Fixture Designers, Translators, etc.
Cost effective
  • Access to individual add-on licenses for all the products in the NX Product Engineering token pool would be cost prohibitive.

If your business can benefit from a broader NX portfolio without having to make a large investment — Token-Based Licensing is for you.

For more information contact Tata Technologies at
info.americas@tatatechnologies.com

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