Exciting news – we have launched a new Blog Site with its own domain – plmtechtalk.com. Check out the new and improved site with fresh content.
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.
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.
There is so much more to this command than welding. Not only is there a full range of weld types, but you can also model beads of adhesives, glue, and mastic as well as fasteners like rivets for example. Basically there are three categories in Weld Assistant for joining parts, they are: discrete welds, line welds, and adhesives. Normally a rivet is a type of fastener, but they are included as a custom weld in Weld Assistant.
In this post, let’s take a look at how to model rivets. We will create a custom spot weld to mimic a rivet. We will start by configuring a custom weld spot under File + Utilities + Customer Defaults.
- From the Customer Defaults window, select Weld Assistant + Point Locator and then select one of the Custom tabs.
- Set the Solid Display to Cylinder and give the custom Point Locator a name… Rivet for example.
- Set the other attributes accordingly, and then select OK to finish the configuration.
Now create a Rivet the same way you would create a Resistance Weld Spot.
- From the Weld Assistance command select Weld Point Wizard.
- From the Weld Point Wizard block:
- Select your Method
- Set the Type to the new custom Point Locator you just created (i.e. Rivet)
- Select Next.
- Select the Face Sets and then select Next
- Select the points you want to create Rivets at and then select Next.
- Select Finish to place the Rivets.
If the Rivets don’t show up at first, then select the Solid Weld Point Display option.
Key benefits to modeling welds in Cad include:
- Provides a key piece of information necessary for a complete Digital Twin.
- Mass properties inclusion (Weight and Volume).
- Easy to visualize.
- Easy to validate for correct location using Weld Advisor.
- Easy to convey information via a Drawing or PMI
- Available for inclusion into CAE analysis
- Available for process planning
- Available for robot programming
- Significant time savings compared to manual application of welds
- Having the ability to create and validate the Rivets in CAD ensures quality data is being sent to manufacturing thereby reducing the amount of rework.
Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI) consists of non-geometric data, that is attached directly to a 3D CAD model to define geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), engineering and manufacturing specifications, dimensions, and text. PMI is part of Model Based Definition (MBD) and together these two elements are a part of a Digital Twin.
Applying PMI to a 3D model can reduce or eliminate the use of 2D drawings and can be used downstream to perform tolerance analytics and coordinate-measuring machine (CMM) inspection.
PMI is a command within NX that gives you the ability to create/attach dimensions and annotations to define the 3D model, and requires model views similar to the views on a drawing. These dimensions and annotations are associative to the 3D geometry, and if it is decided that a 2D drawing is required, then the PMI can be inherited from the 3D model and automatically applied to the drawing views.
We think of MBD and PMI as new technologies and 2D drawings as “old school,” but there are valid uses for a 2D drawing. Given the ability in NX to quickly create 2D drawings with associative dimensions inherited from the 3D PMI… this gives you the best of both worlds.
The image below demonstrates what PMI looks like in a 3D model view, and the next image down demonstrates the inherited PMI in a 2D drawing view:
Autodesk Vault is a robust PDM system with sundry nuances and features. In this post, I will be showing various links to websites that have a ton of great information. These links will be useful for seasoned administrators to the first time end user.
First, help docs. These online help docs from Autodesk are the definitive resource for anything and everything Vault.
Vault 2018 – http://help.autodesk.com/view/VAULT/2018/ENU/
Vault 2017 – http://help.autodesk.com/view/VAULT/2017/ENU/
Vault 2016 – http://help.autodesk.com/view/VAULT/2016/ENU/
Next we have some community sites from Autodesk, where you can get assistance, offer advice, and even contribute ideas that may be implemented in a future release.
Autodesk Vault Forum – http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/vault/ct-p/2004
Autodesk Vault Ideas – https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/vault-ideas/idb-p/2/tab/most-recent
Autodesk Knowledge Network Screencast – https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencasts/VAULTPRODUCTS
This site is like a YouTube channel designed and built by Autodesk, specifically for Autodesk Products. What makes it different is the recording software will actually tracks which commands you are using, which product is currently being shown, dialog boxes, and files in use. This gives the viewer a much more meaningful learning experience. These features are only implemented in Inventor, Revit, and AutoCAD at the time of this post, however, I expect Autodesk to be adding this functionality for Vault as well.
Next we have some blogs from Autodesk.
Cracking the Vault – http://autodesk.com/crackingthevault
Just Ones and Zeros – http://justonesandzeros.typepad.com/
This is a great site for the coders out there, looking to get more out of their Vault experience.
Under the Hood – http://underthehood-autodesk.typepad.com/
This last one is a shared product blog with Fusion Lifecycle (formerly PLM 360).
Now for some more administrator type content; system requirements and readme’s
Vault 2017 System requirements – https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/vault-products/getting-started/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2017/ENU/Vault-Install/files/GUID-B64117E4-FA07-4145-8B5F-86973B13EB11-htm.html
Vault 2016 System Requirements – https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/vault-products/getting-started/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/Vault-Install/files/GUID-B64117E4-FA07-4145-8B5F-86973B13EB11-htm.html
Many leading manufacturers pursue a global product development and manufacturing strategy. Although this allows manufacturers to achieve tremendous economy of scale and scope, this strategy has increased planning and collaboration complexities by order of magnitudes, especially in the following areas.
- Planning global production
- Optimizing and effectively leveraging capacity
- Answering manufacturing feasibility questions with confidence
- Mitigating scrap, rework and delays
When product design and manufacturing are dispersed on a global scale, how do they ensure that their teams can collaborate, perform analysis in a secured environment? Often there is a vacuum between product /process design and the actual manufacturing execution. These two teams don’t have the suitable tools to share and exchange information.
At the design stage engineers have to deal with design data, CAE models, embedded software designs, etc. At the execution stage ERP and MES systems are responsible for managing job orders, inventory, scheduling etc. Manufacturing process management solutions allows manufacturers to manage their enterprise product and production data on a global scale. They can integrate the product design and production execution processes in a single platform. Teamcenter Manufacturing Solutions provides an en d-to-end solution to collaboratively design, validate, optimize, and document manufacturing processes . Key capabilities include:
- Process design and planning
A single source of manufacturing knowledge can streamline collaborative processes and decision making across the product and manufacturing engineering departments. Teamcenter supports process design and planning by leveraging all of the product and process information for planning purposes, creating multiple plant views with process structure, scoping the process workflow and tracking BOM line items. This can reduce planning cycles and optimize production.
- Change visibility
Teamcenter provides visibility to change. Late-stage changes can have the largest impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line as the cost of change raises exponentially throughout the product lifecycle. Teamcenter communicates change from engineering to production in controlled workflows that include bill of materials management. Teamcenter provides production updates and validates the impact to existing production processes.
- Manufacturing work instructions
With Teamcenter, electronic work instructions are created and managed in one single source that spans the lifecycle, from Design to Manufacturing Planning to Process Instructions Planning to Execution. You can streamline workflow, and work instruction processes, including 3D visualization and simulation to provide product context and demonstrate how to execute tasks
- Interoperability and open architecture
Underpinning the entire manufacturing process is Teamcenter’s open PLM platform. Teamcenter brings together all engineering and manufacturing information, including bi-directional BOM-BOP integration. By using ISO-standard JT files, manufacturing workers have visibility to 3D product designs in a CAD-neutral visualization format.
In summary, the benefits of using Teamcenter for manufacturing process management are:
- Concurrently develop product and process plans so you can make smarter decisions, earlier, and speed time to market.
- Mitigate the risk of late-stage change, which has the largest single impact to profitability
- Reuse proven global production capabilities to optimize quality and performance
- Leverage Teamcenter PLM investment to streamline manufacturing planning and operations, as well as engineering
Embracing a true PLM platform and solution is not an easy endeavor for many companies, even with the reckoning of the potential value and ROI offered by a rightly architected PLM solution. Success in any Enterprise software implementation like PLM often requires careful planning, dedicated resources , right technical expertise, executive sponsorship, and a receptive culture, among other things. When done the right way the results of such efforts are transformational, producing significant business benefit which can be measured and validated.
One of the biggest challenges to adopting PLM is organizational change management given the breadth and scale of a true PLM solution . Many companies approaches it in phases and rightly so; but the key is how the phases are architected, tracked and measured. PLM involves managing and linking Data, Processes and People together as the product goes through it’s lifecycle from inception to design to manufacturing to support and eventually end of life. The first step of this is often managing Data; specifically Engineering CAD data. Most solutions start with a way to vault the CAD data along with some basic part numbering schemes and revision rules . Sometimes engineering documents are also vaulted along with the CAD data. Yes data vaulted in a central repository brings lot of benefits like elimination of duplicates , basic check-in-checkout / access controls and added search capabilities as opposed to it scattered across multiple locations. But the measured value of this alone may not substantiate the heavy PLM IT investment companies needs to make for a true scalable PLM platform. Sometimes there is an expectation misalignment on the full PLM value and just the data vaulting value . This at times sends companies to a long and lull “PLM assessment” period after data vaulting. Sometimes cultural resistance or organizational change overturns any momentum. Maybe a technical glitch or integration shortfall previously overlooked becomes a deal breaker . Over-scoped and under supported initiative can also run out of money or time.
Companies make a considerable amount of IT investment on the PLM platform upfront, so that they have a scalable solution for all phases and not just CAD vaulting. Most of the time they can add more capabilities and processes on the PLM platform without additional IT investments . So it’s very important to get past the initial data vaulting phase and move to the next phases to maximize the utilization of existing IT investments. Now the question is where do we go after CAD vaulting. This is where upfront PLM Roadmap definition is so important in terms of how the phases are architected, tracked and measured. For companies who have successfully completed data vaulting but do not have a formal PLM Roadmap defined yet, some of the next focus areas to consider can be Engineering process management, BOM Management, Change management , Requirements management , Project and Program management , in no specific order.
Siemens PLM has introduced lots of new functionality and improvements in the latest version of Active Workspace 3.3 , the key themes being
- User Productivity Improvements
- Reduce Information Overload
- Configure, Extend, and Deploy
- Process Execution and Other Application and Industry Template Exposure
The user productivity improvements are breakdown into three categories.
- Improved user efficiency
First focus area for user productivity is improved user efficiency and proficiency, which is achieved through the use of accelerators such as drag and drop and multiple select to do bulk actions. Some key capabilities are
- Universal viewer
- Tab overflow
- Command stack for analysis
- Copy and paste hyperlink improvements
- Drag and Drop Editing structure editing
- Enable “Completing a thought” with a single client
Second focus area for user productivity is to enable users to complete a thought with a single client. Users are enabled to execute complete use cases with just the Active Workspace UI or with a native authoring application and Active Workspace hosted within it. In the latest version core features and capabilities are extended for targeted use cases. Some key ones are
- Manage Security in Single Level Projects Hierarchy – multi-select for project security
- Achieve secure collaboration by applying project security to configured structure content
- Effectively manage granular access to data in larger programs through hierarchical project level security
- Assign existing effectivity criteria to qualify what structured content will be configured
- Define new effectivity configuration criteria
- Create a baseline of a structure to capture a view of that structure at a point in time
- Enable showing only the results from a find in context to easily visualize them
- Responsive performance
Third focus area for improved user productivity is to make the client perform and respond as fast as possible to user gestures. In the latest version server calls are minimized to reduce latency sensitivity. Things like long running reports are run in the background to free up the client and to allow the user to do other work. Some key improvements are
- Minimize bandwidth and memory usage through virtual paging and streaming of content
- Minimize server communications and sensitivity to high latencies
- Efficient execution through journaling, analysis, and tuning
I will introduce the new user productivity improvement features to you in detail through the subsequent blogs
This is a further followup to my previous articles on digital twins, focusing on the Feedback Loop pillar
Smart Factory loop
The feedback loop starts with the Smart Factory. This is a fully digitalized factory model of a production system connected via sensors, SCADA systems, PLCs or other automation devices to the main product lifecycle management (PLM) data repository. In the Smart Factory, all events on the physical shop floor during production are recorded and directly pushed back to the PLM system or through the cloud. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is used to study and analyze this information, and the main findings are sent back to either product development
in manufacturing planning or facility planning.
Why is this important? Production facilities and the manufacturing processes tends to change immediately after start of production. New ideas will be implemented, new working methods will be deployed and new suppliers might be selected; all requiring changes to the production system or process. Since these modifications will certainly impact the future, updating them in the system at this stage is becoming a must. Production systems outlive the product lifecycle, and many companies use their production systems to make multiple products. These factors contribute to the increasing need to regularly capture these changes in the PLM system, which can later be used to distribute this information to all parties. The information collected during production can also serve as the basis for improving the maintainability of manufacturing resources. With this information, we can enable much better (sensor) condition-based maintenance, and thus increase uptime and productivity.
Smart product loop
Almost every product made today is a smart product. Many companies are looking for ways to improve the connection with their smart products while they are being used by their customers. Monitoring product use can provide a lot of knowledge for improving products. More than that, connecting to these smart products can generate a new type of business model that may result in more competitive offerings.
These feedback loops and the data it generate is a challenge for PLM too. In the short term, the PLM issue for digital twins is how IoT-gathered data can best be put to work—extrapolated, parsed, and redirected? To where? At whose direction? The quick and easy solutions are analytics running on the cloud, machine-to-machine (M2M), and analyses based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Such questions are expected as digital twins emerge as the next revolution in both data management and lifecycle management.
Ultimately, the use of PLM will allow us to bring digital twins into close correspondence—in sync—with their physical equivalents in the real world. When this comes to pass, we can expect problems to be uncovered more quickly, products to be supported. Products with digital twins will be more reliable with less downtime while operating more efficiently and at lower cost. PLM-powered digital twins will boost user and owner confidence in their physical products. Ultimately, digital twins reflect what users and owners expect to receive when they sign a contract or purchase order.
A classic deployment of a digital twin includes three pillars: product design, manufacturing process planning and feedback loops.
- Product design
A digital twin includes all design elements of a product, namely:
- 3D models using computer-aided design (CAD) systems
- System models (using systems engineering product development solutions, such as systems-driven product development)
- Bill-of-materials (BOM)
- 1D, 2D and 3D analysis models using computer-aided engineering (CAE) systems such as Simcenter™ software
- Digital software design and testing using application lifecycle management (ALM) systems such as Polarion ALM software
- Electronics design using systems developed by Mentor Graphics
Using these elements results in a comprehensive computerized model of the product, enabling almost 100 percent of virtual validation and testing of the product under design. All of this eliminates the need for prototypes, reduces the amount of time needed for development, improves the quality of the final manufactured product and enables faster iterations in response to customer feedback.
- Manufacturing process planning
The Siemens solutions available today enable the development of three models critical to any manufacturer:
- Manufacturing process model – the how – resulting in an accurate description of how this product will be produced
- Production facility model – the where – providing a full digital representation of the production and assembly lines needed to make the product
- Production facility automation model – Describing how the automation system, including supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, programmable logic controller (PLC) hardware and software, human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software, etc., will support the production system
The value of the digital twin in manufacturing offers a unique opportunity to virtually simulate, validate and optimize the entire production system. It also lets you test how the product, with all its primary parts and subassemblies, will be built using manufacturing processes, production lines and automation.
- Feedback loops
When it comes to the feedback loops of the Digital Twins pillars , there are two kinds that have a significant impact on most manufacturers
- The Smart Factory Loop and
- The Smart Product Loop.
“Product Design” and “Manufacturing process planning” pillars were in existence for a while but the “Feedback loops” is a newer one. I will discuss elaborately on it in my next blog .