Braking resistors that will not break

cressall braking resistors

David Atkins, projects director at Cressall Resistors, explains why design is essential not only in art, but also in industry, especially when designing equipment such as power resistors for demanding environments like oil and gas

One of the most popular works of Renaissance sculpture is Michelangelo’s David, a piece that has become synonymous with human strength and beauty.

Despite its seemingly perfect proportions, a basic design flaw of the statue has recently been brought to light.

Recurring micro-fractures in the ankles might cause the statue to collapse under its own weight.  Continue reading Braking resistors that will not break

Where is the bill of materials? Getting things right first time with PLM and BoM

plm bom article

Geoff Turner, product lifecycle management consultant at Design Rule, examines the value of getting the BoM right in the early stages of a project

The creation of a bill of materials, or BoM, is a fundamental part of product development. However, manufacturers are often unsure at what stage of the product development the BoM comes in.

Best practice dictates that the BoM needs to travel fluently through the different development stages, evolving and changing as products are designed, built and eventually, circulated.

In today’s complex manufacturing environment, a bill of materials can include a set of hundreds – or even thousands – of separate items.  Continue reading Where is the bill of materials? Getting things right first time with PLM and BoM

Online grocery store Ocado tests robots for picking items for shopping orders

Transforming warehouse automation from Cambridge Consultants on Vimeo.

Ocado, which claims to be the world’s largest online grocery store, is testing robots which may end up doing the shopping on behalf of customers.

As well as being a grocer, the company has a significant in-house technology business unit, which makes it “not your usual retailer”, according to a spokesperson.

“We have an in-house engineering team that designs and builds robots, highly automated control systems and warehouse solutions,” adds the spokesperson. “Their work covers anything from materials engineering and PCB [printed circuit board] design to DFM [design for manufacturability], safety and electronics.”  Continue reading Online grocery store Ocado tests robots for picking items for shopping orders

From virtual space to outer space: Siemens shows off its PLM client list

Land Rover BAR america's cup yacht
Land Rover BAR design team uses NX, Teamcenter, Femap, Fiberism and Star-CCM+ to develop this innovative racing catamaran to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain.

Siemens has been showcasing some of the prestigious projects the company’s product lifecycle management software is being used for – and they include space and maritime projects

Whether it’s space taxis or passenger cars, America’s Cup yachts or Formula 1 race cars, products are more complex, smarter and more connected than ever before. Product Lifecycle Management software helps manufacturers transform their operations into digital enterprises and lead the way – with smarter products and smarter machines making them.

The world’s fastest Space Utility Vehicle will have to be able to withstand a lot.

When plying its standard route between the Earth and the International Space Station, which circles the Earth at an altitude of about 250 miles, transporting cargo there and back, it will do more than merely travel at over 17,000 mph (Mach 25).  Continue reading From virtual space to outer space: Siemens shows off its PLM client list

Adding value to product lifecycle management for the small and medium enterprise

Bob Hillier, managing director of product lifecycle management expert at Design Rule, explains why working with PLM value added resellers  allows small and medium sized companies to get the most from their software

In 1963, children’s author Leo Lionni published his bestselling book, Swimmy. In this classic book, a school of smaller fish team up and swim as one, to avoid being eaten by the larger creatures.

The story sums up the challenges faced by small and medium sized enterprises, especially when it comes to product development.

There are numerous advantages of working with small businesses, due to their agility and flexibility.  Continue reading Adding value to product lifecycle management for the small and medium enterprise

Siemens, Strata and Etihad team up to create 3D printed interiors for planes

etihad

Siemens, Strata and Etihad Airways have signed an agreement to work together to develop the first 3D-printed parts for aircraft interiors in the Middle East and North Africa.

The partnership aims to “revolutionize” the aerospace industry, leveraging additive manufacturing, known as 3D printing, to help airlines to improve their designs, including making complex parts on demand and manufacturing discontinued parts.

Under the partnership, a pilot project will develop 3D printing solutions for aircraft cabin interior products for Etihad, the UAE’s national carrier.  Continue reading Siemens, Strata and Etihad team up to create 3D printed interiors for planes

HIT Robot Group unveils intelligently-controlled automatic jade production line

hit robot polishing-for-each-product

HIT Robot Group, which claims to be China’s leading robotics developer and manufacturer, has launched a configurable and flexible automatic production line for high-precision jade processing.

This company says the intelligent production line exemplifies “a revolutionary transformation in design concept” from centralized control to enhanced decentralized control, which leads to scalable customization, greater flexibility for users, and therefore rapid response to market.

HRG says it has channelled its expertise in intelligent processing management into the new production line to achieve productivity and flexibility.  Continue reading HIT Robot Group unveils intelligently-controlled automatic jade production line

Industrial design: Prepare for product as a service

3dexperience-platform

Bob Hillier, managing director of product lifecycle management solutions provider Design Rule discusses the concept of PaaS and the software tools that can help OEMs make the move to this new sales model

Global power systems company Rolls-Royce recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its “Power-by-the-Hour” approach to engine maintenance management.

Since its introduction, we’ve seen companies from the automotive, aerospace and industrial sectors following suit, making product as a service (PaaS) plans available to their customers.

Offering PaaS involves a complete transformation of the original equipment manufacturer business model. It returns ownership and responsibility to the OEM, which drives the need for more reliable and higher quality products being delivered.  Continue reading Industrial design: Prepare for product as a service

Command and control rooms: Navigating the internet of things

spock kirk bridge
“Sensor readings, Mr Spock” … “Captain, you must make me believe in luck”

lockWho doesn’t want a control room of their own? If you grew up watching the original Star Trek series, you still might warm to the idea of something similar to the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, which wouldn’t be bad at all. 

But, sadly, things have moved on.

Star Trek may have been decades ahead of its time – demonstrating such technologies as tablet computers, flip-top mobile communicators, and of course a truly space-age command and control room – but reality has now almost caught up with the visions of the sci-fi show’s creators.

Today’s command and control rooms may still have some of the basic elements of what we saw on the Enterprise bridge, but they’re a lot more complex and sophisticated, although that’s not for an absolute certainty since we don’t have warp speed to deal with yet.  Continue reading Command and control rooms: Navigating the internet of things

Lowering the entry barriers of additive manufacturing

renishaw

Marc Saunders, director of Renishaw’s Global Solutions Centre, explains how additive manufacturing is moving from the world of rapid prototyping into series production

A famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin says: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Although in reality Franklin never said these words, the quote has become extremely popular because its message resonates with anyone who has ever tried to make sense of new technology.

To a large extent, the quote also applies perfectly to additive manufacturing (AM).  Continue reading Lowering the entry barriers of additive manufacturing

Dassault Systèmes launches solution for architecture, engineering and construction industries

dassault-systemes-architecture

Cloud collaboration solution from “design to fabrication” aimed at solving problems ahead of construction

Dassault Systèmes, a provider of product lifecycle management solutions among other software, has launched its “design for fabrication industry solution experience” for architecture, engineering and construction.

The company says the software gives architects, engineers, contractors, fabricators and building products manufacturers access to a digital, collaborative environment on the cloud for civil and building projects, from concept through fabrication detail with shop floors that reduces waste and rework.

Each architecture, engineering and construction project brings together new teams of designers, fabricators and contractors who use their own building information modeling solutions.  Continue reading Dassault Systèmes launches solution for architecture, engineering and construction industries

Virtual factory: Manufacturing improvements with PLM

dassault-systemes-delmia-screenshot

Adam Bannaghan, technical director of Design Rule, discusses three ways that the digital continuity of product lifesycle management helps manufacturers deliver high quality innovative products with ease

No one hates being faced with a problem they weren’t expecting more than manufacturers. During the design and build process, unplanned events can increase cycle times and have a detrimental impact on the management of materials and working hours.

There is now a demand in the manufacturing sector for a system that provides real-time visual status and control, alongside product quality predictions. Enter, product lifecycle management (PLM).

PLM is used by different sectors for various reasons. For manufacturers, the virtual production element is used to improve the planning, management and optimisation of industrial operations.  Continue reading Virtual factory: Manufacturing improvements with PLM

Omron to showcase 16,000 factory automation products

omron

One of the world’s leading robotics and automation systems manufacturers, Omron, says it will introduce a total of 15,583 models in seven categories in its second wave of factory automation control devices built on a common design platform for unified product specifications.

Omron says it has been continuing to work for the innovation of making control panels which house and control factory automation devices on the production front line.

The company unified the design and size of factory automation devices, and introduced products in April 2016 which are built with the company’s proprietary wiring technology “Push-In Plus Terminal Block” for device and control panel makers in need of “downsizing and space-saving” of factory automation devices and control panels, “expedited delivery”, and “response to globalization”.  Continue reading Omron to showcase 16,000 factory automation products

Data in demand: Pressure Design flying high with automated hydraulics partnership

pressure-design-hydraulics

The aerospace industry is hungry for tons and tons of data on everything that happens, and Pressure Design has the systems to feed it 

Traceability, data logging and graphical displays are in high demand in the modern hydraulics environment.

As customers’ requirements become more complex, the hydraulic control experts at machine builder Pressure Design focus on increasing their automated solutions offering, with the support of Copa-Data’s HMI/SCADA software, zenon.

Pressure Design offer a bespoke, fully inclusive service, satisfying all fluid power requirements, from the factory floor to the HMI. The company serves the hydraulic requirements of a wide range of primary and secondary manufacturing facilities.  Continue reading Data in demand: Pressure Design flying high with automated hydraulics partnership

Metal belts are driving robotics industry growth, says metal belts company

belt technologies belts-drivetape

Belt Technologies, which claims to be the leading provider of stainless steel belts, drive tapes, and conveyor systems, says metal belts are driving the growth in the robotics industry.

Recently, the company says it has seen an increase in the number of OEMS in the robotics industry seeking metal drive tapes and belts for their automated equipment.

Belt Technology’s president, Alan Wosky, says: “Robotic technology typically requires a high level of precision and cleanliness.  Continue reading Metal belts are driving robotics industry growth, says metal belts company