Autodesk to bundle Nastran simulation and manufacturing software free with Inventor

Autodesk is planning to include simulation and computer-aided manufacturing software into its Inventor mechanical design suite of applications, according to a report on Engineering.com

Autodesk Inventor is generally used by engineers in mechanical design, and was available for $2,500 a year through the company’s website.

Autodesk’s senior director of manufacturing business strategy, Stephen Hooper, told Engineering.com that the company would now include Nastran and HSMWorks in an Inventor suite.  Continue reading Autodesk to bundle Nastran simulation and manufacturing software free with Inventor

Ortovox to implement Centric’s product lifecycle management solution

Ortovox Sportartikel, a German producer of mountain safety equipment and mountainwear, has selected Centric Software to provide its product lifecycle management solution.

Centric Software is a specialist provider of PLM solutions, particularly for fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor and consumer goods companies.

Ortovox was founded in 1980 in the south of Munich and got its start making avalanche safety transceivers to help locate people in mountain rescue situations. Ortovox’s range now includes a range of apparel and climbing and ski backpacks.  Continue reading Ortovox to implement Centric’s product lifecycle management solution

Fuji Kiko selects Aras product lifecycle management platform

Automotive components manufacturer Fuji Kiko has chosen the Aras product lifecycle management platform to streamline its design and development process as well as manage its global operation.

Aras, a PLM specialist, adds that Fuji Kiko will use the system to manage prototype development, production management, sales, and procurement processes.

The automotive supplier went through a comprehensive process to evaluate and select a PLM system with the flexibility and upgradeability necessary to support the pace of innovation by their global product teams.  Continue reading Fuji Kiko selects Aras product lifecycle management platform

Danlaw partners with Siemens on product lifecycle management

Danlaw, a company which develops connected car and automotive electrics technologies, is now an official Siemens product lifecycle management – or automated lifecycle management – solution partner.

The company says the partnership highlights Danlaw’s commitment to providing a seamless solution between its Mx-Suite verification and validation test software and Siemens Polarion QA software with the Mx-Suite Polarion Connector.

Our customers benefit from increased quality and reduced development cycles, when developing electronic modules by centrally managing test case generation and execution with test results tied directly to requirements.  Continue reading Danlaw partners with Siemens on product lifecycle management

HMS Industrial launches new smart grid connectivity gateway

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New IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS Industrial Networks enable data exchange between infrastructure and energy networks based on IEC61850 or IEC60870-5-104, and common fieldbus and industrial Ethernet systems, says the company.

While industrial communication between devices and systems is typically done with fieldbus and industrial Ethernet, modern infrastructure and energy networks are based upon other protocol standards such as IEC61850 and IEC60870-5-104.

The new IXXAT SG-gateways from HMS address the increasing need for data exchange between these two worlds, offering a wide protocol coverage and easy integration.  Continue reading HMS Industrial launches new smart grid connectivity gateway

Next generation pick-to-light offers dynamic automation scalability

Pick-to-Light

By Thomas Cutler

Until now pick-to-light equipment has represented a significant fixed capital expense with little consideration for variable use, often driven by seasonality, warehouse/distribution variance, and project management flux.

From manufacturers to 3PL (third-party logistics) companies, these swings in low or high usage represented a level of waste as purchased lights went unused and wasted.

Pick-to-light is a fulfilment technology which uses alphanumeric displays and buttons at storage locations to guide the manual picking and recording of items for shipment.  Continue reading Next generation pick-to-light offers dynamic automation scalability

Proactive vs reactive obsolescence management

Proactive vs reactive obsolescence management

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of obsolete parts supplier EU Automation discusses the benefits of a proactive obsolescence management strategy for manufactures

With industrial obsolescence speeding up, it is vital for manufacturers to have some level of obsolescence management strategy in place to mitigate the risks of obsolescence.

Companies can implement strategies that are proactive, reactive or a mixture.

According to one of Aesop’s fables, one summer’s day an ant was working hard dragging food back to its nest when came across an idle grasshopper, singing to its heart’s content.

The grasshopper asked the ant to stop and chat – but the ant ignored him and carried on preparing for winter.

When the seasons changed, the grasshopper looked enviously upon the ant’s vast food supplies and regretted his idleness bitterly.  Continue reading Proactive vs reactive obsolescence management

Product lifecycle management software ‘integral’ to industrial internet

bosch iot suite

Product lifecycle management software is integral to the industrial internet but not all companies use them. 

According to industry experts at Hannover Messe, PLM applications are as essential as computer-aided design software.

In the age of Industrie 4.0 and the Internet of Things, some people might wonder if we still need PLM systems in the digital future.  Continue reading Product lifecycle management software ‘integral’ to industrial internet

Software for smart beverage production

zenon data management

Software maker Copa-Data has demonstrated new solutions for smart breweries, comprehensive energy data management, flexible batch production and efficient filling lines.

Copa-Data also says the system has interoperability with the Weihenstephan and OMAC PackML standards, as a result of which machines and equipment can be more quickly integrated into existing manufacturing infrastructures.

Emilian Axinia, industry manager for food and beverage at Copa-Data, says: “Our software innovations for the smart production of beer and other drinks… demonstrate flexible batch production using an equipment model controlled by zenon. These are smart and field-tested software solutions from soft PLC, through ISA-88 Batch Control to mobile technologies.”  Continue reading Software for smart beverage production

Bossa Nova Robotics partners with Digimarc on retail product scanning technology

bossa nova robotics

Bossa Nova Robotics and Digimarc are collaborating to automate planogram compliance by combining the two companies’ scanning and robotics technologies. 

A planogram is a visual representation of the layout of a store and the arrangement of its products.

Bossa Nova says its robot would help retailers make more strategic, money-saving inventory management decisions.  Continue reading Bossa Nova Robotics partners with Digimarc on retail product scanning technology

Energy management systems: Growing more critical by the minute

siemens ems
Energy management systems are becoming increasingly important as power becomes more expensive. Picture courtesy of Siemens

An energy management system is a set of computer-based tools used to optimise the production and consumption of power. 

Generally speaking, EMS applications are found in the power-generation sector, in utilities, but they are becoming increasingly important in industrial operations large and small.

Additionally, they are being installed for the home, along with smart meters connected to smart grids. This market will become increasingly important as consumers use a greater number of electrical devices and appliances, including power-hungry ones like electric cars.  Continue reading Energy management systems: Growing more critical by the minute

Hannover Messe: Making use of energy management systems

power lines

Get your complementary ticket to Hannover Messe before they’re all gone – limited number

There is no question that energy is costly. Costs for this resource have quadrupled since 2000, according to the German Energy Agency, with the planned energy transition also contributing to this trend.

This development hits business particularly hard. Industry, trade and services account for some 45 percent of total energy consumption in Germany.

So efficient use of this resource makes economic sense, as well as being an environmental imperative. The German Energy Agency estimates that companies could reduce their energy needs by 30 percent using standard efficiency measures.  Continue reading Hannover Messe: Making use of energy management systems

Manufacturing: The future of obsolescence management

gears

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation, looks at managing obsolete automation components in the factory of the future

In 10 years’ time robots will cease to be subservient/submissive, manufacturing won’t exist as we know it and we’ll be 3D printing our own clothes before we go out.

Do any of these sound like familiar predictions you’ve heard over the last five years? We thought so. With this in mind, we’ll tread lightly when talking about what the highly interconnected future has in store for industrial automation.

Oh, did we mention that this factory could be ordering your replacement parts for you?  Continue reading Manufacturing: The future of obsolescence management

Consumer demand, and the demanding consumer, for the holidays

thanksgiving

By Thomas R. Cutler

Consumer spending trends suggest this holiday season for retailers and logistics companies will drive an improvement of 15 per cent year-over-year.

With retail sales in the US expanded 0.8 per cent in October after a strong 1 per cent gain in September, the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Mitchell reported, in the best two-month stretch of sales in at least two years.

The brisk spending is a strong sign that the economy is picking up steam, with both wages and employment rising. The expansion, mostly e-commerce, proves that once again online sales are growing at triple the rate of overall retail sales.  Continue reading Consumer demand, and the demanding consumer, for the holidays

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