Experts in manufacturing and communication technologies discuss how 5G networks help drive digital transformation within the manufacturing sector.
Join Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Ericsson on 16 April 2020 for a webinaron how 5G will support Industry 4.0 deployments.
Sachin Mathur, Head of Partnership Programs, Smart Factory, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, Erik Josefsson, Vice President, Head of Advanced Industries, Ericsson and Sasidhar Yalavarthi, Project Manager, Smart Factory, Ericsson, will discuss how 5G wireless networks facilitate greater automation and data-driven decision-making in the manufacturing sector. The event will be moderated by Brett Brune, Editor in Chief of Smart Manufacturing magazine.
Ignacio Blanco, Product Marketing Manager, Smart Factory Solutions Hexagon, says: “Hexagon and Ericsson are partnering to make manufacturing smarter by simplifying the capture, transfer and use of data with reliable, low-latency, high-bandwidth wireless networks. As a result, manufacturers will be able to connect multiple machines, sensors and systems across even the largest sites in a way that suits their individual productivity needs.”
The webinar will be sponsored by Digital Engineering, a leading German-language construction and engineering trade magazine; Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), one of the most authoritative metalworking magazines in the region; Smart Manufacturing, a principal industry voice in the United States and The Manufacturer, a major UK publication that provides news and promotes best practice in the manufacturing industry.
5G and Industry 4.0 in a nutshell
Smart Wireless Manufacturing
Strategic business-driven decisions
IoT and Industry connectivity
Register to join the webinar on 16 April 2020 at a choice of different times.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division is offering a range of free offline licensing and remote access options designed to enable efficient home working for manufacturing professionals facing new productivity challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Home working options will be provided for Hexagon’s production software and metrology software offerings, as well as the MSC Software range of CAE solutions, at least until 30 June 2020. Manufacturers running metrology equipment in factories can remotely monitor and analyse how key assets are performing for free with HxGN SFx | Asset Management. Users will also have access to additional online learning resources.
“The purpose of our smart manufacturing solutions is to improve quality and productivity and this challenge is especially acute during this time of extensive home working” said Paolo Guglielmini, President of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “So, to support the industries we serve, we’re offering special access to our software and learning tools for both current customers and non-customers who can benefit from our technology.”
“Like many businesses in the manufacturing sector, we have many employees working from home at the moment and we appreciate that giving them the right tools to work remotely is essential to their wellbeing and success. By offering learning and remote working solutions I hope we can contribute to maintaining productivity and quality while keeping employees in manufacturing safe.”
Details on how to access the home working packages can be found at www.hexagonmi.com/wahs. The offering will include:
Extension of licences for work-from-home support or alternative access options for MSC Software CAE solutions
Licence move, remote access or additional temporary home office licences for Hexagon’s CAD CAM software
Free offline licences of the latest versions of PC-DMIS and other leading metrology software
Free remote machine monitoring via the HxGN SFx | Asset Management asset performance management solution
Free access to online learning for Hexagon’s metrology and MSC Software solutions
Experts in manufacturing and communication technologies discuss how 5G networks help drive digital transformation within the manufacturing sector.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division and Ericsson, in media partnership with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), will be holding a webinar on 16 April 2020 on how 5G supports Industry 4.0 deployments.
Hexagon and Ericsson are partnering to make manufacturing smarter by simplifying the capture, transfer and use of data for our customers.
Sasidhar Yalavarthi, Industrial Ecosystem Manager, and Erik Josefsson, Vice President and Head of Advanced Industries at Ericsson, and Sachin Mathur, Head of Partnership Programs Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division will discuss how 5G wireless networks facilitate greater automation and data-driven decision-making in the manufacturing sector.
Sachin Mathur says: “We’re excited to be partnering with Ericsson on helping our customers create manufacturing operations that are smarter, more flexible and more productive. Digital transformation depends on secure data exchange. With reliable, low-latency, high-bandwidth wireless networks our customers can connect multiple machines, sensors and systems across even the largest sites in a way that suits their individual productivity needs.”
A greater focus on energy efficiency and an accelerating shift towards electrification brings new engineering challenges that require increased use of simulation tools earlier in the design lifecycle. Romax Technology brings more than 30 years of experience in electromechanical simulation and multi-physics design optimisation.
The cloud-enabled MBSE (model-based systems engineering) platform, Romax Nexus, provides a complete workflow for designing, simulating and delivering the next generation of energy efficient drive and power generation systems, enabling engineers to collaborate and optimise electrical and mechanical design simultaneously. By simulating the operation of the entire system – engine, gears, bearings and housings – the efficiency of automobile, aerospace and wind turbine powertrains can be optimised, and the battery range of electric vehicles can be increased.
“One of the greatest challenges of our time is the battle against climate change and the need to reduce GHG emissions. The acquisition of Romax Technology enables us to meet the growing need for electrification, providing our customers with integrated tools that empower engineering teams to develop the next generation of energy-efficient electric vehicles,” said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén.
“Electrification is a growing trend in automotive and aerospace but also presents new opportunities for Hexagon in the development of renewable energy systems.”
Real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness. Here’s how the metalworking sector, through advances in metrology solutions, can create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy. Article by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.
In today’s business climate, it is of paramount importance to reach consistently high levels of productivity, quality and cost-effectiveness.
For this reason, metalworking companies are harnessing new data-driven technologies to enhance and automate their design, production and inspection processes. And the change is taking place beyond sectors that are traditionally highly sensitive to quality, such as aerospace and automotive.
As today’s coordinate measuring machines (CMM) and their associated sensors and software become much faster and more sophisticated at collecting and exchanging accurate inspection data, real-time data analysis is playing an increasingly critical role in improving overall productivity and manufacturing competitiveness.
Many manufacturers have already equipped their CMMs with multisensor technology that allows them to perform contact and optical non-contact inspection interchangeably, while quickly and efficiently capturing data that can be checked for accuracy against original CAD data.
Measurement data collection and analysis is supported by the Q-DAS statistical analysis software, which can be used to visualise measurement data in real-time and monitor them statistically. Q-DAS’s statistical process control (SPC) function systematically informs the CMM operator of any violations of SPC alarm criteria, enabling operators to take corrective action in the manufacturing process before generating expensive scrap. At the same time the software’s high flexibility allows users to adapt the recording and visualisation of data to specific tasks.
Using Real-time Analysis to Improve Performance
But now, manufacturers are going a step further to increase their productivity by addressing the challenges of improving machine utilisation, throughput and uptime. This is leading them to adopt asset management solutions, such as the HxGN SFx Asset Management software, to monitor the status of one or several CMMs in real-time. The growing use of asset management software is partly due to greater automation, which requires operators and managers to keep a close check on the performance of unattended machines. By using asset management to efficiently monitor the status of CMMs remotely, manufacturers can maximise machine usage.
Asset management can help the metalworking sector raise productivity across multiple applications, such as the measurement of rotor or stator lamination stacks. Rotor or stator lamination stacks are composed of individual electrical steel laminations and are typically inspected in pallets using image-processing (vision) sensors. Hexagon’s OPTIV multisensor and optical CMMs come equipped with a vision sensor as a standard and are commonly used to simplify the measurement of large or palletised flat parts such as rotor or stator laminations close to the shop floor. Equipped with handle workpiece palletising, the Hexagon OPTIV enables a fast and automated inspection process, even for large batches of small serial parts such as clutch discs and fine-blanked parts.
Because speed and accuracy are of the essence when inspecting rotor or stator lamination stacks, operators often need to manage multiple CMMs that are running pallet measurement routines unattended.
The OPTIV’s extended measurement range enables prepared interchangeable pallets to be supplied semi-automatically by a palletising robot, reducing standstill times and increasing inspection throughput.
Hexagon’s Inspect software, meanwhile, makes it simple for operators to set up one pallet and then prepare and launch the next on a separate CMM. Asset management software offers a simple dashboard view of machine availability, which allows operators to save additional time by identifying which CMM has spare capacity.
The right asset management tool also helps manufacturers optimise maintenance schedules and plan for a more efficient use of manufacturing resources. As a result, quality departments can shift from managing assets as a cost centre to creating value by optimising equipment profitability.
If, for example, a manufacturer needs to increase production to fulfil new orders for a customer, information from asset management systems makes it easy to identify where spare inspection capacity lies either locally or at another site.
Raising Your Equipment’s Overall Effectiveness
Successful asset management, however, depends on having instant access to actionable insights. Notifications about the performance and status of metrology assets, for example, need to be available in real-time. And all alerts should be readily customisable so that operators and managers receive the information that is pertinent to their role and in a format that is easy to access, understand and use.
For this reason, Hexagon has ensured its HxGN SFx Asset Management platform provides a simple, accurate way to monitor and analyse how key assets are performing via a centralised, user-friendly dashboard. It works equally well whether the machines being monitored are on a single site or in multiple factories around the world. And in addition to a having a dashboard view of each CMM’s uptime and downtime, it’s possible for operators to see how each machine is being used, all while working remotely on a mobile phone or a PC.
Having real-time insight into CMM performance not only enables operators and managers to schedule work efficiently and respond immediately to operator errors. They can also use data analysis to understand and manage the productivity of their assets over the long term and to calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) either for a single CMM or for several CMMs, across multiple sites and over various periods of time. OEE is calculated using data for quality, which is based on a CMM’s success in completing measurement processes during the scheduled time, performance and availability. Gaining a thorough understanding of a CMM’s OEE makes it easier for manufacturers to reduce spending on maintenance while achieving better overall performance and efficiency.
Getting the Right Data with Versatile, Multisensor Systems
Any analysis is only as good as the data it relies on, which is why Hexagon is investing in ensuring all its systems deliver accurate, real-time, relevant data to where it is most needed. The HxGN SFx Asset Management solution is an important part of this strategy, but it is not the only element.
When it comes to inspection, the choice of CMM, sensors and supporting software for a given application clearly plays a pivotal role in determining the quality and quantity of data that manufacturers gather, and at what speed.
Multisensor CMMs have grown popular because of their versatility when capturing data at the varying levels of detail and speed required by different applications and materials.
Having the Vision to Improve Processes
Vision sensors remain a key inspection tool in the metalworking sector because they are adept at quickly and automatically measuring large volumes of intricate metal parts. Designed to capture surface detail swiftly, vision systems are particularly useful when dealing with high production rates.
A vision sensor with a high-resolution digital CMOS colour camera and a programmable motorised zoom lens, for example, can offer variable illumination in the form of a coaxial LED top light, LED back light and multi-segment LED ring light to provide high contrast illumination of complex surfaces and edges, all while quickly capturing data that informs the entire manufacturing process. Hexagon further enhanced vision sensor speed and performances when it launched a Large Field Of View vision sensor for its OPTIV CMMs. The new vision sensor provided a field of view that is approximately four times larger than the standard vision sensor on today’s OPTIV CMMs.
When it comes to using multisensor systems to measure metal workpieces, Hexagon’s OPTIV Dual Z helps increases batch measurement throughput by enabling optical and tactile sensors operating in restricted measuring volumes to automatically reach more measuring positions within a single measurement cycle.
Whether a manufacturer’s applications best suit a vision sensor, a laser sensor or a touch probe, Hexagon is focused on providing data-based solutions that easily integrate with existing and future systems to create a smarter manufacturing environment that is simple to manage and deploy.
Manufacturers’ analogue business processes are being converted into digital-focused “web shops,” based on the leading sheet metal software, RADAN.
RADAN’s German reseller, 3D Concepts, who are renowned for their innovative CAD/CAM solutions, have worked with a number of their customers to analyse the digital change philosophy of Industry 4.0, and developed individual concepts.
Thomas Menholz, from 3D Concepts, says digital building blocks such as CAD/CAM, MES, MRP and ERP can all come together in SQL-based systems to form data-driven Smart factories. “Every company needs to find its own unique path on the basis of a dedicated digitalisation strategy.
“An important aspect of the digital trend is the introduction of a web shop for the procurement of sheet metal parts, where customers can request components online, be provided with an offer, and place the order. Web shops operate autonomously, and are accessible 24 hours a day.”
As an increasing number of products are being developed in 3D CAD systems, web shops are based on 3D sheet metal parts provided in STEP and other similar files, along with 2D cuts from files such as DXF format. “The digital twin is created as a forerunner to the real product which comes later. Also, it’s likely that 3D data will replace 2D data in future, and that will simplify the processing without the need for further queries.
“At the moment, additional queries prevent seamless process handling, which is why this paradigm shift is very welcome for many suppliers and contract manufacturers in the sheet metal industry.”
3D Concepts has recently implemented a web shop for Trio Metall und Design GmbH, in Luhe-Wildenau. Trio is a contract producer of sheet metal components, providing a complete service from consulting, designing and planning, through to manufacturing ‘ready-for-assembly’ components, ranging from single parts and small runs, to large quantities. Using latest laser technology, they also work with non-ferrous metals such as copper, brass and titanium.
The digital strategy began early last year, focused around digitising internal processes and creating a web shop, Trionline 24, for the procurement of sheet metal parts. “At the same time, we linked these new processes to their existing ERP system, and controlled their new laser machine tools with RADAN.”
Trio’s Key Account Manager Christian Weinberg says the web shop automates their quotation preparation, which was time consuming when carried out manually. “We’ve also noticed that larger inquiries, such as for complete welding assemblies, are now sent directly to us via the web shop, which led to us investing in RADAN’s offline quotation module, Radquote, for calculating complete assemblies. This almost halved the time taken in preparing quotes.”
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched Captura, an entry-level optical coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that offers an intuitive and cost-effective solution for multisensor measurement of small to medium parts.
Captura supports measurements using vision sensors, laser sensors and confocal sensors, and is designed to offer good price to performance ratio for the entry-level market. The basic machine is supplied with a vision sensor and can be expanded with additional sensors. The dynamic machine concept offers high positioning accuracy, fast measuring point acquisition, and high-performance vision capturing. Captura CMMs run the Metus metrology software, a Hexagon-developed package for 2.5D multisensor measurement. Metus has its roots Hexagon’s flagship PC-DMIS metrology software, and delivers the highest standard of precision measurement in an easy-to-use software package.
“Multisensor and optical CMMs are ideal for manufacturers who are working with very small or fragile parts, or with materials that can’t be measured with touch probes – for example in the electronics sector,” said Kah Khoon Goh, Business Development Director Asia-Pacific.
“As manufacturing in the Asia-Pacific region diversifies, we’re seeing more manufacturers selecting this kind of system. Together with the user-friendly Metus software, Captura has been designed to meet the specific requirements of entry-level users without compromising on overall performance.”
Market outlook 2020: The year 2019 has been quite a challenging year for the manufacturing industry, with geopolitical tensions impacting investment decisions and shifts in manufacturing centres, and trends such as e-mobility, Industry 4.0, and additive manufacturing creating industrial transformation. In this Outlook 2020 special, six industry leaders share their thoughts on what to expect in 2020, how the industry will develop, new opportunities and market drivers, and how to navigate through the challenges and issues from these dynamics.
HEXAGON MANUFACTURING INTELLIGENCE
Lim Boon Choon, President, Asia Pacific, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
The year 2019 was a time of economic uncertainty in global manufacturing. But the Asia Pacific region is well placed to capitalise on new opportunities in 2020, as increasing adoption of disruptive technologies shows organisations are facing market challenges by pursuing innovation-driven competitiveness. The growing recognition of the efficiency and operational excellence to be gained from digitised metrology offers long-term, sustainable investment and expansion in the Asia Pacific market.
The Growth of the Smart Factory
Increasingly connected enterprises will be a continuing trend throughout 2020 and beyond. The digital transformation of quality is a central part of this smart factory vision. Approaches to metrology data are maturing, and companies are focused on gaining actionable insights from real-time data. Growing demand for data analysis software is expected, and the adoption of platforms offering advanced big data and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) capabilities will enable far more predictive and proactive manufacturing.
Across the region, new business models will emerge with the prevalence of cloud computing, connecting quality systems to machines throughout end-to-end processes and across factories. Streamlining the analysis and communication of metrology data is essential to breakdown operational silos and drive growth by enhancing product customisation capabilities and throughput.
The trend of automating metrology operations will continue to grow with the increasing adoption of robotics, measuring cells, and automated part loading, enabling manufacturers to scale up their autonomous capabilities. And as manufacturers look to increase their application flexibility, demand for non-contact 3D scanning technology will increase.
Driving Additive Manufacturing Capabilities
Additive manufacturing, also known as industrial 3D printing, is still emerging in sectors such as medical, transportation and logistics, construction, aviation, automotive, and shipping. But according to research from Thyssenkrupp, 3D printing is expected to create $100 billion in value in the ASEAN region by 2025. Quality will play a central role in expanding this developing process, with technologies such as 3D scanning and computed tomography (CT) for measuring internal geometries. Additive manufacturing is a key area of strategic importance for Hexagon. The recent acquisition of CT software provider Volume Graphics adds advanced measurement capabilities to Hexagon’s already comprehensive solution portfolio in the additive space, which also includes software for generative design and additive process simulation.
The expected widespread adoption of smart technologies suggests 2020 will mark a major step forward on the industry 4.0 journey.
Meir Noybauer, Business Development Manager, ISCAR
Throughout the year 2020, the industry as we know it will shift towards smart factories with IoT (Internet of Things) cyber connectivity, and AI (artificial intelligence) and robotics technologies, that will most likely be developed in the main industrial hubs as part of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).
Additive Manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing technologies will continue to grow and replace conventional methods for machining automotive, aerospace and energy parts, and facilitate new opportunities for complicated part designs that were previously unrealizable.
The global search for clean energy and low-emission mobility is leaning towards newer and harder materials, which challenge ISCAR to develop advanced machining technologies, such as SiAlON ceramics and super alloy materials, while using high and ultra-high coolant pressure to boost productivities to higher levels never seen before.
The medical sector will be one of the emerging industry segments, with sophisticated implants using advanced materials and machining technologies jointly developed by ISCAR engineers and leading medical implant companies throughout Europe, the US and Eastern Asia.
The automotive segment will continue to be a global industry leader, while transitioning from conventional combustion to small hybrid-high efficiency engines and electric e-drive cars and implementing other clean mobile technologies, specifically for electric charging infrastructures which have not yet been applied in many countries.
Stefano Corradini, Group Director, Sales & Marketing, Marposs
The year 2020 appears to be one of the most challenging years of the last decade, both in the Asia Pacific and worldwide.
The combination of trade wars and their impact on several geographic areas and market sectors, social turmoil in various countries, and many technological changes as consequence of increased environmental concerns, may have a significant negative effect on the general economic situation.
Automotive Manufacturing Evolution
Being a significant part of Marposs business somehow related to the automotive sector, we see the evolution from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electromobility as one of the biggest driver of the economic uncertainty. We prefer, anyway, to see this as an opportunity to offer our existing and new customers an extended panel of solutions, which are moving from our traditional measuring sector to a broader concept including several type of testing equipment (mainly leak test using different type of tracer gas extended also to fuel cells), as well as inspection applications (non-destructive, vision, and similar), and control systems to monitor the whole manufacturing process of the core components of the NEVs/BEVs (new/battery energy vehicles), such as battery cells, modules and packs, battery trays, and electric drive units (EDU) including electric motors; and end of line testing.
We are willing to become a preferred partner of BEV manufacturers and suppliers as we have been for decades for traditional combustion engines, offering them our technical know-how, our innovation culture, and our worldwide organization for sales and after sales.
Steve Bell, General Manager, ASEAN, Renishaw (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Smart manufacturing technologies increase visibility and transparency to manufacturing operations, allowing manufacturers to get the overall picture of their productivity and competitiveness, to make faster changes in response to market-based threats or opportunities. This requires a range of intelligent process control solutions throughout the factory, to ensure high standards of repeatability. The key is going digital—connecting physical manufacturing processes with the digital technology to make decisions about process improvement on the shop floor, or on mobile devices.
Flexible and Customised
Additive manufacturing plays a major role in the Industry 4.0 revolution, allowing manufacturers the flexibility to build highly customised parts. Renishaw’s additive manufacturing technologies continue to evolve, aiming to provide users the flexibility to use, change and manage different metal materials, enables users to adapt to meet market demand and configure processes to achieve optimal performance.
Focus on Automotive Industry
Ensuring businesses are equipped and ready to navigate the evolving automotive manufacturing landscape, Renishaw’s manufacturing solutions provide the speed, flexibility, and ease of use to help companies adapt their production capabilities for the evolving electric future. From multi-sensor rapid scanning of machined castings to material analysis of fuel cells, we will continue to support customers on the road from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric vehicles (EV).
SIEMENS DIGITAL INDUSTRIES SOFTWARE
Alex Teo, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Siemens Digital Industries Software
The maturity of manufacturing supply chains in Asia has undoubtedly exerted pressure on the metalworking industry to be more competitive than ever. Demand for steel in Asia is expected to rise by an average of 1.5 percent in 2020, and will likely see effects such as rising operating costs necessitating the move for businesses to look for technology driven solutions to relieve some of these operational strains. In particular, Southeast Asia is an exciting region for growth, with markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Singapore making strides in realising their Industry 4.0 visions through digitalisation. In 2020, we also launched a Technical Competency Hub in Penang, the first in the region, which serves as a platform for Siemens to help companies, especially SMEs, begin their digitalisation journey in order to meet the needs of the new economy.
Using digital twins, manufacturers will be able to explore more economical and structurally enhanced materials. By leveraging physics-based simulations, supported by data analytics in an entirely virtual environment, the expansion of production capacity in Asia can be further encouraged. This means that manufacturers can optimise their choice of materials by testing and analysing combinations of different metals and alloys digitally before using additive manufacturing technologies such as powder bed fusion to produce these components faster and more reliably, reducing the need and cost for real prototypes.
Siemens’ end-to-end additive manufacturing solutions cover CAD/CAM/CAE models that enable product design and simulation of production processes and planning, preparation, and verification of the print jobs. Simulation and 3D modelling allow for advanced complexity of design and quality, ultimately resulting in fewer distortions and errors. The goal is flawless execution when parts come out of a factory, ready for certification. The full additive challenge covers the entire value chain: product design, production process, and performance.
Using customisable solutions for pressing, transporting, positioning and press safety, in combination with simulation for the entire spectrum of metal forming, businesses can proactively advance with components working seamlessly together. This collaboration increases the cost-effectiveness of all production processes in all sectors, reducing energy costs.
The economic environment for the international and German machine tool industry remains difficult now and in the coming months. After eight years of high economic activity in the international machine tool industry, global demand for capital goods has calmed considerably after the fourth quarter of 2018. The reasons for this have already been identified and discussed many times. The economic distortions, in particular the trade war between the United States and China, are boosting the already sharp drop in demand. The increasing protectionism at all levels is affecting world trade and international supply chains. Finally, the structural shift in the automotive industry towards new drive technologies is causing further problems. It is still questionable at what pace and extent development is progressing and which technologies will be used in the future. The entire scenario is unsettling the industry worldwide. Companies have become very cautious, and they are shifting their investments.
Because of these, incoming orders in the international machine tool industry fell sharply in all regions in the first nine months of 2019. According to initial estimates, orders worldwide fell by 21 percent. Asia declined by 24 percent, while Europe lost 19 percent of its orders. Contracts in America, which is particularly the United States, held up best, if we can say so. They went down 18 percent in comparison to the previous year. In Germany, with its high dependence on exports, incoming orders fell by 23 percent by October in 2019, the most recent available data. This applies equally to domestic and foreign orders.
Markets to Stabilise
Oxford Economics, the VDW’s forecasting partner, expects this trend to stabilise in the best case scenario for 2020. At 2.5 percent, global economic output is expected to be slightly below the increase in 2019. With 2.1 percent, industrial production will grow more strongly than the current year. This also applies to investments. Stabilisation is also expected for the whole German economy. Industrial production, which is expected to shrink in 2019, is likely to turn slightly up again. This means that incoming orders in the machine tool industry will probably go through the bottom in the course of the coming year.
Machine tool consumption, a late indicator, will remain negative in all regions. Asia is the exception. Manufacturers can draw new hope from the fact that the election results in Great Britain have now provided certainty about the island’s exit date from the European Union. Then, the negotiations on a tariff agreement can begin and hopefully lead to a good end. There is also movement in the trade conflict between the United States and China. Should a consensus be reached, the world economy will reach new momentum as well.
MSC Software Corporation (MSC), a part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, is one of the leading providers of computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation software and services. The company has released the MSC Apex Generative Design, a new design optimisation solution that improves quality through unparalleled automation of design processes with embedded manufacturing knowledge.
MSC Apex Generative Design aims to improve productivity by up to 80 percent compared to classic topology optimisation. The software produces a part design that is ready for additive manufacturing (DfAM) within a few hours—a fraction of time usually required—making reliable additive manufacturing more cost efficient and accessible.
In MSC Apex Generative Design, the designer only needs to specify the boundary conditions and design objective. Multiple lightweight design candidates that explore the possibilities of the design space will be produced that provide optimal stress distribution and minimize weight. This enhances the creative process, so designers have more time to optimise the product’s concept and integrate additional features that add value. The software’s intelligent smoothing technology ensures that every candidate has a perfect finish that is ready for print.
“New design freedoms in additive manufacturing require a new generation of software solutions that take full advantage of the new DfAM possibilities. We make the generative design process smarter by producing design candidates that both satisfy the engineering criteria and look as the designer intended when 3D printed,” said Dr. Thomas Reiher, Director of Generative Design at MSC Software.
Conventional topology optimisation workflows require manual work and multiple tools to achieve production-ready results, which can lead to information loss as data is converted. MSC Apex integrates all relevant steps within one CAE environment to improve productivity with a single user experience from design to additive manufacturing preparation.
The design process is workflow-oriented, providing easy and fast model setup from existing geometries or mesh in common CAD, STL, or MSC Nastran BDF formats. Designers can find optimized design candidates and perform design validation within the same CAE environment, simplifying the work process and reducing design iterations dramatically. The result is a fully integrated, automated optimization process in which compatibility for previous and subsequent operations plays a vital role. This unique capability implies the conversion from the CAE mesh to CAD with no manual reconstruction of geometry, considerably simplifying the work process for designers.
The MSC Apex Generative Design for Additive Manufacturing solution combines print-ready geometries with robust metal (Simufact) and polymer (Digimat) build process simulation from Hexagon’s additive manufacturing portfolio. Designers only generate part designs that can be successfully manufactured using their chosen material and print process to eliminate costly prototyping.
Specific simulation import, a couple of additional reader translators, and client viewer measurements, all feature in a number of enhancements in the latest release of WORKXPLORE – the powerful high-speed CAD viewer and analyser from Hexagon’s Production Software portfolio.
The software was originally created to efficiently import and analyse all file types and sizes at high speed. It often takes less than half the time to open a file compared to the original CAD application.
Amongst the new and enhanced two-way workflow functionality in WORKXPLORE 2020.1 is the ability to import and export the IGP file format for the Hexagon I++ Simulator, which is a server-based software for multi-kinematic simulation of process-oriented inspections to automate production metrology.
WORKXPLORE can export either opened or closed solids, and mesh models as meshes. And it can also import meshes.
Additional reader translators include Solid Edge 2D Importer, and the IGES Reader Translator. The ability to read drawings has been added to the Solid Edge interface. Currently, 2D supported versions are ST1 to 2019. And the IGES translator allows users to choose between the in-house integrated import library, and the Datakit Advanced Import, giving a choice for the setting best suited to specific needs.
A Print Option enhancement gives more interactive printing functionality in the single view layout, by manipulating entities over the printing. Product Owner Luca Clerici says: “The printing zone in WORKXPLORE 2020.1 can be defined through an interactive rectangle, with the ability to move the camera in the 3D screen.
“When the command is launched, a mask corresponding to the paper ratio – for example, A4 landscape – appears onscreen. It’s then possible to move the model to precisely define the printing area. Also, another interactive rectangle provides an optional crop facility.”
A toolbar with the print options is now available on the right side of the screen, making it easier to select the target printer and define its properties, select the paper size and add headers and footers.
And he says another important new function enables measurements done in WORKXPLORE can now be export to the Client Viewer.
This release also continues the software’s tradition of constantly updating supported formats. Translators in WORKXPLORE 2020.1 support a number of main formats, including: ACIS, several CATIA products, Creo, DXF/DWG, IGES, EDGECAM, I++ Simulator, INVENTOR, Parasolid, STEP, Solid Edge and SolidWorks.