Posts by Stephen Holmes

Majenta get turbo charged to the tune of $1m

Published 08 September 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: hardware, haptics

A $1 million contract has been struck by Majenta PLM to supply Napier Turbochargers Ltd. with product design, simulation and data management software.

As a result, the firm, which manufactures turbochargers for diesel and heavy fuel engines from its base in Lincoln, will be using Siemens PLM software. Solid Edge drafting software and multiple licenses of NX 3D solid modeling software, including advanced sheet metal design and advanced finite element modeling software for 3D CAD model engineering analysis are included in the deal.

In addition, the firm, famous for its series of land, water and air speed world records in its early years, will be using NX computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software for turning and for mill-turn and multi-axis milling will be available for Napier’s future large axial turbocharger product design and engineering projects.

“The PLM solution that Majenta PLM is supplying and is helping us to implement will help to ensure that the right product information is at the right place at the right time,” said Andy Thacker, managing director, Napier Turbochargers Limited. “I am pleased that the business has been acquired by a shareholder that is committed to investing further in R&D to maintain its technology and in the expansion of the business to meet customer demand.”

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Reach out and touch it…

Published 03 September 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with:

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have unveiled their latest haptics prototype that allows it’s user to ‘touch’ objects on the screen using ultrasonic technology.

By setting up an array of ultrasonic transducers that emit sound waves that create a ‘solid’ object where the wave interfere with each other. It is hoped that this technology will become commercially available for 3D designers and gamers after the team were approached about the technology by several industrial companies last month.

Currently there is only scope for resistance in one direction, and there are underlying fears that the ultrasound used could scatter, causing damage to nearby eardrums. However, work is underway to combat the possible deafness, while increased power and direction should bring more ‘feel’ and ‘stiffness’ to geometry, and raises questions over its compatibility with hologram technology.

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Create your own factory “playlist”

Published 02 September 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: factory, visual components

A new release from Visual Components now accepts data from 3D CAD for factory simulation, offering playlist libraries of robot models and components, and updated compatibility with Microsoft Vista.

The eCatalogue library used to select equipment components now features a similar concept to the playlists on your iPod. Using search and filter commands different component lists can be generated and selected for different types of layout projects.

The library itself boasts over 100 of the major robot models, material handling libraries, and streamlined tools to take 3D CAD data into realistic production scenarios.

Making better use of this data, it should also provide more effective when developing equipment control programmes. The Visual Components PLC Add-on, boasts increased speed for control engineers connecting their Programmable Logic Controller test benches.

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Worry not; ‘warehouse experts’ are on hand

Published 22 August 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: autodesk, autocad, subscription

Organising a busy warehouse should become a lot easier with the deployment of Hyster’s new generation of 3D simulation technology.

The software allows firms to plan out their storehouses virtually and assemble theoretical plans to get the most from their distribution points, creating everything from their shelving units, to the paths used by forklift trucks and even staff.

Robert O’Donoghue, general manager for Hyster’s warehouse products, explains: “Simulation is not an exact science, however it can provide a realistic indication of the viability of various fleet options. Warehouse managers will be able to consider different fleet mix scenarios and develop a good idea of potential pallet throughputs and related costs.”

By inputting key data into the system, with the help of a real-life Hyster ‘warehouse expert’, a series of algorithms based on the known performance parameters of each truck will then illustrate how the warehouse would actually work.

Developing the software with Incontrol Simulation Software BV, it aims to provide the most accurate representation of warehousing operations available. O’Donoghue continues: “We developed the software based on our significant experience of what actually happens in warehouse operations. It was important to make sure that we included all available information to provide an accurate picture of how a materials handling fleet would perform.”

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‘Flexible Software Delivery’ becomes Autodesk’s buzzword of the week

Published 21 August 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with:

Cleverly upgrading their subscriber services in the same week that Solidworks have managed to anger some of their customers, AutoCAD’s new two-pronged delivery system should have software updates into the eager hands of designers quicker and with less fuss.

In the same way that Microsoft Office gives you the option to upgrade when new feature packs are available, AutoCAD products now promise customers earlier access to new features, delivered on demand.

Subscription bonus packs containing new software features are currently available through the AutoCAD subscription centre, and are to be released on a regular basis. Meanwhile product updates will be automatically delivered to all licensed users, giving access to updated patches and fixes.

Subscription accounts for around three-quarters of AutoCAD users, and with this easier way of picking and choosing the upgrades you want it should make the most of Autodesk’s vision of a truly customisable software.

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Photoview 360 gets competitive

Published 21 August 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: solidworks, photoview 360

As the Solidworks marketing machine for Photoview 360 continues to build up steam, having already announced a preview version available for download, a new contest for early users has opened.

The competition, which closes on September 5, offers the lucky winner not only “the fame and recognition of having your image posted to our gallery,” but they will also, “send you an item from our catalog of Solidworks promotional items.” Yes, you too could be the darling of the Solidworks user forums as you sip coffee from your official Solidworks mug.

On a brighter note, the contest rules allow entrants to stamp their entry with their name, products used or a company logo. All types of images are welcome, from architectural renderings, product shots, and engineering visualizations, to graphic design, game development, broadcast or film.

Entries must be posted onto the Photoview discussion thread and created using Photoview 360 only.

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Plastic fantastic

Published 18 August 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: inventor, plastic features technology

A nifty preview of Inventor’s Plastic Features Technology has been offered up on Autodesk Labs, giving users the chance to experiment with new technologies for simpler plastic product design.

Designers and engineers alike will be able to create thin-walled plastic parts as design tools simplify the addition of features like grills, bosses, snaps, and lips to a design.

The release comes as a result of Autodesk’s work over the last few years to strengthen their position in plastics, what Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions, has called “one of the fastest-growing engineering materials.”

By acquiring PlassoTech last year Autodesk have added advanced product simulation technology and Moldflow injection moulding simulation technology to Inventor’s armoury.

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