Manufacturing News

Siemens upgrades PLM offering with HD3D

Siemens PLM Software has upgraded its NX 7 computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering analysis (CAD/CAM/CAE) software with a range of new features designed to make product lifecycle management (PLM) more productive.

Originally released in Australia in 2009, NX 7 was re-launched in Shanghai, China this month, with a slew of Siemens PLM Software customers and media personnel gathered to learn about the software’s new capabilities.

At the forefront of the new line-up was high definition PLM (HD-PLM), a technology framework that is said to deliver a visually intuitive environment – within NX – designed to enhance the decision-making process throughout product development.

According to Siemens PLM Software vice president of Product Design Solutions, Joan Hirsch, HD-PLM will create significant value for customers in the manufacturing industry. In fact, Hirsch claims that HD-PLM can offer up to 80 per cent product lifecycle time and cost savings for manufacturing customers.

“The value of this release is further magnified not only by the strength of its many enhancements, but also for the balanced level of new functionality added throughout the software’s various product design, analysis and part manufacturing modules, which can produce end user productivity gains of as much as 80 per cent,” said Hirsch at the official launch.

Siemens PLM Software president, Helmuth Ludwig, chief technical officer, Chuck Grindstaff, and vice president of marketing Asia Pacific, Alain Iung, also spoke at the event, which was hosted at the Intercontinental Shanghai Pudong Hotel to coincide with The World Exposition Shanghai China 2010 (Expo 2010).

The event took place over two days at the hotel and included a trip to Expo 2010 to view China’s ‘We Are The World’ pavilion, of which Siemens is a major technology partner, and which includes examples of collaborative design and simulation technology applications from the company.

Though the official launch hosted Siemens PLM Software customers from Korea, China and Japan only, the company plans to hold further technology road-shows across the Asia Pacific region across 50 cities, including in Australia, from August 2010.

According to Siemens PLM Software vice president and general manager ASEAN, Rajiv Ghatikar, a huge 30 per cent of Siemens PLM Software customers in the Asia Pacific region come from Australia, with Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia also among the top-four countries. 

The company’s senior vice president of global marketing, Eric Sterling, said the automotive manufacturing industry will represent the biggest uptake of NX 7 with HD-PLM in the future, followed closely by aerospace and defence manufacturing.

“NX 7 with HD-PLM can be used in all manufacturing areas though, including food and beverage and pharmaceuticals,” said Sterling.

“The new system offers a unique user experience and maps that on to the product data. We are really talking about evolution rather than revolution here, and this is just the beginning.”

The NX market

Product designers are faced with a huge amount of data, which is growing more complex as manufacturing companies enter the digital world, according to Siemens PLM Software’s Ludwig.

According to Ludwig, successful global PLM software suppliers – including Siemens PLM Software – should respond to changes in the world’s climate, including ‘megatrends’ like urbanisation, globalisation, demographic change and climate change.

“Megatrends create new challenges in a quest for better city; a better life,” Ludwig said.

For Ludwig, one quest for Siemens PLM Software is to keep up with demand for rapidly-evolving technology in the industrial marketplace.

“How do we bring more innovations in to the market and the world?” he said. “Siemens PLM Software has the answer. Build the right product, and build the product right.”

According to IDC Manufacturing Insight vice president Asia Pacific, Chris Holmes, who also spoke at the event, the top-three drivers for manufacturing businesses to include PLM in their processes is: to improve efficiency; to design products keeping within environmental, sustainability and compliance parameters; and to heighten the quality of product design.

“Customers are taking a number of measures to increase lead-time. This includes improving internal process and supply chain efficiency, improving collaboration with their customers, and taking responsibility for creativity,” Holmes said.

For Holmes, the number-one feature that PLM will offer in the future is collaboration.

“What we see for the future is a decision-making platform that allows users to analyse, understand and act,” Holmes said.

This includes access to all aspects of product lifecycle, intuitive and effective navigation, facilitating cross-disciplinary collaboration, and protecting and re-using corporate memory.

NX and manufacturing

Siemens PLM Software’s latest release of NX 7 incorporates the company’s new high definition 3D (HD3D) environment – launched last year – which unites the company’s NX and Teamcenter capabilities to visually and intuitively deliver the information necessary to make decisions in a globally-distributed product development environment.

HD3D is said to personalise the user experience by placing the user within the design: that is, within the proper context to visualise design requirements and changes.

HD3D is reportedly an efficient alternative to navigating and processing lists of attribute data and manually correlating them to 3D product models. HD3D is designed to enable the user to visually comprehend PLM data with interactive navigation, and to drill down to details as needed.

The user experience includes colour-coding, and on-screen tagging and legends, which are designed to enable fast visual assessment and interpretation of product development issues and decision criteria. The user can walk around the model they have designed, to-scale, to better understand the model’s potential faults and to tweak the design to suit different environments.

According to Siemens PLM Software’s Hirsch, NX 7 brings high definition support to the product development and shortens the process.

“The value of NX 7 is high definition decision-making. It makes it extremely easy to understand what’s going on with the product, and brings all the disparate information together in to one context. It is a very easy user interface to use,” she said.

In addition to HD-PLM support, the three main pillars of NX 7 for manufacturing users are: easy-to-understand product analytics; effective issues management; and requirements-driven validation.

NX 7 also offers various enhancements to product development productivity including tightly-integrated CAD applications with rapid design tools such as streamlined sketch creation and extension of synchronous technology to transform freeform modelling.

The software also offers a new DraftingPlus tool which is said to dramatically enhance 2D design and drafting.

Integrated design and CAE productivity in said to be further enhanced in NX 7 with new model preparation workflows that assist users working with complex geometry, meshing thin-walled parts, and enhancing beam and bolt modelling.

For manufacturers, NX 7 also offers integrated CAM and coordinate measuring machine (CMM) capabilities designed for part manufacturing, including two new applications that put the user in the context of a specific programming task, reducing the time needed to program complex turbo-machinery components, and maximising the efficiency of offline CMM programming.

PLM in the future

Siemens PLM Software services numerous customers in the global automotive manufacturing sector including Ford, Toyota, General Motors and Honda. The company also collaborates with Honeywell on the process side, and will continue to evolve its process portfolio in the future.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 3D model is worth a thousand pictures,” said Sterling of the company’s opportunities in the PLM space as a result of its newest HD-PLM offerings.

“We’re extremely optimistic about our portfolio and where our products are. I’ve never seen us in a better position. Our portfolio is great and we are very bullish going forward.”

Siemens PLM Software’s HD3D, HD-PLM and NX 7 offerings have opened-up “limitless” new industries for the company to expand in, including in the rapidly-evolving areas of social media and cloud computing, Sterling said.

“Social media is having a lot of impact on us. We’re very conscious of social media. There’s true innovation that can come through social media,” he said.

“The cloud is a whole other area. There’s not a lot of different between the cloud and time-share. We need to work on making sure the information on the cloud is protected and that our customers will allow their information out there.

“The process industry and what we do here also has tremendous opportunity for us, along with E-CAD. Electrical and software engineering is going to expand.”

Australian manufacturing businesses can expect Siemens PLM Software’s NX 7 with HD-PLM and HD3D capabilities to be available immediately.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend