We kicked off the afternoon sessions with an update from Todd Bengtsson, Director, Manufacturing Business Group – Automotive. Todd presented a Robotics and Automation technology update. Faced with increasing complexity in product and process, automation is a critical enabler for flawless launches and greater flexibility, so the importance of these solutions is growing along with their capabilities. From single-robot offline programming to entire line simulation with full device behavior is the trajectory these products have taken. We are now able to provide the tools and collaboration for multiple disciplines to commission systems well before they are built and ramped-up on the shop floor. Smart components, event-based simulation and actual connection to physical hardware such as PLCs, HMIs and safety interlocks means launch time is reduced, having a direct impact on time to sellable product.
Next, Bryan Carr, Solution Consultant, walked us through the advances we’ve made by tighter integrations for layout and optimization of the plant floor. Bringing layout information into a single data model where it is fully associated to product, process and resource information increases collaboration and delivers the results necessary for optimizing the efficiency of your capital investments. Plant Simulation, the discrete event product for Tecnomatix, can now leverage the rich information in Teamcenter, including the 3D layout in JT, drastically reducing the time it takes to build a simulation model.
Kishan Chalumuri from Caterpillar then showed us how CAT is using virtual factory technology from Siemens under a CAT specific framework for standardizing workflow and data requirements. Combining both, CAT has been able to reduce build issues by 60%! To achieve these results, CAT implemented a gated process that starts with the voice of their internal customers, performs meta and 3D data analysis, execution and feedback for continuous improvement. The extent to which CAT is using the 3D factory tools was amazing. The 3D information is leveraged at multiple immersive systems sites to increase collaboration from Peoria to India.
The final three sessions of the day started with Unur Olgen of Production Modeling Corporation (PMC) who took us through a fascinating case study of a metal stamping plant. Using a combination of our Plant Design and Optimization toolset, PMC extracted over $4 million in cost per year for their client. Starting with static analysis of material flow to gather basis calculations of required material movement equipment and anchor points from factory layouts, they moved to our dynamic tool, Plant Simulation to dig into the details of indirect labor activity and material flow for current and future state operations. The dynamic simulations allowed them to model fluctuations in material handling utilization, press availability and changeover, including scenarios of resource contention (which popped up quite often within a shift). The result was significant not only in dollars but in efficiencies within the press and assembly operations across the plant.
Then Dr. Ulrich Raschke presented some of the latest enhancements for our human simulation solution Jack and talked about role Jack is playing in PLM. From occupant packaging, to product design, through manufacturing and service operations, Jack gets around. Ulrich highlighted a new feature just released; human fatigue analysis based on the Garg energy expenditure equations. Now Jack can account for stress load, length and recovery which is important in repetitive tasks that fatigues workers. It wouldn’t have been complete without a live demonstration of the MS Kinect integration with Jack. Yours truly stood in front of the Kinect device and flew around the virtual environment, then stopped and performed some activities while the screen showed Jack’s eye view and stress on joints and back. The cameras in the room came out for that one, but not for me! Ulrich ended by showing us movies of motion capture by the latest technology which includes accelerometers which stream more robust information for life-like movements.
We finished Day 3 with a cool session from Rick Kozycki from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. They utilize the Jack human model for simulating the warrior’s workspace. You can imagine the challenges they face as they must accommodate a human model with all of the equipment the modern soldier requires to operate in-theater. From ingress and egress from armored vehicles to operational requirements based on stringent military standards which must be met by contractors before they’re given the go-ahead. It’s been an evolution for the Research Laboratory and there are more limitations to overcome. Standards established by the military are now out-of-date because the modern soldier now has much more equipment to carry; armor, hydration packs, ammunition and medical supplies. However, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory knows that the sooner they can capture issues, the less costly military programs become. Jack is a world-class soldier.
That's it for tonight, more from PLM Connecction 2012 in Las Vegas tomorrow.