Last week more than 300 business partners and Siemens PLM Software managers including our own Senior Vice President of Mainstream Engineering, John Miller, gathered in Spain for the European Partner Leadership Summit that took place over the course of one and a half days. During the summit, many partners shared customer success stories and key topics to pay attention to for the future of digital transformation of businesses across all industries.
John Miller spoke about the unique opportunity that small-medium businesses have to realize innovation through a digital transformation of their business. Digital technologies level the playing field for small to mid-sized businesses as a result of the efficiency gained. Because of their size, SMBs are far more readily able to transform their business through investing in new technologies when compared to larger corporations. This helps them to meet their key goals of improving the product development and design processes, achieve a faster time to market, and improve collaboration across the board. Solid Edge with its portfolio of affordable, easy-to-use software tools that address all aspects of product development is especially well-suited to help SMBs meet these goals.
Nick Rakkar, EMEA Business Development Director of Mainstream Engineering, was joined by Eric Kane, Operations Director of Team Engineering Ltd., to discuss the success Airbus Defence and Space has had in using Simcenter FEMAP, an industry leading FEA software that provides a mesh-based approach for the specialist FEA engineer. As the largest defense supplier in Europe, Airbus manufactures tactical and strategic airlifters, multi-role aerial tankers and advanced combat aircraft. The aerospace division has a hand in everything from commercial satellite launches, telecom satellites, and Earth observation satellites. Because Simcenter FEMAP is CAD neutral, it works well with their very mixed design environment. They use thermal, flow, structural dynamics, and non-linear simulation as well to test and verify the equipment they design.
Finally, Swiss-based Limbic Chair and Schatti, a Swiss design and manufacturing business, showed their innovation onstage with an electrically operated stool that has sensors which allow it to be used much like a computer mouse. The chair designed in Solid Edge was used onstage to control Solid Edge on a PC. How is this possible? The Limbic Chair lets your body interact with the virtual world to make navigation more intuitive and free your hands for others tasks. It interacts with virtual reality and non-VR applications, such as the spacial tasks of zooming, scrolling, rotating and panning. Schatti helped get it off the ground by providing design and manufacturing assistance. The chair was developed using the Limbic Life company’s knowledge of medicine and neuroscience to allow the user to be in an effortless state of weightlessness, and to utilize touch and movement in an entirely new way.
All in all, the event at EPLS served as a showcase for all of the wonderful and exciting things our partners and customers are accomplishing together across Europe with the help of technology from Siemens PLM Software, and in the case of the examples we touched on today, with Solid Edge and Simcenter FEMAP specifically.
Kenesto are demonstrating the latest version of their cloud-based document management software at SEU16 and will be showing how design departments can use their “Kenesto Drive” solution to replace local servers with a cloud storage solution that is specifically designed for engineers. According to Kenesto, engineers typically make frequent changes to their CAD files and if they are using cloud-based files storage solutions that are not specifically designed for engineers, there is a good chance that users can work on older files by mistake. With the Kenesto Drive, users work just like they would on their own C: drive, but have exclusive access for editing and can implement file locking for other users - no more stomping on another user's edits. To get started you simply drag files to the Kenesto Drive, and users can easily work from home or when traveling, and can share selected files with external users when needed.
Some of the new capabilities that Kenesto are demonstrating at SEU16 include the ability to isolate parts and/or sub-assemblies when viewing a large Solid Edge assembly, and the viewer now automatically uses the same measurement units as the selected CAD files. And industrial equipment manufacturer Arnold Machine is presenting on their use of Solid Edge and Kenesto Drive at SEU16 – you can also read this blog post about how Arnold Machine is automating their equipment design process.
Solid Edge users interested in finding out more about the latest 3D Printing and additive manufacturing techniques can hear directly from our new partner Plural Additive Manufacturing at SEU16. Plural’s emphasis is both on improving individual prototypes and on manufacturing high quality parts in appropriate volumes with a low cost per part.
Ed Israel from Plural highlights these key areas that differentiate their additive manufacturing solution:
Ed invites you to talk with him at SEU16 about 3D printing, the move to additive manufacturing, and how to determine your ROI before investing in the latest technology. Ed will also be exhibiting some of the many different parts they have manufactured and will be participating in a panel we are hosting on 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing. This should be a great opportunity for our Solid Edge users to hear from industry experts and other manufacturers about their experience with 3D Printing their Solid Edge models.
I look forward to hearing more from Ed about the recent developments in the additive manufacturing industry from a focus on creating individual prototypes to industrial scale manufacturing.
CAD Partner are a regular supporter of Solid Edge University and this year will be exhibiting their new Smap3D "ScantoCAD" solution in addition to their well known Smap3D Plant Design software.
Smap3D ScanToCAD transfers high volumes of point cloud from 3D scans into Solid Edge easily and quickly . Smap3D ScanToCAD merges the various referenced scans or the individual scans into an overall project and transfers selected 3D geometry directly in Solid Edge.
CAD Partner will also present Smap3D Plant Design, a unique solution that allows you to bring P&ID data into Solid Edge for use in your design of process plant and equipment. If you want to use P&IDs, standard pipe specifications and isometric drawings in your Solid Edge design process, Smap3D Plant Design is a proven solution with several published case studies including from brewery equipment designer Kaspar Schulz.
Using the information from the P&ID to automatically generate pipes in Solid Edge significantly increases the speed and accuracy of the design process. Modifications to process plant design can be time consuming, but the integrated process chain provided by Smap3D allows implementation of all tasks in parallel. Best of all, changes can be made directly to parts and assemblies because Smap3D Plant Design automatically generates Solid Edge models. This allows the user to make changes at any time, to any part and assembly without the involvement of other software.
Benefits of Smap3D:
So please stop by the CAD Partner booth at SEU16 to check out the new Smap3D ScanTo3D software and Smap3D Plant Design. Alternatively, if you cant make it to Solid Edge University this year you can access a free trial of Smap3D.
We are pleased to welcome MechWorks to SEU16 (October 25th-27th in Indianapolis) where they will be demonstrating their DBSolidEdge PDM software. MechWorks are a valued Siemens Software & Technolgy partner and have been a consistent participant in our Solid Edge University events over the last few years.
According to Glenn Ponter from Integrated Partner Solutions, the MechWorks distributor for North America "Our goal is to accelerate our customers design cycle within a secure environment that promotes design integrity and accessibility which helps your organization save money and increase profits. MechWorks PDM provides a Single Source of Truth. Locations like Title Blocks, Bill of Materials, File Properties, and Item Master records can all reflect the same accurate data without ever having to be typed more than once. Through our method of linking documents and data, design integrity is always guaranteed. MechWorks PDM can easily link documents and their data no matter the file’s type."
For their presentation at Solid Edge University 2016 MechWorks will focus on how they offer a comprehensive configurable solution for Engineering Change, including some new features. Glenn comments "Design integrity and costs can be greatly impacted by the engineering change process. While we realize that the core engineering change process follows a similar premise, it is invariably unique between departments and/or companies. MechWorks PDM provides for flexible process definitions that can be configured to fit each organization,s specific engineering change process."
In addition to their presentation MechWorks will be available to answer questions from Solid Edge users and demonstrate specific features at their booth in the Technology Showcase in Griffin Hall.
One year ago, Soleras Advanced Coatings implemented Quadrispace 3D communication software for technical document creation, doing away with the variety of programs it had been relying upon.
“One of the main benefits to QuadriSpace is we can use this one software program to create all our documents,” said Ann-Sophie Verhack, Soleras technical writer. “In the past we’d been using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint or Excel, but they weren’t easy to work with for what we wanted to accomplish with our technical documentation, nor were they professional looking,” she said.
The company, headquartered in Biddeford, Maine and in Deinze, Belgium, makes sputter targets used to make energy-efficiency glass, thin-film displays and batteries, among other uses. Soleras components are necessary in the sputtering process, a high-speed technology in which superfast ions hit a metal target and dislodge miniscule particles that in turn coat a thin film over products like architectural glass, large-screen televisions and computer displays. The electronics industry has used sputtering technology for decades in items like integrated circuits, but the technology is now being applied to advanced displays and low-energy glass. (If you want to know more about Soleras and sputtering technology I found this interesting article)
Soleras uses QuadriSpace technical documentation software to create catalogs that detail sputtering components and to create documents that provide technical details about those components.
“The big benefit of QuadriSpace is that we can make our own templates; we’re in full control of layout without any obligation imposed by Quadrispace, so we can say ‘that table must be six columns and this table needs to be seven columns,’ Verhack said.
The company designs its parts and products in Solid Edge, from Siemens PLM, which is compatible with QuadriSpace, she added. The compatibility allows for interactive, online catalogs, in which customers can click on and rotate parts and see models within exploded views. Solid Edge models can be immediately imported into the technical documentation program and used within the technical catalog. If an engineer changes or updates a Solid Edge model, those changes are immediately and automatically reflected in the catalog and other pertinent technical documents, Verhack said. “Also within your catalog, you can have the parts table and the model itself interact,” she added. “So if you click on a line in your parts table, that part in your model lights up. For our customers and internal users, that’s a big benefit. Interactive catalogs are much more visual then when we provided a flat list with the pictures of a model.”
Documents created with QuadriSpace can be published within PDF, 3D PDF HMTL, and in QuadriSpace’s Share3D formats, Verhack said. The technical documentation software also allows Soleras to publish its documents in HTML5 format, which means they can be placed on a password-protected area of the Soleras web site for users to access. Soleras is currently at work on that capability, Verhack added.
“The customer will be able to see the technical documents they need on our web site, so they don’t need to print them or look for them on a CD,” Verhack said.
For a coatings company that has grown with the times and expects to see even greater growth as the markets for thin-films and for energy-efficient architectural glass and other types of low-e glass picks up, advances in their technical documentation capabilites were very necessary. QuadriSpace will help make document creation easy at Soleras and will help the company’s customers access exactly what they’re looking for with greater ease than ever, Verhack said.
This is the third in a series of blog posts on technical documention. You can read more on the challenges and opportunities for using 3D digital models for creating technical documents, and more about software solutions from QuadriSpace.
Solid Edge has a new partner in the 3D Printing area - 3YOURMIND. Using their plugin and online service you can upload your 3D models directly from Solid Edge, compare quotes for different materials and from different vendors, and order your parts online.
The 3YOURMIND plugin is available for Solid Edge ST7 and ST8 (and they are ready to support ST9 when it is released), you can find instructions on how to download and install the Solid Edge plugin in the attached PDF file and download the plugin from their website. Once you have the plugin installed, you are only a single button click away from taking your Solid Edge design to the 3YOURMIND portal for review and printing!
I also tried the direct interface that 3YOURMIND has for uploading a .STL file to their website. Within seconds I was presented with a list of materials, and after selecting my preferred material I had a list of 3 vendors with quotes for supplying the part in that material. You can also optimize your model for printing using the ‘Printability & Scale’ option where the scaled model is checked for wall thickness and colors are used to highlight areas that may need attention before printing in the selected material. I also found that you can easily view all your uploaded models and status of your orders.
Let us know what your experience is with using this new service - or other services you have used. And you can contact Neil Perez for more information about this new software partner for Solid Edge.
Design of a complete processing plant together with the associated piping and equipment is a complex task that requires specialist techniques and knowledge. Off-the-shelf 2D and 3D CAD software can be used to support the design process but huge benefits can be achieved by using specialist plant design software that is integrated closely with your CAD software. Smap3D Plant Design software from CAD Partner integrates closely with Solid Edge to provide an excellent solution for process plant design. According to Christian Montag, group leader of mechanical design at brewery equipment manufacturer Kaspar Schulz "with the integrated solution for pipeline planning, we are working up to three times faster than the previous process. The combination of Solid Edge and Smap3D, piping design, PDM and ERP has improved our efficiency, reduced costs and increased quality.“
Integrated process chain for plant design
Smap3D Plant Design provides three components in a single software solution for an integrated process design chain: Smap3D P&ID, Smap3D Piping and Smap3D Isometrics. Depending on the individual requirements these specialized programs can be used individually or together with Smap3D transferring data between the individual programs. A separate export or import of data is not needed. At the same time, Smap3D Plant Design enables a centralized, as well as company and project-specific, definition of pipe classes. This is an essential baseline that ensures standard, or customer specific, piping and associated components are used in the design process. This in turn assures the quality and reliability of the final plant design while keeping design and manufacturing costs down. With predefined pipe classes, the conformity of associated components such as valves and other fittings to these standard sizes is assured.
Some key Smap3D product features
Smap3D P&ID: Intelligent P&ID diagram creation
The 2D flow diagram (also known as the P&ID schematic) is the first step and a key document in the process chain for plant design. SMAP3D supports the relevant international standards for P&ID diagrams; for example in the USA P&ID diagrams and all associated content for process engineering plants are regulated by ANSI/ISA 5.1 to 5.5. and similar standards exist for Europe. All systems and components like containers, pumps and fittings are represented as symbols, and pipelines are represented by connecting lines marked with nominal width, pipe specifications, ID number (TAG) and more.
Using Smap3D P&ID the user has all the relevant charts, diagrams, drafts, and design evaluations at hand in a single software package. Smap3D P&ID also automates and simplifies frequently repeated tasks. All drawing sheets, project sheets and reports are template-based and are fully configurable to meet the needs of specific customers.
Smap3D Piping: Piping system design
Smap3D Piping works as a fully integrated 'add-in' within Solid Edge. The program automates the design and modification of 3D pipe systems within the Solid Edge assembly environment, a complex task that an engineer or pipeline planner would otherwise have to carry out in separate stages. The basis of this highly automated 3D pipeline design is the use of pipe specifications tables in which the associated components (fittings, flanges etc) are determined by the relevant company, department or project-specific pipe system characteristics.
A large number of automatic design routines for the fittings required for pipeline design are also available. These include the automatic placement of bends, tees, collars, flanges and gaskets and more. Further intelligent automations are the creation of pipeline reductions or expansions, the splitting of pipes when a maximum length is reached and the placement of connectors. These routines speed the design process and ensure a consistent and high-quality end product.
Smap3D Isometric: Instructions for pipeline manufacturing
Isometric graphics creation is the third step of the typical process chain for plant design. A pipeline isometric is a technical drawing in the form of an isometric 3D image that is used to aid the design and manufacture of pipelines. The pipeline isometric is not to scale but contains the information that piping manufacturers and installation engineers need to complete their tasks accurately and efficiently.
This blog post was written in conjunction with our software partner CAD Partner and is the final post in a series of three. You can also read the case study for brewing equipment manufacturer Kaspar Shulz, and an overview of the challenges for process plant design. You can also register for a free trial of Smap3D Plant Design software and watch a video of Smap3D and Solid Edge in action.
Engineers have to deal with many different tasks for process plant design from the overall layout of a complete plant, to design and integration of specific equipment. Modern plant design methodologies can take advantage of the latest CAD software to speed the design process, and ensure a smooth transfer of engineering data (with no disjointed export/import steps) from one process step to the next. These modern CAD tools can help close the gap between plant, equipment and mechanical engineering while speeding the design process, ensuring quality and keeping costs at manageable levels.
The journey begins: How engineering software tools are transforming the plant design process
Process technology had its beginnings in piping and boiler engineering, but it has now developed into an interdisciplinary science. In order to design the plant required to perform a complete process, this can no longer be divided into basic operations with only one physical process, such as mixing or evaporation. Instead, these basic operations are strung together to comprise the overall process. This approach is used to create a high level diagram of the process.
The next step is to create the detailed process and intstrumention (P&ID) flow chart. In the P&ID flow chart, all components required to operate the facility such as containers, vessels, pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, piping systems, valves and gauges are symbolically displayed and connected with lines that represent the complete system.
In process plants the individual processing stages flow into each other in a continual, connected procedure. In order to complete the process, pipelines are needed to convey materials from one stage to the next. It is vitally important, in the detail engineering stage , to plan and process these stages quickly and accurately in order to achieve successful process plant design.
Certain areas require more specific attention during the design process. For example the whole area of hydraulic and pneumatic control systems for the supply of lubricants, fuels, and cooling and heating cycles. Other examples extend from small pumps and pumping stations to heavy duty cranes. To implement a 3D plant design system for these tasks can be a costly and complex proposition as off-theshelf 3D CAD software often lacks the functionality and automation needed for the process plant design engineer to complete his work efficiently.
Key areas of focus for optimizing plant design
These are some of the main focus areas for optimizing the process plant design process:
The performance advantage for top performers
Independent research firm Tech-Clarity have analyzed performance of engineering-to-order manufacturers and concluded that the top performers have better processes in many different aspects of quoting, engineering, and manufacturing custom products. And the end result is that top performers report that they perform “very well” 3.5 times as frequently as their peers in the area of engineering leadtimes and 2.2 time as frequently in having accurate manufacturing documentation. You can read the full research paper "Driving engineering-to-order differentiation and profitability" here.
What to look for in process plant design software
1. Ability to define pipe classes to be used for a specific project
With pipe specifications, the compatibility of components (fittings, valves, etc.) is uniquely defined in line with particular company or project specifications for pipe system characteristics (diameter, material, etc.). The central definition of pipe classes prevents user errors, saves time and ensures a more consistent end product.
2. A specific P&ID solution
A specific P&ID solution is needed, not just an adaptation of a 2D drafting system. The P&ID solution should use the same pipe classes as in the 3D solution and be simple to integrate into 3D. It should include symbol libraries and symbols from common standards and contain intelligent connections between symbols and lines, so that they can be easily and conveniently moved. It should allow you to generate parts lists and analyses that can be exported, processed in formats such as XML or MS Excel. An integrated design review and validation capability is also important.
3. A 3D piping design solution
The piping software solution should be able to read and utilize all the information from the P&ID diagram.
It should use the library of pipe classes that the designer specifies should be used for a specific project and should be integrated into the 3D CAD software so that equipment locations and pipe routing can be accurately planned. Changes in the pathway and/or diameter of the piping should be accomplished quickly.
An isometrics module should be available that generates isometric images directly from the 3D plant assembly model in the 3D CAD software. It should recognize various parts lists such as materials, cutting and welding lists and reproduce them on the drawing and in a separate text file. It should also offer a fast transfer of the pipeline data to external programs.
This is not the end of the journey...
You can investigate Smap3D plant design software to meet the needs described above. You can also read a case study on how one manufacturer is using Smap3D software together with Solid Edge to design and manufacture brewery equipment.