Configurator for SE???

Phenom
Phenom

OK. There is one glaring hole in the SE "ecosystem" and that is the lack of product configurator. I think it would be safe to say that Rulestream is not an option for the SE users and dare I say that SE abilities with Excel are limited as well (I'm not an expert by any means). I might even say that ability to define expressions/variables and use a more prorgamatic functions is limiting. (See recent posting on driving function based/law curves).

 

Anyway, I bring this topic up because as I look at the market we can see a huge hole here. Especially with the announce of Autodesk's purchase of Configure One. We have SW with their mature partnership with the DriveWorks tool (IMO an excellent tool that all the configurators should strive too) and now Autodesk purchase of Configure One (which is actually a multi-CAD configurator whereas Driveworks is exclusive to SW).

 

Rulestream is the obvious choice for SE based on the fact that it is a Siemens PLM assest (is CAD agnoistic) but the cost of that tool is well beyond that most SMB's could afford. I would love to see Rulestream light tool that would work with SE. Something that could ship with SE standard- using the same strategy that SW and DriveWorks used.

 

Could anyone else use a product configuration tool to drive CAD models, assy, drawings, dxf flat patterns, costing for quotes, etc. ? What areas of the software would need to change to actually put a html-base configuration tool in place that drove SE models, assy, etc.

6 REPLIES

Re: Configurator for SE???

Phenom
Phenom

From my point of view, SE is just now getting mature enough to corporate things like this.

 

Yes SE has been around for a long time, however, the current programming crew has only had a good hold on the software for about 5 to 8 years. They are just starting to work the bugs out of the core and making the design software work smooth for creation of the models and drafting. This resulted from the core of the software being sold until it ended up in Siemens hands. From what I see, they are doing a good job, but are way behind AutoDesk and DSS in terms of integration.

 

From my interactions with GTAC, they sub out the programming to many sub teams. Management between the teams in my view just getting smoothed out and will spill into things like interactions with other packages.

 

Stuff like this will be a long time down the road from what I see.

 

Every company I have worked for that manufactures equipment wants the same thing. A web site that allows the end user to configure and price products while being able to see the CAD results. This can be done, but required a CAD licence available to each on line user, and the CAD models to have every permutation planned, modeled, and drafted. Much more work than most management anticipates. Most resort to using simple 2D cartoon version to represent the configurator options to avoid CAD being used on line. A complex spreadsheet is the typical result.

Re: Configurator for SE???

Hi Ryan,

 

Not sure if this will do what you want ...

 

Edge config

 

Regards,

 

 

Michel Corriveau

Re: Configurator for SE???

Phenom
Phenom

12GAGE wrote:

Every company I have worked for that manufactures equipment wants the same thing. A web site that allows the end user to configure and price products while being able to see the CAD results. This can be done, but required a CAD licence available to each on line user, and the CAD models to have every permutation planned, modeled, and drafted. Much more work than most management anticipates. Most resort to using simple 2D cartoon version to represent the configurator options to avoid CAD being used on line. A complex spreadsheet is the typical result.


I digress here into the ATO/CTO/ETO arguement....

 

I have to disagree, we use tools that can/do generate 3D on the fly (html 5) that don't require a license if the selected configuration option has been "built" in the past. If the option hasn't been built, then yes there is a on-demand call to generate that specific option and then it requires a CAD license to generate the 3D which in-turns spits out the web-based 3D output.

It's doable with today's technology, systems and companies that want to do this will need to invest in the technology and all the design/configuration rules to do so- which, by the way, can be a HUGE investment.

 

But if you can get your design, configuration and manufacturing rules defined you can create quite a system. I can attest to this as we run about 6 different product lines that have over a trillion, yes I said a trillion, different configuration options per product line. Granted we don't have 100% completed drawings, dxfs and assemblies for everything but the ability to go to a web page configure, release and generate your assembly is a huge time saver for the company as you don't need to rely completely on your design IP being with one or two people in the company- usually the lead designer and the manfucturing person.

 

 

Re: Configurator for SE???

Phenom
Phenom

Thanks, but I've already looked at the majority of available tools for SE and they are light years behind the tool we are currently using.

 

I have to agree with 12Gage...SE just ins't at that point yet. I truly hope that they get there soon!

 

We need beter tools for defining variables and the abilty to write/read from DBs to start. Excel is a good start if you are doing a design template but when it comes CTO/ETO you have a completely different type of enterprise integration and dbs appear to be the tool to hold that data that can be utilized by the other enterprise systems. YOu need to have quote workflows, store/retrieve older configurations for the quote, etc...These solutions are not just a CAD issue.

Re: Configurator for SE???

Phenom
Phenom

I'm not a programmer, or even know much about the setting up a web page. If there are ways to get a CAD model to update from a spreedsheet on a web page, I have yet to see that in operation. I will look up abriviation you posted to learn more.

 

I'm a program consumer and steel product designer....nothing more. BSME but never did get the PE.

 

Depending on the client and the company, CAD is a quoting workflow issue. I work in a shop that most of the work is custom and some of that is retro-fitting existing trucks.

 

Our picky clients required us to deliver CAD drawing of the product for approval before we start manufaturing.

 

As a one man Engineering /CAD department for a 40 man fabrication operation, my viewpoint is, how fast can I get things done? SE is great when creating things for the first time. Re-use of the file is just now getting easier after my first two years in the software. My environment is compleatly un-managed.

 

My twist on SE is using what I call re-sizable models. I make models driven from planes. Every time I make a new quote model, I take an existing model and move the planes to re-size the sheet metal box in question. That in turn updates a new copy of the fabrication draft. Typically 200 to 500 numbers in draft get updated from moving 1 to 5 planes.

 

I don't see how a web based CAD solution could work fast enough to update 100 variables everytime the client changes 1.

Re: Configurator for SE???

Solution Partner Legend Solution Partner Legend
Solution Partner Legend

We have seen this solution

http://www.quootz.nl/

 

It is 100% web based. The GUI for the user and the configuration for the administrations as well.

 

I was impressed from the the easy configuration because this was always my concern using a automation tool. There is no need to type in lines of code or have knowledge in programming.

All rules are easy to to create.

 

Here you can see the tool in action in combination with Solid Edge:

http://www.ihcvremaccylinders.com/configurator/

 

As a result you will get a BOM, the 3D-Model, etc. by E-Mail

 

Solid Edge will be feeded with the values coming from the configuration tool.

 

Stefan

smitsch@unitec.de
www.all4edge.de