Siemens uses game design tools to enable top down design

Wow, driving back and forth from Boston to NJ really did me in. 500 miles in a few days, packed with several traffic jams from accidents, plus sitting in conferences for 2 days! So this blog may come to you a bit late. In the way of openness, Siemens paid for my travel expenses to and from the meeting as well as two nights at the hotel.

Anyhow, on Day 2 of the conference (22 Sep), I had the opportunity to view Siemens already released (last week) Mechatronics Concept Designer (MCD) software – a terrific idea, and aptly suited for designers of complex machine tools, especially those machines or groups of machines with lots of parts in motion. Later in the day, Dan Staples, Solid Edge’s head of development, and original architect of ST, described what’s coming in their upcoming release of Synchronous Technology 3 (ST3).

Built as a stand-alone solution, Paul Brown of Siemens, Senior Marketing Director, stated that the Price was about $20K, had no software prerequisites, and includes a copy of NX to assist in the design detailing.

Shown in the image above is an example of a machine designed with MCD. Designed to work with NX and Teamcenter the idea is to map out a block diagram of the prospective machine, use a library of functional parts that can be re-used or designed, add requisite motions, and prove out the design concept. Then the concept design is passed on to the appropriate engineering disciplines to continue to add detail to the design. I really liked the concept, but there is too much detail to describe here. You can see more at http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/press_kit/mechatronics-concept-designer.shtml.

What is really appealing is that design concepts like this could only have been done before manually, and because of the complex interactions of 3D and motion, would have been very difficult to design and extremely error prone. One could easily imagine this technique used for other design projects.

On the ST3 upcoming launch, due in mid-October, Solid Edge (SE), part of Siemens’ Velocity business unit, and headed up by Karsten Newbury (see my blog dated 22 July), continues to press the envelope by extending ST into assembly design, and allowing a mixture of history based design and ST unordered design. Incorporating some 2000 customer enhancements, ST3 should be an extraordinary release. The ST3 modeling advances also allow all of SE’ other apps, such as piping and wiring to use ST technology and auto update as changes are made.

Got to get some sleep now.

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