Steve Bodnar leaves Autodesk for Kenesto

Stephen Bodnar joins Kenesto as Vice President, Products and Marketing

—See ‘My Take’ below—

WALTHAM, MA–(Marketwire – Sep 18, 2012) – Kenesto Corp., provider of cloud-based Social Process Management solutions today announced that Stephen Bodnar has joined the company as Vice President of Products and Marketing.

“We are very pleased to have Stephen join our team. As the demand for cloud-based business solutions continues to grow, Kenesto’s Social Process Management solution is gaining increased market traction,” said Kenesto’s CEO Michael Payne. “We are excited to begin a significant growth phase under Stephen’s marketing and products leadership.”

“I am extremely excited by the opportunity to join the Kenesto team,” said Mr. Bodnar. “Companies in industries such as manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and others are increasingly looking to leverage cloud, social, and mobile technologies to improve productivity. By automating day-to-day business processes such as managing Change Orders, managing Engineering Change Requests (ECR), and communicating bid proposals, Kenesto enables our customers to increase agility, responsiveness, and productivity across the value chain.”

Mr. Bodnar comes to Kenesto with a 24-year career in B2B technology development and marketing. Prior to joining Kenesto, he served as the Vice President of Product Data Management (PDM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) at Autodesk, Inc., where he led the growth of Autodesk’s Vault PDM business by 15x over four years. Most recently, Mr. Bodnar oversaw the launch of Autodesk into the discrete PLM market with the introduction of the cloud-native PLM 360 solution.

Mr. Bodnar began his career serving Chrysler Corporation in its Engineering and CAD/CAM/CAE groups. After eight years with Chrysler, Mr. Bodnar joined Control Data System’s Manufacturing/PDM division where he served as a sales engineer, product architect, and product manager for Control Data’s PDM solutions: EDL and Metaphase.

Mr. Bodnar later helped create Auxilium, Inc., a software company that pioneered the creation of composite web applications which connected to a variety of back-end systems, including most established ERP and mainframe solutions. After Auxilium’s acquisition by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), Mr. Bodnar joined PTC as Director of Product Marketing for the Windchill solutions group. Mr. Bodnar later re-joined the Metaphase team after it had been acquired by Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) as the Vice President of SDRC’s Collaborative Solutions Group. After SDRC’s acquisition by Electronic Data Systems, Mr. Bodnar joined MSC Software Corporation, a leading provider of structural, thermal and multi-body dynamics engineering analysis solutions, where he served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management.

To learn more about Kenesto, download An Introduction to Kenesto at http://www.kenesto.com/intro.

About Kenesto
Kenesto (www.kenesto.com) is a cloud-based Social Process Management tool which empowers people and teams to automate business processes across the value chain. By automating day-to-day business processes such as issuing Requests for Quotes (RFQ), managing Engineering Change Requests (ECR), and generating quotes & bid proposals, Kenesto enables manufacturing, architectural, engineering, and construction companies to expedite responsiveness to customers, increase productivity of internal resources, and better manage supply chain partners.

Contact:
Stephen Bodnar
steve@kenesto.com

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My take:

I know that Kenesto has been looking to fill this slot for some time. While I have not yet spoken to Bodnar, it seems that the turmoil at Autodesk and the attraction of a startup run by Mike Payne were enough to convince him.

Bodnar’s role at Kenesto should enable Kenesto to reach the next level of success.

Readers might also want to read our previous blog on Kenesto.

Cloud PLM Systems ease collaboration

While there have been several articles negatively discussing using cloud software for CAD, users should be aware that for the PLM aspects of collaboration a cloud based system is by far the best way to go. Okay, there are a few cons to using a cloud system for access, such as concerns over security and potential downtime over which users have no control. Security may be a major concern for government projects requiring super high levels of secure data requirements. For 98% of users this should not be a concern. That does not mean that you should blithely ignore what security your chosen cloud vendor provides – by all means make sure that your concerns are met. But today’s security and encryption seem more than adequate for most users, providing that it is properly executed and monitored. You might even want to consult with independent security experts prior to committing to a solution.

Nevertheless, there are a quite a few benefits that far exceed the other alternative — that of maintaining an internal server capability.

First I need to make an assumption that a typical user installation has the following situation:

  • More than one engineering facility at which design is done
  • Multiple suppliers that need some type of restricted access to the design data

 

Assuming this is the case (and I’ll bet that more than 80% of users fit in this category), then here are only a few advantages cloud based PLM software accrues:

  • Little or no IT required for installation, setup, updates to the software, or backups.
  • A single copy of the database that does NOT require synchronization among multiple servers.
  • Easy management by database administrators
  • Lower software costs??
  • No personnel and space costs for servers or multiple servers
  • Ready internet access via various speed connections worldwide
  • No special costs for high speed telecomm connections

 

I can think of only two PLM systems that are completely architected for cloud operations: Arena Solutions and Autodesk 360.

Assessing the state of Product Development

After spending many years working with the CAD/CAM/PLM vendors I am now turning my attention to users of the software.

In my experience with users from many industry specialties, which includes many in-depth conversations and a few handfuls of on-site consulting assignments, users are not taking full advantage of the software and related process tools to re-engineer their environments.

Introducing new tools into a flawed product development process is only a band-aid. Without re-thinking the entire process the latest and greatest software will only result in a nominal ROI.

Instead of thinking about the miniscule advantage of moving from 2D design to 3D design, or the introduction of the latest PLM system, users should instead focus on the overall business benefits that might best cause them to produce better, more timely, higher quality products that can beat the pants off their competitors.

Believe it or not, just a few nights ago I was explaining to my wife, during a long drive home from dinner, about what a difference better design makes. And she actually listened. I guess I was really charged up!

One subject that always fascinates me is how truly innovative products are developed and how often competitors cannot react to substantive changes. She and I both use iPhones, so she immediately connected with the product. Not only that, but she said she loved her iPhone. Never heard that about her Samsung 10 key phone. After reading earlier that day about the current travails of RIM, the maker of the Blackberry phones I explained how RIM and Nokia seem to once have led the mobile phone industry and now both are deeply troubled, and may had difficulty surviving. And all this only in the last few years. Both companies seemed to have missed the point that the iPhone is not really a mobile phone, but a computer that can also make phone calls. The technology and innovation embodied in this product made huge leaps over the then existing mobile phone technologies. And their large competitors failed to recognize it. Then they failed to react to it. What was it in their product development process that was flawed: management, engineering, competitive analysis, business planning???

Do you have similar flaws in your process? Should you be asking whether or not you do?

Lately I have been exploring the idea of developing techniques for how to assess this in user companies. I am becoming more and more convinced that by carefully examining the key processes in product development and comparing them to best in class techniques used by successful organizations that this can be accomplished, and at a reasonable cost.

I’ll explain more about my thinking in future articles. I would love to hear from you about what you think. Reply to this blog and let the rest of us know.

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Developing manufacturing BOMs with BOMControl

8 June 2012: We all know that the engineering (design) BOM is not usable for manufacturing. It’s not robust enough for manufacturing. It contains much of what manufacturing needs, but not enough. Here are some things needed for manufacturing to have a usable BOM:

  • Non-design elements such as paint, labels,
  • Manufacturing instruction
  • Manufacturing assemblies
  • Test and quality procedures
  • Detailed information on purchased parts
  • Variants for different zones of manufacturing
  • And so on . . .

If this is the case, then one might ask how does one use a design BOM to build an MBOM? Several alternatives come to mind. Rather than giving a dissertation on the subject, I spoke with Steve Chalgren, VP of Product Management & Strategy of Arena Solutions. The company, one of the earliest cloud based providers, provides only a cloud based solution. In fact, the company was at one time called BOM.com.

Founded in the late 90’s, the company has grown to about 100 employees, with 500+ customers, and 15K to 20K users in 40+ countries. More than half of their customers are in the high tech electronics business.

I had a chance to meet with the former founder soon after they were founded, but have not kept up with the company since then. A recent press release revealing that their net new subscriptions grew by over 25% in the first quarter piqued my interest. The company stated that the “increase in new business can be attributed to Arena’s 2011 investments in new products, like PDXViewer and PartsList, and integrations to cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions like SAP Business ByDesign and Netsuite, and component aggregators like Octopart.” My interest centers on possible use in the mechanical realm.

Their products include the following three cloud based products:

  • BOMControl: A collaborative and centralized way to manage BOMs and changes
  • PDXViewer: Share build and quote packages up and down your supply chain
  • PartsList: A lightweight app that helps capture, document, and share designs

BOMControl seems to offer much of the capability that mechanical design users need, including BOM management, import from CAD systems for creating the MBOM, and change management of the created BOM’s. Typical users might include the engineering team, document control managers, operations and manufacturing planning, supply chain management, and suppliers. The software makes it easy to add and track items needed for manufacturing. The fact that it is isolated from engineering CAD systems and from internal PDM or PLM system seems to allow secure access into just those areas that suppliers need without concerns about intellectual property (IP). Allowing suppliers direct access to internal PLM systems always makes me nervous.

The software seems to make sense for those companies that do not yet have or will not soon have a fully integrated PLM system for BOM management. And few do today. My guess is that many companies today use spreadsheets (like Excel) to manage their BOM’s, since most CAD PDM systems have little or no capability for multiple BOM views of the product, instead, focusing entirely on the engineering BOM, the EBOM. While spreadsheets will work for this application, they do not have the capabilities to easily collaborate, track changes, or smoothly interact with EBOMs to automate data exchange.

In the case of electronics manufacturing, an electronic search engine called Octopart automatically searches for the data associated with specified purchased parts and adds it to the MBOM. Capabilities exist for also adding these hooks manually and to include virtually any type of part descriptive files. Thus the Arean Solutions MBOM can become the residence not only of part data, but many other types of data associated with manufacturing. Consider test descriptions, supplier acceptance requirements, engineering test specifications and calculations as just a bit of what is possible.

Shown below are two screen shots of BOMControl managing these exact processes.

Showing the ability to track changes

Allowing various views into the BOM

Plans and pricing

Arena Solutions offers a BOMControl basic plan for $49 per month for up to 3 seats. They also have a 30-day free trial. For more information see their website at http://www.arenasolutions.com/products/bomcontrol/plans/. This trial pricing program is competitive with Autodesk 360 PLM and considerably cheaper than PLM vendors.

Recommendation

Arena Solutions’ products are aimed at taking the design EBOM and allowing a secure system for developing, maintaining, and collaborating MBOMs. All of which are needed to build and even service the eventual delivered product. All user companies without a current or short-term plan should definitely consider BOMControl.

One might think that BOMControl is used only by smaller companies, yet this is not the case. A large proportion of Arena Solutions clients are large companies.

I received no compensation for this review.

For more information

http://www.arenasolutions.com

http://octopart.com/

—-

My Twitter feed at PlanetPTC Live 2012 expanded with additional comments

7 Jun 2012

Introduction

I attended PlanetPTC Live 2012 as a media and analyst guest of PTC earlier this week. I was free to mingle with any user in attendance, and attend the general sessions, as were the other 75 or so media representatives. PTC also organized special sessions for the media. These sessions generally were more concise and allowed more direct interaction with PTC executives, other management and selected presenters. [Disclosure: PTC paid for my airfare and hotel accommodations.]

I tweeted during the events I attended, not prolifically as do some other tweeters, instead choosing to focus on what I found to be interesting and the highlights of some sessions. I have taken most these tweets and expanded on them below for my blog readers. In a blog to be posted soon, I might add additional comments.

In general, the conference was upbeat and well organized. With Creo and Windchill almost evenly divided in terms of revenue, the two lines of business account for some 80% of PTC revenue. The other three (ALM, SCM, and SLM) make up the balance, but represent substantial future growth areas for PTC. All three are collaborative businesses based on Windchill. SLM being the newest. With the PTC business now focused on lines of business, each with its own P&L, customers are better represented.

Tweets expanded (tweets are identified by the • symbol, followed by an expanded explanation)

  • In the exec wrap up on Tuesday, Brian Shepherd confirmed plans for an entry level Windchill. Pre-configured for smaller users.

More: While I had not heard of such an activity, some media were and asked the status of the project. As best I can recollect, this may come out in 2013. Probably one reason why Windchill ProductPoint was decommissioned last year. Remember this product, which relied on Microsoft SharePoint?

  • PTC realigns organization structure by lines of business, each with P&L responsibility. CAD, PLM, ALM, SCM, and SLM.
  • SLM is service lifecycle management. According to EVP Barry Cohen, an underserved market.
  • Mike Campbell now heading up MCAD segment. Brian Shepherd and Bill Berutti head up other 4. Development reports to EVP Rob Gremley.

More: Here are the relevant descriptions from the latest PTC company info flyer:

Rob Gremley EVP, Product Development & Corporate Marketing
Brian Shepherd EVP, PLM & SCM Segments
Bill Berutti EVP, ALM & SLM Segments
Mike Campbell Division General Manager, MCAD Segment

  • Problems reconciling EBOMs and MBOMs? Now there’s another – SBOMs. Service BOMs add parts kitting.

More: Users have struggled with developing and managing manufacturing BOMs for decades. Add a new one for managing the services practices – the Service BOM, which describes the product from a service point of view. These often contain groups of parts that may be replaced as one unit in the field.

It looks like Windchill MPMLink today manages this process for MBOMs and EBOMs in those companies that use Windchill and Creo. With PTC constructing a Service Lifecycle Management business unit, I am not sure where or how the SBOM relates to the other BOMs and how it is managed. I am sure PTC has thought this out and can provide an answer.

  • Campbell highlights Creo Layout and Freestyle as providing impetus for move to Creo.

More: These two Creo apps are new for Creo 2. Both are targeted towards giving users more easy to use modeling methods, fully integrated with Creo Parametrics. In the case of these two apps, both also play in the concept design space. PTC stressed the connection into Creo, rather that having a stand-alone concept design system, a dig I am sure meant to rattle the cage of companies using Alias (from Autodesk), today’s most widely application for industrial and concept design.

  •  PTC positions Creo 2 as opening the floodgates for Wildfire transitions. No cost to users. UI and functions better.

More: Brian Shepherd said this on the first day in the main tent session. For those of you not aware of what the term main tent is, it relates back to my days at IBM, where they called the main tent was where all the attendees were gathered together, as opposed to the breakout sessions. I guess back in the early days IBM held these sessions under tents – companies were smaller then.

  •  With release of Creo 2, PTC encouraging third parties to develop [apps]. None available from third parties yet. Opportunity to fully integrate.

More: In a follow up conversation with Brian Thompson, VP of Product Management for Creo, he stated that the requisite API’s are not fully available yet. They will be by Creo 3 and Creo 4. Creo 4, I asked! Yes, he said by Creo 4, or two years from now. Third party developers might want to clarify this directly with PTC.

  • Option modeling another approach to developing ETO configurations. Another approach to developing requirements based models?
  •  Option modeling marries Creo 2 and Windchill 10.1. Can add PLM config options based on geometric positioning.

More: Option modeling allows a concise description of a product with many variants. In some systems users plug all the variants into a parametric model containing all of the variant options. This often results in a very large model with an obscure definition of when each variant is used. Creo 2 and Windchill aim to solve this by combining the geometric properties of Creo with the data management properties of Windchill. For example, in a bicycle, all wheels are attached to hubs. Thus one need only keep track of the different wheels, along with any geometric modifications to the geometric model for the various wheels. Filters and equations are used for the definitions. I think, because I only saw a five minute video example.

  • Attending Cummins case study of integrating mfg and product intros. Closing the loop between the two.

More: Dr. Michael Grieves, author of several books on PLM, along with Apriso, revealed a startling efficiency claim for Cummins, which integrated its PLM, ERP, and MES systems. See if you can get a copy of his slides for an explanation.

  • Main tent sessions focused on Creo 2.0 and hints of what’s to come. Main business line highlighted. Campbell: great job on CAD.

More: On the first day PTC revealed what’s new with upcoming products and it vision for the future, near term.

  • Chief customer officer – Mark Hodges. Never heard of that title.

More: From Wikipedia I found out that a chief customer officer (CCO) is defined as “an executive who provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.” The CCO typically reports to the chief executive officer, and is potentially a member of the board of directors.

  • High of 97 degs expected today at PlanetPTC in Orlando. Hot AND humid. Good to be inside with A/C all day.

More: Guess someone got a good discount for holding it here this time of the year.

—————–

Siemens PLM Software’s Active Workspace mines product data

18 April 2012: For a long time I have been less than an enthusiastic advocate of PLM based systems as a vehicle for managing development processes. Sure, the storage of data is an important way of gathering product development data. Yet, viewing and using the associated data was always difficult. I found that, coming from a CAD background, which provides glorious views of 3D products, scrolling through page after page of data tables quickly becomes mind-numbingly tedious. Often one needs to view different datasets in different ways to attain a glimmer of data needed for decision-making.

Siemens announcement recently of Active Workspace (AWS) for their HD-PLM environment is their latest, and best attempt to present data graphically to the user, making the system perform the work of visually integrating the vast amount of integrated product data.

Last Fall, while attending a Siemens analyst conference, the company rolled out some preliminary information about Active Workspace. I was excited then about the long-term possibilities of revising the ways users can extract and make use of vast amounts of data. This announcement provides a very useful beginning for this project.

Exactly what is HD PLM? It’s not a product, but an architectural framework. HD-PLM, announced two years ago, provides a technology foundation enabling Siemens product development team to produce a common set of integrated software tools that will identify, capture and collate the massive amount of information available in manufacturing enterprises, and apply meaning to that data using an intuitive visual environment.

Two weeks ago, on 3 April 2012 Siemens announced Active Workspace Version 1, the first product to achieve the beginning of that vision. Grindstaff noted that “Active Workspace creates an intuitive and personalized 3D graphic interface that significantly enhances the ability of our PLM suite of offerings to deliver knowledge instantly to the right people, at the right place and in the right context to support rapid and intelligent decision making.”

To find out more I sought out some details from Siemens and had a conference call with two product managers for AWS: Bill Lewis and John Whetstone. They described AWS as having the following capabilities:

  • Find information fast
  • Visualize and navigate
  • Compare and report
  • Collaborate
  • Configure and share control

Lewis described AWS as a tool to help the vision of semantic data understanding enabling users to make smarter decisions using HD PLM. Indeed products are getting more and more complex. HD PLM is looking to solve this. He sees this as a tool for all PLM users; not just professional users, but casual users as well.

The slide below shows the products supported by AWS.

Products supported by Active Workspace V1

An example of AWS in action

Whetstone performed a live demo for a sample company. We start by searching for all objects in the database for the company. The search yields the following 130581 results:

Searching for all objects

Data was taken from Teamcenter and indexed to achieve the speedy result, which took only a few seconds. Note the object filter types at the top of the screen.

Selecting the type – Physical Design Model Elements – resulted in this:

Revealing Physical Design Model Objects

These are the physical mechanical model elements of the company, each designated with a different part number.

Shown below are the types of objects from which we can choose as a high level selection. This data is already in the Teamcenter data which we extract. The data extraction methods and rates are user determined.

The types of object filters offer ready access

Drilling down to the hard drive we get only 61 objects:

View of model elements in one sub-assembly

This is the tile view, showing access to other data associated with each object, such as: revision, owning user, type, and other data. Along the right side are icons that can launch applications, such as shape search and visual navigator, where used, and more info.

Visualizing the top level hard drive and using the JT object formats, here is the result:

Visual navigator display for the hard drive sub-assembly

Note the pan, zoom, and rotate options at the top of the image above. Drilling down to the drive heads shows this:

Displaying a sub-assembly within the hard drive

The “more info” icon reveals attached documents such as FEA results.

Revealing additional information associated with the drive heads

AWS requires the user to have a license of Teamcenter (TC). It is a companion product to TC.

My impression:

This is a big deal for Siemens and their users. It basically allows data mining of related, or as Siemens refers to it – the semantics of the data. Semantics, or the problem of understanding, allows one to make sense of the miasma of data relations associated to products. What is the product, what functions does it do, where does it fit, what were the specifications and were they met, what tests were performed, and so on. This data is stored within Teamcenter. Making sense of the data stored in different databases is difficult.

AWS seems aimed at the largest users. Early adopters include GM, Ford, JPL, and Rolls Royce.

While I was turned on by the AWS capability, this release seems to have an awkward and incomplete UI. Also, the reporting and rollup capabilities need to be extended. For instance, cost rollups and product status do not seem to be available yet, but are on the drawing board. Searches are limited to single attributes.

AWS V1 is available now. Maintenance releases are scheduled for July 2012 and Nov 2012. While the next major release is not due until the end of 2013, there is plenty in this release to keep users busy.

Pricing seems modest. $750 per named user. But, for large installations this could add up quickly. I expect there are volume discounts.

As far as competition, only Dassault Systemes with their V6 Enovia 3D Live offering is even in the same ballpark.

More info can be found at www.siemens.com/plm.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) produces high strength and finished metal parts

10 March 2012: A few weeks ago I received a press release about EOS, the laser sintering company based in Germany, that got me thinking about their process. They claimed to directly produce parts, specifically knee joints, from an additive machining process that could be used in orthopedic surgery. Nick O’Donohoe, of the PR firm, the Parker Group, stated that “A sea change in medical treatment—mass customized, patient-specific care devices—will be evident at this years’ American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting. There, EOS and its customers are displaying all types of innovative, high-quality orthopedic products that excel in effectiveness, fit, and comfort.”

Of course, from my years in the industry I knew quite a lot about additive manufacturing, but naively assumed it only produced low temperature and low stress capable plastic type parts.

After a little research into the background of laser sintering I was surprised to learn EOS’ laser sintering can produce parts made from chromium steel and even titanium! The difference between the melting points between plastic and these metals was several thousand degrees. I was determined to find out how this was done.

I scheduled a call with Andy Snow, Regional Director at EOS of North America. I have attached a summary of call below. But first, I had to learn a bit about powder metallurgy and high power lasers.

How it works

Basically it works similar to an SLS (stereo-lithography) additive machining process. A laser is directed to the material and it solidifies the material. In this case the material is powdered metal and the laser is high powered enough to fuse the metal in its beam area to a depth of 20 microns (typically SLS systems solidify plastics at an 120 to 200 micron depth). The elevator is lowered 20 microns, powdered metal is swept over the previous layer and the process repeats, of course with the laser beam directed to the precise locations based on an original CAD converted model.

Other similar technologies include laser sintering and electron beam welding. It is left to the reader to examine these alternatives for their particular requirements.

Conclusion

While EOS DMLS systems are pricey ($600K+) compared to plastics additive manufacturing, the choice using of high strength metals directly in this process offers the users a final product ready  for use, possibly after some clean-up such as polishing. In addition, certain geometries possible with additive manufacturing, such as internal channels, can be machined no other way. See the references below for additional links.

Disclosure:

No compensation of any sort was provided for this article.

—–

An interview with Andy Snow, Regional Director at EOS of North America

RAY: EOS has a unique approach with its direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). I am interested in the strength of the materials and finishing process and what’s required to produce a finished product? Can with start with a discussion of orthopedic knee replacements?

ANDY: Traditional knee replacement devices are made using a casting process. Our EOS produced parts are far better than cast materials, which need secondary machining and polishing.

RAY:  Does your final product also need additional machining operations?

ANDY: Yes, for orthopedic devices intended for implants, which need porous surface for orthopedic implants.

RAY: Porosity; does powdered metallurgy need binders?

ANDY:  Not in DMLS (direct metal laser sintering), as opposed to traditional sintering process.

RAY: I read that EOS systems melt Titanium. Is this true?

ANDY: Yes pure Titanium.

RAY:  What does a system cost?

ANDY:  $600k to 750K USD, depending on what materials you need to process.

RAY: Does titanium-sintering cost more?

ANDY: Not necessarily. It depends mostly on if there is a need to process multiple metals.

RAY:  Does the operator just dump a pail of powdered metal in the hopper and go?

ANDY: The input is powdered metal. It works similar to a stereolithography process – growing geometry layer by layer by heat from laser. Layers for our metal process can be 20-80 Microns depending on alloy. Plastics typically are thicker and 100 to 150 microns per layer.

RAY: EOS machines are slower?

ANDY: Yes

RAY: How slow? What are some example build times?

ANDY: It is geometry dependent. For example, a quantity of 16 54 mm acetabular knee cups take about 16hrs to build. The same builds in plastics might be six times faster. Of course plastic cannot directly be used for knee cups. However, patient specific drilling guides are often built in plastics. VisionAire is one trade name. [You can find out more at http://global.smith-nephew.com/us/patients/ABOUT_VISIONAIRE.htm%5D

RAY: How is this better than selecting from a suite of fixed knee cup sizes, as is most often done today?

ANDY: A custom product matches the bone geometry exactly. Thus there is a better fit.

RAY: What are the cost aspects as compared to mass-produced parts?

ANDY: The patient match is better because operating room expense is less because easier to install.

RAY: Are there any special environmental requirements?

ANDY: Nothing special is required, except within the EOS machine for specific metals. The EOS machines are typically in a machine shop at the OEM.

RAY: Does the metal sintering use a co2 laser?

ANDY: Plastics additive manufacturing uses CO2. DMLS uses Diode pumped fiber optic laser, 200W or 400W

RAY: what about finishing?

ANDY: Detail finish out of metal is better due to laser spot size; layer difference, and material particle size. Plastic 60 microns, metal 20 microns. Metal can use even smaller particle size because it’s heavier. Company is exploring micro laser sintering of 1-5 microns.

RAY: what other industries use this DMLS technology?

ANDY: Aerospace, especially in turbine designs.

RAY: Who is the competition in MLS (Metal laser sintering)?

ANDY: The competition is mostly German companies. These include SLM Solutions, Phenix Systems, and ARCAM with electronic beam technology. The DMLS acronym is only used by EOS.

RAY: What makes you better than the competition?

ANDY: Our finished part quality. We are the industry leader with 60-65% of the market share. We have a strong technical base. EOS has about 400 employees with 1/3 dedicated to R&D.

Here are some images supplied by EOS:

A laser-sintered drill guide designed to conform to the patient’s bone geometry. (Courtesy Materialise)

A DMLS-made gas turbine prototype swirler in cobalt chrome. (Courtesy Morris Technologies)

An EOSINT DMLS system laser-sintering cobalt-chrome dental copings and bridges in a batch. Each bridge can be a different custom design, based on dental data from an individual patient (Courtesy EOS)

An EOSINT M 280 direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) system. (Courtesy EOS)

References:

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 Below is the press release that I quoted earlier:

EOS DEMOS LATEST ADVANCES IN LASERAY: SINTERED ORTHOPEDIC PRODUCTS AT AAOS 

Customization of implants and drill guides provides significant advantages to surgical teams

Novi, MI, February 2, 2012—For proof positive that laseRay: sintering is changing the face of medical design and manufacturing, attendees of this year’s American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting can stop by the EOS booth (#259). The world leader in laseRay: sintering systems is showcasing a working EOSINT M 280 direct metal laseRay: sintering (DMLS) system to demonstrate the extraordinary benefits the technology offers for orthopedic applications. The evidence includes a wide range of innovative medical products and prototypes used for instrumentation as well as spinal, joint, and cranial surgeries. The show is being held February 8-10 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco (California).

“An entire new world of orthopedic treatment and procedures has opened up,” says Martin Bullemer, EOS manager for medical business development. “Because our laseRay: sintering systems can cost-effectively manufacture any imaginable geometry, and any variation on it, they are changing the way we think about medical products.”

Laser sintering is an additive manufacturing process involving next-to-no tooling, molding or machining costs. As a result, devices can be economically mass-customized to conform to the requirements of individual doctors or patients. Orthopedic suppliers use DMLS and plastics laser sintering to create a diverse array of drill guides, clamps, implants, and surgical instruments.

EOS-related activities at the AAOS meeting include:

  • EOS customers C&A Tool (booth 4017), Morris Technologies (booth 359), and Oxford Performance Materials (booth 2821) are exhibiting laseRay: sintered products and prototypes. C&A and Morris both focus on DMLS, while Oxford Performance Materials uses the EOSINT P 800 with high-performance polymers to manufacture customized medical implants.
  • Highlights from WITHIN Technologies Ltd include their FEA/CAD optimization software that works with EOS’ plastic and metal laseRay: sintering systems to create strong, lightweight parts including innovative lattice structures.
  • FHC is exhibiting its new line of patient-customized stereotactic fixtures for cranial targeting. The new fixtures are more accurate and comfortable for the patient than standard stereotactic frames and are suitable for a broad range of head types, and for targets not easily reached with a traditional frame. They also reduce operating room times for the procedure by as much as two hours.

“Many surgeons and medical designers are only just now becoming aware of the breadth of applications made possible by this manufacturing technology,” says Fred Haer, CEO of FHC. “The laseRay: sintered products on display at this meeting are at the forefront of a revolution in personalized patient care.”

About EOS

EOS was founded in 1989 and is today the world-leading manufacturer of laseRay: sintering systems. Laser sintering is the key technology for e-Manufacturing, the fast, flexible and cost-effective production of products, patterns and tools. The technology manufactures parts for every phase of the product life cycle, directly from electronic data. Laser sintering accelerates product development and optimizes production processes. For more information visit www.eos.info