Designers need to cope with the ever growing rise in machine complexity, find efficiencies to cut costs, and be more flexible. Designing, developing and engineering machines in more agile and accelerated ways has to be done. Advanced machine engineering needs to be practiced.
The current advanced engineering is based on a digital platform that hosts all project work, enables collaboration between teams, and stores and catalogues all work, ensuring that IP can be easily reused. The three key steps in the modern engineering process are:
Step 1: Mechatronic design. Customer’s requirements can be ascertained and recorded using the software and can be traced all the way through from initial discussions to finished design. Importantly, Now software is enabling the creation of more advanced functional models in the design process enabling mechanical, electrical and automation disciplines to work together in parallel.
Step 2. Engineering to order. Digital engineering platform also supports modular design. Software can be used to break customer specifications into discrete parts that can be worked on separately. These modules designed for an order or product are likely to be reusable and therefore reduce the number of design cycles required to build a new machine. This approach minimizes the cost and time involved in designing bespoke machines.
Step 3. Virtual commissioning. It is a new capability in digital engineering platforms. Based on the computer aided design, ‘virtual machines’ can be created. Complete, and detailed, 3D digital virtual clones of machines can now be built to design, test and commission new products.Alternative design concepts can be specified and built quickly. The software has the capability to simulate the effect of variables such as gravity, friction and the performance of electrical systems, fluids and pneumatics.
The users of Project lifecycle management (PLM) tools with digital engineering capabilities described above indicate that development time is cut by between 20-30%.
PLM tools also provide the real-time collaboration capability for teams across different disciplines spread across various global locations. It seamlessly integrates the work of different groups and creates alerts when a change to a design in one area may have implications elsewhere based on the relationship structures specified. This improved integration can also save considerable time otherwise spent in communication and work trasfer.
As machines become more connected and autonomous, the designing and building of them will require collaboration of multiple engineering disciplines. This will increase complexity in the design and development . Advanced software is now available which, through intuitive collaboration tools and interfaces, makes it easier, more cost-efficient and faster to build the customised machines of today and tomorrow.
Smart machines need smart engineering
Smart Product Engineering: Proceedings of the 23rd CIRP Design Conference, Bochum, Germany, March 11th - 13th,
Michael Abramovici, Rainer Stark
Springer Science & Business Media, 14-Mar-2013 - Technology & Engineering - 1011 pages
The collection of papers in this book comprises the proceedings of the 23rd CIRP Design Conference held between March 11th and March 13th 2013 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. The event was organized in cooperation with the German Academic Society for Product Development – WiGeP. The focus of the conference was on »Smart Product Engineering«, covering two major aspects of modern product creation: the development of intelligent (“smart”) products as well as the new (“smart”) approach of engineering, explicitly taking into account consistent systems integration.
Throughout the 97 papers contained in these proceedings, a range of topics are covered, amongst them the different facets and aspects of what makes a product or an engineering solution “smart”. In addition, the conference papers investigate new ways of engineering for production planning and collaboration towards Smart Product Engineering. The publications provide a solid insight into the pressing issues of modern digital product creation facing increasing challenges in a rapidly changing industrial environment. They also give implicit advice how a “smart” product or engineering solution (processes, methods and tools) needs to be designed and implemented in order to become successful.
Smart Engineering 2.0 for Medical Devices