Several relatively new techniques—including cloud computing and additive manufacturing–are challenging the way manufacturers and engineering organizations do business, said Chuck Grindstaff, Siemens PLM Software president and chief executive officer.
To that end, Siemens announced its collaboration with Hewlett-Packard on software application to drive HPs first 3D printers, Jet Fusion. Grindstaff made the announcement at Siemens PLM Connection 2016, held in Orlando, Fla., this week.
The new technology will enable the 3D printing of production-ready parts made from multiple materials and in multiple colors, he said. Engineers can print components in one piece with different material characteristics and colors within the component. They can designate material characteristics down to the voxel-level (essentially a 3D pixel) and print the components at speeds up to ten times faster and at half the cost of current 3D print systems, according to Grindstaff.
Color differentiation could be used to indicate, for instance, that a product’s top layer—perhaps colored blue—has worn through to expose a second, red, layer. The red color would mean its time to change the part, Grindstaff said.
The additive design software will become part of Siemens’ design-to-production technology suite.
To stay competitive, organizations must adopt techniques—such as cloud computing and additive manufacturing—to help them deliver the complex products today’s users week, Grindstaff said at the conference.
The new goal for manufacturers is to make a high-quality custom product at the cost, quality and speed of mass production, he added.
“All organizations are faced with the same challenge, though it might vary a little bit from place to place. Speed flexibility, and complexity are at base of what we’re all trying to do,” he said.
“These aren’t just interesting things we hear about, they’re things we all must incorporate into our business plans,” Grindstaff said.
Siemens wants to see additive manufacturing become a typical manufacturing method for production-ready parts, Grindstaff added. Currently, the method is more commonly used to create prototypes that are used to refine designs.
But companies such as Airbus, General Electric, and Lima Corp. are using these machines to produce complex parts for aerospace and medical products, according to Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates, an additive manufacturing consulting firm.
In terms of cloud computing, which Grindstaff termed another method important for competitive manufacturers to adopt, Siemens offers both its Teamcenter PLM and NX CAD software via a cloud network.
Siemens PLM Omneo is another cloud offering that analyzes large amounts of data pertinent to a manufacturer to help isolate manufacturing, design, and production issues. The big-data analysis solution will become even more important as more and more machines, vehicles, and airplanes include sensors that allow them to communicate with each other and with other systems via the Intenet of Industrial Things.
Feedback garnered via the IoIIT can be aggregated and analyzed in Omneo.