Product Development Solutions

April 9, 2009
New and improved solutions

Improved tools for digital prototyping and a focus on sustainability define Autodesk's 2010 line of 2-D and 3-D design and engineering software. For example, new assembly and stress analysis and motion simulation tools in Inventor Professional help users simulate and optimize their designs earlier in the design process, while a circuit builder tool in AutoCAD Electrical allows designers to analyze the energy efficiency of circuits. Likewise, an energy usage indicator in Moldflow aims to help designers decrease manufacturing energy requirements, and access to a large plastic materials database lets users evaluate different materials for their contribution to sustainability efforts.

Design-for-environment tools are new additions to the latest version of Boothroyd Dewhurst's Design for Manufacture and Assembly software. Both modules of DFMA 2009 -- DFA Version 9.4 and DFM Concurrent Costing Version 2.3 -- have been updated. With the new tools, designers can evaluate the impact of their material selection while the product is still in the concept state and view potential end-of-life scenarios. A software analysis prompts designers to choose their materials, then shows by weight the proportions of the materials in the product. It also estimates and designates the proportion of product that will go to different end-of-life destinations, such as landfill, recycling and reuse.

Customer input has driven more than 85 enhancements to NEi Nastran V9.2, a major upgrade to NEi Software's FEA solver for high-end finite element analysis. Key additions to the new version include nonlinear composite progressive ply failure analysis, automatic dynamic plots during nonlinear analysis and enhanced rigid element features. The technology also performs vibration fatigue analysis, has 64-bit large model capability, and includes industry-specific tools for aerospace and maritime uses.

Vistagy has introduced a comprehensive design solution to help aircraft manufacturers with their product development process. Vistagy AeroSuite comprises three components: FiberSim, a software suite that addresses the entire composites engineering process from conception, laminate definition and ply creation through simulation, performance optimization, flat pattern generation, documentation and manufacturing; SyncroFit, a group of software products for designing and manufacturing airframe assemblies; and Quality Planning Environment, a specialized software for quality planning engineers. A fourth component of the suite is custom consulting services, with Vistagy assisting customers in implementing optimized processes for developing composite aerostructures.

Significants upgrades been introduced in TurboCAD Professional Version 16, the flagship product of IMSI/Design. The innovations are particularly evident in 2D drafting and 3D modeling, according to the company. Features of Version 16 include drafting palette capabilities that expedite the drafting-to-detailing process. A new tool that allows users to quickly draw 2D and 3D spirals is among the 3D modeling enhancements, as is a mesh simplifier tool and an updated solid modeling engine.

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About the Author

Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

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