‘Thinking’ engine transforms CAD rules

Siemens PLM has enhanced its 3D CAD offering to simplify model modification, while continuing with its programme of integrating CAD and PLM with Siemens automation control products.

The company’s latest breakthrough in CAD modelling is called Synchronous Technology and was announced at the recent Hanover Fair. The key difference from previous solutions is that there is now an inference engine that looks at the geometry and the rules within the CAD model.
If a user wants to modify an element of a design, previously this meant going back to the history in the feature tree – something of a problem, if the model is imported from another CAD system and the feature tree fails to be read in. What has been announced now is the ability to pick on an item of geometry, and then pull and push it to shape, while the engine infers what the user is trying to do.
But 3D CAD is only part of the manufacturing design process and it was at Hanover that it was possible to view the first fruits of the programme to integrate with Siemens’s traditional manufacturing automation offerings the 3D CAD capabilities acquired with UGS.
In particular, in a full-scale demonstration involving robots and body-in-white Volkswagen cars, Siemens PLCs were controlling manufacturing process movements in ways that had been proven out in virtual reality before connecting them to real-world robots and manufacturing drives.
Siemens’s Markus Erlmann demonstrated how the various modules of Siemens PLM software were able to combine robot simulation with PLC simulation, in order to get the virtual assembly process being demonstrated to work, as well as the simulation of a PLC controlling a virtual machine tool equipped with a Sinumerik CNC controller. The US Index Corporation is also selling the simulation facility on its multi-axis drilling machine controllers.

Tom Shelley

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