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Beyond Data Translation: Model-Based Industries Need Quality Assurance All Along the Digital Thread
Elysium's North American summit presented a suite of user-friendly functionalities that support product development from early design through manufacturing
SOUTHFIELD, Mich.–Engineers from companies that are exploring the path toward becoming a model-based enterprise (MBE) discovered more than expected at Elysium's North American user summit this spring.
While most were already users of Elysium's data-translation and quality tools, many had been unaware of the full scope of other capabilities the company is developing to support the entire journey toward model-based definition (MBD) and Industry 4.0. Attendees included representatives from Adient, BC Engineering, Action Engineering, Z+F Scanners, Ford, Tachi-S, Lear Corporation, and Denso. Also in attendance were representatives from Automotive Lighting, Waymo, Molex, Kuka Robotics, Hive Virtual Plant, and Toyota.
"We've long been known for data translation expertise," said Elysium's director of technology and engagement, Annalise Suzuki, in a release following the event. "Noncommercial standards like STEP are improving and the translation market is evolving. It remains a solid business for us because there are still challenges with data flow between OEMs and suppliers–yet we now do so much more to enable companies to fully employ model-based practices. This includes ongoing quality checks, validation of derivatives, healing of problematic parts, and data simplification, all of which together form the foundation of information integrity throughout the process flow of the model-based enterprise."
Keynote speakers at the summit were Adient's Ram Pentakota, senior director of IT product development and launch, systems and operations, and Action Engineering CEO Jennifer Herron.
According to Pentakota, Adient's internal Model Creation Process recognizes that quality and innovation depend on data accuracy, and that accuracy and reliability of data are underlying requirements for automation and efficiency. Elysium provides the software tools needed to translate and package all the data for the automotive-seating leader's different OEMs and suppliers. "The validated modeling data that Elysium facilitates is a key part of our integrated process approach to MBD and MBE," he said.
Action Engineering's Jennifer Herron consults on model-based topics and leads in-house CAD model-based training with expertise in multiple CAD packages.
"There's no cookie-cutter way to implement and execute Model-Based Definition," said Herron. "Elysium delivers many MBD/MBE data validation functions in a single platform and excels at providing a user-friendly approach that complements native CAD packages and distills large amounts of data analysis. This helps with accurate downstream consumption of geometry and PMI, and validation that any derivatives generated match the original for geometry, metadata, and annotations."
Software portfolio updates presented at the summit included simplification technology process times that are at least 50 percent faster than previously, many available with a single click. Other enhancements make validation tools more accessible, particularly for the non-engineer.
"Making UIs more intuitive and functional is key, given the depth and complexity of the capabilities we now offer," said Suzuki. Feedback from attendees and presenters indicated that Elysium is making important progress in that area. Herron agreed. "Elysium helps with packaging data into discrete deliverables in a highly usable way," she said.
Day Two of the summit took an in-depth look at Elysium's InfiPoints, a point-cloud software tool for industrial-scale digital mapping of facilities and equipment. BC Engineering and Design owner and senior engineer Brian Christiano discussed his company's use of scanning technology to collect the millions or billions of data points used to describe an object in three-dimensional space. InfiPoints enables his team to turn that point cloud into a usable 3D model.
"We use InfiPoints to process raw scan data, or already registered data; extract CAD features, then realistically and accurately model the entire environment–whether it be nuclear plants, coffee plants, or architectural buildings," Christiano said. "We provide either the extracted data or the registered scans to our customers for reverse engineering and/or project planning."
"Fly-through" video capabilities in InfiPoints allow BC Engineering and Design to give its customers a virtual tour of a facility before construction or renovations begin. Summit attendees were later given an opportunity to walk through this type of a digital world using InfiPoints' latest VR technology for Oculus Rift.
Suzuki noted that one user described point-cloud as a critical tool for companies moving toward full MBE status, noting that his own firm needed to restructure all their physical facilities, not just their models. "If we can scan and digitize our facilities, to help map out our changes and long-term plans, then it all comes together," was his comment.
"Elysium's suite of functionalities plays nicely in a complete model-based process and can be leveraged and re-leveraged as MBD and MBE evolve," said Suzuki. "We're looking to the future and listening to customers to make our roadmap. This summit opened the door to some very fruitful conversations."
Elysium, founded in 1984, is headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan, and has additional offices in Paris, France; Oberursel, Germany; Southfield, Michigan; and Huntington Beach, California. The company's software serves the digital design and product lifecycle management (PLM) markets worldwide.
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