Category Archives: How to

Update from Siemens

BOM Management: An introduction
By Susan Zimmerlee – What exactly is BOM Management?  Is that the same as BOM Configuration Management?  Or product variability management? Or Master Data Management?  Or a PLM BOM???

The answer seems to be that it depends on who you ask!

BOM management is a tough topic because those words mean something different to each company that I work with.  Even within a single company, you could ask different departments and get different answers.

Which bill of materials management or BOM management solution is best for you? I’ve sat on both the selling and buying end of this discussion, and there is no single answer for everybody. It’s like asking – which vehicle is best?

The answer depends on if you’re hauling heavy loads or trying to get someplace really fast. The BOM management discussion needs to be similar – what is it that you need your BOM management system to do for you? Whether you make paper towels or space ships, at a basic level, BOM management is a critical element that takes you from an idea to a delivered product. To have more detailed discussions about BOM management, we need to establish a baseline of some of the key elements involved:

  • Part: Managing a part bill of materials, also known as the physical product definition or product master, is commonly the main topic of Master Data Management (MDM) discussions.
  • Design: In a design BOM (often called the virtual product definition), mechanical designers and engineering are usually focused on generating the 3D components that make up the product.
  • DMU: Digital mock up (or DMU) refers to the ability to virtually view and interrogate your configured BOM throughout its lifecycle.
  • BOM Configuration Management: BOM configuration management is the discipline of managing the content of the product definition throughout its lifecycle.
  • Variability: Product variability is part of BOM configuration management.
  • Architecture: To better manage configuration and product variability, product architectures help to organize similar content across several products.
  • Coordinated Change: Coordinating product change across various product representations is an issue that is gaining more and more visibility as products grow more and more complex.

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The decentralized economy is inevitable. Cities now need to prepare for impact

By Sarah Wray – Bettina Warburg explained that throughout history, we have created “middlemen” to deal with uncertainty about trade – who are we dealing with, how do we know we are getting what we were promised, and what if we don’t receive the goods? These middlemen include banks, corporations and government entities, as well as online platform marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.

Now for the first time, she said, we can lower this uncertainty using technology alone – blockchain, meaning no middlemen are required.

Blockchain unlocks the idea of a “network state … which you can think of as shared reality. Blockchain is in some ways giving us an autonomous network state — the ability to manage all that information and make choices on it by transacting it without middlemen,” she said.

“It’s a matter of urgency that public services, and the leadership of those public services, is able to anticipate technology and the disrupted business models it creates; and that it can respond to that by setting out the key demands. We cannot find ourselves in situations again where we have to regulate after the event. That is government not doing its job properly,” commented Andrew Collinge. more>

Putting the Style in the Dial


By Caroline Hayes – In today’s vehicles, drivers access information for a variety of uses. This can be the distance and directions to points of interest or practical vehicle information, such as remaining fuel.

The analog displays of dial and needles are being replaced with a mix of analog and digital instrument clusters.

The digital display is being used in a similar way to how consumers use notebooks, tablets, and smartphones.

In the Automotive Display Market Tracker, Principal Analyst, IHS Markit, Stacy Wu, identifies a shift from center stack and rear seat entertainment, to safety system displays in instrument clusters as well as heads-up displays, where data is displayed in front of the driver. Sales of safety-critical display panels are expected to experience double digit growth through 2022.

This could be a boon for display manufacturers who are seeing sluggish sales in mobile devices. more>

Updates from GE

By Yari M. Bovalino – A few years ago, scientists working in GE labs in upstate New York came up with a cool idea for fixing broken parts. Literally. Calling the approach “cold spray,” they shot tiny metal grains from a supersonic nozzle at aircraft engine blades to add new material to them without changing their properties.

Anteneh Kebbede, manager of the Coatings and Surface Lab at the GE Global Research Center, who helped developed cold spray, said the technology can build whole new parts with walls as thick as 1 inch or more. “For manufacturers, the potential benefits are enormous,” Kebbede says. “Imagine being able to restore an aging part to its original condition with a tool that looks like a spray gun.” It is “like a fountain of youth for machine parts.”

GE engineers have already taken a dip. Earlier this year, engineers at the GE Aviation subsidiary Avio Aero started testing the technology in Bari, Italy. Last month they used it to repair the first part: a gearbox from the world’s most powerful jet engine, the GE90. more>

Updates from Autodesk

ProNest® – ProNest is an industry leading CAD/CAM nesting software designed for advanced mechanized cutting. It provides a single solution for all of your profile cutting needs, including plasma, laser, waterjet, and oxyfuel. ProNest helps fabricators and manufacturers increase material savings, boost productivity, lower operating costs, and improve part quality by offering the highest level of cutting expertise.

Across the globe, Hypertherm products are known for quality, consistency, and reliability, and it’s no different with our advanced CAD/CAM software.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

  • Part creation and development including: Integrated 2D CAD program to create and edit CAD files; Variable Shape Parts feature to develop common parts from templates
  • CAD/CAM import and conversion including: Import CAD and CNC files (many industry-standard file formats); Import Bill of Materials properties from CAD files; Automatic CAD file correction
  • Job set-up including: Material database; Plate list; Part library; Safe zones
  • Nesting including: Inside of parts; Multi-head; Edit leads from the nest; Auto part revisions; Grain constraint; Tabbing; Edge pierce; Cropping; Auto sequencing; Cut direction and sequence by part
  • NC Output including: Flexible post-processor with standard NC output; Automatic kerf / pre-kerf compensation; DXF output; OneClick™ feature runs all of your most common job tasks from Automatic Nesting to output and more

more> cadinnovation.com

The Disastrous Trump Tax Plan

By John T. Harvey – Designing a tax plan that will actually increase spending and therefore employment is really not all that difficult. All you have to do is meet two criteria:

1. The tax cuts must not be offset by spending cuts (or tax increases elsewhere).

2. The tax cuts must increase the incomes of those who will actually spend the money.

That’s it, that’s the whole story. And these give very clear guidelines regarding what to do in practice. For example, if you are cutting taxes, do it for the poorest people in the economy. Any increase in their income is guaranteed to create jobs because they will absolutely spend it.

“The rich donors who are part of the base would come out quite nicely from this proposal.”

Who in God’s name thinks this is a good idea? This does absolutely nothing to address the long-term problems from which the economy is suffering and very likely makes them worse.

The reasoning, we are told, is that when we cut corporate taxes they’ll invest and hire more workers. That represents a misunderstanding of the economic factors at work. more>

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Why Leaders Should Focus on Outcomes Instead of Solutions

By Scott Eblin – I love that distinction between solutions and outcomes. Too often, executives and managers overlook the difference between the two. In those cases, they confuse their commitment to a particular solution with the outcome. Of course, they’re not the same.

A solution is a means to an outcome, not the outcome itself.

And the thing is, there’s usually more than one solution that will get you and your team to the desired outcome. One of the distinctions I make in The Next Level is that leaders need to pick up defining what to do and let go of telling how to do it. It’s really the same idea as focusing on outcomes more than solutions.

Over the years, I’ve lost track of the number of clients I’ve worked with who, once they started focusing more on the outcomes (the what) and less on the solutions (the how), have told me how thrilled they were with the quality of the solutions that their teams came up with. more>

The Dos And Don’ts Of Building A Smart City

By Steve Olenski – It’s important to put context around the purpose and benefit of building a smart city. The bigger picture is the creation of the digital economy in which smart cities will operate and contribute. A digital economy essentially needs smart cities to truly thrive and fulfill its potential.

The Smart Cities Council says that a smart city “uses information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance its livability, workability, and sustainability” by “collecting, communicating, and crunching” data from all sources. Because the digital economy operates on data, it could benefit from having city functions move to that platform. more>

How Technology Is Driving Us Toward Peak Globalization

By Banning Garrett – New technologies are moving us toward “production-at-the-point-of-consumption” of energy, food, and products with reduced reliance on a global supply chain.

The trade of physical stuff has been central to globalization as we’ve known it. So, this declining movement of stuff may signal we are approaching “peak globalization.”

To be clear, even as the movement of stuff may slow, if not decline, the movement of people, information, data, and ideas around the world is growing exponentially and is likely to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

Peak globalization may provide a pathway to preserving the best of globalization and global interconnectedness, enhancing economic and environmental sustainability, and empowering individuals and communities to strengthen democracy. more>

These Days, ‘We Aren’t Innovating in Isolated Business Parks’


By Michael Grass – Much has been written about what Amazon is looking for and the extent some cities and regions have gone to make their bids attractive to the company, including offering tax incentives and land to build on.

“It’s not about throwing tax incentives at people,” Bruce Katz said of economic development in today’s innovation- and tech-focused economy.

He pointed to Pittsburgh as a place that has successfully leveraged its local assets, including its academic institutions, to make “smart, long-term bets” to become the “poster child for post-industrial renewal.”

Katz touted the clustering of brainpower in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, home to the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Carnegie Mellon University. There are other examples of this type of clustering elsewhere in the United States, something that’s supported vibrant economic activity not just in the immediate vicinity, but across the city and metropolitan area.

“In the end, the city has to think like a system [and] connect the dots,” to foster the type of innovation that’s driving economic revitalization in cities. That doesn’t mean simply physical connections, but also cross-sector collaborative efforts where municipal governments work with other local stakeholders, including universities, the business community, non-profit organizations and philanthropies to pursue a common vision that leads to ongoing revitalization and economic growth. more>