Category Archives: Product

Updates from Siemens

Designing large scale automation and robotic systems using Solid Edge
By David Chadwick – Precision Robotics and Automation Ltd (PARI) is a leading developer of automation and robotic systems globally. Their customers in the automotive sector include established giants like Ford, Chrysler, PSA, Daimler-Benz, Tata Motors, Mahindra, and new significant players like VinFast. PARI designs, manufactures and installs complete, automated systems including multi-station lines for machining and assembly of powertrain components and assemblies.

PARI has been a major user of Solid Edge for 15 years with 160 licenses deployed at their headquarters near Pune in India. Typical automation solutions deployed by PARI incorporate a wide variety of robots, actuators and sensors and other mechatronic items. These systems can comprise over 25,000 unique components.

Mangesh Kale, Managing Director of PARI describes their design process. “If a six-axis robot is required for a specific application then we use robots from major suppliers like FANUC, ABB and Kuka, or other makes specified by the customer. We typically receive 3D models from these manufacturers and we integrate these into our automation system designs. However, many applications demand gantry type robots that we design and manufacture ourselves. In a typical solution, about 60% of the design is using standardized commodities of PARI. However, custom parts are typically 40% of the design. For example, the gripper sub-assembly for any material handling solution is typically a custom design. This design meets specific application needs to handle components at different stages in the machining or assembly process. The customization required for assembly processes is even higher. We find that Solid Edge is a very powerful and flexible solution for designing these sub-systems.” more>

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Updates from McKinsey

Small capital markets businesses have been insulated against many of the troubles affecting their larger competitors. Now things are getting tougher.
By Fuad Faridi, Jared Moon, Anoop Ravindranath, Roger Rudisuli, Manu Saxena, Matthew Steinert – The capital markets arms of regional and national banks are often seen as smaller versions of the capital markets businesses of the top 10 global firms. However, they are actually quite different. Regional businesses have evolved along their own paths, with distinct client franchises, operating models, and sources of profitability. As a result, they require a strategic agenda that is tailored to their specific needs.

Until recently, the capital markets businesses of regional banks have been insulated against many of the troubles affecting larger global banks, and in some cases have performed better than them. Regional capital markets businesses’ returns on equity (ROE) held up better than those of their larger counterparts and regionals maintained their market share.

Now, however, there are signs that life is getting tougher. Structural shifts such as increasing electronification and falling revenues, and questions about the sustainability and “fit” with their parent organizations, are leading to increased scrutiny of these businesses. This has been especially pronounced in Europe. Temporary revenue upticks from market volatility linked to COVID-19 are seen as providing only temporary relief.

Even seemingly more robust franchises are being forced to answer difficult questions. They have found that after stripping out the impact from internal flows and adjacent client bases, the businesses that remain are often far less profitable. They have also found it challenging to unlock the next phase of growth.

In response, regional players across geographies are focusing on improving productivity end to end. A subset of firms is also trying to identify three to five pockets of opportunity for capturing revenue. more>

3 Keys to Engineering Success

Although success can be defined in different ways by different people, there are three very specific keys to engineering success.

By Jacob Beningo – Every engineer and engineering team wants to be successful. Success can be defined in many different ways whether it is meeting a deadline, making a customer happy, or completing work within the budget. Whatever the definition of success is, there are three keys to successful engineering, and they aren’t necessarily technical.

Success Key #1 – Maintaining Discipline

Related: 50 Top Private Engineering Firms of 2020

The first key to success is that even under the toughest conditions, discipline needs to be maintained. This isn’t a military thing, it’s common sense. I see a lot of teams that when things start to get tough, corners recklessly start getting cut. The loss of discipline creates additional problems that further get in the way of delivering and quickly become a self-feeding doom loop that wastes time and kills budget.

Maintaining discipline for success must be done at more than one level at the company. First, individual developers need to agree that no matter what pressure is put on them, they will follow their processes, perform their due diligence, and not allow themselves to decay into wild west programming. Individual developers form the foundation and if they crack, the whole project is going with them. Second, the collective team needs to agree that they will maintain their discipline no matter what. Everyone working together will help ensure that they are successful. Finally, the company management team needs to be on-board and understand that while there may be a fire today or a critical delivery date, the team has to maintain the discipline to make the delivery successful. All three levels of the business need to be on board.

In my experience, engineering success comes down to much more than technical prowess. It comes down to having and maintain discipline. It requires carefully managing expectations to deliver what is needed when it is needed not by overpromising and under-delivering. Perhaps most importantly, to have long-term success, it requires having fun doing whatever it is that you do and with the people you are doing it with. more>

Testing a mysterious instrument

By Michael D. Allen – My first job after leaving school was that of an associate engineer. This meant that I was half technician and half engineer, and I would design something and then build and test it. Because of this position, I frequently got some odd and interesting jobs.

One day a cardboard box showed up on my bench with a test box, a bunch of blueprints, a test procedure, and an “angle of attack” aircraft instrument. Management told me to grab an inspector, perform a functional test on the instrument, and buy off on all of the steps. This was the first aircraft instrument that anyone had seen in our lab area.

There were no program identifiers on the blueprints, the test box, or the instrument itself. I had no way to compare the numbers on the blueprints to any program. If anyone knew what the associated program was, he wasn’t telling.

The instrument was connected to the test box and turned on. A given DC input was supposed to drive the needle to a certain location on the dial face. This worked to a certain extent; the needle would drive to the commanded location but overshoot, back up, and overshoot again. The needle would be a blur, oscillating around the commanded location.

The test box was checked and appeared to be working correctly. Because the instrument was not working correctly, I ask the inspector if it would be OK to open it up to see what was inside, and he agreed. The instrument had a can extending several inches beyond the back of the dial face. The can had a sealed connector and a purge port to refill it with nitrogen. The inside of the instrument looked like several pocket watches stacked together. more>

Updates from Siemens

Solid Edge 2021 Feature Highlights: Free CAD Models for Solid Edge Users
By Shannon Kruse -Solid Edge 2021 has been launched and with it comes a vast array of new capabilities and features for users! In this blog series, we will be highlighting a new capability every other week, allowing you to become familiar with the software and learn what Solid Edge 2021 has to offer.

This week’s blog post will be covering 3Dfindit.com, powered by CADENAS. 3Dfindit.com, an online visual search engine, streamlines the process of finding 3D models using advanced search functions such as classifications, geometry, filters, sketches and much more to allow you to significantly reduce technical search times and increase design efficiency.

3Dfindit.com for Solid Edge gives engineers like you a wide variety of intuitive search methods, making it easy to find the exact part you are looking for. You can create a rough model in Solid Edge and initiate a geometric search in 3Dfindit.com to find parts that are similar to that specific model. With millions of 2D and 3D CAD files verified by component manufacturers to choose from, you can easily select and configure the components that match your needs. Once the proper part is located, a single click places it directly into your active Solid Edge assembly.

CAD files of requested parts are automatically generated on the fly, ready to use in Solid Edge. Depending on the catalog, the digital parts are enriched with extensive metadata such as kinematics information to test motion sequences, centers of mass, material, environmental protection standards, order numbers, etc. This saves time by enabling engineers to find and deploy approved parts instead of manually creating them. more>

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Updates from Ciena

When it comes to 5G, the only path that matters is yours
The closed and proprietary mobile networks of the past aren’t welcome any longer. Find out how Ciena is helping customers benefit from a more open, automated, and adaptable 5G wireline network.
By Joe Marsella -After years of hype, I think it’s fair to say that 5G is here. Initial deployments are underway around the world. There’s genuine excitement for a new generation of applications that exploit the massive end-to-end performance gains that 5G will provide across the mobile network. From AR/VR to IoT to gaming to streaming, our industry will push 5G technology to its limits to give consumers and businesses rich and rewarding digital experiences.

But here’s the problem. I’ve travelled the world and spoken to network operators of every size, mobile and wholesale operators alike. They all say the same thing. If the full promise of 5G is to be commercially realized, this time it must be different. We’ll need to challenge the traditional, closed way of building end-to-end mobile networks.

The world is changing. Digital disruption, virtualization, and openness are all driving a change in how networks are built. Look, we don’t shop the way we used to 30 years ago. We order transportation services with the push of a button, and many kids don’t know what it feels like to wait until 8:00 pm for their favorite show to be on (or even worse, wait through commercials!) – because of digital disruption.

It’s time for that change to come to wireless networks. For the past 30 years, successive generations of wireless networks were built a certain way: closed. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and wholesale operators alike had to rely on very few vendors and their proprietary architectures, interfaces, and protocols. What if your locked-in vendor wasn’t innovating at the pace you needed to successfully compete? Well – you were stuck until the next generation network was upon us and hoped this time for open, standards-based solutions. more>

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The ‘circular economy’—neither safe nor sustainable

The circular economy holds out the hope of living within the planet’s resources. Turning aspiration into action is another matter.

By Vera Weghmann – A little over a year ago, schoolchildren across the globe embarked on huge strikes over the climate emergency. Our global economic system is unsustainable: continuous economic growth and endless consumption mean ever-increasing waste. Waste which is buried, dumped at sea or turned into ash pollutes the environment and creates the need to extract further raw materials.

The European Union’s ambition to move towards a circular economy, and in particular its Circular Economy Action Plan, should therefore be welcomed. The circular economy implies radical change to how production and consumption are organized—away from a linear model of growth (extract, make, dispose) to a sustainable alternative (recycle, reuse, remake, share). Waste then becomes a resource.

In a report commissioned by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), I showed however that the circular economy does not operate of itself. Especially, waste management—central to the circular economy—is an essential public service. Unfortunately, the pay of workers in waste management is often low, working conditions hard and unpleasant and, on top of that, health and safety is often disregarded. The report highlighted that very little attention has been paid to workers operating essential waste services to keep society running and maintain a sustainable environment. In the EU action plan the workers—formal and informal—relied upon are not even mentioned. more>

Updates from ITU

Here’s how we can meet the global need for digital skills development
More than ever, COVID-19 has thrown the need for digital skills and capacities into stark relief around the world. The newly published Digital Skills Insights 2020 report is a carefully curated collection of the best strategies to strengthen the capacities and skills needed to help everyone benefit fully from digital transformation, no matter where they live and no matter what their level of digital skill development. Below is my foreword to this timely new edition of the report.
By Doreen Bogdan-Martin – In the wake of the global pandemic, the importance of digital skills has never been so evident, nor so urgent. As those lucky enough to enjoy fast connectivity took refuge from the global health emergency by moving to a virtual environment to support economic continuity, education and interpersonal contact, those lacking access to digital networks and skills have been left even further behind.

As the world struggles to fashion a ‘new normal’ for the post-pandemic era, it is more apparent than ever that the ability to leverage digital technologies will be vital to the future resilience and prosperity of nations, communities and individuals. This timely new edition of Digital Skills Insights focuses on pertinent topics related to this pressing global need for digital capacity building and skills development.

Now in its fourth year, Digital Skill Insights aims to provide new perspectives and enhance knowledge among the ITU stakeholder community on issues impacting digital learning and skills development, featuring eight new articles from leading international experts, divided into two broad areas. The first set provides a broad overview of the discussion on digital skills demand and supply, new skills requirements in emerging job markets, and challenges related to future digital skills requirements. Issues covered include digital skills shortages in global labor markets, and how skills needs evolve in line with new technologies. They emphasize the need for accurate forecasts of digital skills requirements, and flexible digital skills acquisition approaches. more>

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Updates from Chicago Booth

What does business owe society?
Experts from across the globe consider the Friedman doctrine and the social responsibilities of contemporary companies
By Amy Merrick – Fifty years ago, the late Milton Friedman, an economics professor at the University of Chicago who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, challenged the argument that businesses have obligations separate from their responsibility to make as much money as possible for shareholders.

In his op-ed for the New York Times, published on September 13, 1970, Friedman declared, “There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

Friedman was pushing back against the idea that businesses should avoid price increases to hold down inflation, pay more toward mitigating pollution than the law required, or hire less-qualified workers to reduce poverty. He did not say that businesses should profit by any means necessary; he wrote that corporate executives should conform “to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.”

Today, some executives and economists reject Friedman’s conception of businesses’ social obligations. Last year, the Business Roundtable, which represents the CEOs of some of America’s largest companies, updated its statement on the purpose of a corporation, emphasizing a “fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders” and outlining a list of responsibilities: deliver value to customers, invest in employees, deal fairly and ethically with suppliers, support the communities in which they work, and generate long-term value for shareholders. Some have argued that global challenges such as COVID-19 and climate change are existential threats that require leadership from businesses—for the sake of their own survival, as well as that of the broader society. more>

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Updates from Siemens

New Mentor Capital book
By Yun – Capital is a comprehensive software suite that enables the engineering of electrical systems for large platforms such as cars, aircraft, and sophisticated machines. These platforms have substantial and increasing electronic content, which are dependent upon complex electrical distribution systems to function. Trends such as powertrain electrification and increased vehicle autonomy intensify these challenges leading companies to utilize Capital to overcome them.

Capital was introduced into China for the first time in 2004. It was first applied in the aviation field, and then quickly occupied the market. It was also widely used in aerospace, ship and automobile manufacturing fields. At present, the software has become the electrical system design software with very high market share in China. Capital divides the electrical system into three levels: layout diagram, circuit diagram / schematic diagram and cable network. Capital can assist in design, layout, wiring and inspection at different levels, which greatly improves the efficiency and reliability of electrical system design. At the same time, Capital has a large version upgrade and a number of minor upgrades almost every year. Mentor can timely correct the problems found according to customer practice, add new functions to Capital, keep up with the latest development of computer-aided design technology, and constantly help to improve the design efficiency and reliability of electrical system.

With the development of electronic information technology and the continuous enrichment of social needs, the electrical system in the fields of aviation, aerospace, ship and automobile has become more and more complex, huge and important. The traditional design method has been difficult to ensure the completion of highly reliable electrical system design in a limited time. More and more designers and companies want to help themselves through Capital Electrical system design. more>

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