Model-based systems engineering tackles product complexity

Automotive and off-highway were the first industries forced by the mechatronics revolution to move their engineering practices out of habits rooted in 1950s-era product architectures, into 21st-century methods grounded in simulation-led, systems-driven product development. Today’s smart, connected, self-aware and situationally aware cars, trucks and agricultural and construction equipment—managed by ultra-sophisticated onboard mechatronic systems-of-systems—are almost as far advanced from earlier-generation mechanical devices governed by primitive electromechanical (if that) control systems as relativity and quantum mechanics were from the classical physics of Newton and Maxwell. Products of that complexity simply can’t be successfully developed, integrated and validated using last-century tools and methods that leave discovery and remediation of system-level design flaws until detail design or even, disastrously, delivery to market. Continue reading

Breaking Free From SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

Breaking Free From SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

by Neil Cooke, Onshape

Maintaining two different PDM products that do virtually the same thing does not make sound business sense, especially if they came through acquisition and have no common ground or compatibility. This is the situation that many CAD companies have found themselves in over the years. Any decisions to consolidate multiple product lines should not be taken lightly, but in the interests of cost savings and profitability, these decisions are made all too often.

If you are a SOLIDWORKS® Workgroup PDM customer, then no doubt you have been informed by your reseller that your product is being retired at the end of this year. This should not come as a surprise – the push to migrate everyone to SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM has been going on for some years.

While Workgroup PDM does have its limitations in terms of capability and performance, customers love its simplicity and ease of use. So being forced to change the product you’ve used successfully for many years, for little or no benefit, is a bitter pill to swallow. You are being told to migrate now or risk being left behind.

Of course, this is pure speculation. There may be other reasons for this forced migration, but that doesn’t help the thousands of companies that find themselves in this quandary. To add insult to injury, migration comes at a cost in terms of both time and money. Your reseller is a small business and cannot afford to have engineers onsite to carry out lengthy data migrations and troubleshoot issues for free. The cost of migration has been made less onerous with the introduction of a “free” cut-down version, SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard, but the compatibility issue remains as well as the additional costs for implementation and training. Continue reading


PTC, ANSYS to develop platform solution enabling digital simulation for the Industrial IoT

PTC and ANSYS partnered to accelerate the industry-wide move to bring engineering modeling and simulation to the Industrial IoT.

Just before the start of LiveWorx 2017, PTC’s annual mega-event around all things IIoT, the two leaders agreed to develop a solution that will let ANSYS engineering simulation technology be rapidly added to applications built on the ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform from PTC. Development of a connector between these two technology platforms will let customers transform raw data into new forms of actionable intelligence, the companies said. The connector will integrate intelligent digital simulation models with products as they exist and operate in the real world, the companies explained. The aim is to open up new opportunities for companies to create value by enabling them to optimize operations and maintenance and to integrate them into their product development processes. Continue reading

VIRES acquisition by MSC Software accelerates Hexagon’s simulation portfolio and autonomous X strategy

Intelligent, self-aware and situationally aware products capable of autonomous or semi-autonomous operation—reliably and without fail, under every possible set of conditions and circumstances—is fast becoming a, if not indeed the, key competitive mandate for virtually every discrete manufacturing industry today.

A powerful suite of engineering modeling and simulation technologies to help fulfill that mandate will now become available from MSC Software. A unit of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, MSC just announced an agreement to acquire VIRES Simulationstechnologie GmbH, recognized and respected as a leading provider of a software toolchain that supports the development, testing and validation of automated driving, driver assistance and active safety systems. Continue reading

Looking forward in software development: An interview with MSC Software VP of Product Development Doug Neill

Doug Neill is an expert in the aerospace industry, and a recognized, respected voice in the engineering community. He is best known for his work on multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) technologies in the aerospace industry, and for his involvement with various organizations such as AIAA (the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics), where he was a leading member of the MDO technical committee for two tours across seven years.

After joining MSC Software, Doug became the company’s representative on the Aerospace Flutter Dynamics Council (AFDC), a private technical committee focused on aeroelastic simulation methods for the aerospace industry. MSC is the only software vendor that is a permanent invited member of that committee, because of MSC’s expertise in, and early and ongoing commercial support of, the relevant technologies. From all his experiences—beginning as a technical contributor, researcher and aerospace engineer, to his management of contracts, aerospace vertical applications, Nastran products and now MSC’s product development organization—Doug has a developed a unique philosophical outlook on leadership. Continue reading

Fieldscale SENSE and Charge: Engineering modeling of touchscreens on the cloud

Declaring “the dream that drives all our operations is to extend the boundaries of simulation,” Fieldscale says its mission is to “build software simulation tools that work out-of-the-box and deliver exceptionally powerful technology integrated in a clear, singular user environment, and ultimately to make this technology accessible to every engineer.” Continue reading

CosiMate from Chiastek: Co-simulation conduit for multifidelity systems modeling

How to efficiently and effectively co-simulate whole-product functional systems models that include component subsystem models at differing levels of abstraction, or fidelity, has long vexed product engineering teams and simulation technology providers alike. Now, a powerful, elegant solution to this obstacle to faster, more efficient and effective model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is available in CosiMate, the core software product from Chiastek.

This tremendously exciting new technology breaks through what has long stood as one of the worst obstacles to implementing truly production-level MBSE: the difficulty of co-simulating whole-product functional systems models whose component subsystem models are at varying levels of fidelity. As they almost invariably are. Continue reading

Technology business strategy for 21st-century engineering practice