PLM Protects Your Life

By Michael

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Products which intimately impact the human body and could be harmful are prone to a myriad of quality assurance regulations put forth by law.

This is the case for the medical domain with its pharmaceutical drugs and devices, the food industry and also cosmetics. The concern of regulations is to assure proper formulation and quality, to protect us from unwanted or accidental effects – ranging from causing irritations to seriously affecting health or even threatening life.

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In most cases the consumer has no means to assess if a product is good or potentially harmful from looking at it on the outside. We should be aware that this applies to almost everything we eat … or use in bathroom. What can we do? As a member of our highly developed civilization we must boldly trust that someone else has done adequate testing and taken precautions “before we take a bite of it”.

asian_food_200 Governmental agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, one of the network of regulation authorities in the US, with their scientific experts and research machinery attempt to take care of this challenge by putting forward constructs of rules and regulations, for the manufacturers of such critical products.

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To comply those manufacturers ought to have operational processes that set them apart from other manufacturing companies. And regulations apply to different stages of the product life cycle: production, packaging, storing and shipping. They also determine the product’s usage and limits of use.

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With the large variety of existing products we have an evenly large variety of regulatory instructions which apply. PLM is there to help manufacturers governing those complex patterns, to comply with regulations in a manageable and transparent way.

Dassault Systèmes Alliance Partner Integware Inc. is specializing to help manufacturing companies using PLM to guide them through the maze of regulations. With all their know-how in life science and consumer package goods industries Integware provides customizable solution modules.  These modules are based on ENOVIA PLM as part of Dassault Systèmes industry solutions, which are put to work for individual customers and their usage.

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Using a PLM regulatory compliance solution fully endorses the spirit of Total Quality Management . Quality system processes embedded in the PLM system guide users to follow the rules and comply with regulations. Implementation of corrective and preventive action is enforced. Changes - and their effect on compliance – can be managed efficiently and effectively, thus lowering the risk for human error, non-compliance and failure.

In a nutshell, PLM systems give manufacturers the power to govern their products’ entire impact on humans and nature. Industry-specific know-how of companies like Integware is essential to leverage the maximum of value for all.

This concludes today’s view on 3D PLM applications and the many contributions brought by  Dassault Systèmes’ Solution Partners.

Although there was not much of 3D today – nevertheless I hope I was able to provide an interesting view on this important topic.

Best,
Michael

Aircruise Design Innovation Muse

By Kate

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When I watched the Aircruise concept video, I got all musical.  Van Morrison’s “Moondance” came to mind, as well as “Up Up and Away

You see Aircruise is not a hot air balloon, nor a cruise ship, nor hotel.  It’s kind of a combination of all.  An air-floating vessel for folks who like the luxury of slow.

Nick TalbotHoping it’ll get you musical as well, I’d like to show you the video and then share my interview with Nick Talbot, design director at Seymourpowell (the design and innovation company behind Aircruise).

Here’s what I asked Nick:

  1. I’ve read the Aircruise is a “visionary approach to the future.”  Your design certainly inspires, but how feasible would it be to build today given existing materials?  What must we invent to permit the production of Aircruise?
  2. Aircruise is designed to be powered by natural energy.  How would this work?
  3. How important was 3D software to your design concept, and at what stage did you integrate it to the process?
  4. What is the relationship between 3D, creative ideation and innovation?
  5. When can I spend the night in the Aircruise?
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Interview with Nick Talbot:

Q:  I’ve read that Aircruise is a “visionary approach to the future.”  Your design certainly inspires, but how feasible would it be to build today given existing materials?  What must we invent to permit the production of Aircruise?

Many of the materials required are already in use on airliners and increasingly on luxury yachts to minimise weight . For example carbon composites or carbon/carbon honeycomb, or aluminium honeycombs faced with the appropriate aesthetic finish.  We are also interested in exploring new forms of woven and ‘constructed’ fabrics for partitions and facades – again in pursuit of minimum weight. For the primary structure, we foresee an all composite lattice, with the gas systems integrated into the structural frame. Our underlying idea is to apply aerospace materials and assembly technologies and techniques to a vehicle at the scale of the Tour Eiffel. Probably assembled top down or hung like a ‘seed’ so the primary structure is in tension before the lifting bags are introduced.

Q:  Aircruise is designed to be powered by natural energy.  How would this work?

Flexible photovoltaic (solar panel) cells cover the upper part of the envelope, augmenting the primary power generation, in this case from fuel cells. Large surface area PEM fuel cells generate the primary power for on board systems and turn low speed compressors located in the mid section of the ship. This compressed gas is ducted to provide directional thrust and auto stabilisation. Compressed hydrogen stored in parts of the main structure provides fuel for longer ranges and by venting to the envelope or re-compressing these volumes, altitude stability is achieved.

Q:  How important was 3D software to your design concept, and at what stage did you integrate it to your process?

Generating the concept or indeed any concept is still done with brains and pencils! So the conceptual jump to a luxury hotel that floats was a thought exercise. Very rapidly however, we developed a series of layouts and configurations for the structure, accommodation floors, systems and overall volume of the lifting volume. So 3D systems rapidly help us validate early weight and lifting volume calculations, even at the most basic level.

Q:  What is the relationship between 3D, creative ideation and innovation?

For our studio the relationship is very close and entirely iterative. We establish an idea or ‘hypothesis’ and use 3D systems to validate at the first round, then re-evaluate the outcome, generate refined or modified ideas and take them back into 3D. We never commit time and resource to 3D models until we have a clear idea of the concept, however. The idea must be conceptually robust before we take it to the 3D phase. In fact, ‘old fashioned’ as it sounds we still often use simple 2D systems to establish the basic proportions and layouts before importing that for surface and volume building.

Q:  When can I spend the night in the Aircruise?

Watch this space! It is possible – in a sense that’s key the point of the project, to encourage people to think about a positive brighter future, to think about new possibilities. But of course such a project would require huge investment in R+D, new materials, structures, guidance and control systems etc. It is unlikely that an individual company or consortium could afford this undertaking on a commercial basis at present. But who knows – as land values increase or the sea levels rise, we might have to look at how and where we live in a whole new way. What’s really needed is some seed funding to undertake a proper feasibility study –not just from an engineering viewpoint, but potential market and business case. Never say never!

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Many thanks Nick for your answers and to Tim Duncan for putting us in touch!

I’d certainly like to fly in [your] beautiful balloon hotel!

What do you readers think about Aircruise?

Best,

Kate

That’s MY Cloud, Not Yours!

By Kate

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I was reading an interesting post the other day on the blog Architecture+.  JeanRicard served up the topic of Private Clouds and their relation to the future of the AEC industry and BIMs.

Would you rather put your CAD and 3D product design data on a public, private or hybrid Cloud?

It seems that people have no problem putting highly sensitive Sales data on salesforce.com, so you wouldn’t mind putting your highly sensitive product data on a hybrid or public Cloud, right?

Or, are people going to start getting possessive about Clouds, going with the private option?

According to Chris France, CIO of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting:

A private cloud differs from the public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services or Google by the fact that the cloud computing infrastructure and resources are controlled by the individual business that deploys it.

The full article argues the economical benefits gained by opting for a private cloud.

I can’t help thinking that a public cloud would be more economically efficient for smaller businesses but I haven’t crunched any numbers. ;-)

Show your preference in the below poll and see what other’s think!

Best,

Kate

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