Optimizing design of sheet metal components has been a strength of Solid Edge for many years and there will be plenty to see in this area at SEU14 in Atlanta, May 12-14th. I can’t divulge all the sheet metal related enhancements in Solid Edge ST7 that will be shown for the first time at this event, but I think especially customers who manufacture formed or deep-drawn components, and those who want more flexibility for creating sheet metal models from “regular” CAD models will be excited about what they see. Gan Kunda, one of our product managers based in Huntsville, will present these new capabilities together with other advanced sheet metal topics including the integrated modeling environment that enables both regular part modeling and sheet metal modeling to be used in the same file.
Talking with our customers we are seeing a trend towards increased use of structural sheet metal components for industrial machinery design, for example in the food processing equipment industry. These customers are seeing benefits from replacing traditional fabrications that were based on angle and box sections, and that require a lot of cutting, assembling and welding (all of which can be prone to manufacturing errors), with structural sheet metal components. These components can be fairly complex from a modeling perspective as they are replacing multiple simpler components, but we really feel that Solid Edge, with help from our partners for some specialized capabilities, excels in this area.
So great content for sheet metal designers at SEU14 – but what about manufacturing these components more efficiently? Well two of our long term partners in this area, CADMAC and SigmaTEK will be demonstrating their latest solutions.
CADMAC will be presenting their latest sheet metal manufacturing software MacSheet SEG5 at the event. To me it looks like they have some interesting solutions for disassembling Solid Edge .par and .psm models into flattened parts that are ready for manufacturing, and they also have the ability to take 2D DXF files and create 3D Solid Edge sheet metal models. I am looking forward to finding more about the value-add of these fairly specialized capabilities. One Solid Edge customer who is already benefiting from MacSheet software is Hatakayama, a manufacturer of splash guards and telescopic covers for industrial machinery. This case study documents the benefits they are achieving, including improvements in communication between their design and manufacturing departments, and a reduction in re-work in their manufacturing process.
SigmaTEK have also been a long term supplier of manufacturing solutions for Solid Edge customers and will be demonstrating their latest nesting and cutting software at SEU14. According to SigmaTEK, their latest release SigmaNEST Version 10 has the industry’s most advanced nesting engine and delivers measurable gains in programming and cutting efficiency. Sounds good to me but I recommend that if you cut sheet metal, plates or tubes you stop by their booth and check this out for yourself – if you can’t make it to the event you can rock out to this video instead!