Category Archives: Materials information management

Develop3D reviews Granta CES Selector 2017

ces-selector

 

Develop3D’s Al Dean gets his hands on the latest version of CES Selector, in a review that asks us to ‘imagine the benefits that could be derived from making smarter, more informed material decisions’.

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PLM Integrated Material Intelligence: Can We Get the Best of Both Worlds?

PLM Integrated Material Intelligence: Can We Get the Best of Both Worlds? It’s an interesting question, posed in a recent blog post by Siemens PLM Software. 

The post begins by highlighting a very important point: consistency should rule where materials data management is concerned. It goes on to highlight that there’s too much scope for error if an engineer in one part of a company works off a different material definition from a designer somewhere else. But, at the same time, companies need depth. They’re looking to squeeze every drop from the rich materials data available to them.

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Are you innovating with intent?

“Are you innovating with intent?” seems like a simple question but if your company doesn’t have a good materials information strategy in place, the answer will most likely be “No”. In our latest blog post, you’ll discover how companies like Ethicon Endo-Surgery are innovating and raising their materials IQ.

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Speeding up the discovery of new alloys

Granta recently wrapped-up its participation in Accelerated Metallurgy, a European Union (EU) collaborative project focused on speeding up discovery of new alloys. What lessons did we learn?

Alloys have been vital throughout human civilization – think of the importance of brass and bronze in ancient times. Today, production and use of alloys accounts for an amazing 46% of all European Union manufacturing value and 11% of the EU’s total GDP, contributing over €1.5 trillion annually to the EU economy. It’s a long way from the Bronze Age to modern super alloys, yet we are still a very long way from exploring all of the possible combinations of today’s 61 commercially-available metals. The reason is that current approaches to manufacturing and testing potential alloys are time-consuming, labour intensive, and expensive – making comprehensive studies unsustainable.

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Predicting the future of restricted substances

Predicting the future is no easy feat without the help of a time machine. Often, that’s a good thing. But, sometimes, it’s not so good – one example being with restricted substances. If these substances are included in products, the results can be expensive fines, loss of market share and stock value, and (worst of all) damage to brand reputation. Many companies are struggling even to avoid use of substances that are already regulated. But, with new substances being added to restricted lists all the time, that may not be enough. How do we avoid using substances that are likely to become unusable during the lifetime of the product?

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Ten things you can do with MI:Workflow – send us your ideas!

mi10-thumbnailYou may have seen that we just announced MI:Workflow, one of the most significant enhancements to the GRANTA MI platform we’ve ever made. Our aim is to give people control over the process of digitalizing materials information across their organization – helping them manage not only materials information, but also the processes required to ensure that information is requested, collected, approved, and released in a controlled, secure, traceable manner.

It’s easy to list the cool new features in the software: the ability to implement to-do lists, notifications, approval sequences, and moderation queues, as well as to create an audit trail.  But the point about MI:Workflow is the powerful things you can do by combining these features with each other and with the existing materials information management capabilities of GRANTA MI.

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The Human Factor – A report from the 2016 Material Intelligence seminar

ugm-rolls-royce-amandeepThe 2016 Material Intelligence seminar (and associated 5th North European Granta User Group meeting) was hosted by Rolls-Royce in Derby, UK, earlier this month. One (perhaps rather obvious!) message came through to me loud-and-clear: when you’re trying to figure out how to get the best from a technology, nothing beats hearing from those who are already doing it.
Amandeep Mhay, project leader of the enterprise materials information management project at Rolls-Royce, shared experience of rolling out this program over 12 years. A phased approach has grown usage from a few tens of engineers in one business unit to thousands enterprise-wide. The system collates, tracks, and qualifies vital materials information, and makes it available in a controlled manner. Its homepage is one of the top ten accessed web pages across Rolls-Royce and cost benefits are estimated at £6.9m per annum.

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How Cook Medical’s regulatory team uses materials data

medicalheartThis week, I presented in a collaborative webinar with Cook Medical’s David Chadwick, Director of Regulatory Affairs, covering the best practise when applying materials data and predicate device information in healthcare. The healthcare industry faces a colossal task when choosing materials for use in new or existing medical devices. For those unfamiliar with the medical industry, the number of factors which need to be carefully considered when selecting a material for use in the human body can seem overwhelming; engineering properties, biocompatibility, effect of sterilization treatments, material-drug interactions, regulatory approval processes such as FDA approval and CE Marking, just to name a few.

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Additive Manufacturing, the medical industry,
and materials information

Additive ManufacturingI recently attended the Additive Manufacturing for MedTech, BioPrinting, Medicine and Dental Summit in Boston and it was interesting to review the latest trends in the industry and think about their materials information implications. The event concentrated on the main challenges in Additive Manufacturing (AM) for medical, bringing together both major device companies (Stryker, GE Healthcare, Medtronic) and smaller consulting firms. It explored the latest printing techniques, ground-breaking research, and innovative materials for improving AM strategies, implementation and processes.

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Clearing the conceptual hurdle to collaboration

mi-data-thumbnailOriginating from a research environment at Cambridge University, it’s in Granta’s DNA to collaborate with researchers, academics and other companies, and to enable such collaboration between other organizations.

But when I spoke to Dr James Goddin, who leads Granta’s collaborative R&D team, he said partners in collaborative projects can be initially reluctant to share data: “Sharing potentially sensitive or valuable materials knowledge with partners, and even with competitors, represents, for many, a significant conceptual hurdle.” Continue reading