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?
You 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.
The 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.
This 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.
The first in a series in which we meet the Granta team. We spoke with our colleague Remi, to find out what he enjoys about being an Application Engineer and which engineer from history inspires him most. We’re always looking for like-minded individuals who have passion and drive to make positive change to our engineering practices, take a look at our current opportunities if you think this could be you.
“As an Application Engineer, my role is to engage with customers to understand their needs and requirements, determine the benefits of our suggested solution for a customer and derive an implementation strategy with metrics for success.
I attended the Siemens PLM Connection event in Berlin last week – a gathering of over 1,000 users of engineering and product lifecycle software applications such as Teamcenter, Simcenter, and NX. Aside from the very entertaining iPad magician at the gala dinner, two things struck me from the conference sessions and discussions with other delegates.
The first was the emphasis on Additive Manufacturing (AM), with Siemens PLM launching new capabilities such as topology optimization for additive applications. There was a strong sense from attendees that this is a technology coming into its own, and an interest in how it applies to them. Of course, data about materials, processing parameters, and the relationship between the two is vital to developing effective AM.
I 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.
I recently presented at a web seminar hosted by Granta’s partners at Dassault Systèmes, and it raised an interesting question about the materials property data needed by simulation analysts. We were looking, in particular, at the Abaqus/CAE® software. Its users want accurate material properties for use in their CAE software. But they also want confidence in that data – to know that it comes from a reliable source. And their companies want control: i.e., to ensure that all of their analysts are using data that is consistent, up-to-date, and traceable should simulation results ever need to be reviewed or updated. How can we meet these various requirements without disrupting well-established workflows and processes?
The world of materials never stands still. New technological challenges constantly drive the need to explore new materials that offer properties that no existing material can deliver. It is vital to maintain a single, up-to-date source of materials property data, to keep abreast of all these new developments. How else can you ensure that your designers and engineers have the data they need for materials selection, product design, simulation, qualification, and more?
“I’ve been working in materials information technology since 1987 and the last year has been notable for greatly increased interest and engagement from companies who want to integrate managed materials information with their PLM and enterprise CAD process.” So said Granta’s Dr Arthur Fairfull as he introduced his presentation to an impromptu crowd of around 200 on the show floor at this week’s PTC LiveWorx event in Boston.
A crowded Granta booth at the PTC event was further evidence of this interest, following on from similar interest at the recent Siemens PLM Connection in Orlando—an event which included a number of in-depth sessions on materials information management.