Our very own Stephen Warde has been interviewed for the blog of one of the major providers of CAD/PLM software. Speaking to PTC, Steve highlights the difficulties faced by design engineers and the impact materials have on the ultimate cost and performance of a product.
“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.
The rapid development of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology displays signs of immense promise for making topologically-optimized parts with optimal cost and performance. But with great power comes great challenges! Engineers require an understanding of the complex interactions and relationship between part design, materials, production processes and part performance. Designing the ‘ideal’ geometry can also prove to be a significant challenge. One secret is that succeeding in the real world of AM production requires you to do the right things in the virtual world—in how you simulate AM processes and handle AM data.
Simulation engineers are often desperate for sophisticated material properties to support their temperature dependent and/or non-linear material models, enabling more accurate simulation and validation of product performance.
If you are in the ‘material authority’ role in your company, either as a materials specialist or a member of the simulation team who has acquired this responsibility, you will need to respond! I’ve worked with many people in this role who are dedicating a lot of time to queries from design and simulation engineers about how materials will perform under various conditions, or which is the best material to use in certain operating conditions and environments.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The 22nd MMPDS Coordination Meeting was held last week (October 23-26), with members meeting to discuss the ongoing development of the Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization (MMPDS) data. But what is MMPDS, and who uses it? A good way to find out is to take one of the new materials in the latest release, and ask some questions about why it’s in there. Lightweighting is certainly a hot topic at the moment, so perhaps the lightweight aluminum beryllium alloy (AMS 7911) highlighted in MMPDS-06 would be a good example. Continue reading