Improve Your Development Process With Contract CAD-CAM-CAE-PLM Services

Today, product developers and fabricators face a unique set of challenges that stretch engineering capabilities to the limits. Consumer goods producers are striving to evolve more complex shapes and designs to appeal to continually changing customer needs and tastes. Many of the products produced are one-of-a-kind creations designed to bring a new concept to life, to increase production rates, or to lower costs.

The ability to create new machines rapidly and easily can help developers succeed. With the latest industry CAD/CAM/CAE/PLM Solutions, they can reuse previous design work to create multiple variations of a product in a single document. They can also develop and manage families of parts and models with different dimensions, components, properties, or other parameters. One signicant time-saving strategy would be to develop 80 to 90 percent of each new product by using standard modules and components, and then using streamlined engineering processes to develop the other 10 to 20 percent in minimal time.

However, the need for speed need not compel poorly designed products. When it comes to product development, you have to get it right the first time; and if you don’t, it can mean costly expenses. Getting it right means designing a product that not only can perform well during acceptance testing, but also under normal working conditions for the products lifetime – and under environmental conditions that can vary from dusty and particulate to damp.

Contract Services can provide the set of tools necessary to meet these challenges. You can utilize existing subsystems and assemblies developed by your company, as well as those from industry standards groups and components producers. You can take advantage of a wide range of design validation tools for evaluating a product prototype, so you can identify and fix problems before you even build your product. Additionally, you can utilize a 3D assembly model to quickly create project documentation.

Component Selection
Anywhere between 20 and 70 percent of the content of many typical product designs consists of purchased components, such as motors, drives, bearings, and hydraulic cylinders. As a result, developers can be forced to redesign purchased and commonly used components with each project. However, a contract design service provides access to parts design libraries, with a wide range of standard, vendor-specific, and internal company design libraries; making the addition of new parts to your machine simple. You can easily access 3D CAD models from leading components manufacturers – saving time and improving accuracy.

A good contract design service will be able to incorporate ANSI, ISO, DIN, and JIS standard parts, such as fasteners, bearings, retaining rings, and gears. They can drag and drop bolts, nuts, and washers and snap them into place on your assembly in just minutes.

When the product you build is one-of-a-kind, you need to design it right before it goes into production. Contract design services provide a wide range of virtual prototyping tools that can help you correctly identify and solve design problems up front. In addition to viewing the components, subassemblies, and the complete assemblies from all angles, you can examine internal components at any stage of the design process. Plus, you can move components through their full range of motion, drafting services automatically identifying clearances and detecting interferences. With the ability to find problems early in the process, you can quickly communicate design intent to your customers, manufacturing, and maintenance.

With the production-level drawings and detailing capabilities of contract services, you can quickly and accurately develop drawings from the 3D design – including the automatic generation of orthographic, section, and detail views. Any change to the 3D model is accurately reflected in all project drawings automatically.

Large Assemblies
Contract services provide the ability to model machines with tens of thousands of components. With top-down design, you can tie together interrelated components; so if one changes, the related components will also change. You can use this powerful feature to take full advantage of the assembly model. For example, you can use 2D layout sketches as assembly skeletons to control large, complex assemblies. When the skeleton is changed, the linkage and other components will automatically reflect the correct dimensions.

CAD/CAM/CAE/PLM tools provided by contract design services include routing functionality that speeds up the design of pipe, tubing, and electrical routes by providing drag-and-drop placement, automatic sizing of parts or assemblies, copying and mirroring of routes, and autoinsertion of piping bends and elbows. By designing your routes in the assembly environment, you can quickly create multiple iterations to achieve the best results and avoid potential assembly problems. You can also automatically generate manufacturing drawings and material lists of routed components.

Simulation and Analysis
Often, product developers must guarantee that their products can withstand a harsh duty cycle. With contract Computer Aided Design and Analysis services you can benefit from the tools to determine the stress, strain, deformation, and displacement of components under operation, thereby avoiding field failures. With these tools at your disposure you can quickly identify weaknesses in the initial design. You can generate new models quickly and inexpensively to solve problems that would otherwise not be discovered until the testing phase or, worse yet, with the customer. By determining the exact duty cycle of components, you can use lighter-duty parts or remove unnecessary material to reduce the cost and weight of the machine. You can go even as far as simulating the dynamic operation of the machine or any subsystem. Constraints and contacts are automatically created from the assembly, and forces and actuators are easily added to the machine model.

With the created model, you can perform dynamic simulations that allow you to fully understand the kinematics and dynamics of the design. You can size motors and actuators, determine power consumption, lay out linkages, optimize CAMs, understand gear drives, size springs and dampers, determine how contacting parts behave, and generate operating loads for use. As the design is generated, you can be assured of completeness due to automatically maintained bill of materials, that can be exported as an Excel spreadsheet or in other formats for import into your material requirements planning (MRP) system. This information will save time and help you to avoid errors during the purchasing process. You can track a wide range of information, such as the manufacturer of purchased components, model number, size, and weight. You can generate a single bill of materials for multiple projects with numerous parts, quantities, and configurations in order to speed the transition to manufacturing and purchase in greater quantities at lower prices.


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