Tecnomatix became part of the Siemens PLM family of products in 2007, having been created in 1983 in Israel to offer manufacturing process management (MPM) solutions. It acquired Unicam Software (a provider of software to manage the production of printed circuit boards) in 1999 and USDATA (a provider of the production control solution FactoryLink and manufacturing execution system Xfactory) in 2003. In 2007, USG Corporation acquired Tecnomatix and combined its products with their MPM solutions.
Version 10 of Tecnomatix was released in 2011, and Siemens PLM recently announced the release of version 10.1 at their annual user conference for the Americas, Siemens PLM Connection. During the event, I had the chance to talk with Shaun Ennis, strategic communications and analyst relations (AR) manager, as well as with other Siemens PLM executives. Of the analyst sessions and presentations on Teamcenter, NX, Vistagy, Velocity, and other Siemens PLM solutions, Tecnomatix was the most interesting to me because digital manufacturing supports manufacturing process planning in a way that allows full collaboration between design, engineering, and the shop floor.
Highlights of Version 10
Release 10 brought a new user interface that provides the user with more valuable, relevant information, presented in context at every level of detail. The other major enhancement in version 10 is related to the integration between the product and the production environments. Here are some highlights of the most important new features, classified by business need.
Manufacturing process management now provides a dashboard that users can use as a single source of product data (figure 1). Search functionality has been enhanced to provide results in context and the relationships between various data elements can be visualized.
Assembly planning and validation also has a new interface, as well as better options to create and communicate assembly instructions, simulate more realistic human operations for ergonomic analysis, identify and analyze value-added and non–value-added time for manufacturing operations, monitor the status of the operation by visualizing resources, improve container packing with a collision algorithm, and display the most relevant data for products.
Robotics and automation planning now offers enhanced functionality for better modeling and data reuse, to plan and program paths for robots while avoiding collisions (figure 2), combined time-driven and event-driven planning simulations, and a new application for electric arc welding.
Plant design and optimization offers better management for factory layout data, an interface between Teamcenter PLM and the plant simulation module, enhanced features to simulate and analyze production systems, and increased three-dimensional (3D) factory layout visualization.
Quality management has been enhanced with higher fidelity analysis of dimensional variations for parts and components, better access to product and manufacturing information (figure 3), in-context visibility for traceability, and a Web-based portal to display production quality results.
Part planning and validation now includes Shop Floor Connect for Teamcenter, which can be used to transfer and manage data between the PLM solution and the machine controllers. With Shop Floor Control, machine operators can access production data from PLM and PLM users can access up-to-date shop floor data.
New Features in Release 10.1
Here are some of the new features recently released in 10.1:
Along with Teamcenter for PLM and NX for computer aided design (CAD), Tecnomatix is part of the Siemens HD-PLM initiative, which aims to be a framework for cross-domain decision making and data management throughout the entire lifecycle of a product. I intend to find out more about Siemens HD-PLM and share the information with you in future posts.
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