PTC becomes strategic supplier to VW Group

PTC has established a strategic supplier relationship with Volkswagen Group. The arrangement focuses on the adoption of PTC’s Codebeamer application lifecycle management (ALM) solution to support the software development for the next generation of electric vehicles (EVs) from the Volkswagen Group and its brands. Codebeamer will enable greater efficiencies in Volkswagen Group’s engineering practices for software requirements management, test management and release management as part of new EV development.

“Our close collaboration with Volkswagen Group will advance PTC’s efforts to make Codebeamer the leading ALM solution for the automotive industry,” says Jim Heppelmann, chairman and CEO, PTC. “We look forward to working with Volkswagen Group on the successful adoption of Codebeamer to enable more efficient EV engineering practices.”

An ALM solution like Codebeamer is an important tool for enabling the efficient development of software and to help ensure the planning, testing and releasing of software components. PTC will work collaboratively with Volkswagen Group on the transition to Codebeamer from pre-existing ALM tools and on the definition and implementation of software best practices for the automotive industry. Volkswagen Group’s use of Codebeamer will inform future Codebeamer roadmap priorities and requirements to enable PTC to gain ALM market share in the automotive industry.

“Software and electrification represent the future of the automotive industry, and Volkswagen Group is harnessing the two together to meet the expectations of customers and provide a superior driving experience,” says Klaus Blüm, head of Volkswagen Group IT products andarchitecture. “Volkswagen Group views PTC as a strategic supplier for our group-wide product development strategy, and we look forward to our work together to make Codebeamer a successful tool for our software development and vehicle engineering teams.”
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FourJaw enhances job-tracking capabilities

FourJaw Manufacturing Analytics has launched FourJaw 2.2. The latest update includes major upgrades to work booking, FourJaw’s job tracking feature, as well as enhancements to features that will provide a more intuitive and unified real-time and over-time view of the factory floor.

New work booking tools enable managers to import, filter, track and export job data on the FourJaw platform. It is now faster and easier to load new jobs, update existing jobs and track job status, and use data from FourJaw to inform production planning, pricing/quoting and factory improvement projects. 

Enhanced work-booking also makes life easier for machine operators. It is now quicker and easier for operators to review work lists, access job notes, assess progress and provide feedback to managers. FourJaw 2.2 also makes it easier to switch allocated jobs between machines and operators, enabling greater flexibility and agility on the factory floor. 

In addition, FourJaw 2.2 provides a custom asset hierarchy that allows production managers to create a bespoke digital map of their factory and processes. Particularly valuable for larger manufacturers with extensive machine monitoring needs, this capability shows how different machining cells, production lines, assembly areas and business units interact, helping managers to identify the root cause of production issues and new opportunities to improve throughput.

Robin Hartley-Willows, CTO at FourJaw Manufacturing Analytics, says: “FourJaw 2.2 is a major step forward for our manufacturing software platform. The new updates, as a result of customer feedback, support more efficient, productive and responsive manufacturing environments. We are changing the game by offering new and improved insight to production managers and machine operators, streamlining data management, and enabling better collaboration across the factory.” 

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Empowering machine shop operational excellence

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has released HxGN Production Machining, a new suite of software that empowers machine shops to achieve operational excellence in the manufacturing of discrete parts, tools and components with machine tools at any scale, from one-off prototypes to volume production.

Capabilities of the suite include: CAD for manufacturing and design review; CAM for CNC machine tool programming; process simulation and G-code verification and optimisation; shop-floor production intelligence; and automation and collaboration powered by Nexus, Hexagon’s digital-reality platform. The suite includes significant automation and technologies that help manufacturers achieve efficient utilisation of material, cutting tools and CNC equipment, and capture and consistently apply a machine shop’s best practices.

The HxGN Production Machining suite will integrate common workflows to help teams reduce error and eliminate redundant tasks at every stage, from job quotation and design review through production, quality assurance and product delivery. By offering a suite of connected products from the Hexagon ecosystem, manufacturers benefit from simplified procurement, implementation and support.

“Our HxGN Production Machining suite helps shops of all sizes run their businesses more productively by providing a robust software tool set within a connected and intelligent digital workflow that helps teams get it first-time right,” says Chuck Mathews, general manager – production software at Hexagon.“Using the principles of model-based manufacturing and the automation benefits of AI, we’re helping our customers achieve greater operational excellence.

“Innovations within the suite include our new CAM system, Esprit Edge, which combines the DNA of Hexagon’s Edgecam and Esprit software with powerful digital twin and AI technology.”

Parth Joshi, chief product & technology officer at Hexagon, adds: “Through our suites we refocus innovation on what matters most to customers, be that in single product or leveraging data across workflows.”

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Boost sales and cash flow with PSL Datatrack

In an ever-changing manufacturing industry, three prevalent pain points among subcontract precision engineers are a lack of time, management of sales, and maintenance of steady cash flow. The latest version of PSL Datatrack production control software focusses heavily on tackling these challenges.

Utilisation of PSL Datatrack means users no longer need to calculate costs manually or consult various Excel spreadsheets or Word documents. Instead, the software generates accurate quotations aided by automatic calculations, quote templates and/or historical data. With faster and more accurate quotations, subcontractors can respond to customer enquiries quickly, reducing the time spent on administration.

The latest version of PSL Datatrack enables users to manage and report on a sales pipeline to provide a forecast for quotations that they believe will be successful. It is also possible to display this information on status boards around a factory.

PSL Datatrack helps to automate the production planning process by optimising resource allocation, prioritising works orders and creating efficient production schedules. Implementation of the system’s sequential scheduler module eliminates the need for manual planning methods, reducing the time and effort taken to create and amend production plans.

A recent sequential scheduler enhancement allows the classification of machine setters as resources, making it possible to efficiently manage the order of work through the machine shop.

PSL Datatrack also provides real-time visibility into the status of customer orders. Subcontractors can track the progress of each works order from initial confirmation to production and delivery.This development ties in with the software’s newest module, ‘Contract Review’, which ensures that all required contract review elements have been checked and approved for a specific job or project.

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ModuleWorks2023.12releasenow available

ModuleWorks announces the 2023.12 release of its software components for digital manufacturing. This latest release of the ModuleWorks SDK contains a range of new automation features for efficient tool-path generation. It also comes with the new MDES-compliant libraries for system interoperability.

MDESLib is a ready-to-go software library that enables users to exchange digital representations of manufacturing equipment between different systems using the MDES data specification. This gives users access to an open and growing ecosystem of hardware and software providers that use the MDES specification. It eliminates the need to build customised data bridges to help companies reduce development and maintenance costs.

Also notable in release 2023.12 isa new cutting pattern for radial cuts that improves the efficiency of turn-milling, especially when the diameter is larger than the axial length or when grooves need to be cut.With the new pattern, the tool ramps down towards the centre axis rather than cutting with the side of the tool. This capability increases machining efficiency by removing the maximum amount of material in the minimum time.

For three-axis machining, ModuleWorks 2023.12 significantly improves linking safety through enhanced stock awareness. In addition to checking the roughing links against the slices and the part, the software now checks roughing links against the in-process stock/workpiece to generate more reliable linking motions that avoid collisions in rapid links and plunges.

Furthermore, a new algorithm in ModuleWorks 2023.12 automatically detects the cutting angle for floor finishing based on the longest edge of the face or containment zone. This reduces the overall machining time by optimising the cutting pattern while improving the material removal rate and the surface finish.

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