MILWAUKEE, WI — Rockwell Automation and Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. (DS SolidWorks) plan to broaden their work together by developing a joint mechatronic solution for machine builders that helps allow mechanical, electrical and controls design engineers to work together to analyze, optimize, simulate and select machine designs in a virtual design and production environment before committing to a final machine design.
Machine builders will benefit from the joint solution through increased machine value, improved machine sustainability, and greater innovation agility. The solution allows designers to test various component selections and designs virtually, rather than building and testing multiple physical prototypes. As a result, they can select the design that provides the highest machine throughput, thus improving the machine’s effectiveness.
Designers also can focus on developing sustainable machines because they will be able to run efficiency analyses and select designs that decrease energy consumption and reduce waste. Similarly, they will have the ability to try new and creative options without incurring costs for building physical prototypes. This allows the engineers to select the optimal mix of cost savings and energy efficiency.
“Many issues can arise during the initial design phase of a machine because there is a lack of collaboration and communication between mechanical and controls designers,” said John Pritchard, product marketing manager for Kinetix, Rockwell Automation. “We’re expanding our alliance with DS SolidWorks to develop a mechatronic design environment that will allow engineers to communicate throughout the design process and work together in an integrated design platform. The primary objective is to foster innovation while reducing costs and compressing the time it takes to design, develop and deliver reliable machines.”
Craig Therrien, product manager of DS SolidWorks, said “Our two companies have a shared vision of the benefits manufacturers could achieve when leveraging solutions that combine 3-D technology with automation control software. This mechatronic solution is a natural next step in our journey together. We are looking forward to the opportunity to help designers use our complementary technologies to improve the work they’re doing.”
Scheduled for release this fall, the joint solution moves Rockwell Automation one step closer toward creating a virtual design and production environment that helps manufacturers collaborate seamlessly through the full design life cycle. The new solution will link mechanical design with controls design by integrating SolidWorks design software from DS SolidWorks with Rockwell Automation Motion Analyzer software. As a result, machine builders can expect shorter lead times and reduced risk by predicting the likely outcome of design changes before committing to a physical prototype.
“This latest development in the relationship between Rockwell Automation and DS SolidWorks has the potential to revolutionize machine design,” said Sal Spada, research director, ARC Advisory Group.
“Machine builders that are quick to adopt mechatronic system design will have a distinct competitive advantage. They will be able to offer end users sustainable and optimized machines in a fraction of the time.” The partnership between Rockwell Automation and DS SolidWorks began in late 2007. Last fall, the companies announced availability of their first joint solution – a virtual design and production utility that merges virtual simulation and automation for production.
Rockwell Automation and DS SolidWorks Mechatronic Solution