MCAD Tech News #153

4 Oct, 2005 By: Jeffrey Rowe

Cadalyst MCAD Tech News

Not Just for the Factory Floor

The full benefits of lean manufacturing come when you apply the principles enterprisewide

We?ve heard now for many years that lean manufacturing is key if you want to remain competitive in the manufacturing business. Typically, this concept focuses on the product being produced through the processes on the factory floor. However, can some of the principles of lean manufacturing be applied to other parts of a business? Can lean manufacturing leap beyond its historical product context and more into the realm of process? A growing number of companies are striving to answer these questions with a ?Yes.?

Some Background
The term lean manufacturing was coined by James Womack and is used to summarize Japanese manufacturing techniques, specifically the Toyota Production System, or TPS. The term is used to describe Toyota?s approach of expanding traditional thinking beyond basic production tools and tasks.

Lean manufacturing is one of those funny things that can defy definition. For example, you can ask ten people what it is, and you're likely to get ten different answers -- and they are all correct.

I first learned of lean manufacturing almost 20 years ago, and a definition has evolved in my mind over the years. Today, I think of lean manufacturing as a combination of philosophy, initiative and methods for continually reducing waste in all areas and forms to improve the quality and efficiency of a manufacturing process. Even simpler: Lean manufacturing is producing products using less of everything -- materials, time, energy and so on. Read more >>

Cadalyst Labs Review -- SolidWorks 2006: Loaded with new features, including some aimed squarely at AutoCAD users

Two distinct but related evolutions have occurred with mechanical CAD products in the past few years. First is development of the products themselves, but a close second are the workflows for using them. One of the most significant factors affecting workflow has been the employment of analysis, specifically FEA (finite-element analysis), earlier in the product development process.

SolidWorks, through its relationship with and ultimate acquisition of SRAC, was in the forefront of bringing FEA into the picture for analyzing and validating mechanical designs as they progress toward production. Today, in SolidWorks 2006, FEA is available in a couple of forms -- COSMOSXpress and COSMOSWorks. SolidWorks 2006 can be purchased in one of three configurations. Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events
Transitioning Your Products and Supply Chain for RoHS/WEEE Compliance
Various dates, Fall 2005
Various locations, U.S. and Canada
Arena Solutions and Symphony Consulting host a series of one-day workshops to help companies formulate and execute RoHS/WEEE compliance strategy. 

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 on Tour
Various dates, Fall 2005
Various U.S. and Canadian locations
Four-hour seminars cover use of Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional for project collaboration in specific fields, including manufacturing. 

2005 Midwest SolidWorks Regional User Conference
October 13 -14, 2005
Racine Marriott Hotel, Racine, Wisconsin
Event includes 30 presentations by SolidWorks, PDM and FEA users, applications engineers and analysts. SolidWorks topics include top-down design, 2D drawings, sheet-metal design, surfacing and system management.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

what's new at
Online Archives:Click here to view an online version of this newsletter and past issues of MCAD Tech News.

Cadalyst Labs Review: VX CAD/CAM v11: Hybrid surface/solids modeler integrates CAM.

First Look Review -- Space Pilot: An intuitive controller for working with 3D models.

MCAD Modeling Methods (Column) -- Real-Life Replicas: Rapid prototyping becomes more affordable and more versatile.