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6. Better communication
100 times larger. Second, there are many Katoh emphasized that you can't
applications and engineers don't read predict much in the car industry, in Historically these have been pursued manuals, so good user interfaces are spite of the many years and many models in the above order, starting in 1960 needed. Third, technology and software under their belts. So much depends on with data processing and 1965 for spec- are always evolving and constant renewal experience and they mine this lode by ifications and parts trees. CADI, Nissan's is needed. These descriptions do not keeping teams small and lines of comfirst 3D CAD system, was installed in apply to business applications. munication open. Yet this practice 1965 and used for making line draw
cannot be continued forever, he says. ings of body panels. It was extended Future CAD/CAE Needs Ways must be found to leverage this into CADII, a surface modeler, by 1974
experience. Expert systems are not the and used from that time to generate When I asked about this, there was answer. They are too limited in the NC data for die making. While CADII laughter. Their answers were a strange kind of input they permit and the forms was originally just used as a drawing mix of the mundane and the far out. of knowledge they can store. What is tool, it has now become a CAD/CAM They want everyone to be linked on needed is some easy way to put knowltool with many applications described one network so they can easily send edge in and an easy way to get it out. above.
data to each other. This is merely a For example, existing design for By 1980 parts data trees, die designs, matter of buying it. However, they want assembly methods require too much and test data were starting to be merged any new program they buy to be instantly
any new program they buy to be instantly information and too much detail about into one computer system. By 1985, compatible in operating system and the parts before an analysis can begin. three programs had emerged, one for data format. This is not so easy. In How can it be done at the concept test data, one for parts lists, and one general, Ono of Production Engineer
general, Ono of Production Engineer- phase when only the performance goals for CAD data. There is still no common ing would like tools that provide end- are available?? database for all of this, but that is their to-end analysis of production problems How indeed? goal for the 1990s. In common with this and design/cost estimates of producis the push into concurrent engineer- tion and assembly steps. This requires Summary ing, which to them means doing more a long term effort at unifying software jobs simultaneously, including manu- and databases, plus integrating engi- Nissan is an important example in facturability analyses during early design, neering analysis and test data. any study of use of computers in engibefore any prototypes are built. Another Another desire is to “standardize” neering design because, like other large goal is “production CAE,” meaning design processes. This was a bit hard to Japanese companies, Nissan does not computer engineering aids for produc- interpret. Apparently they mean that depend totally on the software vendor tion engineers.
they need a way to overcome the work- community to provide it with software The final goal is to put this common ing style differences mentioned above. that the community thinks is useful. database and set of programs out on A suggestion is to make design tasks Instead Nissan has great control over the network for all their worldwide more orderly or procedural so every- the “technology transfer process” that offices to use. This was begun in the one will know what to do and know creates CAD software. Thus its priorilate 1980s and continues today. They what the other person is doing. It also ties are worth noting in detail. say that when production CAE can means studying each design task, such proceed in parallel with car design, they as locating the washer tank in the engine 1. Continue the process of maturing will have achieved Simultaneous compartment, and deciding in advance the use of computers. This began as Engineering.
what the main issues and tradeoffs are mere data processing in 1960 and The main improvements they seek so that they can be addressed systemat- has now become CAE. It is in the are global information sharing (design ically and in the same style each time process of becoming CIE (computer release and CAD data), global engi- the problem is faced, regardless of who integrated engineering), which neering system sharing (software, not is doing it and what country it is being means wide area sharing of softjust data), and global business infor- done in. (At Hewlett-Packard they call ware and design/test/manufacturing mation sharing (now done by fax). They this ensuring that the result is “a Hewlett- data files. In the next decade it will apparently have had some trouble jus- Packard product” adhering to the become CIM (computer integrated tifying some of this effort because they company's standards and capable of manufacturing), meaning direct links were at pains to contrast their work being made in any of its plants.)
between marketing, design, manuwith typical business computer appli
facturing, and sales around the world. cations. First, CAD data volumes are
2. Increase the ability to capture the says Ono, is that the member com- Products and Design Methods
experience of people who are cur- panies have close communication with rently not well supported by com- Hitachi's research and development The company's main plant covers puters so that this expertise can be laboratories. They conduct joint
laboratories. They conduct joint 430,000 m2 and a subassembly plant used by less experienced engineers. research, and member companies receive nearby covers 186,000 m2. Production Much study of the design process is research results which they convert into capacity in excavators is 1,700/month. needed to identify efficient ways of products. They also follow the parent These are mainly tracked vehicles of performing many of the tasks, iden- company's lead in CAD/CAM, as I medium size including front hoes, back tifying tradeoffs early, getting quan- learned during this visit. MERL is part hoes, and clamshell excavators. No large titative models of them, and getting of Hitachi proper rather than a group draglines are made as far as I know. A answers when there are still merely affiliate.
typical excavator has about 2,000 to preliminary designs available.
The construction machine business 3,000 parts, but bought items like engines
is mature but not in the trouble it was a (mostly from Isuzu) count as one part. 3. Increase computer support for few years ago when I last visited. Yet There are about 400 designers, of
manufacturing and industrial engi. HCM has been diversifying for at least whom about 150 work on excavators. neering activities in order to opti- 5 years into such far-flung areas as Approximately 40% of the designers mize manufacturing operations and nondestructive testing equipment for are university graduates. About 10 to avoid discovering design mistakes the electronics industry, YAG laser 15 products are under design or redesign after prototypes are built.
products, force-controlled robots, piezo- at any one time. They agree that this is
actuators for “nano-robots," and so a very heavy workload for a small group 4. Find a way, if possible, to use com- on. Their main product lines include of designers. Of the 400 total, about puters to help spread the Japanese excavators and cranes, tunneling
excavators and cranes, tunneling 300 have access to CAD, but the penemethod of design to designers in machines, digital-analog controllers for tration is about 1:2.9 with the objective other countries. The “fuzzy" method same, and several lines of small exca- being 1:2.3 by this time next year, at of job overlapping has resisted expor- vators that they make under the which point they will be “finished” tation so far. John Deere label.
facilitizing for CAD. The approximately
The company has an image prob- 125 CAD terminals include 27 Apollo HITACHI CONSTRUCTION lem, namely, that it makes old-fashioned workstations with the DDM 3D modeler. MACHINERY CO.
equipment. This hurts them in hiring The first four Apollo terminals were
new graduates and, apparently, in sell- bought in 1986. More recently they 11 July 1991
ing their main line of equipment. This have bought 109 seats comprising Sun
latter impression can be gleaned from 3s and a few SPARCs with “Advance Background
their introductory video, shown to the CAD," a 2D CAD product of the CTC
two of us alone on a super wide screen Company of Japan. CTCwrote a transMrs. Whitney and I visited Hitachi in an ultramodern 300-seat auditor- lator to convert DDM data. Allofthese Construction Machinery (HCM) Co. ium. It was called "Crossings," mean- workstations are on one or more LANs and had a short visit at the nearby Hitachi ing technology combinations to create and there is a link through exactly one Mechanical Engineering Research imaginative new products. The exclu- of these workstations to a Hitachi Laboratory (MERL). Our host was Dr. sively commercial (nonmilitary) use of mainframe. . Kozo Ono, whose main research activity these products, such as for environ- The product redesign cycle is about for several years has been multi-axis mental projects, was emphasized. The 4 years. However, everyone in the indusforce-torque sensors and robots that video showed extensive use of welding try is exhausted by this pace and a use such sensors for grinding and robots, lasers, ultrasonic testing of welds, "consensus" seems to be emerging that deburring. He collaborates with Prof. computer simulation of crane perfor- the cycle should be stretched. This Hatamura of Todai and funds research mance, use of flexible manufacturing "feeling” has emerged from informal there on similar topics. Ono recently systems to make parts, and generally discussions (at conferences and trade became General Manager of the Tech- "adoption of new technology as soon shows?) that designers and managers nical Research Laboratory. This was as it becomes available.” The video have with their counterparts at their my second visit there.
claimed that CAD and CAM are linked main competitors Komatsu and This company is part of the Hitachi directly, but this is not so, according to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. group but is an independent company. Ono and based on answers to my A strong point of the Hitachi group, questions.
Use of Computers in Design • A variety of kinematics, noise, flow, the group uses, but HCM's workstations and Manufacturing
heat, vibration, and similar analysis are U.S. made, not Hitachi's own.
programs. Since most of these could HCM is relatively new to CAD and have been purchased, I asked why Other Comments has surprisingly little CAM. When I they were developed in-house visited 4 years ago I was impressed by instead. Two answers emerged: some Ono's English is very good and he is the robot gas metal arc welding of the were developed for special purposes quite open, so some other topics of main structures of cranes and excava- not available commercially, while interest came up. tors. The robots use simple sensors to others were developed for sale. find the weld gaps, which are beauti
(1) Is it true that Japanese university fully flame cut and polished. In this Visit to HCM's CAE Laboratory engineering education is very broad way, an enormous amount of produc
but not very deep? I have been told tion welding is done almost unmanned. First we were shown a scrapbook of that the reorganization of Todai's However, the parts are cutout by hand- hard copy examples. This consisted Mechanical Engineering Departprogrammed flame cutters and the almost entirelyofoutput from SDRC's ment looks like an upheaval, but in robots are similarly hand-programmed. I-DEAS package versions 3.1 through fact it just adds new electives while Since the parts in question are made of 4, dated 1987-91. One example used eliminating old ones, there being simple planar sections, it is surprising ProEngineer Level 5. These consisted no required core. that there is no link between the simple of pretty shaded images, analyses using 2D CAD and the CAM of cutter and IDEAS + ADAMS, several FEM His answer is that engineering edurobot programming. Mr. Moroshita, studies of stresses in welded shovel cation is indeed broad and shallow, but the director of CAD/CAM, said that buckets during digging, and so on. One it exposes students to a lot of different until they install a data management interesting study was of the dynamics technologies and leaves them mallesystem (a commercial item) there will induced on the excavator and its tracks able. When they enter a company, their be no such links. For this reason, the while swinging the arm rapidly. Another initial training shapes them as the entire visit focussed on CAE, that is, showed the excavator driving over a company wishes. Some standard trainanalyses of mechanical performance of bump and experiencing oscillations in ing is given every new hire but in later entire cranes or large subassemblies. the arm and its hydraulics. Yet another years the manager decides what spe
showed what shape a bent hose would cific training each employee should get. Visit to Hitachi MERL CAE take depending on the internal pres- [I happened to read an article in a Laboratory
sure. I was also shown a demo of the private circulation newsletter called
robot simulation program Cim Station. Japan Design Today, covering graphic This laboratory has 40 programmers The robot was “welding” a complex arts and product styling, that described who work mostly in FORTRAN and C. item.
Sony's training program for new Their “products” are mostly analysis
designers (stylists to us). This is apparprograms for determining various per- Future Needs and Trends ently a bit like boot camp in the sense formance factors about cranes and
that group bonding is a major aim of excavators. Some products are devel- HCM is clearly just starting down the 1-year course. The teachers are oped for sale outside the company. We the road to CAD/CAE/CAM. I believe practicing designers who take time off saw:
that this reflects the company's old- from ongoing responsibilities that they
line background. On the other hand, in must make up later in the evening. • Geometric modeling, based on only a few years they have explored Design in this context includes care
converting a 2D drawing to a 3D many meaningful areas in product fully choosing exterior materials, colors, wireframe model
performance analysis and will proba- textures, "handfeel," "button-feel," and bly continue to do so.
so on. The young designers are taught • Automatic mesh generation for FEM In other respects, HCM is typical of the “correct” view angle from which to
studies (written at the request of the nonautomotive companies visited: draw a video camera. A student who Hitachi's Software Laboratory and they use the best U.S. workstations and chose his own view angle found that his intended to be sold commercially) software, and their engineers work model camera had been confiscated
until late in the evening. Much of the overnight and replaced by a Polaroid software is what the parent company of shot taken from the correct angle. In
this way, Sony molds its new hires.)
Ono told of his company's difficulty ISHIKAWAJIMA-HARIMA
The shop is well equipped with hiring electronics and software engi- HEAVY INDUSTRIES (IHI), modern equipment, mostly of Japanese neers. To remedy this, they took the AERO-ENGINES DIVISION, manufacture, including several Toshiba best of the mechanical engineers who TANASHI PLANT
five-axis NC machines of the type sold showed up and promptly retrained them
to Russia, some Huffman laser drilling in electronics and software. In the United 16 July 1991
machines, and the most modern Messer States, such an act would cause the
Griesheim e-beam welders. The FMS student to regret his university educa- Background
for aluminum parts comprises five tion and its typical commitment to a
Mitsui-Seki machines that run 24 h/ discipline. Apparently this does not My hosts were Mr. Nakajima (now day in a temperature-controlled room. happen in Japan. U.S. companies rankle at the Mizuho plant) and Mr. Ochiai. at having to supplement the education Both are managers of production engi- Software in Use of their new hires; Japanese companies neering departments at their respectake advantage of the opportunity. tive plants.
I was shown two examples of com
IHI's main business is shipbuilding puter use, a shop floor scheduling system (2) Since I am told that the Japanese and heavy construction. Aircraft engines they wrote themselves and CATIA for
language is not very precise or are a small part. The aircraft engine CAD. quantitative, how come Japanese division has 3,600 employees and sales people are so good at science and of over $1 billion. IHI built Japan's first Shop Floor Scheduler. The shop engineering?
jet engine during the war, making the grinds surfaces and dovetails of turbine
first test flight in a small fighter plane blades and has about 100 workstations. His answer is that most of the time in early August 1945. Since then IHI There are at least 100 kinds of blades Japanese people do not notice any has designed only three engines on its
has designed only three engines on its and about 300 blades in each batch. disadvantage stemming from their own (plus many research and develop- The shop handles more than 300 lots language or methods of thinking. ment engines), relying mostly on man- per month according to Mr. Shibata, However, communication can some- ufacturing licenses from General Elec- who demonstrated the software. It takes times be slow. Most Japanese sentences tric, Rolls-Royce, and Pratt & Whitney about 4 months to process a lot. Each have no subject, and verbs do not dis- for most of its production. Products blade apparently requires dozens of tinguish number or gender. Also, he include aircraft engines, stationary gas work steps. We noted that some of the recalls translating one of his papers turbines for generating electricity, gas jobs currently in the shop are 50 to into English and discovering in the turbines for ships, and rocket engines 75 days late and scheduled to stay that process that one of his Japanese sen- for space. Including several wholly owned late or get even later. The usual response tences made no logical sense. He had subsidiaries, IHI can produce all of the in such situations is to send some work been unaware of this when he first main advanced technologies required outside, but IHI hopes the scheduler wrote it. He also added that logic is not for such products, including intricate will permit them to improve efficiency the only component of practicing engi- investment castings and single crystal and keep the work in-house. neering. There is also "informal com- or directed grain castings of turbine The scheduling system was installed munication, group work, and a different blades, numerical controlled (NC) in April 1991 and they are still improvway of thinking than the so-called logical machining, flexible manufacturing sys- ing it, assessing how well it works and way.”
tem (FMS) operation, laser welding learning how to use it. A major feature and cutting, and some composite mate- is its excellent user interface, permitrials for nose cones that are transpar- ting the shop supervisor to view data ent to infrared rays. They are especially about jobs pending or in progress from proud of their ability to laser weld several viewpoints: by job, by batch, by titanium. IHI is also a prominent par- job step, by machine, and so on. Clickticipant in Japan's proposed Space ing the mouse on a job reveals a winStation module.
dow containing the details of the process. Thus the progress of the job or the scheduled job sequence planned for each machine can be viewed easily.
The objective of the software is to However, the data created by engineer- Advanced Research Projects Agency decide which machine should do which designers are not sufficient for NC Initiative in Concurrent Engineering task step on which batch next. Differ- programming and must be augmented. (DARPA/DICE) project. GE is a major ent batches are waiting for machines, But modifications are difficult because participant in this project and design of and different machines, capable of doing CATIANCoutput is not as easy to edit turbine blades is an important demononly some of the pending tasks, are as APT, which has a simple line-by-line stration of DICE capabilities. waiting for work to be assigned to them, format. Also, I was told that CATIA's while other machines are still busy. surface modeling capability is limited Product Design Methodologies The task of the software is "resource since surfaces tend to come out with and Long Term Developments selection and task assignment,” a familiar low amplitude, low frequency waves. task in management science algorithms. Facilities consist of a Fujitsu super
Even though use of computers in Typical criteria are to minimize the computer and a mainframe for sup
computer and a mainframe for sup- the design process at IHI is a bit behind lateness of the jobs and/or to minimize porting aerodynamics, structural and the state of the art, Nakajima is a carethe idle time of the machines. Occa- stress analyses, plus an IBM 3090 and ful thinker concerning organization of sionally a special high priorityjob must 50 graphics terminals running CATIA design processes. He shares Nissan's be wedged in.
and 100 PCs running microCADAM. view that overlapping of tasks is essenThe software was written using a Today's applications for CAE are tial to shortening the design cycle, and commercial expert system shell to which structural analysis and weight and cycle shortening is a prime objective IHI added its own rules. A clear expla- moment analysis. Future applications for IHI. Ochiai feels that having a nation of how it worked was not avail- are interface between engine and air- common database without transcripable, but apparently it runs a number of frame, assembly procedures and instruc- tion errors is just as important if not simulations to verify its predictions. It tion manuals, and a link to CAM. more so. first assigns jobs without regard to
Medium term they are rethinking At present, they are using the develcapacity limitations of the machines. the information flow in the design opment of the new HYPER 90 engine Then it tries to shift work from over- process, hoping to shorten the path. At as the base project for design process loaded machines to underloaded ones. the moment, parts such as blades are improvements. This engine design is Finally, it identifies jobs that cannot be designed in 3D and then 2D drawings being funded by MITI and involves many assigned and puts them in a group to be are made. In the shop, these drawings Japanese and foreign companies. A assigned to outside contractors. This must be reconstituted into 3D data so hypersonic civilian transport plane is appears to be an imitation of how the that a workplan (NC programs) can be the eventual target. IHI wants to shorten human schedulers run the shop and made.
the development time from a typical does not utilize any of several algo- Longer term they are hoping to create 30 months to 20 months. Note that this rithms in the scientific literature that optimization methods for designing time is a very small part of the time could potentially solve this problem blades, disks, and shafts. (GE already needed for R&D of a new kind of engine better.
does such things either routinely or in which, together with manufacturing their design R&D laboratory.)
development and certification, can take CAD and CAE. Design is almost They wish 3D modeling could sup- up to 8 years. 100% paperless in the engine depart- port dimensioning and tolerancing and IHI wants to use the methods and ment. CATIA is used for 3D modeling, have kept to 2D drawings because of technologies of Concurrent Engineerand CADAM and microCADAM are their ability to represent such informa- ing to achieve this time reduction. The used for drafting. The usual CAE func- tion. None of my hosts are aware in basic approach is, as stated above, to tions, such as mass and inertia proper- detail of the extensive CAD/CAE/CAM overlap the tasks of design, process ties, are done with CATIA. CATIA is developed in the auto industry, although planning, and manufacturing developalso used for making nice pictures to they have seen some things demon- ment. The most important action is to show top management and customers. strated at trade shows. They are afraid make sure designs are evaluated Piping design and interference analy- of in-house software
of in-house software development since promptly for their impact on manufacses between pipes and engine struc- they think it would be hard to maintain turing, assembly, cost, and quality. tures are done in CATIA. Data are and improve the programs.
Second, IHI must make a direct link transferred to SDRC's solid modeler In addition, in spite of many years of between CAD and CAM. Third, they for thermal and stress analysis. CATIA cooperation between IHI and GE, the must improve overall data management, is also used for preparing NC programs. IHI people were unaware of the Defense including learning how to manage