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A developing future
Off-highway companies are increasingly aware that real-time collaborative efforts in product development are a feasible method to obtaining time and cost reductions. Now eager to enlist the support of computer-aided design (CAD) tools, companies must sift through a growing e-marketplace of software solutions.
Glovia International LLC is an Internet solution provider offering Glovia Order Management System software, which enables suppliers to create virtual catalogs that can be read in as many as 20 languages concurrently. For example, an order can be placed online in Japan in Japanese and be instantly transmitted to the factory in Brazil and displayed in Portuguese, then shipped to a location in Mexico with details arriving in Spanish. Caterpillar is among Glovia's customers.
Matt O'Malley, Glovia's President and CEO, believes that to truly offer a global e-commerce system, the software has to include multi-language and multi-currency support. Of the 170 million users accessing the Internet today, 96 million do so in non-English languages, yet most of today's e-commerce systems do not cater to anything other than English, said O'Malley.
In the rail industry, Alusuisse Road & Rail AG has adopted Catia Version 5 for its CAD, manufacturing, and engineering systems. Catia allows engineers, customers, and development partners to define parts and assemblies in real time. Alusuisse plans to use Catia for the design and engineering of the bodies and interiors used in 90% of the world's mass transit trains and buses. With Version 5, designers will have full 3-D digital mock-up capabilities, which eliminate physical mockups and save an estimated 30% in product development time.
Figure 4: Universal Technical System's TK Solver was used in conjunction with RuleMaster to develop this intermediate shaft for a subsidiary of Ingersoll-Rand.
Oculus Technologies Corp. recently developed a peer-to-peer computing environment designed to help engineers in all types of manufacturing through collaboration. The software, called CO, operates without routing data through a central server, instead processing the information on each user's machine. Although CO is a file-sharing tool, it allows users to only share a "black box" of each model and add detail to the segment of the assembly that a particular user needs to see. That approach, according to the company, enables design team collaboration without compromising proprietary information. If someone opened an encoded CO message, they would only see the single part that had changed, not the entire assembly.
CO links directly to the data source and is not a universal CAD translator, so all collaborators do not need to own the same design application; users can employ the software that works best for their particular job. One customer was able to reduce their product design cycle time from three days to less than a minute using CO.
Universal Technical Systems, Inc. has two products that aid development in tandem. Design models can be created in TK Solver; the RuleMaster application then enables deployment of the mathematical models on a corporate intranet, making them available to design engineers at several different sites or on the Web as product configurators for customers. TK Solver is a product that enables "backsolving," meaning a user can work through a model with certain data, or work backward with the desired results.
Ingersoll-Rand has applied TK Solver to the development of steering systems at one of its subsidiaries. Design Engineer Michael Morsches is particularly fond of the backsolving concept. When Morsches' team developed a new feature on the company's intermediate shaft, Morches intoned, "I created a TK Solver model to automate part of the design process for us. We input different variables, and the program solved each scenario immediately." He added, "What TK gives us is the ability to investigate various designs. And the best way to do that is with backward-solving." Morsches has used the product for 11 years and though he has no basis of comparison for his time-savings, he claims his team "can't afford not to use it."
Developing Internet-based technologies continue to profoundly impact the way OEMs and suppliers conduct their B2B dealings. All of these tools have in common the goal of enabling real-time product development that will further revolutionize the design process and speed time-to-market in the off-highway industry.
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Error 404--Not Found
From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1:
10.4.5 404 Not Found
The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent.
If the server does not wish to make this information available to the client, the status code 403 (Forbidden) can be used instead. The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address.