Beth Stackpole

Transport Vehicle Goes On An Aluminum Diet

It only stands to reason that an aluminum smelter in need of utility vehicles for operations and maintenance would want those vehicles to be made out the same aluminum it manufacturers, not steel.

Manufacturing a structurally-sound utility transport out of a wholly new material wasn’t the only design challenge for this effort, put into play by Aluminerie Alouette, a Canadian aluminum smelter. The new design also had to accommodate an electric power train—a requirement because the smelting process creates such a strong static magnetic field that regular internal combustion engines have a hard time operating properly within that environment. The third requirement was to create a vehicle design that would allow for easy recycling at the end of the transport’s lifecycle. ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

JLR’s Holistic Light Weighting Approach Nets Award

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) put its luxury Range Rover sports utility on a diet. The effects were so impressive that the auto OEM took home the 2014 Enlighten Award, an accolade bestowed by simulation software provider Altair in collaboration with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

The Altair Enlighten Award, the automotive industry’s first award program that acknowledges innovations in vehicle light weighting, was handed to JLR in acknowledgement of its accomplishments in the lightweight architecture design of the newest Range Rover vehicle. Thanks to JLR’s holistic approach to CO2 reduction, the new Range Rover body achieved a 40% weight savings, weighing in at 658 pounds compared to its previous body weight of 1,096 pounds.

What’s distinct about JLR’s light weighting efforts is that it pursued a holistic approach throughout the entire vehicle development process, according to Dave Mason, senior vice president, Global Automotive for Altair. Specifically, JLR linked its strategy of weight reduction in the body and chassis systems to powertrain and related secondary weight savings, while at the same time, maximizing its use of recycled materials and lowering energy consumption during the manufacturing stage. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Dassault Systemes Buys Into Mechatronics Simulation

If your end game is to provide tools that provide a soup-to-nuts virtual design experience, you’ve got to provide capabilities that allow for accurate and real-time simulation of an entire system, including electrical and mechanical controls.

That’s exactly what Dassault Systemes is bringing to the table with its latest acquisition of SIMPACK, based in Munich, Germany. SIMPACK, with 130 customers in the energy, automotive, and rail industries, including such marquee names as BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Bombardier, has been a long-time partner of Dassault’s, which has similar arrangements with competing multi-body simulation offerings. ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

PTC Kicks Up IoT Focus With Axeda Acquisition

PTC’s intent to steer a course toward the Internet of Things (IoT) is no secret, especially for those of us attending the recent PTC Live 2014 event in Boston this June. Now with the proposed acquisition of Axeda Corp. made public this month, it appears PTC is about to go at the IoT full throttle.

Axeda, which PTC is acquiring for approximately $170 million in cash, bills itself as an IoT connectivity provider, delivering a platform that gives companies building the “things” a secure way to connect them to the cloud. The Axeda Machine Cloud Service includes machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT connectivity services, software agents and toolkits, which can be tapped to establish secure connectivity and to remotely monitor and manage a wide range of machines, sensors, and devices. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Arena Looks Toward Quality Management

Customers ask and they shall get. It’s the guiding principle for how many design software companies chart a product roadmap, and in the case of Arena Solutions, customers’ repeated requests have spawned Arena Quality, a full-blown quality management module recently added to round out the firm’s cloud-based PLM suite.

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