Icona Solutions completes the information feed-back loop from existing production process to new product development

Manchester, UK. 27 April, 2009. - Icona Solutions Ltd., the developer of aesthetica, the innovative perceived quality simulation and visualization software solution, has announced that aesthetica users are now able to simulate and visualize the effects of manufacturing variation based on ‘as measured’ manufacturing data from existing production processes.

The new capability provides a direct interface between aesthetica and QMC’s CM4D product quality validation software enabling measurement data collected by CM4D from inspection devices on the shop-floor to be applied directly to a 3D CAD model. Data representing the variation of individual parts and underlying structures can be imported into aesthetica in addition to detailed tolerance specification sheets defining the actual measured variation for specific materials and manufacturing processes. The imported measurement data is applied directly to the digital model to distort and deform the geometry to accurately recreate the part and assembly variations observed during the actual manufacturing process. Perceived quality issues can then be visualized and reviewed, in real time, within aesthetica at the concept development stage of a new product or product model, when the 3D CAD model is still evolving.

Reduced costs; less time; faster ROI
“This new capability enables designers and engineers involved in the concept phases of a new product development project to immediately see the impact of manufacturing variation and deformation based on live production data from the existing production process, rather than relying on inputting theoretical or ‘best guess’ values. They can use this capability to understand how the actual manufacturing process will affect the quality of the product and make changes to desensitize the model to the variation and reach agreement on solutions as early as possible,” explained John Maxfield, technical director, Icona Solutions Ltd. “These cutting edge new features allow customers to directly re-use data that represents the true capability of existing production processes and saves time by avoiding the need to rebuild detailed GD&T stacks in aesthetica. This results in reduced development costs, faster return on investment through fewer pre-production engineering issues and the avoidance of late design or tooling changes whilst helping to achieve optimum perceived quality in the final manufactured product,” he added.

Benefits in pre-production
As well as being of benefit during the design phases of the product development process, the new aesthetica/CM4D interface also benefits the pre-production phase by helping manufacturing and quality control engineers to visualize and share digital recreations of the worst case / best case manufactured product samples without the need to store physical instances of the product. This enhances the quality reports already produced by CM4D and improves understanding and communication of the true impact of variation to upstream design and engineering departments and suppliers.

“CM4D captures the measurement information collected across the manufacturing enterprise. aesthetica brings this information to life for the designer and the product engineer. This is yet another example of CM4D’s promise to enable manufacturers to leverage their quality data throughout the entire product lifecycle,” said Jeff Perry, vice president, QMC.

About QMC and CM4D.
Developer of CM4D software, the market leader in product quality validation, QMC offers manufacturers a single automated solution for leveraging the measurement information across their enterprise so that critical quality problems are identified early, before they become larger build issues. Also a provider of in-process metrology solutions and dimensional management services, QMC is a full-service provider of integrated quality solutions. More at: www.QMC.com.

About Icona Solutions Ltd.
Icona Solutions develops software that uniquely combines variation simulation and high-end visualization to provide immediate insight into the impact of manufacturing variation and deformation on perceived quality, improving the desirability of the finished product while saving time, avoiding costs and improving communication and collaboration. Icona Solutions is a member of both Dassault Systèmes’ CAA V5 Adopters and Siemens PLM Software’s JT Open programs and a development partner of Autodesk, enabling the company to develop software solutions as an integral part of the broader PLM software environment. Icona’s products are supplied and supported globally through a network of qualified resellers and engineering service providers. Find out more at: www.iconasolutions.com

Editors: for further information contact:
Tim Illingworth: +44 (0)1706 629882, e-mail: Email Contact
Neil McLeod: +44 (0)1666 504293, e-mail: Email Contact
Scott Mahrle: +1 248 377 6007, e-mail: Email Contact

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