Digital factory demo gets the wind behind it

RapidX is Hannover Messe's demo to show that it's now feasible to digitise the entire process chain from end to end, yielding big gains in efficiency and speed.

This year's digital factory guinea-pig was Austrian composite materials specialist Silent Future Tec, which linked up with chief demo sponsor Dassault Systemes and a range of other software and hardware partners to demonstrate design automation by designing and building a compact and lightweight wind turbine.

“It is to show how a complete process can work, from an idea to a finished product,” said Silent Future Tec's Michael Broser. “It shows different software working together on different stages, such as calculation of forces, simulation and mould-making. All this would not have been so simple a few years ago.”

The key factor is the improved interoperability of design, prototyping and manufacturing software – from a wide range of companies, not just Dassault – and the availability of portable drawing formats, Broser added.

“OK, you have to pay for the software, but then you can work very fast,” he said. “We were brought in as the demonstration, and our turbine was designed at least two or three times faster this way.”

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