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PLM for designing seats?

Futuris Automotive, a global seating supplier based in Australia but with operations globally and global customers including General Motors, Ford, Tesla, Chery, and Jianghuai Automotive, is using product lifecycle management (PLM) for the development and design of its seats.

OK. That's not precisely the case.

But the software portfolio that Futuris is using, Seat Design Environment (SDE), is part of the Siemens PLM Software ( offerings. Essentially, SDE, which is claimed to be "the first-ever seat design software application mat addresses the entire seat engineering process," will allow Futuris to create flat patterns, as well as various documents germane to seating system development. The SDE will provide a complete digital product definition of a seat system, which not only facilitates sharing of design detail, but also reduces the need for physical prototypes.

Explained Brian Thiele, executive manager, Engineering a Development, Futuris, about the selection, "Time is of the essence in the automotive business, wither you're talking about preparing bids or delivering new products. Based on our evaluation, we believe that SDE will enable us to save a significant amount of time, perhaps as much as two weeks in the development of initial flat patterns. The addition of this technology will complement our existing processes and add to our competitive advantage."

Specific capabilities of SDE are:

* Digitally define styling and material requirements, and share details across seat engineering teams

* Assess producibility--as in assuring that there will be no wrinkles or deformation

* Generate flat patterns (2D) and then capture any downstream alterations or design modifications for inclusion back in the 3D master model

* Generate engineering drawings and data for design documentation, process planning and manufacturing

* Analyze cost (material and labor) early in the process

* Access material and part databases

* Maintain compatibility with existing systems, such as the nesting and cutting systems used.

Commenting on the functionality of the product, Ed Bernardon, vp, Strategic Automotive Initiatives, Specialized Engineering Software, Siemens PLM Software, said, "Seat cover manufacturers need to get to market quickly and on budget. SDE empowers manufacturers to meet this goal by enabling them to efficiently create the engineering and manufacturing documents and data needed to fully define seat trim covers. This is done through the user interface that matches the processes and approach used by engineers to produce seat trim covers. We're particularly pleased to have the opportunity to work with Futuris, one of the leading suppliers for seating systems, to help them meet their targets in an increasingly competitive market."
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Title Annotation:FEATURE
Publication:Automotive Design & Production
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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