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Migrating to NX enables overall optimization in vehicle design processes

Industry Automotive OEM Business challenges Reduce product development cost Realize efficient data sharing with other departments Reduce errors and workload involved in fixing data Keys to success Standardizing on NX data format Leveraging histories and parameters in NX data to modify geometries and improve modeling efficiency Enabling collaboration with other departments in every part of development processes Results Errors and workload associated with data migration from other CAD data formats reduced to zero Integrating design tools from other CAD systems with NX reduced system maintenance costs drastically Knowledge of surface modeling is now standardized with know-how gained by use of NX

Styling capabilities of NX enable improved modeling productivity and streamlined data management
Global product development approach fully leverages use of NX and Teamcenter Isuzu Motors Limited (Isuzu) has a long history of using Siemens PLM Software products domestically, as well as has a global product development environment deployed in multiple sites, including North America and Thailand. Siemens PLM Software tools are applied throughout

the entire development process styling, design, engineering, production preparation and manufacturing. Isuzu engineers utilize NX software for product development, including NX CAE, NX CAM and NX Nastran software, as well as Tecnomatix software for digital manufacturing processes and Teamcenter software for complete lifecycle data management. Isuzu has a long record of continuously improving its product development operations. Unique history of Isuzu Design Center For the development of previous generations of pickup trucks, the Isuzu Design Center implemented Unigraphics soft-

NX provides advanced surfacing tools.


We were able to collaborate with the NX software development team at Siemens PLM Software to improve and enhance NX together and share a common vision. It was truly one of the best advantages of the partnership with Siemens PLM software. Toru Takagi Group Leader SPE Group Design Center Isuzu Motors Limited

ware, which is now NX, in 1998. This was prompted by a collaboration agreement with General Motors. In 2002, the IMAN product data management system, which is now Teamcenter, was implemented to consolidate design data. At the same time, Isuzu started using NX as an integrated design development tool for Class A surface creation. Isuzu also used ICEM Surf, which is specialized for automotive styling design, in conjunction with NX during this period. The Surface Prototype Engineering (SPE) Group of the Design Center, which is in charge of computer-aided design (CAD) data creation for body design, needs specialized functionality to create freeform surfaces for the efficient creation of Class A surface models. Particularly after the release of NX 7, the usability for generating surfaces drastically improved, which led the Design Center to decide to unify the Class A surface creation tool with NX in 2011, says Eiji Nakajima, who works in the SPE Groups Design Center. Collaboration results in important technological improvements Steady, collaborative communication that began in 2006 with Isuzu and the NX development team contributed greatly to this decision. When surface designers create a Class A quality 3D model with CAD, the functionality required for such specialized purposes is different from that used by engineers in downstream processes. It was very important that the NX development team understood Isuzus requirements, such as control point editing, analyzing surface quality and creating fillet/blend surfaces. In terms of operation, the functions needed to be almost sensory, like hand-crafting a clay model. The NX development team regularly visited the Design Center to respond to the requirements from Isuzu surface designers. They examined the requirements in detail, and confirmed and fulfilled those requirements.

Virtual 3D model created using NX.

As we started to communicate with Siemens PLM Software, the gap between NX and CAD specialized for surface creation started to close gradually. When we examined NX 7, we noticed that it had competitive functionality for our use, says Nakajima. Good examples of vehicles developed with this new process are the commercial ELF vehicle series and a new pickup truck model (D-MAX) that debuted in Thailand in 2011. NX has been used extensively by designers to accurately represent product styling and modelers who focus on mass production data. As a result, designers and modelers feel they can effectively communicate their product intentions to customers. Greatly improved Class A surfacing helps designers precisely reflect intent With numerous enhancements, NX has become a superior Class A surfacing tool. However, for designers, the essential objective of these enhancements was to realize the communication of important design intent regarding styling and surface creation, and not the improvement of the software itself. The methods to create surfaces that reflect a designers intent, as well as to represent this intent in products, is continuously changing. Before CAD was used, analog tools such as Curve Ruler were used. Handwritten curves generated with an accuracy of 0.1mm were used to adjust the expression of a cross section. In the early days of CAD, handwritten drawings were used to supplement primitive 3D CAD models. Today, CAD can be used to

Clay model finished by hand.

create the complete freeform surface as designers intend. 3D CAD became a turning point for product development. In the past, when models were created by hand, and dies were created by profiling, CAD technology was not required to create what we call a Class A surface model today. Now, such high-quality digital modeling technologies are required for design. The development of NX software can be viewed in terms of the evolution of surface creation methodology. Collaboration between the Isuzu Design Center and the NX development team truly helped achieve an evolution of surface creation methodology, rather than simple software improvement. Takagi explains, It is important to continue to seek better functionality with NX. Therefore, software enhancement continues to be important in the future. At the same time, no matter how much tools evolve, every single design starts with the exploration of a single line, which is decided by a designer, not a computer. I want continuous advancement of the software we use so that it faithfully recreates the designers intent. We designers also have to sharpen our technology know-how and wisdom to more deeply explore designs. Integrated applications enable significantly improved design data creation and management Data created by the SPE Group is also shared interactively with other groups. The data is sent to engineering and other departments working downstream, and the SPE group receives feedback from them that is used to modify the data.

By integrating all development with NX, when modifying data we can leverage history and parameters that had previously been lost. In the past, in some cases, Isuzu engineers I expect that this improves modeling productivity even had to fix some data. This workload more. increased as the frequency of data exchange increased, and it reduced overall Eiji Nakajima productivity. Also, when the design of a SPE Group vehicle was made with more than one Design Center CAD system, engineers had to check data Isuzu Motors Limited compatibility every single time. According to Takagi, that workload was extensive. During this process, if the SPE Group uses a different CAD data format than the others, they have to check the quality of data before working on the data they receive. Standardizing on NX solves all of those issues, and even contributes to reducing lag time in sharing information with overseas locations. The effect of this unification has also made a positive impact in the design group. For example, when an automobile is developed, each individual designer is assigned a particular part to work on for surface creation. Each designer must consider the tangency and continuity of the parts other individuals are working on. If everyone is using NX, designers can share data in real time for smoother operations. It also helps team leaders maintain overall data quality. When data created using NX was imported to the surface creation tool used previously, the engineers could only import geometry and not the history of the design. Because the surface creation tool did not have a concept of history, if they wanted to modify the geometry, the users had to re-create it. Nakajima notes, By integrating all development with NX, when modifying data we can leverage history and parameters that had previously been lost. I expect that this improves modeling productivity even more. Major improvements in the efficiency of data management are also expected. Takagi explains, In comparison to passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles have a large number of model variations in a

Solutions/Services NX NX Nastran www.siemens.com/nx Teamcenter www.siemens.com/teamcenter Tecnomatix www.siemens.com/tecnomatix Customers primary business Isuzu manufactures and sells small- to large-size trucks and buses, as well as diesel engines for automotive and industrial use. www.isuzu.co.jp Customer location Kanagawa Japan Integrating our CAD systems with NX standardizes our modeling process know-how and improves productivity. It also makes technical education for engineers easier and more efficient. Yoshihisa Fujita SPE Group Design Center Isuzu Motors Limited

single development project, and we have to work with very complex combinations. With NX design data as a standard, we can fully leverage our corporate-wide PLM framework, so we also expect great improvement on the data management side. Standardization delivers ease-of-use and productivity Yoshihisa Fujita of the Design Center, SPE Group, sees the advantages of this integration from a different point of view. In the long term, he says, integrating our CAD systems standardizes our modeling process know-how and improves productivity. It also makes technical education for engineers easier and more efficient. Surface design knowledge can be discussed in two different ways. One way is the knowledge of forming and modeling itself, regardless of tools, which is how to create a sophisticated form and how to realize it in a product. Another way is the knowledge of surface modeling using CAD. Detailed surface design knowledge will differ from one brand of CAD to another. Once all surface designers are using the same tool, they can share all design knowhow, including tool-specific knowledge. Until now, surface designers familiar with other surface creation tools and the surface designers familiar with NX could not share such knowledge. Now knowledge from each side can be integrated and accurately represented by using NX. Over the long term, this will lead to true standard-

ization for better productivity. This effect will also eventually foster better skill transfer to the next generation of designers. Implementation cost reduced with corporate-wide NX framework Because NX is used corporate-wide, Isuzu engineers now enjoy the advantages of cost reduction. Implementation and operational costs are always issues. However, since Isuzu is already using NX corporatewide, the NX implementation in the Design Center is considered simply an add-on of a module rather than implementing a new product. While reducing cost, they are also implementing an effective tool. Today the Design Center is focused on improving design development efficiency by leveraging the effect of this tool integration, strengthening the companys position as a leader in the area of commercial vehicle development.

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