Fast results thanks to creative CAD duplication

User report

Company: Nobag Nobs Engineering AG

Topics: Product development, Design & Development, Virtual Reality (VR), 3D rendering (CGI)

Industry: mechanical engineering


Fast results thanks to creative CAD duplication

Parametric modeling or direct modeling? This is not a question for machine manufacturer Nobag, because they use both CAD programs from "PTC Creo", often even together on one project. The advantage: customer coordination is easier and final designs are available more quickly. Important for Nobag is the support provided by INNEO, which offers both software and hardware from a single source.

Since 1993, Nobag (Nobag Nobs Engineering AG) has focused on the two markets of slitting lines and special machines. Slitting lines are used to cut sheet metal, which is wound on wide rolls (coils), lengthwise into strips. A large number of Nobag systems are completely customer-specific. A total of almost 30 people work at Nobag, 12 of them in the design department.

There, six licenses for the CAD software "Creo Parametric" and seven for "Creo Elements/Direct" (formerly: "One Space Designer") from PTC are in use. Since the design engineers do not work exclusively for one area, a new decision is made for each project as to whether parametric or direct modeling is used. "In some cases, we even mix," adds project manager René Mutti. "Third-party data can often be processed better in Creo Elements/Direct, so we may model certain parts of the machine that come into contact with customer parts and are adapted to customer CAD models directly, and the rest of the machine parametrically."

Switching to the Creo Parametric 3.0 version brought a number of advantages in this regard, finds Mutti: "Operation is much more pleasant; previously, you had to switch between different tabs in drawing mode, whereas in Creo 3.0 all tools are directly accessible. Above all, the context-sensitive commands that can be accessed via the right mouse button make workflows more efficient and faster."

In Creo 3.0, tolerances can also be defined on the 3D model, which, according to Mutti, has a big impact on the rest of the process: "We save easily two days in NC programming because the minimum and maximum values don't have to be re-entered in the CAM program, but are simply transferred with the CAD model."

Often, it's apparent little things that go a long way - like the ability to colour mechanical machining operations on a cast or welded part. The machining operations on complex components can thus be displayed very clearly and captured at a glance.

With the new version 19, a lot has also been done with Elements/Direct, Mutti continues: "Above all, the integration with Creo Parametric models is now very good, you can load them directly and properties such as colours are also transferred. It would be optimal if both modeling philosophies were united in one system."

INNEO's Startup TOOLS bring further efficiency advantages. Among other things, these make it easier to work with standard parts; Nobag designers can use an entire library of parts they have adapted themselves. In this context, Mutti praises the easy adaptability of the Startup TOOLS libraries to their own requirements.

Developers also like to use the Startup TOOLS function "Design Tools", a collection of basic bodies that can be used as the basis for more complex models. For Creo Elements/Direct, Nobag uses the corresponding Power Extensions products.

INNEO works closely with Nobag when it comes to software and hardware issues. "INNEO is extremely important for us," Mutti therefore explains. "We not only obtain the CAD software from them but also the hardware. From the workstations to the server with two NetApp storage solutions to office computers and laptops, virtually all the technical hardware comes from them. The 'everything from a single source' principle is very important to us and makes cooperation much easier, as we only have one contact for IT."

Other IT services, such as maintenance and updating of the software landscape, training and workshops, are also provided by NNEO. "You learn a lot of new things at the workshops, and the INNEO employees also always suggest useful enhancements. After all, they know our needs exactly. For example, we recently started using KeyShot to create photo-realistic renderings for sales documentation."

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