The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth has selected Delmia digital manufacturing solutions for integration into its education curriculum. Delmia is part of a complete range of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions from IBM and Dassault Systemes
NMMU received financial assistance from the Innovation Fund through the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS), a Cabinet-approved strategy of the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
The AMTS aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector through the implementation of targeted high-impact projects in areas such as industry development, world-class manufacturing, innovation, R&D and human resource development.
The university, which has also entered into an academic partnership with CNC Design Consultants (CDC) to standardise on CATIA engineering software solutions in its Bachelor of Engineering Mechatronics Degree, will extend its capabilities to include 30 Delmia licences. Delmia will be used at NMMU for factory layout and robotic simulation.
Nigel Noble, IBM South Africa’s SMB territory manager, says: “With the Delmia solution, NMMU’s engineering students will be given the opportunity to gain practical experience using the very latest digital design tools and technology in line with the majority of the world’s most successful manufacturing firms.”
By deploying Delmia into its programme, NMMU intends to contribute to the growth of local industry by producing qualified engineers with the real-world knowledge and skills demanded by prospective employers.
This decision will assist NMMU in strengthening its alliance with leading manufacturing firms in the industry such as Comau, LN Manufacturing, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and other automotive OEMs. Through these strategic partnerships, NMMU’s overall objective is to stimulate competitiveness in both the local and international markets.
According to Noble, Delmia offers an end-to-end solution which allows automated systems to be digitally defined, controlled and monitored entirely in a 3D virtual environment. At NMMU’s engineering faculty, the main area of focus is Body-in-White. Taking NMMU’s needs into consideration, CDC proposed a set of digital simulation solutions.
“Delmia Body in White XT was selected as the main configuration, allowing engineers to design body assembly processes, manage spot welds and other fasteners, select and modify resources with CAD tools, evaluate assembly sequences, carry out robot feasibility studies, and validate the process plan – all using an interactive 3D environment,” Noble says.
Robotics Offline Programming (OLP) is an add-on product that will enable robot task simulation in NMMU’s new robotic laboratory.
This means users can perform offline programming of complex, multi-device robotic resources. Realistic Robot Simulation (RRS), another add-on, provides accurate robot cycle time and interfaces directly with the actual robot controller software, allowing users to obtain accurate motion profiles as the simulated robot performs its task.