Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem
Many organizations don’t realize that they already own Digital Media Publisher (DMP), nor what DMP can do for them. If you have Arbortext Publishing Engine, you have access to DMP.

If you have ever used the Help Center in Arbortext Editor or Windchill, you’ve used an instance of DMP (actually its Digital Media Consumer (DMC), which is the application deployed for viewing the media image created by DMP).

Just the Facts

Arbortext Digital Media Publisher is a companion product to Arbortext Editor and Arbortext Publishing Engine. DMP gives you the tools you need to create a searchable media image from a set of documents that can be written to any digital media type such as a DVD or flash drive. You can run the resulting image (DMC) directly from the media, install it on your system, or deploy it over the Web.

Have it your way

The media image and the associated installation process can be highly customized to meet your individual delivery requirements.

Here’s the out-of-the-box home screen of the Arbortext Help Center:

Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem

And here’s an example of a home screen the from when I worked with The Raymond Corporation, for their service documentation:

Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem

Not only can the home screen be customized, but the functionality can also. In this example, when I clicked on iWAREHOUSE®; the table of content expanded and the home screen now displays the iWAREHOUSE components.

Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem

The next step is selecting the component, which will display the technical documentation available:

Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem

Update a CD? Yes you can!

A unique feature of DMP is that it supports publishing updates to existing images, even DVD and CD-ROM! So you don’t need to issue a completely new CD when there is an update to your content. The update can be included with the existing content automatically when the user opens the DMC.

It doesn’t have to be a CD

The DMC output can take several forms:

  • Install the image to a local disk or server and run it from there
  • Create a DVD, CD, or save to a Flash Drive
    • Run directly from the media (DMC bundles a web server and includes an embedded web browser for Windows)
    • Install from the media to your local computer
    • Create a web application (WAR file) for your web site
    • Create an image ready to be used as an application’s online help system

 Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden GemHere you see the output options

And it doesn’t have to be HTML

DMP images can contain the following file types, in any combination:

  • HTML
  • Text
  • XML
  • PDF
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Other Microsoft Office documents
  • Any file types that can be viewed in a browser, including those that require browser plug-ins.

 Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden GemThis example illustrates opening a Microsoft PowerPoint document

Find what you are looking for, and hide the rest

DMP provides the capability of full-text search, even within PDF and Microsoft Office content.

If your content is profiled*, users can elect to view only the information that pertains to them.

* Profiling is a means to provide specific content for a selected audience. Profiling sections of documents (or even individual words) lets you designate that certain sections (or words) contain information targeted at a specific audience or contain information that only applies when a particular set of circumstances exists.

Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem

Start with the out-of-the-box Arbortext Help Center table of contents

 Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem

By selecting the Configuration tab, then Profile settings, you can choose to see only content relating (in this case) to Editor, in HTML and PDF format, for End Users

 Arbortext Digital Media Publisher - A Hidden Gem

This is the result of submitting the above setting request

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a hypothetical situation to paint the story ‘how real-time information and predictive analytics unlock value.’

To start, imagine a fully functioning assembly line with a robot, pneumatic system, a series of conveyors, and a vision system.

Lets pretend the supply station in the back is bringing in our raw materials. The robot is assembling those materials with precision. The resulting assemblies are than passed on to the quality station, and the vision system inspects each of those assemblies to insure proper alignment of the parts.

This is a pretty generic operation, but it can show how unified real-time information and predictive analytics unlock value.

Now imagine yourself as a maintenance engineer, who wants to check the status of your asset pool.

Using a software, such as ThingWorx Navigate by PTC for example, you launch a role-based maintenance application. All of a sudden you see a complete list of your assets with real-time performance stats and relevant alerts or notifications. You also have a complete list of all your outstanding maintenance work orders.

From here, you have the ability to drill into any of your assets, but you start with the quality station. You immediately see the key characteristics of the station.  You see that speed vibration and temperature are all operating within their specified range. You could also see notifications of any warnings, malfunctions, or potential future problems. 

Next, you use your device to take a look at the pneumatic system.  The pneumatic system also looks fine. Both pressure and flow are operating within the specified range, and there are no outstanding maintenance tickets or work order notifications on your screen.

Now, let’s consider a situation where there was a leak in the pneumatic system.  Let’s say a loose fitting was releasing pressure, a fairly common problem in pneumatic systems. Now, rather than looking fine,  your device displays flow readings outside of the designated operating range. Furthermore, an alert has automatically been sent to notify you of a system has an error. The overall status indicator on your screen has now switched from green to orange – operational, but not optimal. 

Your software solution’s machine learning is now predicting that this air leak, if not repaired, will result in a pneumatic gate failure in approximately 10 day’s time. The good news for you is the system has already issued you a maintenance work order address the problem before asset failure and unplanned downtime.

This scenario is made possible by a system equipped with primary and secondary sensors, and a complete Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution that can turn raw machine data into valuable information.

For example, your pneumatic system has an air flow sensor, as well as a pressure sensor.  The conveyor systems are equipped with motor temperature sensors and vibration sensors.

In addition to the sensors, the rest of the assets on your line are controlled by typical PLCs, which are connected to a software such as ThingWorx and Kepware.

You have also used your software to integrate manufacturing floor systems with a real-time IT applications, asset maintenance tools, and ERP systems. This provides you with a real-time alignment of your IT and OT systems.

Now, all of your systems are throwing data out at a staggering 800 data points per second.

Your software’s machine learning then uses that real-time streaming data to establish a baseline of normal operating conditions. This way it can immediately connect and broadcast any anomalies that occur. It uses these anomalies, in conjunction with its prediction capabilities to notify you of future problems, just as in the case of the pneumatic failure.

Now that you have an understanding of what is happening under the hood, let’s take a look at how all this comes together to enable real-time operational intelligence.

Pretend you are a production manager. Using software like ThingWorx Navigate and Kepware you have complete visibility into all of your factory operations. You can see all of your work orders, lines, and all of their critical KPI’s.

On your device you notice an orange status indicator on line one (that was created from the air leak earlier). Once that air leak has been repaired, everything returns back to normal, just as you would expect.

Let’s explore one more hypothetical situation. Consider yourself to be an operator. In this case, you have just been assigned a new order for a thousand units that need to be delivered and expedited for an end of day delivery.

You’re notified of the order and in this smart connected scenario you, as an operator have a single portal from which you can see and execute all of your work. Through a single pane of glass you now have access to your business systems information and your operational data including the KPIs from your line.

On your device you also have up to the minute visibility of the OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). You see real-time data measurements of your manufacturing operation’s availability, quality, and performance.

Let’s see how some of these metrics might change if we go ahead and speed up the line to accelerate the current order, in order to make room for that expedited order.

To do that you switch the line speed from level one to level two. What you see in seconds on your device is that line speed has increased, and your assemblies are still passing the quality check.

Within a couple minutes and a few additional cycles, on your device you see both your performance and OEE trending upwards.

As an operator you now are assured that you are going to meet your end of the day deadline.

Using these hypothetical situations, together we have painted a picture demonstrating how you can connect disparate assets from different vendors, to provide real-time information.

You’ve also seen how you can leverage role-based applications that combine business systems information and operational data to empower your workforce with real-time actionable intelligence.

By integrating machine-learning capabilities you brought a whole new level of predictive intelligence to your factory floor, identified problems, and resolved issues with minimal impact on operational performance.

This is exactly how real-time information and predictive analytics can unlock value for your organization.

Download the Ebook On PTC ThingWorx Navigate

I have a twin! Well, I have a digital twin. You probably do too. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a digital twin, don’t fret—you’re not alone. In fact, this technology is relatively new and still developing.

The idea of creating virtual models to simulate real-life situations isn’t new. NASA uses digital twins to run simulations and test flights on airplanes before they’re actually flown by pilots in person or sent into space with astronauts aboard them (pretty cool right?). However, until now there hasn’t been much focus on how we could apply these same concepts outside the aerospace industry — until now that is…

The idea of a digital twin is simple to understand. A digital twin is a virtual model of a process, product, or service that can be used to:

    • Improve performance: Understand how a process works, and improve it.
    • Explore new ideas: Imagine what could happen in the future, and create it now.
    • Make better decisions: See what’s happening on the ground in real time, so you can make confident decisions for your business.
    • Reduce risk: Identify potential problems before they occur and fix them before they cause issues for customers or colleagues.
    • Improve efficiency: Maximize resources to get more out of them than would be possible otherwise – whether that’s staff time, materials or energy consumption – by turning data into insights for everyone involved in a system (including those who aren’t currently involved).

     

Digital twins are used to run simulations using predictive analytics and data from sensors that are attached to airplanes and engines. These “test flights” for engines and airplanes allow for safe experimentation and troubleshooting without risking human life or harming the equipment. More recently however, the potential use cases for digital twins have expanded beyond industry.

NASA’s journey with the digital twin

NASA’s Advanced Turbine Systems Project (ATSP) has created a digital twin of their Pratt & Whitney PW1000G geared turbofan engine used in aviation systems like Boeing’s 737 MAX series aircrafts. This makes it possible for engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio to monitor real world conditions on an airplane remotely via computer software without having any physical connection between themselves and the airplane itself – all from their office desktops!

Digital twins aren’t limited just to planes though – they can be applied anywhere where there is an application that would benefit from being able to predict future outcomes based off current data gathered through sensors placed around said device/application/process etc…

Today, digital twins are being used in healthcare to help monitor a patient’s health in real time. Augmented Reality (AR), simulated environments, and virtual reality (VR) can all be used with the data provided by digital twins to improve patient outcomes. For instance, AR could be used by surgeons during an operation or VR can be used by physicians to practice risky procedures in a simulated environment before they operate on an actual patient.

The list of potential uses for a digital twin is seemingly endless, but one thing they all have in common is their ability to collect data. For example, an AR system could be used by surgeons to visualize a patient’s anatomy in real time and allow for better planning of surgical procedures.

Virtual reality (VR) can be used by physicians to practice risky procedures in a simulated environment before they operate on an actual patient. The benefits of this approach include the reduction or elimination of unnecessary risks during surgery as well as the reduction or elimination of costs associated with conducting unnecessary surgeries that did not need to take place because the physicians were not sufficiently trained prior to operating on real patients (which can lead to malpractice lawsuits).

The idea behind digital twins goes beyond the practical uses of this technology—it is rooted in the desire to create a more connected world where people’s decisions can be made with better information than what has been available in the past. When we’re able to see how our choices impact different systems—for example, seeing how changing one variable will affect overall energy consumption—we gain better insight into how we can create a more sustainable future.

As you may have heard, a digital twin is an avatar that represents your physical system. It’s kind of like an actor who plays the role of “you” in the virtual world and learns how to be more efficient, safer, and easier to use over time. This concept can be applied across systems ranging from trains to buildings to entire cities. Since all systems are made up of parts that must work together in order for a system as a whole to function properly (think about how many things need to go right just so you can take a shower), it makes sense that we’d want an accurate representation of those parts—and their interactions—in order for us humans running them not to make mistakes or waste energy unnecessarily.

As we’ve seen in this post, digital twins can be used for many different purposes. The technology has already been applied to industrial processes, healthcare, and the energy sector. In the future, we’ll likely see more uses for digital twins in retail and other industries as well. What will your digital twin look like?

What’s the difference between a filament printer and the Form 2 3D Printer?

FDM 3D printers melt a plastic filament, whereas we use a liquid photopolymer resin which is cured with a UV laser.

How does the liquid photopolymer resin work?

The resin contains a photo initiator which when activated causes the short chain monomers and oligomers to bind together into long-chain polymers which causes the resin to solidify.

Why is using a liquid photopolymer resin better?

Since we’re not extruding a thick bead of hot plastic onto the build platform, we can achieve a much finer X/Y accuracy than with an FDM printer. Our curing process creates fully dense, isotropic parts with greater strength, smoothness, and detail.

What is your X/Y accuracy?

We have measured our X/Y accuracy to as fine as .002” or 0.050mm.

What is your minimum feature size?

We have a 150µm minimum feature size.

What is your layer thickness?

25, 50, 100 microns.

What is the laser spot size?

140 microns.

How much calibration does the Form 2 machine require?

Virtually none. We have a factory calibration rig that ensures that the printer is fully calibrated. You do not need to do any tray-leveling. The printer is ready to print within 10 minutes of unboxing.

How big can you print on the Form 2 3D Printer?

Form 2 build volume is 145 mm x 145 mm x 175 mm.

What about finishing?

When a print is finished, there is a thin layer of uncured resin which needs to be washed off. When the print is complete, soak the part in a bath of isopropyl alcohol for about 15-20 minutes to wash off the uncured resin.

What maintenance does the Form 2 require?

The Form 2 requires very little maintenance. The calibration process is done at the factory. The resin tank is a consumable component which will eventually need to be replaced after about 2L of prints (and we are working towards improving this). The resin tank costs $60 US / 55 EUR to replace.

How many 3D prints can you get from the Form 2 with 1 Liter of resin?

Our standard rook uses about 11ml of resin, so you could get about 90 of them from 1L of resin.

What materials do you offer?

We have Standard Resins in Clear, Grey, Black, and White. Our Functional Resins cover a wide range of applications: Flexible, which is ideal for prototyping functional grips, seals, and soft robotics; Tough, a durable and impact-resistant material for sturdy engineering prototypes; Castable, a material for printing detailed jewelry models that can be burned out in investment casting; and Dental SG, a Class I Biocompatible material for printing surgical guides.

What is the shelf life of the resin for the Form 2 printer?

If stored within the cartridge, the resin has a shelf life of about a year, and if stored within the light-blocking resin tank it can be stored safely for about 2-3 months.

What do I do with the unused resin after I finish a print job?

Resin left in the tank after a print job should stay in the tank. It does not need to be poured back into the cartridge.

What’s the difference between laser SLA and DLP?

Laser SLA printing uses a round laser point to trace out the area to be solidified in each layer. DLP projects a single image of each layer, composed of rectangular pixels, in a flash of light. DLP pros: smaller minimum exposure size, faster prints DLP cons: build volume is constrained by x/y resolution; projector bulbs are consumable and need to be replaced; pixels lead to voxelization/aliasing error in x/y plane. Also, the Form 2 has a much smaller footprint than most DLP printers, and can fit more comfortably in most workspaces.

As PTC promised us, we have another annual Creo update – the latest version, Creo Parametric 6.0, brings us new capabilities in augmented reality (AR), real-time simulation, design for additive manufacturing (3D printing) as well as a number of productivity enhancements.

Cloud-based Augmented Reality

Creo AR Design Share allows all 3D CAD data to be exchanged through the cloud so that your IP is protected and you can access it at any time. And now every seat of Creo (and Windchill) gives you the power of cloud-based AR.

The new version of PTC Creo Parametric 6.0 provides design engineers the ability to publish up to ten AR designs, instead of only five AR designs that was available with the Creo 5.0. With enhanced security features, you can now control who can access each published AR experience.

AR is changing the way companies design across the enterprise.

Advanced Analysis with Creo Simulation Live

PTC and ANSYS have come together to deliver instantaneous, real-time simulation software. The analysis software is consistent with the Creo user interface – so it’s been easily integrated with the same PTC CAD software that you’re familiar with if you’ve used Creo CAD software.

All too often there are ramblings about project management being an overhead cost to avoid, along with a litany of reasons why that opinion is being shared. The reality is, project management occurs whether it is formalized or not. Without dedicated project management, processes become burdensome for those involved in the project, often distracting them from their actual role and efficient execution of their expertise. The result impedes success.  

Success can be defined in many ways – in the Project Management world the focus is on the accomplishment of an aim or purpose within the constraints of scope, time and cost. Overlooking any one of these constraints and the success of the project will be delayed or difficult to achieve. 

What does success look like?

One of the first questions that needs to be addressed when starting a project is, “What does success look like?”  
 
This is important to know for all people involved in a project – Executive sponsors, Managers, End Users, and those involved in maintaining the product once the project has been brought to life. Without this clear vision a project can end up with dissatisfied end users, delays caused by re-establishing intent (and potential for increased cost) or worst of all, the project gets cancelled.  

MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS

There are (2) primary stakeholders involved in a project: those delivering the project and those who benefit from the project. Their alignment is crucial and will require a representative (Project Manager) that will actively communicate internally within the organization during the project and provide the catalyst for collaboration with all participants. Without these representatives, single points of contact from each organization could make responsibility and accountability unclear, introducing additional risk to the project. 

MINOR STAKEHOLDERS

These are the resources that tackle the technical elements of the project. There is collaboration between those delivering and those benefitting from the project, and it is important they understand who to turn to in the event technical issues hinder or block their progress. Having a person serving in the role of Project Manager removes “management of the minutia” from the technical resources so they can focus on the tasks where their expertise can be applied to and benefit the project. As minor as this may seem, maintaining focus on what they do best helps maintain desired timelines and cost constraints and makes them easier to achieve.  

RISKS

Project Managers ask, “What are the risks”?”  

Every project has risk potential that needs to be identified and managed in a way that avoids or prepares for risks throughout the project. This is important to be managed by a single point of contact from each stakeholder to keep the risks clear, identify and log the implications for each risk, and develop contingency plans in the event they are unavoidable. One of the more common risks is the resources of those who gain the benefit of the project are also trying to maintain their daily activities. Sometimes communication is lacking on incoming project, giving project managers a short notice on project details. Those delivering the project then end up coordinating their effort around the daily business of those who benefit.  

MANAGING CONSTRAINTS

Scope, Time & Cost – the 3 constraints Project Management aims to fulfill. On the outside it seems simple right? The problem is these constraints conflict. If a short timeline is needed, that may require overtime or additional resources thereby driving up cost. If the scope is changed, that typically has an impact on timing, as well as cost. These need to be addressed with an objective eye toward the goal of providing a quality product that fulfills the needs of the end-users.  

Scope is the most common constraint that tends to change because of missing detail identification that wasn’t involved when the project budget was established. Project Management then needs to usher all of the resources involved to determine if the change is a necessity or just nice to have. If it is a necessity, finances and management will be engaged to coordinate a change request and communicate the implications. The goal is to re-establish expectations while keeping all the balls in the air to minimize impact on the remaining elements of the project.      

HERDING CATS?

Though this brief outline may be common circumstances of any project, each project differs and has a tendency to take their own path – making Project Management even more crucial. EAC has dedicated Program and Project Management in an effort to provide the foundation for success and build the partnership required to not only succeed in the short-term, but to assure strategic business initiatives are kept in sight with all projects existing and future.