Sigmetrix: Tolerance Analysis Solutions for Quality Product Development

Sigmetrix: Tolerance Analysis Solutions for Quality Product Development

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James Stoddard, President, SigmetrixJames Stoddard, President
Manufacturers across the U.S. face continual pressure to produce and deliver quality products to their consumers. As most of them have manufacturing facilities worldwide, their ability to ensure their products maintain the levels of quality demanded by their customers is extremely challenging. The first step to ensuring parts will assemble and products will perform as desired is to complete the necessary tolerance analyses, or simulations of the impact of dimensional variation, during the design phase before beginning the transition to production.

Sigmetrix is a company providing engineers with software tools, services, and training to help them perform tolerance analyses, understand the effect of mechanical variation on their designs, make improvements to reduce cost while maintaining quality, and author complete and correct Geometric Dimensions and Tolerances (GD&T). By investing the time upfront before any physical parts and prototype are made, companies can reduce, or perhaps even eliminate, the number of prototypes required and avoid unexpected surprises causing production halts.

CETOL6σ, their flagship 3D tolerance analysis solution, works directly with models from most major CAD systems, , including SOLIDWORKS, it is integrated directly into the CAD environment working alongside all the tools used to create the part geometry, drawings, and other specifications. Such integration enables the engineer to understand the accumulation of variation at the time that the designs are first being generated instead of waiting until the end of the design process, and just prior to the design being released to production. Access to such insights earlier can lead to design improvements that only require a few mouse clicks instead of modification of fixtures, retooling, rev control, and any of the other expensive activities needed to change the design once production has started.

It is common for the high costs of changing a design once production has started to prohibit changes that could result in significant cost reductions, so it’s important to identify improvements as early as possible.

Most design engineers don’t need to use a tolerance analysis tool every week or even every month, so we are constantly striving to make the software as easy to use as possible

Companies that are not making such improvements ultimately lose market share to those that do.

Defining the CETOL model for analysis is straightforward, involving 3 main steps:

1. Define the assembly model consisting of the important distances and angles to be evaluated, the parts within the assembly that control the items being evaluated, and how the parts interact with one another— the assembly constraints.

2. Define the dimensioning scheme with associated tolerances for the critical features on each of the included parts identified during step 1.

3. Running the analysis and using the results and several visualizations to understand and improve the design.

“CETOL 6σ simultaneously supports two analysis types, worst-case and statistical, which is usually a better predictor of what will happen during production. For the initial statistical analysis, CETOL6σ uses distributions assumed from the supplied tolerances, but the user has full control of the assumptions down to the individual feature level. “After transitioning to production, companies may enter the distributions from the measurement data for a better prediction of the assembly performance,” explains James Stoddard, Sigmetrix’s president.

The ability to make complex engineering analyses understandable and simple is one of Sigmetrix’s many differentiating factors. “Most design engineers don’t need to use a tolerance analysis tool every week or even every month, so we are constantly striving to make the software as easy to use as possible,” states Stoddard. “Customers have really appreciated our efforts to provide guidance through the user interface, a comprehensive help system, and over 40 short videos explaining the basics of the various tools.”

Through its team of experts and comprehensive tools, Sigmetrix has become a market leader in the industry helping companies worldwide to produce higher quality products at lower costs.

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CETOL 6σ 10.2 Tolerance Analysis Software from Sigmetrix Hits the Market

MCKINNEY, TEXAS- Sigmetrix, global experts in GD&T and mechanical variation, announced today the availability of its latest version of CETOL 6σ tolerance analysis software – version 10.2.

CETOL 6σ enables product development teams to easily and fully understand the often-complex impact of dimensional and assembly variation on their designs. This knowledge enables them to make adjustments before problems appear in manufacturing or, even worse, in their customers’ hands. Users of all expertise levels will appreciate the multiple levels of assistance now available, ranging from enhanced tool tips to the intuitive Advisor messages based upon what step of the process the user is in. These Advisor messages show the user what they need to do when they need to do it. The context sensitive, state-of-the-art help system includes practical tutorial videos to refresh your understanding of certain steps and techniques.

The cost of achieving a quality product grows exponentially as it moves from design to manufacturing and finally to customers hands. CETOL 6σ gives engineers the tools to identify and resolve issues earlier in the process, helping to maximize the profitability of products for a company.

“We are thrilled to have a release that supports a common user interface, one that we have strived to make as intuitive as possible, across all supported CAD systems - PTC® Creo®, SOLIDWORKS®, CATIA®, and most recently NX®,” stated Sigmetrix President, James Stoddard. “CETOL 6σ software has been available for over 25 years, but this is the first time we have been able to offer our solution with nearly identical functionality across four CAD systems. For example, as more and more companies move toward defining their tolerances, or Product Manufacturing Information (PMI), within their CAD files, with this release all of our customers will be able to utilize this information quickly when defining their tolerance analysis models. This release of CETOL 6σ is in answer to our customer feedback and a way for them to have expert insight about the variation in their products with unparalleled ease and speed.”

Other enhancements in this new version of CETOL 6σ include:

• Improving ease-of-Selection by allowing the user to select an object either from the model or the CETOL tree

• New advanced selection filters reduce the need for creating CAD reference objects on many studies

• New option to save all data in top assembly model when saving data to the CAD models

• New option to save all data in “distributed” cxm files when saving data outside of the CAD models

Sigmetrix also trains clients to use GD&T and tolerance analysis effectively, define their products and processes optimally, and implement 3D model-based definition in a model-based enterprise.

Sigmetrix will be on the road showing off the new release. You will find them at PLM Europe, Autodesk University 2018, and a Tech Day in the Baltimore area on November 8th. Attendees will be able to see the product first hand and learn more about how CETOL 6σ can improve the bottom line of their products.