Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
What looks to be an excellent resource for plastics processors, the new Manufacturing and Polymer Portal (MPP) created by PolymerOhio has gone online, and on July 25th at 1:00 pm EDT a free webinar open to all manufacturers will demonstrate its functions and capabilities. The web platform has been created to offer affordable access to advanced simulation software and other digital tools, with the aim of increasing productivity at small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in this case plastics processors.
Dave Stieren, the manager of technology acceleration for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which supported development of the Portal, says it’s an important resource for manufacturers. “The Portal supports MEP’s mission to accelerate the ongoing transformation of American manufacturing into a more efficient and powerful engine of innovation. Modeling and simulation software is an essential tool with which American manufacturers can increase their competitiveness in the global market.”
Pointing our that large companies have used simulation software for decades to reduce the cost of developing new products, PolymerOhio says the Manufacturing and Polymer Portal lowers price barriers that have kept many SMEs from using this type of technology. It further points out that advanced simulation replaces traditional iterative physical prototyping, often called trial-and-error, with a “one-shot build” process that uses software prototyping to reduce labor and costs and shorten time-to-market. The Portal gives SMEs a pay-per-use approach that can allow them to aggressively create new products and rapidly enter new markets without the investment it takes to acquire leading-edge software.
On the list of the MPP’s currently available simulation software and digital tools is Moldex3D software, which simulates the injection molding process in 3D to aid in mold design and process optimization. Similarly, Ludovic software, which simulates co-rotating, twin-screw extrusion processing, allows process optimization and screw configuration, and Virtual Extrusion Laboratory supports extrusion die design and simulates single-screw extrusion.
A user of the site also will have access to forecasting, supply planning, production scheduling and strategic business planning software, as well as training from Routsis Associates, an established training provider to the plastics sector known for programs specific to molding processes and equipment.