Victorian go-kart designer wows judges with a contemporary-yet-classic frame design
And the winner is…Ben Murphy.Victorian go-kart designer Ben Murphy has won the first stage of the Electric Superbike Project competition (www.theelectricsuperbike.com.au). The first stage of the competition – the frame design – attracted more than 100 registrations, and Murphy’s entry was chosen from a shortlist of three that included Victorian Chris Peters and Simon Teed from Queensland.
As the winner of this stage, Murphy walks away with a beefy HP Z200 Workstation courtesy of competition sponsor Hewlett Packard Australia, and the opportunity to work with some of the leading figures in the automotive design industry to refine his frame design before manufacture.
The Electric Superbike Project is a community-based competition run by specialist 3D computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology distributor, Intercad, in conjunction with Triple Eight Race Engineering and Racetech Steel. The goal of the project is to involve aspiring and professional designers across Australia and New Zealand to collaboratively design, test and build a state-of-the-art electric superbike using SolidWorks, the industry-standard CAD/CAM software platform.
Once the motorbike is complete, the final design will be road tested by racing great and TeamVodafone’s V8 Supercar Championship driver Craig Lowndes. The bike will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to Red Dust Role Models, a non-profit organisation seeking to improve the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged youth living in remote communities.
Max Piper, CEO, Intercad, says the enthusiasm and innovation shown by the design community has exceeded all expectations, and bodes well for the rest of the competition which still has several months to run.
“This is a unique opportunity for the design, engineering and racing communities to come together and impart their skills and resources for a worthy cause,” says Piper. “The pride shown by the competition entrants and the high level of skill and innovation evident in their first stage designs is testament to the strength of the Australian and New Zealand design community.”
Murphy’s design of a classic tube-steel motorbike frame won over the three competition judges with its attention to detail, practical material choices and innovative simplicity. Speaking of his win, Murphy – who works for go-kart manufacturer Drew Price Engineering – humbly says it was his wife who first brought the competition to his attention.
“My wife received an email from Intercad about this new motorbike design project, and knowing how crazy I was about racing bikes, she sent it to me immediately,” he says. “I’ve spent around 200 hours since then working on the frame design in my spare time, using a trial license of SolidWorks that Intercad was kind enough to supply me with. It was easy to get up and running with the software, which made it possible for me to start right away, browse the material libraries, and define the basic concept of the frame, which was then shortlisted and further refined with the positive feedback from the judges.”
Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Drawing Office Manager, Ian Drapier, says Murphy’s design is “the most thorough and better integrated” of the shortlisted designs. “I like the fact that he has adopted the principle of keeping the frame to a minimum and using the bodywork for seating, and also the way he has tried to use the battery compartment as part of the chassis,” says Drapier.
“There are some nicely machined components mounting the housings to the frame, and while the frame is of fairly basic construction, on the plus side it will be easy to manufacture and cost effective, especially since Racetech Steel is a main sponsor for the project.”
“My starting point was the material,” adds Murphy. “It made sense to use Racetech Steel’s chrome moly tubes for the frame, not only because they are so closely associated with the competition, but because I’m familiar with their products and they have the quality and strength I wanted. Chrome moly tubes are strong enough to allow me to reduce the wall thickness and make the frame lighter. I considered alternative exotics such as carbon fibre and titanium, and while they certainly have their advantages, from a practical sense it would make the bike more expensive and difficult to build, and wouldn’t necessarily meet Australian Design Rules.”
Competition organiser and fellow judge, Intercad’s National Product Manager, Julian Spencer, says the winning design shows Murphy paid close attention to the practical physical attributes of the frame, using SolidWorks’12 decimal point accuracy to minimise weight at every point, but maintain optimal rigidity.
“Every component of the motorbike will be designed and evaluated in the same way, and when the final design is complete, the bike will be machined directly from the SolidWorks drawings,” he says. “This is how a community of SolidWorks users can collaborate on a physical product, with parts sourced from different regions of Australia and New Zealand, even though the community itself spans thousands of kilometres across two countries.”
The next stage of the competition focuses on the drivetrain and wheels. Timelines for entries – along with the final approved SolidWorks drawings of Murphy’s frame design – will be announced on The Electric Superbike blog in the coming weeks.
Murphy is passionate about design, 3D solid modelling and the racing industry and has combined his interests on his blog, BergerHaus Designs.
Any vendor looking to poach the clients of a competitor is wasting its time, writes Martin Olsen for iStart …
The mid-market ERP space is fascinating right now. Oracle (an enterprise player) just bought NetSuite for $9.3 billion. Sage (which likes to buy and rename software) just purchased Intacct for $850 million. Microsoft (dominates mid-market ERP on-premise software) spent hundreds of millions building Dynamics 365 Financials.
Mid-market companies are often defined as companies that have between 50 and 1000 employees, or sometimes as those with revenues between US$100 million and $3 billion. This is a very large market segment with well over 200,000 USA-based businesses in that category alone. If you add in the top-end of the small market down to companies turning over $50 million, the market gets wildly larger.
This context is necessary to appreciate the size of the mid-market that ERP vendors are addressing. These companies have complex business processes and compliance requirements requiring the purchase of software solutions to manage and keep control of the business.
Engineering software firm Aveva has agreed a multibillion-pound tie-up with the software arm of France’s Schneider Electric.
The deal, which comes after two failed merger attempts in the past two years, will create an industrial software giant with combined revenues of around £658 million and earnings of some £146 million.
The merger will be structured as a so-called reverse takeover, with Schneider folding its software business into Aveva’s operations in return for a controlling 60% stake in the enlarged group. But Aveva will keep its headquarters in Cambridge and remain listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Philip Aiken, chairman of Aveva, said: “The transaction will be transformational to Aveva, creating a global leader in industrial software, which will be able to better compete on a global scale.” He added: “Aveva will significantly expand its scale and product portfolio, increase its capabilities in the owner operator market, diversify its end user markets and increase its geographic exposure to the North American market, in line with our strategic goals.”
It comes after the pair first began merger talks in July 2015, but those discussions broke down after Schneider was unable to separate its software assets, while a further attempt a year later also collapsed. Under the terms of the latest deal, Schneider will pay £550 million cash in almost identical terms to the previous talks.
Aveva was founded 50 years ago after being spun out of Cambridge University. It provides engineering software to owners, operators and engineering contractors across the power, oil and gas, marine and paper and pulp sectors. The group employs more than 1,700 people across 30 countries and has a customer base of more than 4,000.
Schneider’s software arm has a global footprint spanning North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America and has around 2,700 employees worldwide. The deal is expected to complete around the end of the year.
| A The YorkshirePost release || September 5, 2017 |||
Stephen Hooper, Autodesk’s senior director of Manufacturing Business Strategy and Marketing was on the phone writes Roopider Hara for Engineering.com.
Autodesk will be throwing simulation and CAM into Inventor—not just any simulation, but NASTRAN, which was previously trying to sell for $3,500. And Autodesk is not charging a penny more than what it was already charging for Inventor. HSMworks will also be included.
From the speed of an online demo, it’s hard to tell how it will all work together but the potential of all this functionality in the box is enormous. The CAD, CAM and CAE, all working inside a single interface of Inventor, not only elevates the mainstream MCAD modeler Inventor back to star status at Autodesk, it raises it a level above ordinary MCAD from the competition. The mechanical designer or engineer is now empowered to do simulation and to send models to the CNC machine. They don’t have to purchase a CAM application, learn a whole new interface or be at the mercy of a machinist.
Don’t let on yet, Stephen says during the call last week. Autodesk is going to make a surprise announcement. And a surprise it will be. Many Inventor users have been bemoaning the lack of new capability in Inventor for a few years. Autodesk itself has been forecasting a cessation of the Inventor product line, with the idea that a tired desktop app would give way to cloud-based Fusion. They have been feeling left out and left behind, as a modern, cloud-based, mobile-device-friendly Fusion products have taken the spotlight.
This changes everything.
Pricing and Other Details
It's not a pricing story, says Stephen, but he still recognizes the importance of pricing.
Incredulous at what appears to be a grand giveaway, in which the products are included with an Inventor subscription, I have to press.
“Stephen, I can’t believe you are selling Inventor for the same price as ever, but, now, also adding NASTRAN and HSM. Really? No additional cost?”
“Believe it,” says Stephen.
Also announced is a change in the name of the “collections,” or what was previously called “product suites.”
From Azure stack and Microsoft 365 to renewed vertical focus and the ways technology is helping do real good in our world, Microsoft Inspire 2017, held in Washington DC last week, offered up an action packed week for Kiwi channel partners.
The release of the Microsoft Azure stack was a key announcement at Inspire – and it caught the eyes of many Kiwi partners.
Keith Archibald, Revera head of innovation, dubbed it ‘the most exciting development’ at the event.
“We’re really looking forward to strapping on this more powerful booster rocket to our already in-market Apollo programme,” Archibald says.
Revera has been involved in the Azure Stack early adopter programme from day one, and Archibald says the company sees Azure Stack as a key platform for its customers.
“Normally you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but with what we’re building with Apollo powered by Azure Stack our customers will get the best of both worlds: all the leading technology from the Azure Cloud, but the option to choose to have some or all of the features deployed in-country for compliance reasons, or simply because they want to bolt them on to existing applications with low latency,” he says.
“The opportunity to provide further Azure consistent goodness in-country and help boost the launch of our customers NZ inc. digital journey is really exciting.”
Mark Atherton, DXC Technology account general manager for NZ Cloud, also highlighted the Azure stack announcement as ‘hugely exciting’.
“We always need to remember that the client is why we are here, and the Azure stack opportunity in New Zealand is to bring another piece of the hybrid puzzle to help us solution the best outcomes for our clients,” Atherton says.
“Combined with the Sydney instance of Azure public, extending this into New Zealand through the stack and being able to then help clients execute a transformation strategy to the best fitting solution is really exciting.
“IT has moved on from a commodity shootout, and embracing clients journeys and ensuring you are best placed to help is key.”
Datacom too, is excited about the Azure stack announcement, with chief executive Greg Davidson, noting “It enables customers to immediately take advantage of public cloud functionality without the real barriers of complex migration, concern about compliance and latency.”
He says the Azure stack forms an ‘important addition’ to Datacom’s hybrid cloud ecosystem.
“We are thrilled to be well down track of planning deployment for early adopters.”
The new go-to-market combination for Office 365, Skype for Business and other workplace and collaboration tools into what will be labelled Microsoft 365, is also a winner for Datacom.
“We have a separately branded digitally marketed software-as-a-service offering for small business launching very soon across the geographies in which we operate, including New Zealand,” Davidson says.
“For larger organisations, we think the Microsoft 365 offering should enable easier implementations and integration of these core services in multi-location multi-country situations.”
Going vertical, going real world
A renewed focus on verticals also won the thumbs up from Kiwi partners.
Ratnakar Garikipati, LeapThought Group chief executive, says while the renewed focus was ‘formalised’ at Inspire ‘we have been witnessing this change first hand form Microsoft’s leadership for the past year – the co-sell initiatives that have been set in motion in South East Asia and other markets specifically over the past year are an example of this.
“We walk away from this conference with new revenue lines that we’ve identified, more streamlined GTM plans for different markets, and greater understanding of areas where our products and offerings can be more tightly integrated to unlock greater potential that is in store,” Garikipati says.
Brady Cox, Provoke Solutions country manager, says the vertical focus was one of two significant organisational changes made by Microsoft demonstrate their commitment to further align both customer and the partner community.
“Their new focus on six key industry verticals reflects the demand we see to truly understand our customers and build tailored, outcome based solutions,” Cox says.
“Aligning both the account and technical teams to then specialise against these verticals means that there will be even more useful presales resources to support the partner community.
“Further to this, they have created a channel manager role, which is the walk of the "partner first" talk we continue to hear.
Grant Houseman, Sable37 New Zealand general manager, says the recent industry alignment of the Microsoft partner organisation is a ‘massive’ driver for Sable37’s growth.
“Sable37 have built leading industry teams for several years. Microsoft's focus on Retail , Public Sector and Manufacturing align perfectly with our go to market models,” Houseman says.
He dubbed the way Microsoft solutions are being built by partners globally to solve important global problems as ‘inspiring’ saying he was ‘blown away’ by the stories at some of the Inspire keynotes – ‘particularly how tens of thousands of HIV deaths in Africa are prevented through solutions that have been imagined on the Microsoft platform’.
“Sable37 New Zealand is very excited about our future , our close partnership with Microsoft New Zealand and most important of all - the significant problems we can solve together,” Houseman says.
Real-world uses were a feature of this year’s conference, notes Kristy Brown, Fusion5 CRX New Zealand general manager.
Brown says not only could attendees see real world uses , but the real differences being made thorugh technology.
“From 3D printed prosthetics at an affordable price to specialist eye surgery being performed by non-specialist surgeons guided through the process by experts, in countries where these procedures simply wouldn't have been possible - it's an incredible time to be involved in the technology sector,” she says.
Tom Fuyala, 11Ants chief executive, says the bulk of the changes signalled by Microsoft were looked on very positively by 11Ants, with Fuyala noting that the continued alignment around industry verticals as well as continued efforts to further align sellers around ISVs should be helpful in further putting the full weight of the Microsoft machine behind companies like 11Ants.
“If properly executed, this will prove net positive for specialist ISVs in New Zealand and indeed around the globe,” Fuyala says.
Microsoft - reimagined
Says John Harrop, Softsource sales director: “Washington DC Inspire is Microsoft reimagined, to me this week has been more about Microsoft's renewed focus and drive then product or technical.
“Sure the products are developing but the story is really that Microsoft are changing the way they go to market, four motions for delivery and six market segments for focus, a 4.5T opportunity and a new Microsoft open for business attitude.”
Anne Hall, ITagree chief executive, says “One Commercial Partner and ‘Build with, Go to Market with, and Sell with’ is exciting for us. It gives a clear focus on the commercial growth aspects and on customer and customer outcomes.
“For a New Zealand based company and ecosystem enabler like ITagree, this focus supports our worldwide delivery,” she says.
Meanwhile, Simon Scott, Acquire director summed the event – or at least day two – more poetically: “I'm high in the stratosphere floating on clouds of overlay apps and services built to support Azure and the collective thunder storm that is Microsoft.
“There are brainiacs flapping their wings, confusing my eyes and dazzling my ear drums. This place is exciting with opportunity and collaborative spin.
“I get the urgent feeling that we need to be better and just go faster to keep up with the tide. I've got new ideas and concepts to rationalise and explore. It's great.”
The globally acclaimed industrial software solution Wonderware is set to be exclusively distributed in New Zealand by Schneider Electric.
The move from Schneider Electric reaffirms its commitment to the innovation and growth of industrial software solutions, with the distribution deal effective as of this month.
There will be a dedicated locally based technical sales and support team in place and global expertise supporting the New Zealand market.
Software director for the Pacific at Schneider Electric, Damien McDade says the company is delighted to be the exclusive distributors of Wonderware, a solution which is currently used in over a third of the world’s industrial and manufacturing plants.
“We have over 500 worldwide experts in the field and combined with local support, it is fantastic for our valued partners and customers to be able to access,” says McDade.
According to Schneider Electric, the reason for the industrial software solution’s popularity is that it is open, easy-to-use, scalable, secure and versatile that ultimately empowers people to connect, control, understand, and optimise their operations.
The addition of the full Wonderware portfolio (which was part of the Invensys acquisition in 2014), now complements the extensive software portfolio offered and distributed by Schneider Electric.
“We look forward to being able to offer our valued partners and customers the extensive range of software options and customise to their requirements both now and in the future,” says McDade.
Schneider Electric says its range of software solutions available to its integrators, partners and end users is expansive and covers everything from entry level to those for complex large scale industrial operations.
Ultimately, it is these new and innovative solutions for the industrial and manufacturing sectors that is helping to keep New Zealand in the game by enabling collaboration and making operations more productive and cost-effective in an increasingly cornered market.
| A Schneider Electric release || July 11, 2017 |||
Some helpful advice brought together by Peter Crawley who was asked recently if there was a method to notch, bend, and straighten hollow sections using Inventor. I’ve discovered a couple a couple of methods, both of which are shown below. There are probably more, but these two look worthy of sharing. If you have any feedback or want to suggest an alternative, please use the comments below. (Notch and bend description – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notching)
Unfolding the part pictured above
Being a fan of Frame Generator, I was keen to see if I could find a method that could be used to unfold an existing frame. In conjunction with an unlikely partner (Sheet Metal) it can! See the second method below for details.
Method 1 – Notch and bend using the “Bend Part” feature
This method assumes you can straighten the design in your head before modelling it and bending it into shape. If you have the brain for that process, then this is the method for you because it’s quick and easy. If you’d prefer to model the final result and then “unfold” it, skip over to Method 2 below.
Depending on your preference for modelling steelwork, this might appeal because it uses standard sketch-based features on the part file itself. I like it for its simplicity, but for multiple bends, it can quickly become difficult to calculate exactly where the cuts should be made, especially if the part is bent in more than one plane.
A leading New Zealand tech businessman and a former refugee, Mitchell Pham, will deliver a speech in Auckland tonight as part of World Refugee Day.
Pham runs the Augen Software Group and is chair of NZTech and Fintech NZ. He is a trustee of the Auckland Refugee Family Trust (ARFT) which has helped settle 116 people in Auckland over the last five years. The families have come from Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia and Uganda.
Pham will be a speaker at the ARFT and New Zealand Red Cross art exhibition and charity fundraising event in Devonport, Auckland, tonight.
“As a former refugee, this world refugee day has special significance to me personally. I will be speaking tonight about my refugee journey story.
“I was one of the small percentage of people who were fortunate enough to have successfully get out of Vietnam during the 1980s, survived several near-death experiences crossing the South China Sea and two perilous years in four refugee camps in Indonesia. I resettled in the best country on earth, received world-class education here and established my life in New Zealand.
“I have built a business career in an industry – technology - that is now the fastest growing globally. I have reconnected with my immediate family after 13 years apart. I have expanded my Kiwi technology group back into Vietnam to support the growth of New Zealand businesses and creation of opportunities for both countries. I have established my own family and reunited with my siblings in Auckland living apart for 30 years.
“That's a lot of lucky stars to count in a row. But 30 years is a very long time - way too long - to wait to reunite with one's immediate family. So, in 2012, I co-founded the Auckland Refugee Family Trust to help refugees who, out of circumstance, desperately need assistance in reuniting with their families in New Zealand.
“Worldwide, tens of millions of people have been displaced because of conflict, persecution, famine, economic or natural disasters. Many do not survive the journey to safety and resettlement.
“When refugees who have resettled in New Zealand are given entry visas for the remaining members of their immediate families to reunite with them, these one-time-only visas are valid for two years during which time their family members must arrive in the country.
“Many refugees who are newly resettled in Auckland cannot generate the financial means to fund the relocation of their loved ones who are still in refugee camps or danger zones. This is where ARFT plays a role in helping the most desperate families whose visas are soon to expire.
“When new Kiwis stop worrying desperately about family members still living in precarious situations overseas, we start contributing to New Zealand much sooner,” he says.
A fledgling, cutting-edge cyber security Wellington company has launched a virtual chief information security officer (vCISO) service aimed at helping New Zealand businesses to respond as cyber-crime begins to bite.
Cyber Toa chief executive and NZTech board member Mandy Simpson says cyber-attacks are a serious risk for all Kiwi businesses.
“To be honest, all indications are that cyber-crime is growing in New Zealand. Requests for assistance to the National Cyber Security Centre were up 66 percent in the year to April 2016 and global security provider Symantec put the cost of cyber-crime in New Zealand at $US200 million last year,” she says.
“Our virtual CISO service will help companies concentrate their resources where they can make the most difference in protecting them against this growing threat.
“It’s a growing problem for everyone. A security failure in a New Zealand company or organisation can cause substantial reputational damage and will almost certainly have financial consequences.
“But where a company is handing personal data, it can also have consequences for individuals too. Sensitive personal information can end up in the hands of criminals.
“It’s easy for companies to be overwhelmed with the number of things they must do to stay safe. While some companies can afford a full time chief information security officer (CISO) to deal with the growing risks, not every organisation has resources at their disposal. A virtual CISO allows companies to access our Cyber Toa expertise in a flexible way.
“A virtual CISO can work inside a company helping them to steadily improve their cyber-security stance. What that means is different for every company, but it might include a company-wide risk assessment, developing a response plan if a security breach occurs, or building a security awareness programme for staff.
“And of course, if an incident occurs, a virtual CISO can lead the response, including accessing our specialist team to help. We provide everything required for the virtual CISO to act quickly and protect the company.”
Simpson says the expertise to deal with cyber security incidents can be hard to come by in New Zealand.
Cyber Toa was set up by Chris Ward who has over 20 years’ experience in creating and leading incident response teams for the NZ Defence Force and before that the UK Ministry of Defence. He has represented New Zealand as chair of two executive International Cyber committees, she says.
“Our technical team is led by Tony Grasso, with decades of experience in the New Zealand intelligence community, and GCHQ. The virtual CISO service gives companies access to expertise that would be very difficult for them to directly employ.”
Once again CADPRO Systems participated in the South Island’s Premier Technology Trade Show, SouthMACH17
Run over two days (24-25 May) the show provided a great opportunity for the manufacturing community to come together under one roof to see all that’s new in the industry.
Our stand at SouthMACH was busy throughout the two days, with plenty of existing customer visiting and potential new customers looking at the technology on display. It’s interesting to stand back sometimes at these events and watch generations of engineers and designers absorbed in discussions about engineering. Gone are the days of talking about software and features. These people think far more about design and manufacturing issues than picks & clicks in a CAD system. And that’s exactly how it should be.
Autodesk HSM / Inventor and Fusion 360 were hot topics this year. We put particular emphasis on the “art to part” workflow – the CAD model to the machining centre – in many cases bypassing the 2d drawing altogether, with tolerancing & probing featuring heavily in the discussions.
Data Management also came up in many conversations with customers and prospects looking for better tools to manage and protect their growing volumes of digital intellectual property. Data management tools like Autodesk Vault and cloud storage tools like Fusion Team were conversations customers wanted to have this year. On one occasion, we even discussed hosting Autodesk Vault on a cloud server.
This year, the show really demonstrated the readiness of the manufacturing community to embrace the considerable benefits some of these technologies can bring to geographically distributed teams.
SouthMACH this year was particularly enjoyable because we had several occasions where existing customers started conversations with new prospects. Often the conversations included comments about why they’ve remained a customer for ten years or more, so thank you to all those existing customers for your support!