Autodesk previewed its newest cloud-based offering in its Fusion family of services at. Executives at the company demonstrated Fusion Production at Autodesk University earlier in November. About 10,000 attendees gathered in Las Vegas to hear about software updates as well as planned future uses for the Autodesk products.
Fusion Production allows contract manufacturers to digitize their production by combining production planning, job tracking and machine monitoring into a single tool, according to Stephen Hooper, Autodesk senior director of business, strategy and marketing.
The tool isn’t yet available. Autodesk expects to share more on availability and pricing early in 2018.
The cloud offering allows for new capabilities that older production management tools can’t provide, such as a look at the extended supply network, where products cross-organizational boundaries. Of course it also includes mobile access via applications.
Design, manufacturing and operations teams are very often spread out between states and even countries, which makes communication difficult. Fusion Production offers real-time information from the shop floor to monitor work-in-progress across production. Teams can immediately access production information at any given time, from any location.
Also, the data is accessed is the latest version,
The tool also provides access to real-time production reports, current job queues and overall factory capacity data. This real-time access helps team members find and fix issues as they occur and gain more insight into performance, which helps improve quality rates and reduce downtime, Hopper said.
The product uses a common data environment in the cloud, within a single tool to collect, combine and present data from the parts in production and from CNC machines using industrial Internet of Things. The shared data helps team members identify underperforming processes and guides decisions to improve performance, Hopper said.
Users will be able to send part production data directly from Fusion 360, PowerMill or FeatureCAM to Fusion Production in the form of digital work instructions, Hopper said.
Again, look for more information early next year.
The tool will be part of Autodesk’s Fusion product innovation platform, which brings together the product development stages on one platform, according to Autodesk. Fusion 360, the platform base, offers parametric and direct modeling, mechanical engineering, drawings, visualization, simulation, machining and additive manufacturing.
Last year, Autodesk is added Fusion Lifecycle, product lifecycle management software, and Fusion Connect, an Internet of Things application for analyzing and managing remote products, to its platform.
“The old way of doing product development required multiple disconnected software tools, often costing tens of thousands of dollars apiece. It was cumbersome, slow and expensive. Autodesk is working to fix this with a single cloud platform that is affordable and supports the complete product development process – not just design and manufacturing, but even the post-sale period of product monitoring and innovative sensor-driven services,” Hooper said.