Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) is a topic that continues to grow legs throughout our Control X user community. It allows for the seamless transfer of manufacturing data to other systems for downstream applications. For example, the connecting arm below was created in Solidworks, one of the many CAD systems that support PMI. Notice that datums, dimensions with tolerances, as well as GD&T callouts are placed onto the 3D model in Solidworks. These PMI tools are found under the MBD Dimensions tab.
CAD systems that can generate PMI models are often capable of creating Step 242 models as well. Step 242 is a fairly new Step format that includes the PMI data with the Step model. Step 242 provides an innovative approach to sharing a CAD model and its corresponding inspection data with third-party applications where native models cannot be provided.
Our example illustrates the direct transfer of the complete native PMI model with dimensions into Control X for inspection. While in Control X, you can simply select the Import PMI menu option.
The Solidworks PMI model, complete with all manufacturing data, is imported into Control X for inspection.
The Import PMI menu tells you how many Datum, Dimension, and GD&T features are expected to come into Control X, and if any errors have occurred. The blue No Results boxes that appear indicate that either scan information for comparison either isn’t yet imported into Control X or isn’t aligned to the CAD model.
But once the scan is imported and aligned to the nominal CAD model, the inspection is complete!
One of the biggest advantages of deploying PMI with your CAD system and Control X is the seamless integration of manufacturing data, passing from CAD (Solidworks, in this case) into Control X. This means that inspection data does not need to be re-entered or read from a print. PMI ensures the designed model is also controlling the inspection process.
The alignment criteria along with color map information, etc. may be pre-built in Control X, so after the import of the scan, the inspection is complete!
For future reference, the Step 242 Import in Control X is found under the Add-In’s menu. As a reminder, a Step 242 file can accomplish the same seamless transfer of manufacturing data, from CAD to Control X for metrology applications.
Please contact Joel Pollet with any questions.