Elysium: Bridging the Gap Between Interoperability and MBD

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Jennifer Herron, CEO of Action Engineering, recently interviewed Annalise Suzuki, Elysium’s Director of Sales in the Americas, for this featured blog about 3D CAD collaboration and interoperability. Action Engineering appreciates Elysium’s generous support as a Signature Sponsor of the 2016 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress, being held in Golden, Colorado on October 25 & 26, 2016.

img_2580-squareAs Elysium’s Director of Sales in the Americas, Annalise Suzuki’s primary focus is to ensure that Elysium’s customers succeed. She has gained professional experience from a wide variety of customer engagements involving interoperability, product data quality, and streamlining engineering processes. Annalise participates in the Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) Work Group of the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), JT Open, and is part of the executive council for the Global Product Data Interoperability Summit (GPDIS).

Jennifer Herron: How does Elysium fit into 3D CAD collaboration and interoperability?

Annalise Suzuki: Elysium is an interoperability company. Our primary focus is data translation, and related capabilities: quality checking and healing, validation, and simplification.

JH: How did Elysium get into the CAD data translation business?

AS: Elysium was founded in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1984. In the 1980s, the Japanese OEMs each had their own homegrown, proprietary CAD systems.

Solving the data exchange problem among those companies and suppliers is where it all began. We developed the Elysium Neutral File (ENF) format to translate from CAD A to CAD B. The ENF format is a neutral ground for data translation (and processing) between multiple CAD formats. It’s really, really important that this format doesn’t have its own set of rules to change the data, because then you’re introducing another level of risk. If you’re first converting to a format that has its own set of rules and then doing a validation, you’re going to get false positives. Understanding this distinction about the technology and methodology behind the ENF format for data validation is critical! The ENF format is one of Elysium’s key discriminators from other data translation companies. Because we’re so common in Japan, everybody there knows the ENF format.

We started operations in the United States in 2000. Our U.S. offices are located in Southfield, Michigan and Huntington Beach, California. We also have operations in Europe (Paris, France) and a network of partners. We are just under 100 employees globally, with about 65 staff focused strictly on development and technical consulting.

JH: How do Elysium’s products support enterprises?

AS: Elysium’s customers range from small and medium-sized businesses to large enterprises, with our heaviest users being in automotive, aerospace, defense, and electronics. Users range from OEMs down to Tier 3. Some companies might dedicate 1 to 2 users to interact with our tools, whereas for some companies, hundreds, if not thousands, of users across their enterprise can access the results.

With millions of files translated and thousands of customers worldwide, our 3D translation and geometry optimization technologies have been proven by global industry leaders, including Toyota, Boeing, and more than 3,000 other companies.

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JH: Which of Elysium’s products enable CAD interoperability?

AS: All of Elysium’s products enable and support data interoperability. Our most familiar products are ASFALISTM, CADdoctorTM (and CADdoctor for NXTM), CADfeatureTM, and DirectTranslatorTM.

ASFALISTM is an enterprise-level solution. It’s really about automating data translation, validation, and simplification. ASFALIS enables all of our technology to be run in batch and to be scripted into any other system. You can preconfigure it for scenarios, such as: “I want to run a quality check, translate it to CAD formats A and B, run a validation on each of those against the source, and then generate the reports.”

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CADdoctorTM uses the same technology, but it’s more interactive because customers use it to address specific quality issues. ASFALIS vs. CADdoctor depends on the level of interactive guidance and throughput required by the user.

Our technologies are configurable for checking geometry for various settings:

  • Complying with NX rule sets, or CATIA rule sets, for example
  • Evaluating against standards, such as the customer’s standard or MIL-STD-31000A

JH: What is InfiPoints?

AS: InfiPoints is a new market for us, so a lot of our current customers aren’t really familiar with it. InfiPoints is used for facility layout planning. It processes billions of points scanned from the environment to visualize that environment virtually, to assist with conducting layout changes. The most common users today are municipal, construction, and shipyards.

JH: Can you adjust data translation fidelity based on the size of the part?

AS: Our technologies have flexibility in the scripting. We also have what’s called ENF Editor, where you can customize the technology for your application. The possibilities are endless and really technical. Either we can script the customization for the customer, or enable the customer by showing them how it’s done. It just depends on the customer’s resources and what they want.

Any solution developed for a customer becomes part of our general product offering. We don’t do one-off solutions only for Customer X. They might fund it because they want it so badly, but once we develop a new solution, we make it available for all. (Unless it’s an OEM-specific agreement; then it’s their product.)

JH: Which CAD systems does Elysium support?

AS: Elysium currently supports data exchange among CATIA V4/V5/3DEXPERIENCE, DELMIA, ACIS/SAT, SIMULIA Abaqus, SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk Inventor, Creo Parametric (Pro/ENGINEER), Creo Elements/Direct (CoCreate), NX I-Deas, NX, JT, Parasolid, IGES, STEP, STL, and more.

JH: How do Elysium’s technologies support MBD? (3D digitally associated annotations) 

AS: We support many critical parts of the MBD lifecycle. Elysium has been a long-time supporter of MBD and knows that interoperability unlocks the potential for MBD. For example, once a model is created, it is often translated to another format for a supplier, manufacturer, analysis team, or other. We support this translation with high fidelity and maintain the semantic product and manufacturing information (PMI) to other CAD formats, a neutral format (such as STEP AP242), or a lightweight format (such as JT). We are then able to validate these derivatives against the source data for ensuring data quality and accuracy by displaying what has changed. By supporting semantic PMI in our translations, the product definition is machine-readable for digital manufacturing.

At this time, we offer full MBD support for CATIA V5, SOLIDWORKS, NX, and Creo.

“The people who ‘get’ MBD are definitely the visionaries, and they are really excited about it!”

ENF offers two user-selectable options for 3D annotation translations: prioritizing to ensure the 3D annotations look the same in the target CAD (graphical PMI), or prioritizing to keep the values to result in same behavior (semantic PMI) while allowing a different appearance, as each CAD system expresses 3D annotations in its own way.

The ASFALIS Geometry Validator component quickly compares 3D data, and automatically detects the differences on not only geometry, but also PMI and attributes between two files.

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JH: How does Elysium’s technology perform for small, medium, and large assemblies?

AS: Assembly size doesn’t matter. We have a good reputation for high quality and impressive performance for any amount of data. In fact, we stand out for large and complex data sets. Naturally, the larger the assembly, the more time it will take, but I’m not aware of any production data that has been too large for us to translate or validate. In fact, this is where Elysium stands out when benchmarked against others. Based on the ProSTEP benchmark, Elysium has achieved the top ranking for CATIA V5 to JT translation. [Obtain ProSTEP and JT benchmark publications here.]

JH: How do your products help companies with their MBE journey?

AS: High quality translation and validation supporting semantic PMI are critical for achieving an efficient Digital Thread.

JH: How do you see your translation services fitting into the Digital Manufacturing trend?

AS: We’re primarily focused on developing software to enable interoperability. Most of our translation services are used for data migration – moving legacy data to a new system, or incorporating an acquired company’s data into one platform.

We’ve seen an increase in services for getting customers’ platforms ready for MBD processes. Everyone’s PLM system is really unique. Custom services need to address the individual flavors of PLM.

JH: Why Is Elysium looking forward to 3D CIC 2016?

AS: This is a really exciting time for a company like ours because MBE initiatives are getting broader among companies and solution providers. Elysium is rapidly developing to accommodate where the industry is going. 3D CIC is going to be an excellent platform to discuss initiatives taking place, learn the requirements, and showcase our progress.

“I’m mostly excited to learn at #3DCIC.”

Join Action Engineering and 3D CIC Signature Sponsor Elysium at 3D CIC in Golden, Colorado on October 25 & 26, 2016. The 2016 theme for 3D CIC is Commercial Applications of Model-Based Business Process, focused on real commercial users sharing their MBD/MBE journeys and experiences. Click here to register for 3D CIC.

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