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NX and Teamcenter Express support advanced research and innovation in producing the highest quality lighting solutions
Since 1957, AEC Illuminazione has been implementing solutions for public lighting, combining technology and design to achieve innovative solutions that offer maximum comfort and total safety to citizens. AEC’s lighting solutions are recognized for their integration with the urban environment in a uniquely harmonious and highly functional manner. Delivering rapid design, production and distribution, the company has become a leader in Italy in its sector and today plays an important role across Europe, the Middle and Far East, Australia and New Zealand. With such a broad geographic reach, it’s important to note that the company’s products must meet the specific environmental compliance standards of each regional installation.
Achieving company goals means tight control of various factors across development, including intense product research and an emphasis on advanced technologies and electronic solutions that power its equipment. Specifically, AEC tests, approves and certifies each product in company laboratories via rigorous technical assessments, before applying to official certifications. AEC does not simply validate and verify its products, but it develops them in harmony with the requirements to fulfil a consistent and pervasive development strategy that plugs its main principles, such as energy saving and safety for citizens, right into design criteria.
In AEC, product development is actually driven from punctual and specific choices concerning the selection of optical instruments and the research for optimal materials and production processes. Product duration, versatility and customer support concur in honoring the commitment to the highest standards of quality.
To maintain a leadership position in the context of a rapidly evolving and highly competitive market, AEC identified opportunities to improve operations in the areas of the CAD and cPDM platforms. The company sought a unique tool, one which would favor the development of a lighting system – across multiple integrated components – and one that would enable a significant reduction of samples and prototypes. The solution would manage the various stages of lightning system development, including the handling of optical design and mechanics (with the study and modeling of complex surfaces), checks (including modeling and finite element analysis), fast and on-time changes, and electric/electronic design.
To fulfil these requirements, AEC chose the NX™ digital product development system from Siemens PLM Software. AEC noted NX strength in addressing comprehensive design across all core components of its lighting equipment: the optical unit, the structure and the cabling.
In addition, with the production of an increasing volume of data connected to each specific component, as well as the need to exploit previous designs, trace the checks performed in various stages and manage constant updates and changes, AEC required an efficient and reliable product data management system. The company chose the Teamcenter Express digital lifecycle management solution, also from Siemens. AEC cited Teamcenter Express’ ability to make accurate, up-to-date product and process information immediately and easily accessible for all of the company’s operators, specialists and other persons with a need to know.
A special AEC team was formed to screen various CAD and cPDM offerings. Through a series of practical demonstrations, the team found the tight and seamless integration between NX and Teamcenter Express especially advantageous, noting the solution served as a comprehensive answer to its product development requirements. “A series of key factors contributed to selecting the Siemens solution,” notes Ing Lucchetti, project manager, AEC. “NX and Teamcenter Express, especially a number of their advanced attributes, seemed to us to be the most suitable for our actual and future needs. We considered the technology in terms of both the company’s current requirements and projected needs.”
Lucchetti notes that Siemens offering of various specific tools in an integrated environment is another critical element. In many ways, the Siemens approach reflects AEC’s own pioneering and expansive outlook of product development processes. Lucchetti says, “The possibility to have all operations integrated and to turn to one unique supplier, or better, to a real partner – one that would give us well-defined assurances and be able to accompany us in advancing more complex projects as well as in future developments – is crucial.”
Benefits of the implementation have already been noted and are expected to grow even more significant as new projects are brought on board. Benefits include increased productivity and a faster production start time. AEC’s designers are achieving substantially improved information sharing, magnified by the fact that their updates are in real time. Management of information to comply with regional and industry standards and requirements is now being automated. Other advantages are expected as a result of a more efficient filing and retrieval of documents and models by the company’s Technical Office. The outcome will be better management and greater control of the company’s internal procedures and regulations.
The most significant advantage of the new technology roll out is the acceleration of the production start time, made possible by the structuring of the bill of materials inside CAD. Lucchetti notes, “We are quite happy with the support of Siemens PLM Software, which performed a real and complete analysis of the company processes, as well as organized and conducted the training of our personnel. Siemens’ consultants worked side by side with us in the performance of a pilot project in which we explored and supported the various stages of lighting system design. It was a positive transition. We found great enthusiasm throughout the Technical Office. In only a matter of a few days after the implementation of the Siemens solution, our people realized how simple and faster data access had become, improving research and the ability to create better products.”
AEC management, extremely open to innovation and ever more challenging goals, witnessed a confident attitude in the whole staff in dealing with the technology implementation – an attitude it considered fundamental for the positive outcome of any project, but especially when it encompasses a change of its technical infrastructure and internal processes.
With AEC’s focus on constant research and the best solutions to advance its lighting technology for customer advantage, the company has no intention of being satisfied with its current state, but rather already plans to assess future possibilities (both mid- and long-term) for further improvements using Siemens technologies.
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AEC Illuminazione implements public lighting solutions – especially urban street applications, cycling lanes, pedestrian crossing areas and parkways – combining technology and design to achieve innovative solutions that offer maximum comfort and total safety to citizens.
"The possibility to have all operations integrated and to turn to one unique supplier, or better, to a real partner – one that would give us well-defined assurances and be able to accompany us in advancing more complex projects as well as in future developments – is crucial."
"In only a matter of a few days after the implementation of the Siemens solution, our people realized how simple and faster data access had become, improving research and the ability to create better products."
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