Source: MCAD Online Written by Mark Fletcher Thursday, 26 November 2009 Dassault SystÃ¨mes and IBM have announced that they have teamed up with Panasonic's Home Appliances Company and its Kitchen Appliance Business Unit (BU) to support the development of more convenient and safer home appliances and accelerate the introduction of induced heating (IH) appliances, such as flat cooktops, into the Japanese market. IBM and Dassault SystÃ¨mes are helping Panasonicâ€™s Kitchen Appliance BU use CATIA software, a 3D virtual design platform, for the digital development of product design plans used in the manufacturing of more energy-efficient, electrical appliances with features that will help consumers lead smarter lives. IH appliances are produced and developed by Panasonic's Kitchen Appliance BU and they are gaining popularity as an alternative to gas-heated appliances. These appliances generate heat through a process known as Joule heating or the transfer of heat to the bottom of a cooking pan through an electromagnetic field. Heating efficiency levels are over 90% since heat is transmitted directly to the cooking area safely without any air pollution as this method avoids cooking food using direct fire. With its industryâ€™s first all-metal heating and light-sensor technologies, Panasonicâ€™s IH appliance leads the industry in heat induction technology allowing consumers to quickly measure cooking temperatures so they can accurately control the amount of heat generated for cooking. As demand increases for products that perform intelligent functions, companies face the challenge of managing complex design environments to interconnect the software, mechanical and electrical components required to manufacture more sophisticated products. IBM and Dassault SystÃ¨mes are helping Panasonicâ€™s Kitchen Appliance BU use CATIA software, a 3D virtual design platform, for the digital development of product design plans used in the manufacturing of more energy-efficient, electrical appliances with features that will help consumers lead smarter lives. Panasonic's Kitchen Appliance BU uses PLM software solution CATIA to help shorten the product development period and improve design quality as follows: â€¢ All design processes, from initial digital designs to physical mold designs, were done as part of one integral process to shorten the product development cycle. â€¢ Key IH appliance parts, such as resin and plate parts, were designed in a 3D format allowing fast and direct collaboration with multiple factory mold makers. The process of mold drawing and production was shortened by 40%. â€¢ Metal parts, critical to the operation of IH appliances, were designed and tested quickly, saving up to two days of testing time by using module of CATIA Sheet Metal Design. â€¢ With CATIA Analysis features, product designers performed repeated analysis of large and complex assembly parts quickly, which allowed the Kitchen Appliance BU team to focus on delivering a high quality product early in the design process. Industry analysts point to demand for future products such as zoneless induction stoves that can be powered with intelligent sensors that determine the presence of pots anywhere on the stove and automatically ignite energy under the cooking pot and nowhere else. Panasonic's Kitchen Appliance BU will continue using Dassault SystÃ¨mes PLM solution for the design and development of new eco-friendly products that help reduce of carbon monoxide (CO2) emissions. "Compared to other software design products, CATIA has a rich set of design functions needed for products requiring sophisticated surface and shape designs such as our electric cooking heaters," said Mr. Yasushi Morimoto, team leader, Kitchen Appliance BU, Home Appliances Company, Panasonic Corporation. "Seamless integration between CAD, CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) drove our decision to choose Dassault SystÃ¨mes 3D platform. Our goal is to expand into new product development areas by enhancing collaboration among internal units, realizing global collaborative design, and improving perfection of design through expanding utilization of CAE," added Mr. Morimoto.