For those of you who have been reading benchmark for some time,and even those who have only picked us up recently (hi!), the phrase “technical working groups are at the very heart of NAFEMS” will be one you have read or heard quite often. But it is one which cannot be over-emphasised. Indeed, the organisation was formed based on one working group (the Education and Training group, fact-pickers),way back in 1983, so you could say that the technical working groups are embedded in NAFEMS’ DNA. From the starting point of one single working group, we now have groups which aim to cover multiple aspects of engineering modelling, analysis & simulation, with healthy international cross-industry membership.
This issue of benchmark has been produced with the assistance of the newly formed Manufacturing Process Simulation Working Group, which is focussing on process simulation and virtual manufacturing tools, and how they can benefit every industry. Whilst‘virtual’ may be one of those buzz-words which are suffering from overuse in general conversation and language, virtual manufacturing tools have the potential to truly transform the product design and industrial manufacturing process. And with such a potential step-change in the way these processes are carried out, there is a real need for independent advice, guidance and information from an organisation such as NAFEMS.
With articles from around the globe covering many industries and processes, this issue is a real insight into what the newly formed working group will be focussing on going forward. As Peter Giddings, chairman of the Manufacturing Process Simulation Working Group says in his technical editorial (p12), we really are ‘moving towards virtual manufacturing’, and it is vital that NAFEMS is involved in order to facilitate communication and discussion within the virtual manufacturing community. The experience and knowledge within the NAFEMS working and steering groups can play a crucial part in the development of these processes and dissemination of information to the wider community.
2016 saw another successful run of NAFEMS’ Regional Conferences take place in various countries, giving many members of the community the chance to come together to share their knowledge and experience at a local level. A summary of the programme is included in this issue, and NAFEMS members can access a wealth of information from each event on our website.
Hopefully, by now you will have seen the Call for Papers for the 2017 NAFEMS World Congress. Submission details can be found on page 43, and we urge you to consider being a part of the event, which will take place in Stockholm, Sweden in June 2017. The World Congress is a truly unique experience, bringing your peers and industry leaders together for an unrivalled programme of presentations, workshops, training courses and social events. We hope to welcome you to Sweden next year and to see you present your work. As ever, enjoy this issue.
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