The situation facing the manufacturing sector, our country and the entire planet have become interwoven into our daily routines. However, in support of those companies and individual who continue to keep us fed, protected and in touch, a number of software providers are offering manufacturers free access to some of their most powerful tools. The list below details a handful of such organizations.
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division is offering a range of free offline licensing and remote access options to help manufacturing managers working from home. Production and metrology software will be available at no cost until June 30. These offerings will allow manufacturers running metrology equipment to remotely monitor and analyze how assets are performing. Access to additional online learning resources will also be provided. More information can be found at www.hexagonmi.com/wahs. These offerings will include:
- Extension of licenses for work-from-home support or alternative access options for MSC Software CAE solutions.
- License move, remote access or additional temporary home office licenses for Hexagon’s CAD-CAM software.
- Offline licenses of the latest versions of PC-DMIS and other metrology software.
- Remote machine monitoring via the HxGN SFx | Asset Management performance solution.
Thief River Falls, Minnesota-based Digi-Key Electronics, a global electronic components distributor, has teamed with Z2Data to offer no-cost support and component data for companies creating devices such as ventilators and COVID-19 testing solutions. The offering includes access to Z2Data’s database of 1 billion+ electronic components. The Part Risk Manager and Supply Chain Watch tools provided by Z2Data offer enhanced bill-of-material organizational tools to help streamline development and production timelines. Organizations can learn more by submitting a request here.
Northhampton, Massachusetts-based MachineMetrics is offering free access to their MachineMetrics IoT Platform and remote monitoring applications. The package is available to any manufacturer involved with the production of ventilator parts, test equipment, protective equipment, or any COVID-19 related manufacturing. According to the company, most modern equipment can be connected within minutes to help support social distancing and remote work needs.
Applications of the software can include automated data collection, remote production monitoring, maintenance and service monitoring, mobile alerts and notifications, and analytics for making scheduling and staffing decisions. The company is also offering their manufacturing consulting services free of charge. More information is available by accessing the MachineMetrics website dedicated to their COVID-19 Response Program.
Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Librestream recently unveiled a free program for enterprises facing business continuity and worker safety challenges related to COVID-19. According to the company, their Onsight platform offers the ability to collaborate securely across and within field environments where bandwidth and network connectivity might be an issue.
Initial applications can include remote inspections and diagnostics of critical equipment, but the platform has also been utilized as a way for remote workers to hold in-person meetings for easily sharing visual and audio data. Additionally, their Onsight Connect software can run on smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, wearables and computers.
Librestream's package includes pre-configured Onsight Connect remote expert software and materials to get up and running within 24 hours. To initiate the qualification, organizations that meet the requirements listed here. No charge, virtual training sessions are also available. Specific functionality includes:
- The ability to talk, stream video, or share high-quality snapshots and content snips.
- On-screen telestration.
- Remotely control field cameras.
- Record sessions for future record keeping, audit, training and AI enablement.
- Enterprise-grade security with end-to-end encryption and authentication.
ABB’s Robotics & Discrete Automation business is offering automation, robotics and enhanced connectivity software services free of charge until December 31st. Among the services included are condition monitoring and diagnostics, asset management software and remote troubleshooting and monitoring of production lines. More specifically, the free software falls under two primary platforms.
ABB Ability Connected Services monitors the health and performance of robots, with features that include:
- Secure 24/7 monitoring and diagnostics.
- Condition Monitoring and trend analytics for mechanical units and controller measurements.
- Immediate critical alarm notifications via e-mail.
- System snapshots in case of alarms for faster root cause analytics.
- MyRobot and alarm dashboard with actionable information.
- Virtual training support during office hours.
RobotStudio is a simulation and offline programming software. It provides:
- A digital replica (digital twin) of physical assets or systems so you can see what’s going on in your production line remotely.
- The ability to create, simulate and test a complete robot installation in a virtual 3D environment without having to visit the actual production line.
Virtual technical support is also available via video (Skype, Zoom, Teams). Those who are interested should contact their local ABB representative.
Dozuki is a San Luis Obispo, California-based provider of instruction and workforce standardization software. The company is offering free access to its instruction and training software for manufacturers impacted by COVID-19. Dozuki feels their offerings can help in remotely communicating essential information to front-line workers without compromising social distancing requirements. This could include critical health, safety, and operational processes. Companies that sign up will have free use of Dozuki for three months, with an option to extend. Users will have access to the following remote access features:
- Digital guides for sharing procedures.
- Modules to track and confirm employee training.
- Video and photo support.
More information is available on the company’s site, or by clicking here.
Anisoprint, a manufacturer of 3D printers, has announced that it will provide manufacturers facing supply chain disruptions with composite or plastic parts free of charge. Their efforts are focused on filling the void created by the COVID-19-related shut down of suppliers of tools, jigs and fixtures. “Our technology can help replace traditional tools, jigs and fixtures with the 3D printed ones. We have significant experience in producing composite parts for manufacturing companies and we would be happy to support them now, during this crisis,” stated Fedor Antonov, CEO of Anisoprint in a release from the company.
Anisoprint offers continuous fiber reinforced parts, plastic with short fibers (carbon filled), or pure plastic parts. The company suggests sending a model of the part needed direct to them at [email protected].
NiceLabel, a leading developer of label design software and label management systems, is offering free subscriptions to its cloud-based labeling solution and technical consulting services. Those looking to take advantage of the offering can register at www.nicelabel.com/covid19. NiceLabel will evaluate each request on its own merit.
If you know of a software supplier or related service provider that is doing more to support the industrial sector during these challenging times, please reach out by emailing Jeff Reinke at [email protected].