Atmosphere of Trust, Geneva PLM Conference Update, PLM: Virtual Technology


2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               May 23, 2011 - Vol14 #4

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An Atmosphere of Trust
by Roger Tempest
On June 07-08, companies from around Europe have the chance to meet in Munich and agree how to formalise the PLM best practices that have been developed over the past 10 years. This sounds like a straightforward case of constructive group working, but as one user put it: "We need an atmosphere of trust".

Vendors embody their industry experience in their product offerings and refer to them as "best practice", but commercial pressures mitigate against placing any of these in an open, generic space. We need a new, neutral structure of PLM standards to which vendors can contribute, so that the core principles can be followed through the whole industry.

Most user organisations want a clearer PLM landscape, and a framework that they know will lead to effective implementation. They have had to invent their "best practices" in isolation, with no standard well of experience to draw from. Many have been very successful, but the results are still bespoke and there is no practical way of pooling the best ideas.

Recent conference presentations by Unilever, Philips and General Dynamics have all included elements that match parts of the new PLM standards. This illustrates the situation very well.

At present, if you are in the audience, you have to take notes and try to identify which parts of the presentation are relevant for you. With standardisation, we can formalise these best practices into tools that everyone can use.

The product structure rules illustrated by Unilever, and the PDM definition expressed by General Dynamics, are simple and straightforward. They don't replace the more complex proprietary methodologies, but if we could all follow them, then implementing the more complex areas would become much simpler.

The Munich Workshop will build on the results from Sweden, and provides a constructive, open platform for this kind of collaboration. Vendors are already participating at the Gothenburg launch, so the industry cooperation is starting to happen. The standards framework is still at its formative stage, so it is a chance for you to put your views into the mix and to take back with you some PLM best practices as they currently stand. More information and registration details are available via


Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. Membership of the PLMIG is available via

Geneva PLM Conference Update
by John Stark
The PLM Conference and Exhibition to be held at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland on September 6-7, 2011, has four tracks. There are three Presentation Tracks and a Workshop Track.

The Conference and Exhibition will address PLM across the product lifecycle: innovation; development; manufacturing; use/support; retirement/disposal.

With about half of the speakers for the Presentation Tracks now known, the provisional Agenda includes speakers from organisations such as Bobst, Bombardier Transportation, CERN, EADS, European Commission, Givaudan, Merck Serono, Mettler Toledo, Salomon, SR Technics, Synthes and Varian Medical Systems.

In the Workshop Track, each Workshop will be led by a moderator, and limited to a maximum of 20 participants.
Selection of Workshop topics will be based on the preferences of Conference attendees. Current suggestions for Workshop subjects include: Organisational Change accompanying PLM; Addressing Legacy Applications, Processes and Data; PLM and ERP; PLM in Middle-of-Life and End-of-Life; PLM Vision.

Concerning the Exhibition, discussions have now started with potential exhibitors and sponsors.

If you're interested in participating in this PLM Event on September 6-7, 2011 - whether as a speaker, an exhibitor, a sponsor, or an attendee - please contact John Stark

A copy of the latest version of the Conference Brochure and Agenda can be requested here.

PLM: Virtual Technology
by Henk Jan Pels
Technology is the art of forming Matter, according to an idea, in order to make it work for Man. Engineering can be seen as the skill of transforming an idea into form and function. In my previous column, I argued that a PLM system is, essentially, a large blackboard, on which all designers are drawing, in parallel, on their piece of the design. And, by stepping back a little, they can see what all their colleagues are creating. An important difference, however, is that a blackboard is 2-dimensional, while the PLM system, together with 3D CAD and simulation software, can show a 4-dimensional view of the product: spatial and dynamic. Compared to that, an ERP system is a 2D blackboard, only showing static tables.

Shaping a development process around a virtual product has big advantages. First of all, Matter suffers from inertia, so that making and testing prototypes, per definition, takes time. A virtual product has no mass and no inertia. There is no physical limit to development speed, only a psychic limit in the minds of the engineers. Using virtual products, new technology can be brought to the market faster, cheaper and better.

It's not only the product that can be created and tested virtually. Digital Manufacturing offers software that, starting from the virtual product, can create a virtual manufacturing system to test and optimise the manufacturing process. Expensive pre-production runs and ramp-up periods are no longer required. The learning curve can be completed in the virtual factory. The first real product can be produced at maximum efficiency. The product is earlier on the market. And the production line pays back sooner. The next step is the virtual product lifecycle. The product can be used, maintained, refurbished and dismantled in cyberspace, meaning that a lot can be learned and improved without waiting until the 30-year product lifecycle has run its 30 calendar years.

Why do PLM vendors believe that their customers will benefit so much from their virtual product lifecycle? Especially as many engineers are still sceptical even about the benefits of 3D CAD. The belief of the PLM community is based on the positive relationship between communication, coordination and performance. Modern industry is a set of complex systems. Achieving performance with a complex system requires strong coordination between the activities of subsystems. Therefore the control system needs real-time detailed information about the present and planned state of these subsystems. Likewise, political power depends far more on good information than on good weapons.

For a system to be able to function, each subsystem must have a level of freedom, or slack, with respect to its neighbouring subsystems. When a system has better knowledge about its subsystems' individual states, it can react faster and needs less slack. Think of cars driving in the fog. The thicker the fog, the less information the drivers get about the positions of other cars, the more distance they need to be safe. In the same way, without radar, a modern airport couldn't handle one tenth of the traffic, because much more time would be needed between landings. As another example, a factory needs stock when delivery times of materials aren't known. When communication with suppliers is improved, and they can supply directly to the line, stock is no longer needed.

The product development process is still soaked in slack. Every engineer is more than 100% loaded, but looking at each individual piece of product knowledge, the ratio between processing time and waiting time is less then 1%. Designers are working for years on a new product before the customer gets to see it. Software engineers are programming for months, without any contact with the mechanical engineers who design the device to be controlled by the software. Sequential engineering is a way to prevent design accidents by creating large distances between information packages. It's also the most effective way to make the design process slow and inflexible.

A design process can be imagined as a swarm of starlings, gathering for the yearly trip southwards. It's fascinating to look at their elegant but uncoordinated dance, but as an industrial engineer you wonder why they don't just start moving south. Now suppose each starling is an engineer with the task to position itself relative to the other starlings, such that a spatial pattern, conforming to previously-specified requirements, results. How much easier it would be when a virtual model could be projected in the air, showing the conflicts with the requirements and allowing each starling to depict its position and that of its neighbours. One can imagine that the virtual model would evolve in a smooth flow to the intended result, and that the physical starlings would immediately take their place in the structure and just take off ....
It's like that, the dream of PLM!

To be continued. Henk Jan Pels is Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, Information Systems, at the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He can be contacted here.



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Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced it has acquired Altos Design Automation, Inc. Details

CENIT AG announced it acquired Swiss-based company Transcat PLM AG. Details 


Autodesk, Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012. Revenue was $528 million. Details

CENIT announced that, during the 1st Quarter of 2011, CENIT Group posted total sales revenue of 24.31 m EUR. Details

Cimatron Limited announced financial results for the first quarter of 2011. Revenues were $8.9 million. Details

Rand Worldwide, Inc. reported total consolidated third quarter revenues of $27.4 million for the three months ending March 31, 2011. Details 


BigMachines, Inc. announced it has hired David Bonnette into the newly created position of President. Details

Centric Software, Inc. announced that Stefano Lena has joined Centric Software, Inc. as vice president of global sales and general manager for European operations. Details

Gerber Technology announced that Peter Bambridge has been appointed director of Software Solutions. Details

PTC announced the appointment of Renato "Ron" Zambonini to its Board of Directors. Details



Catalog Data Solutions announced that Ruland Manufacturing Co., Inc. has selected its online Catalog and CAD download solution. Details

CONTACT Software GmbH announced it has acquired one of Turkey's Top 500 companies as a new customer. The first new applications for CIM DATABASE are being put into productive operation at CMS AG's headquarters in Izmir. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Benetton Group has selected Dassault Systemes' Version 6 PLM solution. Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced that Didrick Medical used SolidWorks software. Details

DEM Solutions announced that Joy Mining Machinery has invested in EDEM bulk materials engineering simulation software. Details

Intergraph announced that China National Offshore Oil Corporation has selected Intergraph SmartPlant Foundation. Details

Omnify Software announced that Remec Broadband Wireless has implemented the Omnify Empower PLM solution. Details

Pilgrim Software, Inc. announced that Vascular Solutions, Inc. will implement Pilgrim's platform for document management. Details

SAP AG announced that Dow Corning will rely on the new SAP EHS Regulatory Documentation OnDemand content service to provide 100,000 safety data sheets in more than 30 languages for its 14,000 products sold in over 100 countries. Details

Visual 2000 International Inc. announced that Outdoor and Sports Company Limited has begun implementation of its Visual product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. Details


Accelrys, Inc. announced the Accelrys Experiment Knowledge Base. Details

AutoForm Engineering GmbH announced AutoFormplus R3. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. unveiled OrCAD Capture Marketplace. Details

CENIT announced the new integration product for SAP and Dassault Systemes CATIA V6. Details

Collier Research Corp. announced the release of HyperSizer v6. Details

COMSOL, Inc. announced the release of COMSOL Multiphysics Version 4.2. Details

Corel announced the introduction of CorelCAD. Details

Dassault Systemes announced Abaqus 6.11. Details

Datakit announced a new plug-in for importing CATIA V6 files (.3dxml) into SolidWorks. Details

EMC Corp. announced EMC Captiva, EMC Document Sciences, CenterStage and Documentum OnDemand. Details

ENGINEERING PLM Solutions announced RuleDesignerFusion PDM. Details

EOS announced the first North American public unveiling of the new EOSINT M 280. Details

EON Reality announced the release of EON IPortal Glasses. Details

Extensible CAD Technologies announced two new products in its InspectionXpert automated inspection software family: InspectionXpert for PDF and InspectionXpert OnDemand. Details

Fishbowl Solutions, Inc. announced Inspection Report Automation 2.0. Details

Flowmaster Group announced the launch of Flowmaster V7.8. Details

Formtek announced the release of version 5.4.1 of the Formtek | Orion 5 product suite. Details

Gerber Technology announced the release of YuniquePLM v4.0 software. Details

Informative Graphics Corp. released Redact-It 2.0. Details

Informative Graphics Corp. announced the latest release of Brava! web-based viewing and collaboration tool for EMC Documentum TaskSpace 6.7. Details

Invention Machine announced Goldfire 6.5. Details

JETCAM announced version 16.20.02 of its Expert CADCAM and nesting software. Details

Lantek announced Lantek Flex3d V2011. Details

LMS announced LMS Test.Xpress Rev 5A. Details

Matereality announced the availability of DatabasePro. Details

ModuleWorks announced the latest release of its CAM components, version 2011.4. Details

NextLabs, Inc. announced the release of Entitlement Manager for SAP with support for PLM. Details

ROMER announced their new line of non-contact tube inspection systems. Details

Tecplot, Inc. announced Tecplot Chorus. Details

VISTAGY, Inc. announced the release of Seat Design Environment 2011. Details

Zuken announced CR-5000 Lightning Power Integrity Advance. Details

Zuken announced the availability of CR-5000 revision 13.0. Details

3D3 Solutions announced the official launch of FlexScan3D 3.0. Details



Actify Inc. announced that it has attained Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program with an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) competency. Details

Anark Corp. and Tetra 4D announced a partnership. Details

Aras announced that Alcove9 has joined the Aras partner program. Details

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

CADENAS GmbH announced becoming a Foundation Partner in the Siemens Solution Partner Program. Details

Dassault Systemes and Gehry Technologies announced a new partnership. Details

Kineo CAM announced collaboration with Promation Engineering, Canada. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. announced the addition of Ingenieurgemeinschaft Klietsch GmbH to its reseller network. Details

MachineWorks Ltd announced it welcomes ZWSOFT as a new partner. Details

Missler Software and Blum announced a partnership. Details

ModuleWorks announced they have confirmed their partnership with CAD/CAM Solution provider, VANC. Details

MphasiS announced that it will partner with Siemens PLM Software. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced a distribution agreement with voxeljet technology, GmbH. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced a partnership with Alibre. Details


Anark Corp. announced that Anark will add support for several popular 3D CAD formats provided by Tech Soft 3D's HOOPS 3D Exchange to Anark Core. Details

ANSYS, Inc. announced use of ANSYS software by Cognity. Details

Autodesk, Inc. announced Autodesk 123D software is now available in a public beta release. Details

CPDA announced that Pendaran's Founder and CEO, Dr. Hossein Nivi and Geometric America's President, Joseph Sahiouni will join Siemens PLM Software's Stephen M. Bashada, Georgia Tech's Dr. Chris Paredis and Hewlett-Packard's Christian Verstraete as keynote speakers at PLM Road Map 2011 which will take place at The Inn at St. John's, outside of Detroit, on October 4th and 5th. Details

Dassault Systemes and Universidad Nacional de la Plata unveiled their contributions to Project AQUARIUS. Details

dynaTrace software announced that PTC will include dynaTrace Production Edition with its Windchill products. Details

ESI Group announced that the company will benefit from the French state funding allocation for RAILENIUM. Details

i GET IT released four new Autodesk training courses for the most recent 2011 and 2012 Autodesk product releases. Details

Infotech Enterprises Ltd announced it has been recognized by The Boeing Company as Supplier of the Year in the "Non-Production" category. Details

Kubotek USA announced the launch of KeyCreator University. Details

MecSoft Corp. announced the availability of Simplified Chinese language versions of their software. Details

NGC Software announced that Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine has named NGC to its list that highlights "100 Great Supply Chain Projects." Details

PARTsolutions, LLC announced that The Boeing Company has been selected as a winner of Managing Automation Media's annual PM 100 Awards for its implementation of PARTsolutions 3D Part Catalog Management Software. Details

ProSTEP iViP announced that the Requirements Interchange Format (ReqIF, formerly known as RIF) was adopted as OMG Standard in April as planned. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced the company is ranked among Fortune 500 corporations and U.S. government agencies in its support of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Engineering Schools in the U.S. Details

SolidCAM announced a further 20% cycle time reduction at Alcon. Details

TradeStone Software announced the company has been recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive on its Top 100 List. Details

VISTAGY, Inc. announced it has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan Global 2011 Customer Value Enhancement Award for work in Composites Design Engineering Solutions. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced that it acquired Freedom Of Creation. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced it supports the Autodesk 123D site with on-demand 3D print services. Details 


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