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John Stark Associates                                                                                                                              November 28, 2016 - Vol18 #16

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Digital Transformation - What's New for PLM?
by John Stark
In the previous issue of 2PLM, Roger Tempest highlighted two opposing views about the direction of PLM in the new world of 'Digital Transformation'.

I wonder if they don't result from 2 opposing definitions of PLM.

For me, the definition is that:-

  • Product Lifecycle Management, PLM, is the business activity of managing, in the most effective way, a company's products all the way across their lifecycles; from the very first idea for a product all the way through until it is retired and disposed of.

  • PLM is the management system for a company's products.

The opposing definition could be that:-

  • PLM is the implementation of Product Data Management software

PLM is the management system for a company's products
With this definition, the focus of PLM is the product.

PLM was the management system in 2006, it is the management system in 2016, it will be the management system in 2026. So it's not surprising that Roger quotes somebody saying, "PLM is a defined strategic development goal of our company until 2025".

But, with this definition, the quote: "I'd have to say that PLM has peaked" looks weird.

PLM is the implementation of PDM software
With this definition, the focus of PLM is PDM software and product data.

So here it's understandable that Roger quotes people saying, "PLM has largely been superseded by the Digital Thread. In this world, PLM tools are not well-suited to what is essentially a big data problem." and "I'd have to say that PLM has peaked" 

Using the first definition, that PLM is the management system for a company's products, then:-
  • product data management;
  • (product-related) Big Data;
  • (product-related) Analytics;
  • smart, connected products;
  • (smart, connected) field service and MRO data;
  • Model-Based Enterprise;
  • Model-Based Definition;
  • Model-Based Systems Engineering;
  • (3D Visualisation) VMU;
  • Digital Twin

are all part of PLM.

And "Digital Thread" may translate, in the PLM context, to the flow of product data through product-related business processes. Also part of PLM.

Meanwhile, "Digital Transformation" looks like it's what most companies that I've worked with have been doing for the last two decades.

So, what's new for PLM?
Assuming that PLM is the management system for a company's products, the importance to a company of having a good understanding of PLM, and of having a well-run PLM Initiative, will continue to grow.

With them, a company will know where it's going, and drive forward, applying PLM to increase product revenues, reduce product-related costs, maximise the value of the product portfolio, and maximise the value of current and future products for both customers and shareholders.

Without them, a company will be left behind, wondering what to do next, disjointedly reacting to whatever's trending on Twitter.


John Stark can be contacted via 

PLM Citations  
According to Google Scholar, as of November 25, 2016 Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation, the most popular PLM publication, had been cited 736 times in journal articles, technical reports, books and theses.

Volume 2, Product Lifecycle Management: The Devil is in the Details, had been cited 19 times.

Citing publications referenced since the previous issue of 2PLM include:

  • K. Hu, J. Van Mieghem (Northwestern University, USA), J. Acimovic (Penn State University, USA), F. Erize (Dell Inc.), D. Thomas (Pennsylvania State University, USA); Forecasting Product Life Cycle Curves: Practical Approach and Empirical Analysis Details
  • S. Gallasch (University of East Anglia, Norwich, England); A new dimension to EU pharma antitrust product hopping and unilateral pay for delay Details
  • M. Baur (Latvijas Universit?te, R?ga, Latvia); Key factors for effective succession in the family business: the successor's view Details

  • D. Vieira, A. Bravo (University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières, Canada); Feasibility of green composite aircraft wing projects for unmanned aircraft vehicles Details
  • I. Gräßler, J. Pottebaum (Paderborn University, Germany); Reliable Input for Strategic Planning: The Integrated Scenario Data Model Details
  • M. Fernandes, O. Vendrametto (Universidade Paulista, Brasilia, Brazil), M. Okano (CEETEPS, Sao Paulo, Brazil), O. dos Santos (Universidade Potiguar, Natal, Brazil); Analysis of the integration between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Product Data Management (PDM) Details
  • L. Horváth (Óbuda University, Budapest, Hungary); Representation of intellectual property for multidisciplinary industrial engineering model system Details
  • E. Oseguera (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland); The influence of the time factor on product data quality in the fast-moving consumer goods industry Details


From the first edition of Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation, published August 27, 2004.

Whole regions that had an identity as a manufacturing community lose their way as manufacturing jobs are lost. Manufacturing often provided manual "metal-bashing" jobs reserved almost exclusively for men. As they are replaced by service jobs and knowledge-based manufacturing jobs, male unemployment rises and female employment rises.

Part of the loss in manufacturing employment occurs because work is outsourced to lower-cost locations such as China, Mexico and India. The long-term effect of this is unknown. Countries that outsource jobs effectively export potential work for their populations, running the danger of high unemployment and social unrest.

2004? 12 years ago. Prescient.



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PLM News

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Infor announced a definitive agreement in which Koch Equity Development LLC has agreed to make an investment of more than $2 billion in the company. Details

Siemens announced the acquisition of Mentor Graphics. Details



Mentor Graphics Corp. announced financial results for the company's fiscal third quarter ended October 31, 2016. The company reported revenues of $322.5 million. Details

Stratasys Ltd. announced financial results for the third quarter of 2016. Revenue for Q3 2016 was $157.2 million. Details



Aras announced Sysmex Corporation selected Aras Innovator PLM platform. Details

CSI announced that Stance Healthcare Inc. chose DDM. Details 

Lectra announced Ruyi Group's installation of eight Lectra cutting machines. Details

Lectra announced that DFM Sp. z o.o chose Versalis. Details

TXT Retail announced that GiFi selected TXTPLM. Details 


Autodesk announced an update to Fusion 360. Details

Arena Solutions announced Arena Verify as part of its 2016 Fall Release. Details

CCE announced updates to its ODX libraries with support for NX 11.0 data. Details

Centric Software announced version 3.0 of its product lifecycle management (PLM) Connector for Adobe Illustrator CC. Details

CGTech announced VERICUT Composite Applications 8.0. Details

CNC Software, Inc. announced Mastercam 2017 for SOLIDWORKS. Details

ESI Group announced SimulationX 3.8. Details

Formtek announced Formtek File Linking Extension 2.3. Details

Geometric Americas, Inc. announced CAMWorks 2017. Details

Luxion announced new and updated plugins for Autodesk products. Details

MasterControl Inc. announced MasterControl Version 11.6. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the newest release of FloEFD. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced MSC Adams 2017. Details

Newman Cloud, Inc. announced enhanced CAD integration for Bill-of-Materials. Details

PTC announced Creo 4.0. Details

Tech Soft 3D announced HOOPS Communicator 2016 Service Pack 2. Details

Tech Soft 3D announced Tetra4D Automate. Details

Theorem announced JT to CATIA Composer V19.3. Details

VCollab announced the 2016 R1 release of VCollab Suite. Details

Vero Software announced VISI 2017 R1. Details

Virtalis announced VR4CAD. Details



ANSYS announced that it will collaborate with GE. Details

Aras announced that Praeses Business Technologies joined the Aras Partner Program. Details

Elmo Solutions announced a partnership with Siemens. Details

Granta Design and JAHM Software, Inc. announced an agreement. Details

Huawei announced a partnership with ANSYS. Details

Materialise announced an alliance with PTC. Details

Modelon announced that CADFEM GmbH signed an Agreement to resell their Modelica Libraries. Details

PTC and GE Digital announced an expanded alliance. Details

Siemens announced a partnership with TRUMPF. Details

Stratasys Ltd. and Siemens announced a partnership. Details announced a partnership with Thomas Regout. Details

TXT Retail announced that it partnered with VISEO. Details



AMC Bridge announced that it was ranked by Inc. Magazine on its 35th annual Inc. 5000. Details

CADENAS PARTsolutions announced that Bison Gear partnered with CADENAS PARTsolutions to create a 3D digital parts catalog. Details

Detecon International GmbH announced publication of "The Tsunami Breaker: Smart PLM 4.0 to Tame Internet of Things". Details

EOS announced "Additive Minds". Details

Frost & Sullivan recognized Centric Software with the 2016 Global Customer Value Leadership Award. Details

IBM announced that it will offer the Aras Innovator product lifecycle management (PLM) platform. Details

ITI announced its participation in a new DMDII project, a UI LABS collaboration. Details

Lantek announced sheet metal software for the food industry. Details

Luxion announced that the advanced rendering capabilities within PTC's Creo 4.0 software will be powered by Luxion's KeyShot render technology. Details

ModuleWorks announced that the first ModuleWorks Insider Conference - MIC 2016 - took place on 3-4 November 2016 in Aachen, Germany. Details

ModuleWorks announced that Robotized chose ModuleWorks software components for Laser Aided Manufacturing. Details

The ProSTEP iViP Association announced that the ProSTEP iViP Symposium 2017, "Digitalization for Product and Production", will take place on 17-18 May 2017 in Essen. Details

Stratasys Ltd. announced the next generation of the Stratasys Fortus 900mc. Details

Tech Soft 3D announced that HOOPS Exchange has added support for SOLIDWORKS 2017. Details

Zuken announced an increase in the uptake of its E3.series within the motorsport sector. Details



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