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John Stark Associates                                                                                                                               February 8, 2016 - Vol17 #24

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PLM Research - an Industry fails its Users
by Roger Tempest
The Hype Cycle for emerging technologies is supposed to pass through a Trough of Disillusionment on its way to a Slope of Enlightenment and a Plateau of Productivity. The Hype Cycle for PLM is stuck in a groove of Cloud and IoT.

The tragedy is that, if the PLM industry does not wake up to this, then this is all that PLM will ever be.

The evidence is before your eyes in this issue of 2PLM. For every PLM Citation listed below, and every publication listed on the PLM Research web site, there are researchers who have been trying to improve PLM knowledge. They are fragmented around the world, because the PLM industry does nothing to help them. And, despite their best efforts, their aspirations are too low.

Users have some marvellous ideas about what PLM should be in the future, and vendors do not seem to care. In 2015 the PLM-IRF Initiative carried out a Global Industrial Survey into Industrial Expectations for the Future of PLM.

Respondents gave their views on what PLM capabilities will be needed in 10 years' time, and what they believed would be the most advanced future that PLM can achieve.

These ideas will need investment, but spending on IoT in 2015 = $500,000,000. Spending on genuinely advanced PLM research = $0. Is this the way it should be? The Internet of Things will happen, because the bandwagon now has its own momentum. If PLM is to rise along a Slope of Enlightenment, then some industry sages need to come together to join the debate about a truly advanced future. Reading this, you may be one of them.

Wherever you are in the PLM spectrum, if you care about the long-term future of PLM then follow the links and join the conversation.

For more information about the PLM-IRF initiative and how to join the Steering Group contact

PLM Citations  
According to Google Scholar, as of February 5, 2016 Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation, the most popular PLM publication, had been cited 629 times in journal articles, technical reports, books and theses.

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

  • H. Karkkainen, A. Silventoinen (Tampere University of Technology, Finland); What is Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Maturity? Analysis of Current PLM Maturity Models Details


  • G.Bruno, T. Taurino, A. Villa (Politecnico di Torino, Italy); An approach to support SMEs in manufacturing knowledge organization Details
  • N. Littell (Ohio University, USA); Components of Product Lifecycle Management and Their Application within Academia and Product Centric Manufacturing Enterprises Details
  • M. Khan, N. Sheth (JJT University, Rajasthan, India); Promotion and Shifting Position of Advertising Details


PLM Research 2015
The PLM Research site lists the journal articles, technical reports, books and theses citing Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation that Google Scholar added in 2014 and 2015.

115 citing publications are listed for 2015, compared to 60 for 2014.

The 2015 list shows the publication author's country. The publications are from a total of 30 countries.

The country providing most publications was Germany, with 16. France and Hungary followed with 10. There were 8 from the USA.  

At the other end of the scale, there was 1 publication from each of the following countries: Belarus; Chile; Denmark; Japan; Korea; The Netherlands; Slovenia; Taiwan; Turkey.

Of the 115 citing publications of 2015, 38 (33%) have Product Lifecycle Management (or PLM) in the title. In these 38 publications, the most frequent research subjects are PLM Implementation, PLM Maturity Models and PLM Education. Other subjects addressed in these 38 publications include workflow, ontology and Systems Engineering.

Only two of the 115 publications cited in 2015 include the name of a marketplace PLM application in the title.


What is PLM?
by Scott Cleveland
There have been many discussions regarding the definition of Product Lifecycle Management [PLM]. The definitions have been all over the map. In this article, I'll give my definition of PLM. But first I'll explain the background.

Years ago ....
Back in the 1980s, I worked with a pioneering engineering document management [EDM] company called Sherpa Corp. I found a warm reception to the idea of an engineering document management system [EDMS] among aerospace and defense contractors. They had thousands of drawings with many different revision levels and they were all paper. Some companies even had an actual vault where they kept the drawings under lock and key. Managing these drawings in a notebook was complex, time-consuming and often not too accurate. Access controls were haphazard. There would be missing files. They would send the wrong files to manufacturing. Engineering changes were difficult to manage properly.

Not surprisingly, these companies loved the 'new idea' of electronically managing their engineering information.

While managing their information on paper, they needed to control it and still provide some visibility, so they had a 'guy' [maybe a program manager] who would provide this discipline.

Transitioning from EDM to PLM
A big driving force for PLM was the desire of the EDM vendors to sell into departments other than just engineering. All departments have the need to manage information related to activities they carry out on their company's product or service.

As you might imagine, the document management problem just kept growing.

Certainly, there were some features peculiar to PLM software that differentiated it from document management software, but the real driver was to increase the software buyer pool.

Initially, the acronym PLM filled a marketing need. 15 years later, PLM software has become big business.

My Definition of PLM
Here's my definition of PLM.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the business discipline of managing, in the most effective way, all information regarding a company's product throughout its lifecycle; from the very first idea for a product or service all the way through its end of life and disposal.

Note the difference between PLM and PLM software.

PLM is a business discipline.

PLM software, on the other hand, provides the control and visibility needed to support the discipline of product lifecycle management.

It's important not to confuse PLM with PLM software. Contact me if you would like some help ....



Scott Cleveland can be contacted on +1 408-464-6387

Easy to Use PLM
by Scott Cleveland
When people talk about PLM software being easy to use, are they talking about the user interface and the everyday user? Or, are they talking about it being easy to configure?

Easy to Use
Over the years, all of the PLM vendors have taken great strides to improve their user interface. Today, much of the user interaction with the software is point and click. As an example, there are pull-down lists that reduce the need for typing.

Still, once configured the software requires user training. At a minimum, users need to know how to search for information; they need to know how to check-in/check-out a document; and they need to know how to generate a change request or respond to one.

Easy to Configure
Even the configuring has gotten easier, but ....

In the past, if you wanted to customize PLM software it required programming. Today PLM software can do so much more and companies can configure almost anything. This makes it difficult for PLM vendors to significantly reduce the time it takes to implement their software.

Each PLM software package can have as many as 500 features. Companies may use less than half of those, but how will they know what they can and can't do with the software? Typically, they will pay someone that is intimate with the software to configure it for them.

This 'expert' needs to know what questions to ask to uncover the 250 or so features that will need to be configured. Then, they need to know how to use that information to configure the software and they will have to know how to configure the software. Still not easy. Still time consuming.

The Future
Maybe, one day in the future, the software will walk you through a questionnaire [a wizard] and then automatically configure the software for you. Until then a consultant can be useful ....

Contact me if you would like some help .... 



Scott Cleveland can be contacted on +1 408-464-6387 

by Scott Cleveland

Before even discussing PDM or PLM, what problem or problems are you attempting to solve?

Are you talking about controlling engineering information like requirements, drawings, bills of materials [BoM's]? Are you talking about managing change requests?

Are you talking about controlling information in other departments? Like in the case of the marketing department - marketing requirements, data sheets, presentations, videos, demonstrations, search engine optimization, etc.

The Right Solution ....
If the problem has an engineering focus, the solution requirements can be provided by engineering. These engineering problems can be solved by PDM or PLM software.

PDM software tends to be less expensive than PLM software. The per seat price may be similar but the implementation costs are much higher for PLM software.

The 2 main problems with PLM software - there are many more features that must be configured and since it is enterprise software, more people will be involved in the purchase decision. 

Often times, this is a political battle that many don't want to deal with.

Choices ....
Many companies start with PDM and then grow into PLM. Taking this path leaves you with 2 alternatives - when you implement PLM, discard the PDM software or spend money to integrate the two.

Purchase PLM software and do the initial implementation in engineering only - solving your engineering problems. After success there, you can roll out PLM into other departments.

Is the cost of being wrong less than doing nothing at all?

This is a complex decision that would be easier with some help. I can provide that help ....



Scott Cleveland can be contacted on +1 408-464-6387 

LinkedIn PLM Posts you may have Missed

Some recent posts on LinkedIn:

Jan  18, 2016  IoT: Engineers' Dream. Managers' Nightmare (without PLM)

Jan  21, 2016  Two Views of PLM: Company; Engineering

Jan  25, 2016  PLM Research 2015

Jan  28, 2016  Reality PLM TV

Feb   1, 2016  Two Views of PLM Training

Feb   4, 2016  Two Views of Change Management in PLM



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PLM News

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Siemens announced a stock purchase agreement for the acquisition of CD-adapco by Siemens. The purchase price is $970 million. CD-adapco will be integrated into the PLM software business of Siemens' Digital Factory Division. Details 


Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015. Q4 2015 revenue was $441 million. Revenue for 2015 totaled $1.702 billion. Details

Dassault Systemes announced IFRS unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015. Q4 Total Revenue was 796.5 millions of Euros. YTD 2015 Total Revenue was 2,839.5 millions of Euros. Details

EMC Corporation reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 financial results. Full-year 2015 GAAP revenue was $24.7 billion. Details

PTC reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 ended January 2, 2016. Q1 FY'16 revenue was $291 million GAAP. Details

SAP SE announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2015. Total IFRS revenue in Q4 2015 was € 6,346 million. Total IFRS revenue in 2015 was € 20,797 million. Details



Vero Software announced the appointment of Peter Ameloot as a Business Development Manager for Europe. Details 


AVEVA announced a multiyear agreement with Statoil ASA for AVEVA Everything3D. Details

AVEVA announced that Fabricom Offshore Services is using AVEVA software. Details

Centric Software announced that Shenzhen EIN Clothing Co., ltd. decided to use Centric Software's Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. Details

Centric Software Inc. announced that Helsport decided to adopt Centric Cloud. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Boyner Group is using "My Collection". Details

EPLAN announced that Endress+Hauser uses EPLAN Engineering Configuration. Details

Gerber Technology announced that Chasing Fireflies deployed YuniquePLM. Details

Lectra announced that The Kooples chose the expert version of Modaris. Details

Lectra announced that New Twins chose Lectra Fashion PLM. Details

TechniaTranscat announced a projected SEK 75 million contract with a premium German Automotive OEM brand. Details

Thomas Enterprise Solutions announced that TE-CO Workholding has integrated its website with the Navigator Platform. Details 


ANSYS announced ANSYS 17.0. Details

CCE announced an update of its Unified Interop (UIOp) for Parasolid libraries. Details

CCE announced updated ODX libraries for CATIA V5. Details

Delcam announced FeatureCAM 2016 R2. Details

ESI Group announced Virtual Performance Solution 2015. Details

Geometric Ltd. announced NESTINGWorks 2016. Details

Geometric Ltd. announced SOLIDWORKS MBD 2016 support. Details

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence announced the 77 Series ROMER Absolute Arm. Details

Luxion announced KeyShot 6.1. Details

MachineWorks announced MachineWorks version 7.4. Details

MecSoft Corp. announced VisualCAM 2016 for SOLIDWORKS. Details

Missler Software announced a MachiningCloud connection for TopSolid. Details

OPEN MIND Technologies AG announced hyperMILL version 2016.1. Details

Perception Software announced the release of AgileXPLORER as part of Oracle's Agile PLM Engineering Collaboration Module. Details

PTC announced PTC Mathcad Gateway solution. Details

PTC announced new features for the Vuforia augmented reality (AR) platform. Details

Razorleaf announced Clover for SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and ERP Connectors. Details

SolidPartners announced 4G:PLM. Details

Sopheon announced Accolade release 10.2. Details



ESI Group announced a partnership with JMDA. Details

FCMS, a subsidiary of CONTACT Software, and the CAE specialist TECOSIM announced that they are intensifying their collaboration. Details

Inceptra announced that it was named 2015 Top Partner at the Dassault Systemes Value Solutions Sales Convention. Details

Mastercam announced a partnership with WorldSkills. Details

PROSTEP announced a partnership with 3DA Systems. Details

Razorleaf Corp. and Idex Solutions announced a partnership. Details



Arena Solutions announced a record quarter for Bookings & Average Deal Size in Q4 2015. Details

Arena Solutions announced that it has been recognized as "Supply Chain Solution of the Year" by siliconindia. Details

Autodesk, Inc. announced a restructuring plan. Details

Catalog Data Solutions (CDS) announced over 21% revenue growth in 2015 compared to 2014. Details

The Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS) announced a new CMS Level-Two Certification program for laser trackers at their upcoming 2016 conference. Details

Granta Design announced CES EduPack 2016. Details

International TechneGroup, Inc. (ITI) announced the acquisition of Glacier Technologies, LLC. Details

MecSoft Corp. announced that it joined the Onshape App Store. Details

PTC announced that Aridea Solutions implemented ThingWorx technology. Details

Sopheon announced that they have been recognized by Consumer Goods Technology readers as a top provider of New Product Development & Introduction (NPDI) solutions for the consumer goods industry. Details



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