PLM Connect 2011, PLM Showcase, Value of PLM/ERP Integration and Collaboration (5)


2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               January 17, 2011 - Vol13 #21

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Invitation to PLM Connect 2011
by John Stark

The Manufacturer magazine, the UK's leading publication for manufacturing leaders, is hosting PLM Connect 2011 on Thursday February 17, 2011 at The Belfry, West Midlands.

This FREE to attend one day event is chaired by John Stark and will provide manufacturers with essential knowledge and insights into PLM.

To register for the event, telephone Ben Walsh on ++44 207 401 6033 or email

Business and manufacturing leaders will see and hear best practice presentations from a range of manufacturers and experts including:


  • Carl White, Engineering Manager, Antonov Automotive Technologies
  • Christopher Collinson, Engineering Systems Administrator, DEK Printing Machines
  • Steve Nevey, Business Development Manager, Red Bull Racing
  • Danny McKendry, Information Management and Technology Manager, BAE SYSTEMS
  • Nina Dar, Managing Director, Cheeky Monkey Business Solutions
  • Allan Behrens, Managing Director, Taxal
  • John Stark, President, John Stark Associates

PLM Showcase
by Roger Tempest
If your company makes products, then take some time to have a look at the brochures. They are a glossy, appealing presentation of what the products are, and what they can do. Visit an industry trade show and you will see hundreds of these, creating a powerful collective message for customers that makes them want to buy.

When you look at your own company's brochures you also have an "insider's" viewpoint, and can see in detail the extensive engineering and manufacturing expertise that made them possible. PLM is part of this, and we need a way to showcase PLM as effectively as the brochures showcase the products that spring from it.

The PLM showcase needs to be highly visible, easy to understand, and have international appeal. Its purpose is to make PLM a clear and attractive proposition to the millions of business people who still don't understand it. It needs the power to stay with the audience like an advertising campaign, and the persuasive "pull" to draw them into project justification.

The driving force will be the formalisation of current PLM knowledge, which is long overdue (see January 03) and which will create standards and best practices that everyone can use. The platform will be a series of collaborative events in 2011 (see November 22) at which participants from different countries can add to, and learn from, a new global body of knowledge.

The "brochure" effect comes from the new knowledge that is generated. As groups of PLM practitioners meet in each country, they will be able to share their experience and produce a regional benchmark for current PLM progress. Each meeting will have a different emphasis, and the series will build up a global picture of international strengths in PLM. The new standards will include metrics, which provide the link to business performance; and the growing list of participating companies will provide the endorsement for further and deeper PLM investment.

The launch is aimed for the Nordic region, and this will be balanced by one or more locations in the USA. Where the roadshow travels between these points could be up to you, because it will go to countries where there is a large enough base to hold a meeting. Germany and the UK are obviously possible, but could we reach Canada and Brazil, perhaps - France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands - India, Australia or Japan?

If you would like to find out more about taking part in an event, you can register your interest at PLM claims to be a global phenomenon - we could show the world that this is true.


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

Maximizing the Value of PLM/ERP Integration and Collaboration (5)
by Dick Bourke

Part 5: Integration: The Quest Continues

The need to unify the flow of product data throughout the engineering - manufacturing continuum is more critical than ever. The motivation is fundamental: the continuing, unrelenting competitive pressures to reduce non value-added times and costs.


The basic purpose of software integration is to unify related systems to make possible the timely exchange of trustworthy data. Successful software integration eliminates the inefficiencies of manual tasks, semi-automated processes and disconnected systems. Such inefficiencies obstruct the flow of data and frustrate system users trying to do good jobs. Unfortunately, these conditions often encourage inappropriate use of Excel spreadsheets.

In the past, custom coding of software integration offered a company the allure of a fully tailored solution to meet its specific needs; the custom code, however, also brought greater risk and a high price tag. This is because it required special maintenance and on-going support, due to subsequent releases of related software application systems.

Custom coding for systems integration is no longer the preferred tactic. Continuing advances in software provide capabilities to unify interrelated systems - with reasonable expenditures. Sources of this software include PLM/ ERP vendors as well as numerous third party firms. Nowadays, a faster, more cost-effective approach is to start with commercially available software as a base, and then add custom code - if necessary - to achieve systems integration.

Integration of PLM/ERP Systems

Unifying PLM/ERP is one of the most critical integrations for a manufacturing company to implement. These two foundation systems - working together - are indispensable for total management of a product's lifecycle.

In the engineering - manufacturing continuum, coping with massive amounts of frequently changing product data is a constant challenge. Manual and semi-automated processes for exchanging data are error prone and time consuming. Interfacing or loose coupling methods, such as use of Excel spreadsheets, have not proven adequate to cope with the challenges to manage product data.

Worse yet, product configuration integrity is at risk; discovering the true configuration during final assembly haunts companies with inadequate configuration management.

Therefore, to attain a timely and smooth flow of trustworthy product data the complete electronic integration of PLM/ERP is mandatory.

Best practice integration methods take advantage of software capabilities for seamless, real-time, bi-directional exchange of synchronized product data between PLM/ERP systems. This level of integration makes possible the automated transfer of engineering bills of material (eBOMs) to the ERP processes for managing manufacturing bills of material (mBOMs) and related planning, such as bills of process (BOPs). What's more, they nourish the timely return of accurate data, such as part attributes and status, from ERP back to PLM.

Using Web-based technologies, PLM/ERP integration gives all virtual enterprise users the ability to view, revise and make the most of product information for astute decision-making. Joint decisions are facilitated, such as planning new product introductions and managing engineering changes.

After successful implementation of best practice systems integration, companies should look to the range of results such as those cited by CIMdata:

  • BOM - 75% reduction in errors due to more consistent management
  • BOM - 75% reduction in time and cost due to eliminating duplicated effort
  • Inventory - 15% reduction as a result of improved design re-use

These day-to-day operational savings contribute directly to attaining strategic benefits, such as reduced Time to Market. Nevertheless, there is a continuing quest for even more productive means of unifying these systems.

Coming Up Soon
An emerging approach to unifying PLM/ERP has been gaining attention. Identified as "PLM as the System of Record," some view this unifying approach as a step to a "Single source of truth" - but not all agree. Later, I will examine this subject in depth after the next article.

What's Next
For the next article, I will pause to answer questions from the first four parts of this series.


For more detail, see Additional Sources of Information

Contact Dick at


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Atos Origin and Siemens announced a global strategic partnership. Siemens will contribute its Siemens IT Solutions and Services for a total sum of Euro 850 million to Atos Origin. Details


Gerber Scientific, Inc. announced it provided historical financial results excluding discontinued operations. Details

IHS Inc. reported results for Q4 and the full year ended November 30, 2010. Revenue for Q4 totaled $296 million. Details

SAP AG announced preliminary financial results for Q4 and the full year ended December 31, 2010. Q4 IFRS total revenue was approximately Euro 4.04 billion. Details


Dassault Systemes announced the appointment of Jeff Ray as Executive VP, Geographic Operations, and member of the Dassault Systemes executive committee. In tandem, Bertrand Sicot has been named SolidWorks CEO. Details

Endeca Technologies, Inc. announced the appointment of Bob Zurek as VP, Endeca Latitude Product Strategy. Details


ANSYS, Inc. announced that IMPSA is expanding its investment in ANSYS software. Details

CADENAS announced that SKF Lubrication Systems Germany AG published their new electronic CAD product catalog based on the eCATALOGsolutions technology provided by CADENAS GmbH. Details

Catalog Data Solutions announced that has selected its online catalog and CAD download solution. Details

Cimatron Limited announced the winning of a new project with Ju Teng International Holdings Limited. Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced that Amtrak uses SolidWorks software. Details


Gerber Technology announced that Fishman & Tobin is upgrading its webPDM installation to the YuniquePLM platform. Details

Majenta PLM announced that Alphateq selected Siemens NX. Details

Rand Worldwide announced its IMAGINiT Technologies division won a $5.6 million contract with a national education provider. Details

Zuken announced that A-Tec Systems adopted Zuken's E3.series electrical CAD software. Details

Zuken announced that ARBURG chose Zuken's CR-5000 electronics design software. Details

Z Corp. announced that Solid-Ideas is using Z Corp. 3D printing technology. Details



AutoForm Engineering announced the introduction of EasyBlank Inventor. Details

BigMachines, Inc. announced the availability of BigMachines 11. Details

Blue Ridge Numerics, Inc. announced the CFdesign 2011 Winter Update is available. Details

CoreTech System Co., Ltd. announced the release of an interface for NX software. Details

Dassault Systemes announced the availability of Isight 5.0. Details

Extensible CAD Technologies announced a new release of InspectionXpert for CATIA which includes enhanced support for AS9102. Details

FISHER/UNITECH announced the integration of an LMS into its SolidWorks education curriculum. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of eDrawings Professional for Pro/ENGINEER version 8.0 with support for Creo Elements/Pro 5.0 and eDrawings 2011. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of its CAMWorks 2011. Details

Gerber Technology introduced YuniquePLM FS edition. Details

Intergraph announced the release of the newest version of its enterprise viewing and markup software solution, SmartPlant Markup Plus. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. announced the release of a new XVL application, the XVL BOM Assembler. Details

MecSoft Europe GmbH announced that with the service release for VisualMILL-for-SolidWorks, users can run inside both the 32 and 64 bit versions of SolidWorks 2011. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced a series of Technology Design Kits. Details

Nikon Metrology announced the release of XT Software Suite v2.2. Details

PartMaker Inc., a division of Delcam Plc, released PartMaker Version 2011. Details

PTC announced Mathcad Prime 1.0. Details

Sescoi announced the launch of Version 21 of WorkNC. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced the latest release of UniCam FX and Test Expert within Tecnomatix. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced the release of the 2D DCM, Version 58.0. Details


Informative Graphics Corp. announced that a major part of the new release of Intergraph's SmartPlant Markup Plus includes embedded components developed by Informative Graphics Corp. Details

Intergraph announced a partnership with NIAEP. Details

JETCAM announced the signing of Vigsent as a reseller for its aerospace range of products to the Korean market. Details

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

Majenta PLM announced it won three major awards in the annual Siemens Industry Software sales awards. Details

Sescoi announced that, from 1st January 2011, the Armada Yazilim company has been appointed the distributor for WorkNC for the whole of Turkey. Details

Tech Soft 3D announced that the ShapeSpace Enterprise Solution will feature data access capabilities of HOOPS 3D Exchange in 2011. Details

VCollab announced it joins the JT Open program to provide interoperability between the VCollab solutions and JT format. Details


Altair Engineering, Inc. announced it has acquired ACUSIM Software, Inc. Details

Apriso announced it has joined PTC's PartnerAdvantage Program at the Gold Tier. Details

Avatech Solutions, Inc. announced that, effective January 1, 2011, the company name will be changed to Rand Worldwide, Inc. Details

AVEVA announced the launch of the Instrumentation Business Value Calculator. Details

CADCIM Technologies announced the release of Learning SolidWorks 2011: A Project Based Approach. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced support for the emerging Accellera Universal Verification Methodology 1.0 industry standard. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Lawrence Technological University has integrated CATIA into its curriculum. Details

Delcam announced it played a part in a GKN Aerospace project to supply new electro-thermal ice protection technology for the wings of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Details

Infor announced that Ventana Research ranked Infor as a top software vendor in its 2010 Value Index for Financial Performance Management. Details

JETCAM announced that 2011 will see the company's 25th anniversary. Details

Lectra announced its participation, as a member of the Founders' Committee, in the creation of the Institute for Innovation and Competitiveness. Details

MathWorks announced that Jilin University's College of Automotive Engineering signed a software license agreement to provide all students and faculty at the college with MATLAB, Simulink, and 48 additional MathWorks products. Details

Prion Group announced that Prion India turned 5 years, and grew to 100 colleagues. Details

Renishaw announced it will formally open a 4,875 square metre extension to its Pune, India, facility on February 15th 2011. Details

Surfware, Inc. announced a 13% increase in sales growth for 2010 as compared to 2009. Details

TraceParts announced it registered its one millionth user on December 13th. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced that it acquired National RP Support. Details


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