PLM Cost reduction, closing the loops & PLM Vision

2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates

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May 25, 2009 - Vol12 #5

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PLM Cost Reduction: the Art of the Possible

by Roger Tempest

Business people are deluged with advice about the importance of innovation, "thinking out of the box", and using new ideas to create new opportunities. In the PLM world, this deluge seems to wash over everyone without the slightest effect.

PLM, like politics, can be said to be the 'Art of the Possible', but in the case of PLM the expectation of what is possible is very low.

Right now, everyone wants to focus on minimising costs, even if only in parallel with their other PLM activities. This exposes the fact that PLM has always been weak in the area of cost justification. Standard, agreed, fast-acting tools or methodologies are just not available.

The current expectation is that this is something we have to live with. The innovative expectation is that it is time we did something about it.

If the PLM industry formed a temporary, cross-platform task force to do some rapid work on PLM-based cost reduction, then a short series of workshops could be held at distributed locations around the USA and Europe. The workshops would focus exclusively on how to reduce or avoid costs through PLM: how to identify costs, how to measure them, how to measure the PLM improvement, and what immediate steps the PLM team should take to achieve them.

The workshops would be free for user delegates, so that participants from recession-hit companies are not prevented from attending. They would build on each other in sequence, so everyone gets the combined results. This would create new cost-saving material for everyone involved, and generate a much bigger opportunity.

The task force workshop series will mean that some of the best PLM practitioners from two continents are working exclusively on PLM cost reduction for 15-18 days. This level of expertise has never been brought to bear on the subject before. If 2-day User Forum meetings in Reading and Cleveland can define a neutral PLM cost metric framework, then 18 days of workshops could generate a complete metrics set that everyone could use.

A metrics set that everyone can use would transform the PLM industry. All that is needed is for users, vendors and service providers to realise that it is possible and to decide to act. The PLMIG can organise the rest. Send your feedback, or request information, via

Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG.




Linking the Phases, Closing the Loops

by David Potter

CL2M and PROMISE-enabled technologies herald a new era of PLM, and Lifecycle Management in general, by creating compelling new business, application and services opportunities, especially in the middle of life (MOL) and end of life (EOL) phases.

PROMISE proved that the collection of detailed information about products at individual serial number level, and its transformation into product knowledge, can also significantly impact beginning of life (BOL), and therefore the traditional PLM processes and applications. Now, established PLM software vendors, consultants and service providers should be examining how CL2M can increase their opportunities and competitive edge. Meanwhile, newcomers to this market can seize the opportunity to be first with offerings developed from the outset to exploit CL2M and PROMISE technologies and methodologies.

The scope of opportunity is enormous. Each one of the diverse set of commercial demonstrators developed during the PROMISE Project focused on a single lifecycle phase, beginning, middle or end of life, as its primary target for innovation. So we saw, for example, applications as diverse as adaptive production and Design for X (DfX) at BOL; dynamic, adaptive or preventive maintenance in MOL; and re-use of motor parts, plastics recycling and engine remanufacturing at EOL. Also in the course of the project it became clear that the results could be applied beyond PLM to a much wider variety of lifecycles including asset management, healthcare, logistics, pedigree and supply chain integrity to name but a few.

It has already been noted that PLM applications at BOL are mature, and have well established data and interchange standards. The exciting challenge - and huge opportunity - of linking the lifecycle phases comes from the quite different application needs in each of these phases. First of all, the types of applications are specific to each phase, and then the data needs are quite different. For example, the applications in the automotive industry that support BOL are quite different from those needed in MOL (e.g. CRM, parts and service management) and different again at EOL (dismantling, re-use, recycling and disposal). "Linking the phases" depends upon the ability to bridge different application types, and the PROMISE Messaging Interface (PMI) can be used as a common exchange interface between those different application types and different information sources.

Closing the loops was achieved for each demonstrator by identifying the actors in each phase, and using process flow and information flow modelling to identify exactly when and what data needed to flow between each phase and in what direction. This, of course, turned out to be quite application specific, and could involve many items of data or just a few.

The versatility of the PMI links the phases, and closes the loops, by addressing the wide range of requirements demanded of it. Its web-based services subscription approach makes it easy to limit information to only that which is needed and that which is permitted. It flexibly supports many different usage models such as point-to-point; multiple objects to base and vice versa; object to object; database to database; plus both intranet and internet configurations.

Linking the phases and closing the loops inevitably implies different organizations, whether intra- or inter-enterprise. The latter of course raises important issues of information security and confidentiality which I will address in a later article.

In the next article, we will take a brief look into how the PROMISE PDKM/DSS systems influence the transformation of lifecycle information into knowledge and its subsequent exploitation.

If you have any comments or questions related to this article, please post them on my blog at

David Potter is Chief Technical Officer, Promise Innovation International Oy., and former Chairman of the Project Steering Board of the EU PROMISE Project.

"Linking the Phases, Closing the Loops" was written as part four of a series of articles on:
Why CL2M is of significance to PLM practitioners

  1. What has the "Internet of Things" to do with PLM and PLM standards? 2PLM, April 13 2009
  2. Closing the Information Loops across All Phases of All Kinds of Lifecycles 2PLM, April 27 2009
  3. Overcoming "Islands of Information" 2PLM, May 11 2009


 Product Lifecycle<br />
            Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation  


The Importance of PLM Vision

by John Stark

In a recent issue of 2PLM, Roger Tempest mentioned that one of the early answers to the PLMIG's Vendor Support Survey question, If you imagine a 'fairy godmother' who could grant you one PLM wish, what would that be? was:- A coherent PLM Vision, Strategy and Plan that are understood and supported by all levels of management.

We were pleasantly surprised to see this as, in our consulting activities, we always stress the need for a PLM Vision. In our experience, without a Vision, a PLM project is likely to go round and round in circles for a long time.

A PLM Vision is a high-level description of a company's product lifecycle activities at some future time - often five years ahead. Nobody knows what the situation will be in the future, so a Vision is only a forecast of desired future activities, and, like weather forecasts and economist's forecasts, may not be 100% correct. Even so, it helps make good decisions about the resources, priorities, capabilities, budgets, and activities of PLM.

A PLM Vision will be company-specific. It must be understandable and make sense to everybody. It must be believable and realistic, although it may appear to be at the limits of possibility. It must relate to the world of its readers, so that they can find, within it, their place in the future environment.

The Vision has to be communicated to everybody likely to be involved in the future product lifecycle activities or impacted by them. It wouldn't make sense to have a Vision that is only accepted or understood by its inventor.

A PLM Vision is the starting point for developing a PLM Strategy, and for developing and implementing improvement plans. There has to be consensus about the Vision. A shared Vision helps everybody to move forward along the same road towards new and effective activities. In the absence of a shared Vision, people won't have a common picture of the future to work towards, so plans and activities are likely to be unconnected or even in conflict.

A PLM Vision isn't an independent stand-alone entity. It has to fit with the company's overall vision of its future, its mission and its objectives. Upstream of the PLM Vision are the company's objectives, vision, strategies and plans. The PLM objectives result from the requirements of the company. They express at a high level what is expected from PLM. In some companies, PLM objectives may not be provided by top management, so PLM management should develop them and get them confirmed by top management. One objective could be "we want total control of our products across the lifecycle from cradle to grave". Another could be "we want a common product development and support process worldwide".

A Vision should be built by the PLM team over a few months, as one of their working activities. (This is where we come in. Having been involved in PLM Vision development several times, we bring experience absent in most PLM teams.) Developing the Vision doesn't involve the acquisition of any equipment or the implementation of any software. It's a relatively low-cost activity, much less expensive than real-life implementation. And, once the Vision exists, it can be used to simulate various options, again at much lower cost than real-life implementation.

One of the first steps towards the PLM Vision is to understand the scope, range and content of product lifecycle activities. Then, the internal and external influences on PLM need to be clarified. Then the vision of the future PLM environment can be developed, giving a picture of the environment, performance and behavior of the product lifecycle activities that are expected in the future. This will help everyone in the organization who is involved in taking decisions about the future. It will set the scene for all the improvement initiatives that will follow.

Once the PLM Vision has been agreed, a suitable PLM Strategy has to be developed to achieve it. This will defined how PLM resources will be organized. It defines policies for the management and use of PLM resources. Once the strategy has been defined, it's possible to start planning detailed activities. These will address applications, lifecycle processes, information, object lifecycles, organizational structures, etc. Individual projects will have to be identified, and their objectives, steps, timing and financial requirements defined. The relative priorities of projects will have to be understood. The projects will have to be organized in such a way that they result in the strategy succeeding within the allowed overall budget and time scale. When planning has been completed in this way, PLM implementation can take place.

In practice, though, the world is full of companies that are several years into their PLM implementations, but have not yet defined their PLM Vision or Strategy. Without these, their PLM plans are incomplete and poorly focused, and it is not surprising that the PLM project makes little progress, going round in circles, wasting the company's time and money.

The overall process of developing a PLM Vision, Strategy and Plan is easier to describe than to implement. In practice, the process requires a lot of work with, initially, little to show for the effort. When all the work has been carried out, there should be a very clear and simple link between Vision and implementation. In fact, it should look so simple that people who have not participated in the overall process will see it as no big deal. 



PLM PhD positions

Thanks to Bela Patkai for telling us of two recent advertisements of PhD positions posted on The Information Exchange for Closed Loop Lifecycle Management: welcomes information about PLM courses and positions. PLM education is an important aspect of further PLM progress.



PLM News


BWIR announced an LOU with think3 to integrate think3's Engineering Services Division with BWIR's operations in Chennai. Details


Autodesk, Inc. reported revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was $426 million, down 29% on Q1 of fiscal 2009. Details



Avatech Solutions, Inc. announced financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2009. Details


Siemens PLM Software appointed Steffen Buchwald as VP and managing director of the Central and Eastern Europe operating region. Details


Access Commerce announced that a provider to life science industries has chosen Cameleon EasyQuote for Details

aPriori announced that NCR Corporation selected the aPriori Product Cost Management Platform. Details

aPriori announced that Gardner Denver has selected the aPriori Product Cost Management Platform. Details

Cadence Design Systems Inc. announced that SANYO Semiconductor Co., Ltd. has adopted Cadence Virtuoso IC 6.1. Details

Catalog Data Solutions announced that Mamco Precision Switches selected its CDS Catalog and CDS ModelServer products. Details

Concurrent Systems Inc Ltd announced use of DesignDataManager by Advent Communications. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that INSIDE Contactless implemented the ENOVIA Synchronicity DesignSync solution. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Global Unichip Corp. has expanded the deployment of ENOVIA PLM. Details

EOS announced that FKM is the first company to purchase an EOSINT P 800 high temperature machine. Details

Intergraph announced Vietsovpetro expanded its use of SmartPlant Enterprise and upgraded to SmartPlant 3D. Details



MSC.Software announced that Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company Limited in China has selected SimXpert. Details

QUMAS announced that Sanquin has selected QUMAS DocCompliance as its enterprise regulatory content management system. Details

Renishaw announced use of the Renscan5 five-axis CMM scanning system by TURBOCAM. Details

SAP announced that MSC Industrial Direct Co, Inc. has selected the SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management component. Details

Technia announced a PLM solution at AKVA. Details

Technia announced a PLM solution at Peab Sverige AB. Details



Algor Inc announced new functionality with the latest version of Algor simulation software. Details

AVEVA announced two new products: AVEVA Diagrams and AVEVA Instrumentation. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. introduced a co-design solution for designing FPGAs onto PCB systems. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced an extended system-level verification solution that supports the OSCI TLM 2.0 standard. Details

Centric Software, Inc. announced the availability of Centric 8 Suite, Release 3. Details

Centric Software announced a Product Profitability Planning Module for Centric 8. Details

Centric Software introduced a connector to link Gerber Technology WebPDM and Centric 8 PLM Suite. Details

Dassault Systemes announced the availability of Abaqus 6.9. Details

Esperient Corp. announced the release of Esperient Creator 3.7 and Esperient Creator Enterprise. Details

Fishbowl Solutions announced support for AutoDesk Inventor files with their linkLoader for Windchill PDMLink solution. Details

Fishbowl Solutions, Inc. released linkTuner V 2.1, a solution for PTC's Windchill PDMLink and Pro/INTRALINK. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of version 2.3 of GeomCaliper. Details

Intergraph announced the release of the newest version of SmartPlant 3D. Details

McLaren Software released DocLoader for EMC - Documentum 6.5. Details

Metris announced the release of Camio 6.1. Details

NGC announced the latest release of the company's e-PLM software. Details

Noesis Solutions announced the release of OPTIMUS Revision 8. Details

Sopheon announced Idea Lab, an addition to Accolade, for use in generating, nurturing and developing new product ideas. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced availability of new releases of 2D DCM and PGM. Details

Spatial Corp. announced availability of its Rapid Application Development Framework. Details

Spatial Corp. announced availability of 3D ACIS Modeler and 3D InterOp Suite Release 20. Details

TransMagic, Inc. announced TransMagic STL PRO. Details

TransMagic Inc. announced the release of TransMagic R8. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced the launch of its new sPro 60 SLS Centers. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced the launch of its V-Flash Desktop Modeler. Details



MasterControl Inc. announced the availability of the MasterControl ENG solution. Details

The MathWorks announced Release 2009a of its MATLAB and Simulink product families. Details




InnovMetric Software Inc. announced an agreement with TriMet for PolyWorks universal 3D metrology software platform distribution. Details

JETCAM International s.a.r.l. announced that it has signed ITS d.o.o and ITRC d.o.o. as new resellers. Details

Open Text announced that it has been awarded a 2009 SAP Pinnacle Award. Details

Right Hemisphere announced it teamed up with EMC Corp. to offer a 3D product image management solution. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced three D-Cubed components will be integrated in the Certusoft Configurator application. Details

Think3 announced a distribution agreement for France with Sys PO Ingenierie. Details

The vdR Group and Exalead introduced Partrieve, an SBA built on the Exalead CloudView platform. Details 


Arena Solutions announced growth for its first quarter, ending March 31, 2009. Details

AVEVA announced the amalgamation of its Information Management Solution into a single brand -- AVEVA NET. Details

AVEVA announced that Alliance received FIATECH's 2008 CETI Award in the category of Automated Design. Details

BigMachines, Inc. announced it grew revenue and recurring revenue by 60% over the prior year's first quarter. Details

CIMdata announced the worldwide NC software and related services market grew by 5.2% in 2008 to $1.47 billion. Details

COADE announced CADWorx 2009 with full compatibility with AutoCAD 2010. Details

Creaform announced a 35% year over year revenue increase for Q1. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that its DELMIA Automation solution was recognized as a 2009 Automotive News PACE Award Winner. Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced extended support for SolidWorks 3D CAD software. Details  




Gibbs and Associates announced that GibbsCAM 2009 has been certified for Autodesk Inventor 2010 software. Details

Jotne EPM Technology announced the Product Life Cycle Support (PLCS) Software Implementation Handbook. Details

Jotne EPM Technology announced the PLCS video. Details

Mentor Graphics announced use of FloEFD computational fluid dynamics software by Encore Bits LLC. Details

Mentor Graphics announced use of FloEFD computational fluid dynamics software by Graco. Details

RAND Worldwide announced the launch of a new eStore solution for its courseware division. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced an in-kind software grant with a commercial value of US$36 million to Wuyi University. Details

3Dconnexion announced its line of 3D mice is now supported by AutoCAD 2010 and Autodesk Inventor 2010. Details  


   Product Lifecycle<br />
            Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation





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