PLM Dawn and Standards for SMEs, MOL Telecomm Maintenance

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John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               May 10, 2010 - Vol13 #3

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The Dawn of PLM for SMEs
by Jean-Jacques Urban-Galindo
 

Every day, you see that the Design Office, which previously produced drawings on physical media (blueprints, Mylar) now provides digital files. Just as for the media which they replace, the management of digital files must be meticulous. A distinction must be made between an original (whose uniqueness must be guaranteed) and its copies. Each document, and its subsequent versions, must be uniquely and correctly identifiable.

Among the consequences, many activities must be transformed to work effectively in the new digital environment. They include:

  • the traditional circuit of verification and approval (previously formalised by managers' signatures)
  • the maintenance of consistency between assembly documents and detailed drawings in a "package"
  • archival allowing consultation over a long time period, providing evidence of intellectual property

In any such environment, it's necessary to answer some specific questions precisely:

  • How will each component be identified, regardless of its state (raw, machined ...) or its source (purchased, manufactured ...)?
  • Who is responsible for a part's definition documents? Who is allowed to make changes? What are the versions of reference?
  • How does one designate the sub-assemblies obtained by assembling parts?
And in the field of the organisation of corrections and improvements:
  • What is the scope and perimeter of a change?
  • What products or assemblies, under development or in operation, are impacted by a proposed change?

Finally, co-operation between several companies adds the need for openness and communication between their information systems. It implies respect for a common language that defines the shared objects and the syntax of their relations. The STEP ISO standard offers a suitable "anti-Babel" basis.

Demystification of PLM concepts will help show SMEs its strategic importance, and put them on a clear implementation path.

 

The text of this article has been updated from the French original of 2007, but the content is as relevant now as then. Jean-Jacques Urban-Galindo, previously with PSA, is now a consultant in Logistics & PLM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standards and SMEs
by Roger Tempest
 

"Although mid-sized enterprises share similar needs as larger companies and understand the importance of PLM, they have certain concerns about implementing PLM, including limited IT resources for services and training; resistance to changes to standard operating procedures (SOPs); unknown total costs and disruption to users' daily work." [Enovia]

"The demands on small and medium size business are more challenging than ever. Great products are becoming exponentially more difficult to create due to increasing product complexity, globally distributed design teams, fragmented IT architecture and more stringent time, cost and regulatory requirements. The key to success is to harness product development activities." [PTC]

"As a business owner [...] you have to constantly plan ways to innovate, collaborate, reduce cycle time and manage complexity. On top of these daily issues, growth of your company is dependent on strategies to address new markets, while effectively competing with larger enterprises with greater resources. The development of a rapidly deployable product lifecycle management strategy focused on speed-to-market is essential." [Siemens PLM]

The quotes could go on but the underlying message is the same, and supports the views of the lead article in this issue of 2PLM.

SMEs can have many or all of the PLM demands of large corporations, without having the specialist human and technical resources to address them. Many medium-sized companies are very well aware of PLM, but cannot see a clear and cost-effective way of implementing it. Vendors are trying to extend the PLM marketplace downwards, and the more successful they are, the better the overall PLM environment. PLM-enabled corporations need a completely PLM-enabled supply chain to take full advantage of their investment.

Standards offer a "path of least resistance" for PLM. By following standards, it is easier to do things right first time, and to avoid wasted cost and effort. Not only do standards encapsulate best practice in a pre-packaged and easy-to-use form, but the actual development of standards creates new knowledge, and that can be passed on through the industry. PLM adoption is made easier, PLM implementations are more effective, and the demand for PLM increases.

The first new PLM standards are published in the Q1 2010 issue of the PLM Journal.

 

Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. You can comment or request more information via standards@plmig.com  


CL2M Case Study 3 : MOL Telecomm Equipment Diagnosis and Maintenance
by David Potter
 

This case study is based on one of the 10 commercial applications developed during the EU PROMISE Project. It describes some of the features of the complete application, the objective of which was to enable more effective Middle-of-Life (MOL) diagnosis and maintenance of telecommunications equipment.

The equipment in question is a broadband access system (IBAS), a Multi-Service Access Node, manufactured by one of the PROMISE partners and supplied to its customers as a platform for their broadband services.

Historically, once telecoms equipment is handed over to the customer, operational statistics like performance and availability tend to be jealously guarded by the service operator, who is often reluctant to make them available to the manufacturer.

Operators may also use card substitution as a first step in diagnosis without properly tracking which cards were used, or the results. This has limited the effectiveness and reliability of diagnosis and maintenance of these systems and increased repair costs.

For this application, the common PROMISE technologies were applied in order to meet the following objectives:

  1. Receive and integrate field data produced with product information existing in the back-end systems
  2. Track and maintain the history of an IBAS installation at a specific customer site
  3. Track IBAS line cards through their lifecycle
  4. Register and maintain past service cases to support decision making on diagnosis
  5. Integrate product information existing in the various systems
  6. Support decision-making: provide appropriate information views to support decision making on product improvements

The design and implementation of this application was in accordance with the PROMISE Architecture. Information collected by the existing IBAS APU (Asynchronous Transfer Mode Processing Unit) was accessed via a top-level PEID (Product Embedded Information Device) implemented as the so-called PPIM (Promise Product Identification Media). PROMISE Data Services (middleware) was used to link the PEIDs with the back-end PDKM and DSS systems.

At Beginning-of-Life (BOL), quite late in the Production cycle, each component is instantiated. Preliminary product information is generated and written to an RFID tag (called PCIM in the full case study). This is the local PEID. It enables tracking the component line cards and the on-board controller (APU) in each rack assembly up to the point when power is first applied, after which components and changes to them can be discovered automatically.

The RFID tags later serve to identify the component any time that it becomes separated from the IBAS system and to link it to its historical information and any fault reports.

The most important activity in this case study is the IBAS Onsite Support Visit. A technician visits the IBAS system and uses the portable PPIS (Promise Product Identification System) to establish communication with the target PPIM, download all the data residing on the PPIM and store it locally on the PPIS.

A portion of the PROMISE Middleware residing on the PPIS validates the downloaded data so they can be transferred back to the PDKM (Product Data Knowledge Management) system when appropriate. The technician enters any additional information gathered from the inspection in the PCIS and tries to fix the problem and the results are recorded.

If communication between the PPIS and the PROMISE Decision Support System (DSS) can be established, the technician may seek support from it. All the information about the target PPIM stored on the PCIS during this visit are then uploaded via the PROMISE Data Services middleware to the PDKM, and are used as a problem description by the DSS.

A DSS user enters in the DSS (PDKM) as accurate a description of the problem at hand as possible. This is accomplished via a suitable user interface, or by uploading data collected from a PPIM, or by a combination of those two.

The DSS tries to locate "similar problems" in "similar contexts" and formulate a list of possible solutions which is presented to the DSS user. The user tries a suggested solution and reports back on the results, positive or negative.

If this process does not lead to a solution, the DSS user is presented with a user interface allowing the narrowing or widening of the Search Space. Finally, in all cases the User may/should enter via the DSS interface any Problem or Solution Report that can help in future cases.

The following list shows the projected benefits derived from applying PROMISE technologies to the IBAS system:

  1. Reduced maintenance cost (Target: 25% per year)
  2. Reduced field technicians (Target: 25% labour cost reduction for field maintenance)
  3. Reduced number of calls (Target: 20% per year)
  4. Reduced design effort (Target: 30% per year)
  5. Reduced stock capacity (Target: 15% per year)
  6. Reduced hardware failures (Target: 25% owing to preventive maintenance)
  7. Increased customer satisfaction due to improved fulfilment of customer requirements

Registered users who are logged in to cl2m.com will be able to access the full public text of this PROMISE demonstrator case study by following this link: Case Study 3: Middle of Life Telecomm Equipment Diagnosis and Maintenance. There is no charge for registration.

In the next issue of the 2PLM newsletter, I will present the fourth in this series of case studies, dealing with the application of PROMISE technologies to predictive maintenance of engineering machines.

 

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


 

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PLM News

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Financial

ANSYS, Inc. announced first quarter 2010 results. Revenue was $136.1 million. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010. Revenue was $222 million. Details

Cameleon Software announced its provisional revenue figures for the first quarter of 2010. Revenue was Euro 2.22 million. Details

Dassault Systemes reported Q1 2010 financial results. Revenue was Euro 311.9 millions. Details

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced results for the first quarter ended April 3, 2010. Sales in Q1 2010 were $42.3 million. Details

Geometric Ltd. announced operating revenues of USD 27.84 Mn for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. Details

Lectra announced unaudited financial statements for Q1 of 2010. Q1 2010 revenues totaled Euro 43 million. Details

Open Text Corp. announced unaudited financial results for Q3 ended March 31, 2010. Fiscal 2010 Q3 total revenue was $212.8 million. Details

PTC announced Q2 revenue of $240.6 million. Details

QAD Inc. reported financial results for fiscal Q4 2010. Total Q4 revenue was $52.7 million. Details

SAP AG announced preliminary financial results for Q1 ended March 31, 2010. Total revenue was Euro 2,509 million. Details

Stratasys, Inc. announced revenue of $23.0 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced first quarter 2010 results. Revenues were $31.6 million. Details

People

assyst GmbH announced it further strengthened its PLM Team in the person of Mr. Jan Jessen. Details

Creaform announced that Markus Eickhoff will be leading the European team as Vice-President, Sales EMEA. Details

McLaren Software announced the appointment of Kuljit Bawa as VP Global Sales. Details

Implementations

Aras announced that the Deutsche Blisterunion selected the Aras PLM software suite. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced use of Cadence Virtuoso Space-Based Router by Centaur Technology. Details

Intergraph announced that PetroVietnam Marine Shipyard Joint Stock Co. selected Intergraph SmartMarine. Details


 
Intergraph announced that ENI Saipem S.p.A. will standardize on Intergraph SmartPlant Enterprise. Details

MSC.Software announced that KOSME adopted a suite of MSC.Software simulation solutions. Details

Mystic Management Systems announced that ensur was selected to assist in the quality process management within Forever Nutraceuticals LLC. Details

NGC announced that Jerry Leigh implemented NGC's e-PLM software for Product Lifecycle Management. Details

Developments

Autodesk, Inc. announced the availability of AutoCAD Freestyle software. Details

Edgecam announced the latest release of Edgecam, 2010 R2. Details

ESI announced it reinforced its Welding Simulation Suite with Visual-WELD. Details

ETRAGE LLC announced that it has added CATIA V5 and SolidWorks to Plot Service for Windchill for the creation of viewable files and CAD Interoperability. Details

Flowmaster announced the launch of the Software Development Kit (SDK) for Flowmaster. Details

Gibbs and Associates announced the availability of GibbsCAM VoluMill Solids. Details

Informative Graphics Corp. announced it is developing integrations for its Brava! and Redact-It products for SharePoint 2010. Details

Intergraph announced a new version of its SmartMarine software. Details

Lantek announced the release of its new family of solutions Lantek Flex3d. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. announced the release of XVL Web Master ver. 8.2. Details

Missler Software announced the launch of TopSolid 7.3. Details

MSC.Software announced Marc 2010. Details

MSC.Software announced that Dytran 2010 is released. Details

NEi Software announced NEi Nastran V10. Details

Vizup Inc announced that VizUp 3.6.5 has been released. Details

3D Systems announced the availability of Accura CeraMAX. Details

Relationships

Altair announced the addition of FTire to its HWPA. Details

Avolve Software Corp. announced that Informative Graphics Corp. entered into a technology partnership with the Company. Details

Cimatron announced it expanded its network in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Details

Dassault Systemes and IBM announced an expansion of their partnership. Details

Dassault Systemes announced a partnership with application developer echoBase, Inc. Details

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

Endeca Technologies, Inc. announced the expansion of the Endeca Extend Partner Program. Details

QUMAS and LexisNexis announced LexisNexis Compliance Manager powered by QUMAS. Details

SensAble Technologies, Inc announced that BonaDent Dental Laboratories joined the SAPC Program. Details

Sim3 Engineering Consulting announced a partnership with Dassault Systemes. Details

Tata Technologies announced it expands it iPRODUCTS Reseller Network to the UK. Details

ZWCAD announced it launched a USA distribution channel. Details

 

Other

Accept Software announced revenues for the first quarter of 2010 increased by double compared to first quarter of 2009. Details

ANSYS, Inc. announced that the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering has deployed software from ANSYS, Inc. Details

Aras announced that the company has been named a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner, Inc. in the Cool Vendors in Product Design and Life Cycle Management 2010 report. Details

Arena Solutions announced that the company saw strong growth in subscription sales for Q1 ending March 31, 2010. Details

Autodesk, Inc. unveiled eight industry-oriented software suites to help students learn core design and engineering skills. Details

BigMachines, Inc. announced that it has established BigMachines K.K. Details

BigMachines, Inc. announced that it has been chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the OnDemand Top 100 winners. Details

Blue Ridge Numerics, Inc. announced that CFdesign 2010 has been named Product of the Year by NASA Tech Briefs magazine. Details

CAD Schroer announced its Pay-per-result portal. Details

CIMdata announced its estimate that the worldwide NC software and related services market declined by 13.1% in 2009 to $1.239 billion. Details

CPFD Software announced it received a SBIR award for its GPU computational acceleration proposal. Details

Creaform announced the opening of a new calibration centre in Grenoble, France. Details

Delcam announced that the company has completed a decade as the world's leading CAM specialist. Details

DP Technology announced it moved its East Coast team to a new and improved site. Details

Eurostep announced it participates in the European aircraft industry R&D project CRESCENDO. Details

Formtek announced that its Professional Records Management Service Consultants were certified by AIIM as Electronic Records Management Specialists. Details

Gartner, Inc. announced that worldwide project and portfolio management software revenue totaled $1.16 billion in 2009, a 1.5 percent decrease from 2008 revenue of $1.18 billion. Details

GTX Corp. announced the addition of support for Microsoft Windows 7 and 64-bit operating systems to its suite of the GTXRaster CAD Series 2010. Details

The ODA announced the release of version 3.3 of its Teigha software development platform. Details

Sescoi announced that WorkNC CAM software is the most popular programming system amongst Japanese die and mold makers. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced its ranking as the number one PLM solution supplier in China based on 2009 overall market presence. Details

SpaceClaim announced it was included in the list of "Cool Vendors" in the "Cool Vendors in Product Design and Life Cycle Management, 2010" report by Gartner, Inc. Details

Striker Systems announced that the latest release of FAB Professional achieved certification for Autodesk Inventor 2011 Digital Prototyping software. Details

Symmetry Solutions Inc. announced its new customer facility in Brooklyn Park. Details


 

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