PLM Industry Vision, Case Study 6: Plastics Recycling

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2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               June 21, 2010 - Vol13 #6

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PLM Industry Vision
by Roger Tempest


It is well understood that every PLM implementation should define a PLM Vision. It is a fundamental part of project management.

It therefore seems reasonable to ask the PLM industry to do the same. If the PLM industry itself is ever to become mature and deliver everything that users are currently looking for, what will the picture look like in 10 years' time?

It seems likely that the supply side will look very similar to how it does now, with a wide range of vendors and service providers driving PLM capability forward as they race to compete with each other. However, in 2020, that PLM capability will be able to be measured against a framework of industry-wide PLM knowledge, metrics and standards, so that user companies of all sizes can plan and implement PLM in a quantified way.

The overwhelming difference with today's scenario is the lack of doubt. By 2020, PLM has been publicised and developed as a professional activity so that everyone in business, in any capacity and in any industrialised country, is familiar with it. PLM teams work in an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance. Project justifications are based on an internationally-agreed PLM Benefits Reference Model, which allows ROI to be based on precise metrics generated from real implementation successes over the past 10 years.

Implementations are easily planned using PLM Maturity Model roadmaps and are carried out according to formal PLM Best Practice standards distilled from experienced user companies. This saves the effort that is wasted today on re-invention and "wondering how other people do it" and means that successful implementation has become completely predictable.

Individual implementations are fully mature. Whatever the size of the company, the PLM director can say: "All of the elements of PLM are in place across the entire enterprise. The whole enterprise manages its products actively and seamlessly from the executive board down to the most detailed operational level, with commercial integration throughout the product chain with our customers and suppliers. Product-related data across the whole lifecycle is created once and presented to the right people in the right format and detail at the right time. People, processes and technology are integrated within the PLM framework, and are supported by a comprehensive and fully-integrated IT infrastructure. Everyone within our 40 sites in 18 countries understands their PLM role and is working the same way."  

More importantly, implementations are fully mature in this way across all of the industrialised world. No matter if you are in the USA, Europe, or one of the Asian countries, the adoption of PLM is just as thorough and complete. The southern hemisphere has been brought into the fold, so, wherever you trade, your company will find the same opportunities for skilled partnership. This has brought about some re-balancing of low-cost economies, but it has also transformed the world's productivity (and the size of the PLM marketplace).

This is a PLM scenario of 10 years' time, and as with any Vision it will only be realised if everyone works towards it - in this case, by applying a form of collaboration and industry focus that is currently missing. PLM needs a proactive industry body, incorporating leading users and vendors, that is truly international.

This body will develop new PLM standards, but will also liaise with major companies and existing standards organisations to incorporate their best elements. The body will take the PLM message to national industry bodies and media sources around the world to pass success stories from one country to another. It will coordinate the safe exchange of best practice from leading implementations, thus providing the structure and metrics for the Best Practice and Maturity reference models. Perhaps most of all, it will bring together leading PLM companies in a cooperative structure that can become a Steering Group for the industry. It is the aim of the PLMIG to provide the vehicle for this.


Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. You can request more information or find out how to participate via

CL2M Case Study 6 : EOL Plastic Materials Recycling
by David Potter

This case study is based on one of the 10 commercial applications developed during the EU PROMISE Project. It briefly describes how common PROMISE technologies were applied in order to increase the availability of more accurate life-cycle data about plastic materials for recycling and to highly automate decision making and process flow control within a recycling facility.

European and international directives are increasingly focusing on reduction of used materials going to landfill or incineration. They require a significant improvement not only in the quantity of material available for recycling but also a more effective utilisation of materials in remanufactured goods with a higher value.

Many plastic materials potentially have a high residual value providing that they have not been contaminated by other materials during their life, and plastic articles that can be clearly identified and sorted from articles of different compounds or utilisation history are able to be re-used in new products with a higher value.
The application charts the receipt of plastic materials for recycling through identification and sorting processes, storage in both normal storage areas and, if appropriate, areas monitored for hazardous conditions in the material. When materials are re-processed, the application records the end-of-life events for all materials consumed in the production process, and the beginning of life events for the new material thus created. In this way, the information loop regarding specific composition of new product batches can be managed and closed. After re-processing the products are tracked again, and monitored if necessary, in storage until final despatch in response to a customer order.
Product Embedded Information Devices (PEIDs) are applied to individual plastic objects and containers of materials using appropriate identification technologies (barcode, RFID devices) according to the value of the objects concerned. These are used to precisely identify their composition at the time of reception in the recycling facility. In the case of larger and higher value components, for example vehicle bumpers, data such as characteristics, material, vendor, production batch and date, component history and operating conditions can be stored.
Data about the plastic materials is collected from the PEIDs and stored in the PROMISE PDKM (Product Data Knowledge Management) Server. This is used in combination with information recorded by indoor and outdoor navigation systems fitted to forklift trucks which identify and record the exact position in storage of the objects and containers. 

The tracking and tracing of materials throughout each stage of the recycling process in this way ensures complete reliability in identification and use of the correct materials.

The PROMISE Decision Support System (DSS) performs two major functions in this application:
1.     Makes decisions about how the materials will be used in the recycling process, from sorting, through storage, re-processing and eventually despatch as a new product.
2.     Automates the human decision making which is currently necessary to compensate for the lack of integration between the ERP, PPS and WMS systems in a typical plastics recycling company.
The use of a PROMISE-compliant PEID together with appropriate sensors allows the system to monitor the condition of potentially hazardous materials while they are in storage. Some materials become hot after re-processing and are susceptible to combustion for a time. Being able to actively monitor the material whilst in storage greatly reduces the risk of fire.
The application demonstrates how the tracking and tracing of products identified for recycling can be enhanced using the PROMISE PEID technology and PDKM system in combination with indoor and outdoor navigation systems. It improves the information flow throughout the EOL phase of used plastic materials (e.g. car bumpers) and the BOL phase of the resulting recycled material (e.g. granular plastic), bridging the information gaps present in the state-of-the-art and closing the information loop. It optimises processes within these phases by providing real-time product and context information to a number of back-end systems, and by integrating DSS into the existing backend in order to handle these processes more effectively and efficiently.
Registered users who are logged in to will be able to access the full public text of this PROMISE demonstrator case study by following this link: Case Study 6: EOL Plastic Materials Recycling. There is no charge for registration.
In the next issue of the 2PLM newsletter, I will present the seventh in this series of case studies, dealing with the application of PROMISE technologies to support beginning-of-life Design for X (DfX) principles for railway locomotives.

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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Dassault Systemes announced that it acquired Exalead for about Euro 135 million. Details

Synopsys, Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Virage Logic Corporation in a transaction value of approximately $315 million. Details


IGE+XAO announced turnover for the third quarter ending April 30, 2010 of Euro 5,525,177. Details


Infor announced that Soma Somasundaram has been named senior vice president, Global Product Development. Details

Zero Wait-State announced it has elevated Stephen Porter from VP of Sales to CEO. Details

Zuken announced the appoinzment of Steve Chidester as head of product marketing for Europe and America. Details


Aras announced that Textron Defense Systems has selected the Aras Innovator suite. Details

Concurrent Systems Inc Ltd announced that Tommaso Pagnini is using DesignDataManager. Details

Dassault Systemes announced use of Dassault Systemes' PLM solutions by TRI Engineering. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Giken has deployed Dassault Systemes' PLM solutions. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that CJ Cheiljedang Corporation has adopted the ENOVIA V6 solution. Details 

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced a 5-year agreement for FARO to be a key supplier of laser trackers and measurement accessories for the Airbus A350 project assembly line. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that Autoliv Electronics America has upgraded to Valor vPlan. Details

Oracle Corp. announced that 2Wire has deployed Oracle's Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) 9.3. Details

Pilgrim Software, Inc. announced that Creative Testing Solutions will implement Pilgrim's Document and Training Management systems. Details

Technia announced an agreement with Orion concerning a delivery of a PLM solution based on the ENOVIA PLM system. Details 


aPriori announced availability of a new Progressive Die costing module. Details

CONTACT Software GmbH announced CIM DATABASE 2.9.8. Details

Dassault Systemes announced a solution for DELMIA Automation virtual simulation to connect to Mitsubishi Electric Hardware and GX-Simulator. Details

Encore Software, Inc. announced Punch! Software ViaCAD 2D/3D v7. Details

ETRAGE LLC announced that it has added Inventor and NX to Plot Service for Windchill. Details

Forming Technologies Inc. announced the release of FASTBLANK for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0. Details

Geomagic announced Geomagic Studio 12 and Geomagic Qualify 12. Details

I-Cubed announced the launch of SuppliPack. Details

Kubotek USA announced the launch of KeyMachinist Mill. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. announced the release of XVL System Toolkit version 3.1. Details

LMS announced LMS Virtual.Lab Acoustics Rev 9. Details

Luxion introduced KeyShot 2. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the Calibre xACT 3D product. Details

PartMaker Inc. announced PartMaker Version 2011. Details

PTC announced new and enhanced solutions built on the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 collaboration platform. Details

PTC announced Mathcad 15.0. Details

StrucSoft Solutions announced the launch of CMS v5.0, an application for creating, viewing, editing and managing DSTV-CNC files. Details

VX Corp. announced the release of VX Version 14.4. Details



Aras announced that Advanced Innovation Tools has joined the Aras Partner Program. Details

Autodesk, Inc. announced it named Applied Software North American Reseller of the Quarter for Q1 of the 2011 fiscal year. Details

AVEVA Group plc announced that it has joined the Business Software Alliance (BSA). Details

Delcam announced the appointment of MC Tools as its new reseller for Central America. Details

Invention Machine announced several new resellers. Details

IronCAD, LLC announced the signing of their latest reseller, Advance Design Solutions. Details

PROSTEP AG announced that Covisint will globally offer OpenDXM GlobalX through AppCloud. Details

PTC announced that HP has become the newest participating partner in the PTC Maintenance Support Gold Loyalty Discount Program. Details

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

Right Hemisphere announced that its visualization technology is being integrated into CAMS 7.1 software from SAP AG. Details

SensAble Technologies, Inc announced that Dental Prosthetic Services has joined the SAPC Program. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced the integration of D-Cubed software components from Siemens PLM Software into Sescoi International's new WorkNC-CAD Hybrid Modeling product. Details

TDCI, Inc. announced it joined PTC's PartnerAdvantage Program as a silver partner. Details

TradeStone Software, provide of Merchandise Lifecycle Management (MLM) solutions, and First Insight announced a partnership to bring consumer influence through social media into the retail design cycle. Details

Vero Software announced an agreement with MIRDC. Details

Zuken announced that FISHER/UNITECH joined its North American network of E3.WireWorks resellers. Details

3Dconnexion announced it advanced to a Platinum Tier Partner within PTC's PartnerAdvantage Program. Details


Answerthink announced that EzIMC received SAP qualification. Details

AVEVA Group plc announced that ASC migrated the digital model of the Collins Class submarines from a legacy system to AVEVA Marine. Details

Cadac Organice BV announced their compatibility program for SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced its support for TSMC AMS Reference Flow 1.0. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced UVM Reference Flow 1.0. Details

CD-adapco announced the opening of a new office in Bellevue, Washington. Details

Coade announced use of Intergraph CAESAR II and Intergraph CADWorx software by Mech-Tech Projects. Details

Datakit announced that Global Vision Systems uses Datakit software to convert CAD models of an Airbus A350. Details

Exa Corp. announced that it has renewed and extended its technical and commercial partnership with Porsche AG. Details

Fujitsu Limited and iCAD Limited announced the development of a computer aided design (CAD) engine. Details

Fujitsu Limited and Digital Process Ltd. announced a new virtual product simulator (VPS), V15L10. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced support for TSMC AMS Reference Flow 1.0. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that X-FAB Silicon Foundries now supports Mentor's Olympus-SoC place and route system. Details

MSC.Software announced that it has licensed its SimXpert software to Purdue University. Details

MSC.Software announced it renewed its donation of 50 software seats to UC Irvine. Details

Premier Farnell plc announced that Harriet Green, Chief Executive, has been awarded an OBE. Details

PROSTEP AG announced that OpenDXM GlobalX made it into the Top Ten at the German industry awards "Industriepreis 2010". Details

Snowflake Software announced that its Chairman, Peter Woodsford, was awarded an MBE. Details

Tecplot, Inc. announced use of the Tecplot 360 CFD visualization tool. Details


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