PLM Training at the PLM Institute, 10 Years Of The PLMIG - How The Future Has Changed, Your Future PLM Environment, PLM Expansion, Getting the Benefits from a Search and Discovery Solution


2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                          January 20, 2014 - Vol16 #4

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PLM Training at the PLM Institute
The PLM Institute started operations in Geneva, Switzerland on January 1, 2014. Its mission is to:
  • provide PLM training and education
  • carry out applied PLM research
  • organise PLM events

In addition to a range of modular PLM Training courses for companies, the PLM Institute will provide PLM Professional Certification courses for individuals.
The modular PLM Training courses are designed as interlocking modules of a 3-level, 6-topic structure.  

The 6 topics, which cover the scope of PLM, are: PLM Initiative Management; Organisational Change Management for PLM; Business Processes; Product Data; IS; and People Issues. Each topic includes several subjects which are addressed by courses at Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels.

Although PLM has a wide scope and may seem complex, this structure allows participants to select just those training modules they need.

10 Years Of The PLMIG - How The Future Has Changed
by Roger Tempest
The PLM Interest Group celebrated its tenth birthday on 01 January 2014, marking a decade of trying to change the world of PLM. So, how successful has it been?

PLM itself seems to be more widespread and more advanced, but much of this is simply due to the effects of "inflation". In the same way that monetary inflation erodes the real value of salaries, making pay rises seem bigger than they are, improvements in technology and social media have flattered the apparent progress of PLM.

PLM looks better because computer applications are more powerful and because people have simply been applying it for a longer time (which increases its size and spread). More people are applying PLM because more companies and countries have joined the global economy. However, receiving up-to-date product data on your hand-held device does not necessarily mean that there has been an improvement in the underlying data management architecture that put it there.

At an industry level, PLM progress over the past ten years has evolved haphazardly, reacting to events. Six years on from the PLMIG milestone definition of 'Full PLM Maturity', the goal is as far away as ever. The path to 'Fully-implemented PLM' still has not been established.

In the early years, from 2004 to 2007, the PLMIG focused on meeting specific interests or needs of members. More recently, since 2010, the PLMIG has tackled bigger issues such as PLM Standardisation, the integration of PLM and ERP, and the current initiative to produce a Financial Framework for PLM.

The PLM Financial Framework has the potential to change the future. Everyone knows the need for solid metrics that can showcase the financial benefits of PLM deployment. We will now be able to generate them. The workshop series has established:-
  • the misconceptions surrounding PLM deliverables;
  • how to build an effective framework to gather this information;
  • who to involve in the project; and,
  • how to ensure a common understanding and objectives.

With a neutral metrics system that can be used by users and vendors, most of the uncertainties that are holding back PLM will be removed. PLM projects will be justified based on financial gains that can be measured as the implementation proceeds.

The approach also uncovers 'transformational' benefits that are missed by current methods of analysis (see 2PLM November 25); and leverages a long-term PLM Vision that is based on Full Maturity. It means that the next 10 years of PLM do not have to be the same as the last. The PLM industry may even do what it implicitly aims for, and achieve global adoption of PLM.


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

Your Future PLM Environment
by John Stark
At the beginning of the year, many companies review their PLM progress and think about how their PLM environment will evolve in the future. They'll find the following Chapters of Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation particularly useful:
  • Chapter 18: Of PLM Vision and Strategy
  • Chapter 21: Developing PLM Vision and PLM Strategy
  • Chapter 22: Example of a PLM Vision
  • Chapter 26: Describing the Future Situation

To be sure of where they are starting from, they may want to review PLM progress. A PLM Status Review will help.


PLM Expansion
by Scott Cleveland
Jim Brown shared his thoughts on the PLM market. He sees PLM expanding in 4 dimensions:
  • to more people
  • covering a richer view of the product
  • enabling more processes
  • supporting further up and down the product lifecycle

But not everyone is taking advantage of the broadening capabilities.

My thoughts ....
PLM has been around for at least 20 years, but there are still companies that are using protected directories instead of a software solution. I think that you'd be amazed at the number of companies that haven't implemented any kind of software solution.

I see a lot of Sharepoint implementations which may manage documents, but don't do a good job of managing a product lifecycle.

Most PLM implementations begin in engineering. Engineering needs to manage CAD drawings, bills of materials and the engineering change process. From this kind of implementation, it's very typical to add more people to the system.

Initially, a bill of materials will have parts [or items], sub-assemblies and assemblies. Over time, companies will want to associate different items such as: requirements documents, test procedures, test results, work instruction packages, etc. [covering a richer view of the product].

After successfully managing the engineering change process, some of my customers have begun managing other processes, such as the purchase order process, work instruction package creation, non conformity process, Corrective and Preventive Action process, idea management process, etc.

However, as Jim points out, not everyone is taking advantage of the full capabilities of PLM.

Once you're successfully managing your CAD drawings, bills of materials and your engineering change process you should look to other areas that could use some improvement. PLM software is a great platform for improving other processes.

Your thoughts ....
How are you using your PLM software? Contact me to see how you could take it further in your company.

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

Getting the Benefits from a Search and Discovery Solution
by Dick Bourke
Implementing a Search & Discovery Solution (SDS) can provide immediate operational benefits, even if your company does not have a PLM (or PDM) system. Moving ahead with an SDS can help your company achieve many of the benefits of design reuse, part standardization and duplicate part reduction.

The core benefit of an SDS is saving substantial amounts of non-productive search times and ensuring complete product data retrieval. Numerous surveys have confirmed savings up to 30% of knowledge workers' times.

If your company's current systems are inadequate to quickly retrieve product data, two classes of SDS software tools can improve accessibility - semantic and geometric.

Semantic search - uses algorithms that assess the meanings and relationships within text to search and discover product data scattered throughout the enterprise.

Each SDS vendor uses various elements of semantic technology to search for desired text. The range of capabilities includes tools with roots in engineering and product development. Moreover, they have the capability to crack open CAD files through connectors. A number of SDS choices are available for multi-CAD environments including:

  • Product Data Intelligence - Actify
  • Alcove9 - Alcove9
  • Exalead OnePart - Dassault Systemes

Geometric search - uses a mathematical representation of a part to seek and find parts with identical or similar shapes.

There are several key capabilities to assess when evaluating SDS software alternatives. As with semantic search tools, relevance is one. In this case, the tool presents the search results by visualization techniques, spatial and color. Here are three different product/vendor alternatives, all also applicable in several CAD environments.
  • 3D PartFinder - 3DSemantix
  • Geolus - Siemens PLM
  • ShapeSpace - ShapeSpace Ltd

Some product development teams work with very complex mechanical products. For them, a forward-thinking strategy would consider both semantic and geometric technologies to enhance their product development process. Be aware that these two technologies are merging, as can be seen in some of the identified software alternatives.

A question might be, "Which software tool is best?" Don't waste time looking from that perspective. For an individual enterprise, the selection criteria must be situational. Identify the enterprise requirements - before shopping - to ensure an appropriate selection.

Permission Statement
Getting the Benefits from a Search and Discovery Solution is reprinted with permission from

For more information, contact Dick Bourke at  

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PLM News

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Autodesk announced that it completed the acquisition of Details

PTC announced it acquired ThingWorx for approximately $112 million, plus a possible earn-out of up to $18 million. Details



SAP AG announced its preliminary financial results for the full year ended December 31, 2013. Total revenue was Euro billion 16.81. Details

SofTech, Inc. announced its second quarter fiscal year 2014 operating results. Revenue for the three months ended November 30, 2013 was approximately $1.41 million. Details



Altair announced that Dr. Detlef Schneider has been appointed senior vice president EMEA. Details

3D Systems named Neal Orringer as Vice President of Alliances and Partnerships. Details



aPriori announced that its platform has been deployed by Sunset Metal Works. Details

AVEVA announced that Burgasnefteproekt used AVEVA Laser Modeller. Details 

MathWorks announced that The Nobel Foundation has adopted MATLAB. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced that Matzen & Timm selected Marc. Details

PTC announced that Great Plains Manufacturing is using PTC Creo and PTC Windchill. Details 


Aras announced Aras Innovator 10. Details

BETA CAE System S.A. announced the release of v15.0.0 of ANSA / μETA pre- and post- processing suite. Details

Delcam announced that Vortex has been added to the FeatureCAM, PartMaker and Delcam for SolidWorks CAM systems. Details

EdgeAX announced EdgeAX PLM version 2.0. Details

eQuorum Corp. announced Version 8.7 of ImageSite. Details

Hexagon Metrology announced the release of WLS qFLASH. Details

Kubotek USA announced Kubotek Comparison Suite 2014. Details

Lectra announced the release of Lectra Fashion PLM V3R3. Details

MecSoft Corp. announced VisualCAM 2014 for Geomagic. Details

TFTLabs S.A.S announced its TFTPad app on Google Play. Details

TXT Maple Lake announced TXTPLM 4.0. Details

ZWCAD Design announced that ZWCAD Touch is available for the Android platform. Details

3D Systems announced Cubify 2.0. Details



JETCAM International s.a.r.l. and Bricsys nv announced a technical and commercial partnership. Details  

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

SpaceClaim announced an integration with Lagoa. Details

SpaceClaim and CD-adapco announced STAR-SpaceClaim. Details 


Autodesk announced that it has been named one of the 2014 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. Details

The Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS) announced the results of their fourth large-scale measurement study. The 50-page report is entitled "Non-Contact Scanning: How Data is Affected by the Decisions We Make". Details

InnovMetric Software Inc. announced that it has launched PolyWorks Japan KK. Details

Omnify Software announced an Empower PLM application story featuring Genetec Inc. Details

TraceParts announced that the TraceParts online portal delivered 42 million CAD models to a community of over 1.7 million registered users in 2013. Details

Vero Software announced use of VISI by Harwin Plc. Details



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