Product Data: Finding It - Using It by Deploying a Search Engine Solution (3), How to Fix PLM-ERP, Getting Leaner with a PLM Project (2), PLM Solution Process Steps

   

2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               July 30, 2012 - Vol15 #8

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Product Data: Finding It - Using It by Deploying a Search Engine Solution (3)
by Dick Bourke
 
Part 3: Answers and Comments - Before Moving Ahead

Preface
Search Engine Solutions (SESs) have been leveraged to help engineering and manufacturing companies in their constant struggle to find relevant product data - for timely decision-making. Finding it - Using it supports strategic initiatives, such as Design Re-use, for minimizing the risk, time and cost of product development.

As stated before, the content of this series is geared to readers interested in an overview of the basic concepts and issues of deploying semantic-based SESs. This includes all forms of deployment: on-premise, cloud, mobile and all combinations of these alternatives.

Readers have posed a variety of questions that have been categorically grouped and addressed below. A few selected references are offered throughout this article, also. Among them, at the end, are those pertaining to semantic technology concepts and terminology.

More on the Definition of Search Engine Solutions
Currently, there is no widely-accepted definition appropriate for SESs in engineering and manufacturing enterprises. Undoubtedly, we'll see variations in terms, definitions and descriptions as the market for search applications becomes more active.

IDC's description of Search-Based Applications (SBAs), cited in Part 1, is "Search-based applications combine search and/or text analytics with collaborative technologies, workflow, domain knowledge, business intelligence, or relevant Web services. They deliver a purpose-designed user interface tailored to support a particular task or workflow." (Underlines are mine.)

The original definition of SBAs comes from Wikipedia. It is "Software applications in which a search engine platform is used as the core infrastructure for information access and reporting. SBAs use semantic technologies to aggregate, normalize and classify unstructured, semi-structured and/or structured content across multiple repositories, and employ natural language technologies for accessing the aggregated information."

These definitions and descriptions are a worthy start. But, as a more widely-acceptable definition evolves, it must identify the informational needs of collaborative product development (CPD) activities of the enterprise, within not only engineering, but also manufacturing process planning, quality and other functions involved in CPD.

In addition, to emphasize an earlier comment about definition: An SES is not a data management solution - and it should not be perceived that it creates and manages product data. The real value of an SES is that it finds data based on what already exists, rather than creating and managing metadata that is found in structured data repositories.

Awareness is Growing
As engineering and manufacturing enterprises become overwhelmed with unstructured product data, there is growing awareness of the persistent pressure for search solutions.

Consulting firms are chiming in. In a recent newsletter titled Analytics, PLM Converge Amid Data Tsunami; A Ceaseless Search for Sustainable Advantage, CIMdata stressed the importance of finding and using the many forms of unstructured data required for effective product development. Marc Halpern of Gartner issued On the Frontiers of Product Design and Life Cycle Management, citing search software as critical. And, in Jos Voskuil's Blog, the author comments frequently on its value.

One of the most definitive reports yet, however, is Best Practices for Managing Design Data, published recently by Tech-Clarity. Of the best practices identified in this comprehensive survey, sponsored by Siemens, fast product data searching and retrieval is paramount.

Moreover, software providers fuel awareness as they spot market opportunities, develop solutions and publicize them.

Search Software Providers
A selected list was given in Part 1. Since then, PTC's Index Search, based on Solr, has been added to it, and IHS has acquired Invention Machine. Other providers - not listed - may address engineering/manufacturing search requirements, though, in a limited manner. Furthermore, as the need is further recognized, more providers likely will enter the market space.

Semantic Technology: Selected References
Both of the following two publications provide extensive background, including glossaries.

The LinkedIn group, Enterprise Search Engine Professionals, is a source, nevertheless, with a caution: Most of the discussions are oriented to those deeply involved in this technology. It's helpful for those readers eager for more technological depth of understanding.

 

What's in Future Columns?
The next column will discuss the value of SESs. After that, two columns will continue the description of the searching process that began in Part 2. Content may be modified based on reader comments and questions. Please submit them to: Dick Bourke at dickb@bourkeconsulting.com.
 

How to Fix PLM-ERP
by Roger Tempest
 
The relationship between PLM and ERP has been one of the most complex problems in PLM for the past ten years. We are now going to generate the definitive, neutral solution.

Every company that manufactures products has to manage PLM-ERP, and an immense amount of experience has been gained. There are many successful implementations, but the solutions are always bespoke, expensive, labour-intensive, and subject to continual change. For less successful companies, the battle to maintain PLM-ERP is a constant drain on management and technical resources.

The PLM Interest Group will run a series of workshops from September to November that will enable PLM and ERP practitioners to combine their expertise and formalise a best-practice framework. These workshops are not mere "discussion shops". The Agenda will be based around the Product Structure Standard, developed from PLMIG initiatives in 2009-10, which clearly identifies the accurate and inaccurate areas of current theory.

The workshop series will produce a new PLM-ERP Handbook that shows how PLM-ERP should be structured and managed. At the moment there seem likely to be 3 workshops, located in the UK, Germany, and North America.

 

We may run a fourth in another country if there is support for it. (India has been suggested, if there is sufficient manufacturing industry demand.) The sequence and timing will be decided based on feedback over the next couple of weeks.

Each workshop will produce a new version of the Handbook, building on the results of the one that came before. Everyone who takes part in a workshop will receive the results of the whole series. User companies may find it valuable to send colleagues from both backgrounds.

The Workshops can be used as a means of resolving participants' most intractable PLM-ERP issues, while generating a common understanding in the process. Vendors, integrators and consultants are also welcome, as we are looking for involvement from all parts of the industry.

More information and an email link can be found on the PLMIG web site.

 

Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. Membership of the PLMIG is available via membership@plmig.com.

 

Getting Leaner with a PLM Project (2)
by John Stark
 
One of the objectives of a PLM Project may be to get leaner across the product lifecycle. There are usually opportunities for improvement in many areas. A recent issue of 2PLM showed examples of waste related to product data that shouldn't exist in the to-be environment. Below are typical examples of process-related waste that shouldn't exist in the to-be environment. More examples can be found in Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation.

Overproduction

  • Repetition of the same activity in different processes
  • Defining processes without target values or measurement points
  • Doing more work on a project than is required, slowing other projects

Excess transportation

  • Pushing data to a distribution list, even when some people don't need it
  • Excessive delegation
  • Automated workflows with unnecessary steps

Over-processing

  • Too many sign-offs in process activities
  • Making glamorous presentations for a Steering Committee
  • Approving documents that have already been approved

Inventory

  • Defining processes before they are needed
  • Defining processes that create information before it's needed
  • Defining processes with unnecessary storage activities

Movement
  • Process steps requiring search for drawings and other information
  • Clicking though multi-level menus and lists
  • Switching between multiple projects

Defects

  • Not documenting application workflow in a process description
  • Not documenting a process
  • Not updating a process description when the process changes

Waiting

  • Preparing training material long before people will be trained
  • Waiting due to bottlenecks
  • Waiting due to serial flow, instead of parallel flow

 

Some readers' comments about Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation:

  • "A really useful, thoughtful book parts of which I've already read 3 or 4 times." (Pierre D.)
  • "This is a profound book building the foundations of a new paradigm for product development, realization, use, management. Reading it is an enrichening experience." (D. Smith)
  • "Recommended for PLM Project team" (J. Huppe)

 


PLM Solution Process Steps
by Scott Cleveland
 
When speaking with people interested in PLM solutions, these are the major steps that I go through with them. These steps are meant to represent the 10,000 foot view:
  • Why are you looking at PLM? There must be a reason [problem] or we wouldn't be talking.
  • What's the problem costing you? Can you quantify the problem in dollars?
  • What's your solution vision? If the world were perfect, what would your solution look like? Can you quantify the solution in dollars? The solution needs to either make money or save money.
  • What are your solution alternatives? Sort through your alternatives to determine what's reasonable and what's not. Many other alternatives may be possible, but at what price - just a SMOP (small matter of programming)?
  • Write up a project plan for implementing a solution. It's important to understand the project steps - what the vendor will do and what you will do. How long will the project take? How will you measure success?

  • What's the cost of the solution? [hardware, software & services]
  • Can you justify the purchase? If so, how?
  • How do project budgets get approved in your company? Each company has its own process for getting budget approval. What do you need to prepare to get a budget approved?
  • Prepare the documentation justifying the purchase
  • Get executive approval to start the project

My Thoughts....
There's a lot of work to do before a PLM project even gets started. I always suggest to people that they begin doing the research now so that, when the need arises, they can begin the process of getting a budget approved.

As Nike would say, 'Just do it'. And, they have a PLM solution in place.

Your Thoughts....
What would you add to this discussion?

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


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PLM News

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Corporate

aPriori announced $5 million in new venture capital from existing investor Sigma Partners. Details

IHS Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire GlobalSpec, Inc. The $135 million acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Details

IHS Inc. announced that it has acquired Invention Machine for approximately $40 million. Details

 

Financial

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012. Revenue was $326 million. Details

Dassault Systemes reported IFRS unaudited financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012. Total revenue was 502.9 millions of Euros. Details

EMC Corp. announced preliminary second-quarter 2012 results: Q2 consolidated revenues of approximately $5.31 billion. Details

Geometric Ltd. announced consolidated unaudited results for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Revenues were USD 47.8 Mn. Details

Lectra announced consolidated financial statements for Q2 2012. Revenues were Euro 51.7 million. Details

PTC reported results for its third fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2012. Non-GAAP revenue was $311.2 million. Details

SAP AG announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2012. IFRS total revenue was Euro 3.90 billion. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced revenue of $83.6 million for the second quarter of 2011. Details

 

People

Geometric Limited announced the addition of Mr. Louis J. Pascarella. Details

ModuleWorks announced the appointment of Richard Baxter as International Sales Manager. Details

PTC announced that it has named Robert "Bob" Kocis as senior divisional vice president of Asia Pacific Sales And Distribution. Details

 

Implementations

Aras announced that Kinnerton Confectionery has selected Aras enterprise PLM. Details

Autodesk announced use of Autodesk visualisation software by Morgan Motor Company. Details

AVEVA announced that it has signed a contract extension with Huntington Ingalls Industries for AVEVA MARS. Details

AVEVA announced that AVEVA Marine has been selected by GHENOVA Ingenieria. Details

CDS announced that FluiDyne Fluid Power, Inc. has selected its SaaS Catalog and CAD download solution. Details   

Eurostep announced that Share-A-space will be integrated into IXARM, the portal of the French MoD, and will be used as a hub to share data between SIMMT and OEMs. The implementation will be a joint effort between Capgemini and Eurostep. Details

Gerber Technology announced that Eurocopter Canada selected the Virtek LaserEdge projection system. Details

Gerber Technology announced that ICICLE has chosen YuniquePLM. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced an agreement that extends the co-operation between JSC UAC and Siemens PLM Software in the application of Teamcenter and NX. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced that Futuris Automotive has selected the Seat Design Environment portfolio of software. Details

SofTech, Inc. announced that its ProductCenter PLM solution has been selected for use at the General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies' Richardson, Texas facility. Details

ZWSOFT announced use of ZW3D by Feist Modell und Formenbau. Details 

Developments

Autodesk, Inc. unveiled AutoCAD WS 1.5. Details

CD-adapco released STAR-CCM+ v7.04. Details

Centric Software, Inc. announced Centric 8, Version 4.6. Details

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced the Prime arm. Details

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced the Vantage. Details

First Trace, Inc. announced Service Pack 2 (SP2) for version 5.0 of Kinnosa. Details

Geomagic announced release of Freeform v12 SP2 and Claytools v4. Details

Geometric Limited announced the launch of its automated design for manufacturability solution, DFMPro for NX software. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of NestLibOnline. Details

Hexagon Metrology announced the launch of PC-DMIS 2012. Details

InspectionXpert Corp. announced InspectionXpert for PDF/OnDemand 2012 2.3.1. Details

InspectionXpert Corp. announced InspectionXpert for AutoCAD Mechanical 2012 SP1. Details

Invention Machine announced the latest release of Goldfire. Details

KISTERS announced the release of 3DViewStation 11.2 including neighborhood search. Details

Lectra announced the launch of its new line of Vector fabric cutters. Details

MathWorks announced that Simulink, Embedded Coder, and the AUTOSAR Target Production Package now support AUTOSAR 4.0. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced a solution that combines 1D and 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Details

Open Design Alliance (ODA) announced the release of version 3.6 of Teigha. Details

SigmaTEK Systems, LLC announced the release of SigmaBEND AP. Details

Theorem Solutions announced Theorem's V6 <-> NX format converter solution. Details

Zuken announced E3.series industry editions, which are available with E3.series 2012. Details

ZWCAD Design Co. Ltd. unveiled ZWCAD+. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced availability of Cubify Invent. Details

  

Relationships

Aras announced that Integware has joined the Aras Partner Program. Details

Gerber Technology announced that Microsoft has certified the company as a Microsoft Gold Independent Software Vendor. Details

JETCAM International s.a.r.l. announced the signing of Carbo-Soft as a reseller. Details

The Jotne Group announced that a partnership agreement has been signed with Kiewit Corporation. Details

Lightworks announced the company's partnership with AMD. Details   

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

Noesis Solutions announced that it has joined the PTC PartnerAdvantage Program at the Silver Tier. Details

Rand Worldwide announced that IMAGINiT Technologies has been awarded the Autodesk Simulation Specialization designation. Details

Synergis Technologies, Inc. announced that it has earned two Autodesk Specialization designations, Product Support and PLM360. Details

Tech Soft 3D, Inc. and Geometric announced an agreement. Details  

Other

aPriori announced results for its fiscal year 2012. Key accomplishments for the year ending April 30, 2012 included a 52% increase in revenues vs. FY 2011. Details

Autodesk announced that an expedition to Antarctica is using Autodesk digital prototyping software to help discover new answers about the evolution of life and effects of climate change. Details

Autodesk, Inc. announced that Autodesk Inventor Fusion technology for 3D CAD modeling is available for download in the Mac App Store. Details

AVEVA announced that it has opened a new office in Helsinki, Finland. Details

AVEVA announced the release of a new business paper for the process and power industries. Details

CDS announced greater than 25% revenue growth in the first half of 2012 compared to in the first half of 2011. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that it is spinning off Transcat PLM GmbH. Details

Dassault Systemes announced a new R&D center in Shanghai, China. Details

Intergraph Process, Power & Marine announced a new world industry region: Greater China. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced that two of its FEA solutions, Marc and Patran, were used in a study at Clemson University. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced a study on the quality of oral health care with the assistance of Marc Nonlinear finite element analysis capabilities. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced that its Marc Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis software is playing a role in undergraduate teaching at SCU. Details

OPEN MIND Technologies AG announced, for the first quarter of 2012, a 20 per cent increase in turnover compared with the same quarter in 2011. Details

PROSTEP announced a free version of OpenDXM GlobalX. Details

PTC announced that it has been named a leader in warranty transaction management software, according to a new report from IDC Manufacturing Insights. According to IDC Manufacturing Insights, manufacturers spend over $23 billion of product revenue on warranty claims annually in the United States alone. Details

Sopheon plc issued a trading update for the six months to 30 June 2012. Details

Spatial Corp. announced that DCS has launched their newest product 3DCS Mechanical Variation Analyst. Details

Trubiquity announced that it has joined the Codex of PLM Openness initiative. Details

ZWCAD Design announced that ZWCAD+ has incorporated .dwg support and 3D components from Open Design Alliance and Spatial. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced that it has acquired Viztu Technologies. Details

 
 

 

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