Standards Launch, PLCS and LOTAR

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2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               March 1, 2010 - Vol12 #24

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PLM Standards Launch Workshop
By Roger Tempest
Readers of 2PLM will have seen the discussions about PLM Standards and PLM Qualifications that have grown steadily since they began in the December 07 issue.
We now have a clear enough picture to be able to hold a launch meeting to start creating them.

The PLMIG will host a Launch Workshop in Oxford, UK on 24-25 March at which the overall PLM standards framework can be agreed. A number of "building block" standards will be proposed at the event, and participants will be able to work as a group on their own ideas. The workshop will discuss the qualifications that can raise PLM to become a genuine profession, and will produce a roadmap for future development.

The workshop will also cover the major standards such as 'PLM for M&A' and 'PLM Delivery'. During the discussion stage, one Value Added Reseller suggested that: "standardisation in how a PLM partner structures an engagement is crucial", and that "standardisation must come from the chosen PLM partner".

This seems to be what we have at the moment - each vendor, or consultancy, applying their "standard" to the user. One standard per supplier is not a standard at all. The user sees a confusion of messages, some of which may be contradictory.

So we need to get vendors, consultancies and other suppliers to join in the standards process to help generate a neutral 'PLM Engagement Structure' that everyone can reference. The PLM Standards Workshop will be the first opportunity to do this.

The aim is to create an inclusive, collaborative environment that involves practitioners from all parts of the PLM spectrum, working with an open and international outlook. The Launch in March gives us the chance to change the PLM landscape from an unstructured industry to a profession with agreed, documented best practice and skills.

There is more discussion in this issue of 2PLM with contributions about PLCS, iViP and LOTAR, and this will continue in future issues, but we have reached the point where we can start to take action. After a decade of PLM development, we now know enough to develop practical standards in a way that complements the work of existing initiatives and does not conflict with proprietary knowledge. It is time that we did so.

Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. You can request more information about the Workshop via 

By Nigel Shaw
One way to look at the standards that might be applicable to PLM is to use the Zachman Framework questions as potential topics: Why, How, What, Who, Where and When as they apply to PLM.

Starting with "What": I have had the good fortune to play leading roles in the first edition of STEP (ISO 10303) and the NATO Product Data Model. Also, I was the technical architect of the PLCS standard (ISO 10303-239). All of these are "information standards" in that their main purpose is to allow exchange and sharing of content, i.e. the "What". All of them define many objects that contribute to product data. Of the three, PLCS is by far and away the most suited to PLM. It has been designed to meet the needs of through-life collaborative projects, where it is not only necessary to exchange and share the current information, but also to have the ability to record the history of the project. PLCS is also far more generic in its capability than is suggested by its associated activity model, which focuses on information management and product support.

While PLCS and other standards cover the "What", there is considerable scope for standards dealing with "How". Such standards will deal with two main areas: process (e.g. how do I do my job) and access (e.g. how do I get to the information I need to do my job).

Before looking at "How" in more detail, it makes sense to look at the remaining questions from the Zachman Framework, i.e. Why, Who, Where and When. Defining when something is to be done is almost always driven by business needs, and so is not suited to standardisation. One has to realise that some areas are not suited to standardisation, and defining when things shall be done in the scope of PLM is a good example. Recording when some relevant action was performed, though, adds to the "What" and is in the scope of PLCS.

"Why" also gives rise to content that is in the scope of PLCS. This is one of several capabilities in PLCS that have been enabled, but are not required. It is, of course, a business decision as to how much justification is captured. The various pre-existing standards in relevant areas are very weak in capturing "why". "Who" and "Where" also give rise to content that is again covered by PLCS.

Returning to "How", an appealing area for PLM standardization is processes. However, with at least one important exception, this is where enterprises find their competitive edge and therefore seek to fine tune or even radically change their own processes. The idea of an externally defined standard process is unacceptable to many businesses. 

The one exception is a ubiquitous process: management of change. A standard approach becomes more attractive as soon as the changes frequently cross enterprise boundaries. The German Automotive industry has, through the VDA, created a standardised change process (VDA 4965). This is a sector where product data is widely distributed between OEMs and suppliers, and so design changes do cross between companies. The underlying content of the VDA work is based on ISO 10303-214, the STEP part for Automotive Design. Eurostep have implemented the same process at clients operating with PLCS.

Another important "How" concerns access to data and, increasingly, access to system or application functionality. These are defined as web services or APIs. Standardised web services have been proposed by the OMG and by the OASIS PLCS TC as well as by the major vendors. Standardizing web services, if it is to be effective, must rely on standard content, such as is provided by PLCS. Many different services are possible, and these standards have to balance granularity with effectiveness. The volumes of data involved in some areas of PLM (consider analysis models and the corresponding analysis results), and the complexity of related information, provide challenges for web-service technologies and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA). SOA has given rise to a number of reference models, for example the OASIS SOA Reference Model. Reference models help characterise their subject domains. The Supply Chain Operational Reference model and the related Design Chain Operational Reference model from the Supply Chain council are relevant to PLM. As PLM is subject to many interpretations, defining a PLM reference model would have value, particularly in providing a baseline for web service standards.

In conclusion, PLCS is an existing standard with a rich content model which is directly applicable to PLM content. It is gaining traction through being contracted as a delivery mechanism to defence customers, and because it is such a good and comprehensive PLM model. My suggestion is that people really interested take time to learn about PLCS (and STEP). After all, these standards are defined by users, based on their needs and not how the PLM SW vendors view the world. There remains scope for more standardization, especially in Web services, but reaching a consensus in the short term on what are the appropriate services to standardise will be challenging given both commercial interests and changing technology.  

Nigel Shaw is Managing Director, Eurostep Limited. 

PLM Standards from ProSTEP iViP
Guillaume Hirel

The article 'PLM Standards: SOA and M&A' by John Stark in the February 1 issue meets our efforts at T-Systems to standardize Web Services for PLM within the ProSTEP iViP Association.

To develop products collaboratively in manufacturing industry, stable data exchange mechanisms are necessary - it is important to have standardized and compatible data formats and exchange methods. The ProSTEP consortium has addressed this issue for many years.

ProSTEP iViP is a consortium based in Germany. Members include a significant number of key players in the automotive and aerospace industries, some of their major suppliers, IT companies and academic institutions from several countries. The projects carried out by the ProSTEP iViP Association focus not only on the data but also on the processes and systems involved, and their efficient integration. Based on the needs of the members (i.e. user driven rather than IT vendor driven), contributions are made to new or existing standards, and recommendations are formulated as to how to use them, depending on the use case.

One of these standards is the PLM Services 2.0 specification from the OMG. The OMG is an international computer industry consortium that develops enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies and industries, and it has adopted PLM Services 2.0 as one of its formal standards.

Derived from ISO 10303 STEP AP214, the data model is very powerful and widely covers the product lifecycle. The Web services of PLM Services 2.0 (i.e. the application interface) were derived from the PDTnet consortium project. They include granular as well as highly aggregated services, depending on the use case. Combined queries enable powerful and flexible access (provided they are implemented in the same powerful and flexible manner on the underlying legacy system).

Providing standard services to its application enables a company to open its processes and data to partners. The challenge is not that much the technology of PLM Services 2.0, but the necessary evolution of the collaboration processes in the automotive and aerospace industry. 

After pioneer work done on AP214 at T-Systems over a long time, and its use by several products and projects (COM/FOX, COM/VPM, COM/Smart, SAM, ... ), we have implemented and experienced the OMG PLM Services 2.0 within our middleware SOA solution 'PDM WebConnector'. Used together, PLM Services 2.0 and PDM WebConnector enable support of a large number of collaboration scenarios: integrate in-house or external systems; offline or online; uni- or bi-directional synchronization; portal solutions; etc. The neutral data model, neutral services and effective use of SOA enable removal of all kinds of barriers, such as different platforms or technologies used for legacy systems, and different data models. Additional PLM Services 2.0 features such as support of the highest security standards, and successful pilot usage at Daimler Trucks, allow us to emphasize the good maturity level of PLM Services. The next step is to go for full production use.

For the manufacturing company, the benefit of using PLM Services 2.0 is to achieve a flexible IT architecture. This is a requisite for using existing databases continuously, and connecting them for process oriented use cases with standardized connectivity modules. Moreover, the user company can easily change, as requirements change, the strategy of using applications and data storage. In addition, the company reduces efforts for individual programming and customizing of its IT environment. For the IT vendor providing the services, there is theoretically some kind of risk to lose its monopoly since, theoretically, a system could be replaced by another without affecting the service consumers. But the benefits of using standards are much higher in term of scale cost reduction.

Guillaume Hirel is a PLM Consultant at T-Systems and can be contacted via

LOTAR-International (Long-Term Archiving and Retrieval Standard-Series for the global Aerospace)
By Steven Vettermann

The LOTAR project is an example of a global project in the area of PLM standards. The objective of LOTAR International is to develop an auditable process for the long-term archiving (LTA) of digital data, e.g. 3D CAD and PDM data. Use of the standard series by other branches of industry such as the automotive or shipbuilding industry is possible.


The results are harmonized with e.g. the Recommendation 4958 for long-term archiving of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and are based on the ISO 14721, Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model.


The documents for the standard are published as the EN9300 series and, in cooperation with the AIA, also as the National Aerospace Standard (NAS).

LOTAR International is a project being conducted by leading OEMs and suppliers in the aerospace industry under the joint auspices of ASD-STAN, AIA, PDES Inc. and the ProSTEP iViP Association.

Close cooperation with the PDES, Inc. / ProSTEP iViP CAx Implementor Forum ensures implementation reliability.

The LOTAR project consortium consists of user companies from European and the US. Major key players are Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, EADS, Eurocopter, General Dynamics, Goodrich, IAI, Lockheed Martin, SAFRAN, Sandia, and Spirit.

Goals of the project include:

  • Developing a standard series for archiving and retrieval of product data
  • Standardization of referred and needed methods, process modules and data models
  • Providing methods, process modules and data model(s), to enable long-term archiving and retrieval of CAD and PDM data, but e.g. also for electrical, composite design data
  • Development of recommendations for practical introduction of long-term archiving of relevant data at industry
  • Having COTS based on user requirement due to cooperation with CAx-IF and conjoined funded pilot projects

The LOTAR development of a worldwide-accepted standard for long-term archiving of a 3D master and product structure is an international collaboration of the Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA) and the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe for Standardization (ASD-STAN), under the supervision of the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG).

The results of LOTAR will be released as EN 9300 and NAS 9300 series. Part of the series is already released.

More information about LOTAR can be found here:

Dr. Steven Vettermann is Manager Technical Program, ProSTEP iViP e.V., Darmstadt, Germany.

Product Life live
John Stark
The Product Life live PDM and PLM User Conference will be held this year on March 2-3 in Stuttgart, Germany. You can read the Conference Programme here.

The exhibitors this year include: BCT Technology; Business Operation Systems; Carl Hanser Verlag; Corporate Business Solutions; Contact Software; Dassault Systemes; DSC Software; ECS; EMC Engineering Management Consult; InMediasP; Intelliact; Lucas-Nuelle Consulting & Partner; MRT PLM Group; NovaTec; ORCON; PDTec AG; Piterion; Procad; PTC; SAP Deutschland; Schuh & Co.; Siemens PLM Software; SolidLine; Technia; TeDo-Verlag; up2media; Virtual Dimension Center; WIN Verlag; xPLM Solution; :em engineering methods.

The Product Life live (PLL) Conference Organisers were among the first to recognise the tremendous importance of the enterprise-wide management and control of all information, data and documents that describe a product "from cradle to grave".

Although the management of product life is considered one of the most important tasks of manufacturing companies in the coming years, many questions on implementation strategies, ROI and benefits remain unanswered. Product Life live aims to help you find answers to these questions, and to create opportunities for discussion with other users and specialists.

We look forward to seeing you in Stuttgart.

Product Life live - PDM and PLM User Conference
March 2, 2010 - March 3, 2010
Tainer Str. 7
D-70734 Stuttgart-Fellbach





PLM News

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IHS Inc. announced the acquisition of Emerging Energy Research. Details


Autodesk, Inc. reported revenue for the full year fiscal 2010 was $1.7 billion. Details

Avatech Solutions, Inc. announced financial results for its Q2 ended December 31, 2009. Total revenues were $7.7 million. Details

Cimatron Limited announced revenues in the full year ended December 31, 2009 were $33 million. Details

Lectra announced Q4 2009 revenues of Euros 42.6 million. Details

Stratasys, Inc. announced financial results. Revenue was $26.2 million for Q4 ended December 31, 2009. Details


Mentor Graphics Corp. announced it has named Serge Leef Vice President of New Ventures. Details

Saratech announced Clara Gubert and Brian Barsamian as new members of its leadership team. Details


Aras announced that PCC Structurals has selected Aras for product lifecycle management. Details

Catalog Data Solutions announced that Rockford Linear Motion, LLC. selected its online CAD download solution. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Procter & Gamble has extended the scope of its V6 PLM implementation. Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced that Kneissl designs its skis with SolidWorks CAD software. Details

Intergraph announced that Siirtec NIGI S.p.A. has selected Intergraph SmartPlant Enterprise. Details

Intergraph announced that Queiroz Galvao has implemented Intergraph SmartPlant Enterprise. Details

PTC announced that Greaves Cotton Limited has chosen to expand enterprise wide adoption of PTC's Windchill. Details

VISTAGY, Inc. announced that Kaman Helicopter entered into an agreement to license FiberSIM. Details


ASCON Group announced Czech and Polish versions of KOMPAS-3D V11. Details

Blue Ridge Numerics, Inc. announced the availability of CFdesign 2010. Details

Creaform announced the fourth version of VxScan. Details

Dassault Systemes launched Release 20 of its V5 PLM portfolio, including CATIA, ENOVIA, SIMULIA, and DELMIA. Details

Delcam announced that the 2010 release of its Toolmaker tooling design software incorporates Parasolid. Details

DeskArtes announced 3Data Expert software version 9.0. Details

ESI Group announced the release of VA One 2009. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of NestLib 2010 R1. Details

ICAM Technologies Corp. announced its Gold Series line of post-processors running behind Mastercam. Details

Invention Machine announced the availability of Invention Machine Goldfire 6.0. Details

MasterControl Inc. announced the availability of MasterControl QAAD Version 8.0. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced FloTHERM IC. Details

Planview announced the newest release of Planview Enterprise, Planview Enterprise 10.1. Details

Quantapoint announced the integration of Quantapoint 3D laser scan data into AVEVA NET using AccessPoint. Details

PTC announced CoCreate 17.0. Details

Surfware, Inc. announced the release of SURFCAM V5. Details

Zuken announced E3.RevisionManagement. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced an integrated 3Shape software solution on its ProJet DP 3000 dental production systems. Details


Kubotek USA announced the addition of Eureka-TEK as a new reseller. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. and Kubotek USA announced the completion of a new partner agreement. Details

ModuleWorks confirmed their partnership with CAD/CAM Solution provider EXAPT. Details

NCG CAM Solutions Ltd announced that NCG CAM has achieved SolidWorks Certified CAM Partner status. Details

Symmetry Solutions Inc. announced that Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. recognized it as the Top VAR in North America for Subscription Service. Details

Tata Technologies announced it received awards from Dassault Systemes. Details

Trace Software International announced that elecworks achieved Certified Gold Partner status with DS SolidWorks Corp. Details


ANSYS, Inc. announced that it has been named as the only engineering simulation software provider on this year's Oliver Wyman SPI. Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced that a Utah design team used SolidWorks CAD software to create a skeleton sled. Details

Endeca Technologies, Inc. announced that KMWorld Magazine named Endeca to the "100 Companies that Matter in Knowledge Management" list. Details

ENGINEERING PLM Solutions announced that RuleDesigner PDM is fully compatible with Microsoft Windows 7. Details

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

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that it has acquired the Virtual Garage product line from Freescale. Details

Spatial Corp. announced that 3D-Tool recently released 3D-Tool Premium Version 9. Details

TraceParts announced that ALEMA Technology uses TraceParts technology. Details

TraceParts S.A. announced the creation of TraceParts S.R.L. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced that it acquired the assets of Moeller Design. Details


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