Take-Home PLM Best Practice, PLM Conference, PLM: what does it do? Top 5 PLM Myths, PLM State of the Union


2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates                                                                                                                                               May 9, 2011 - Vol14 #3

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Take-Home PLM Best Practice
by Roger Tempest
Running a PLM implementation is an all-consuming task, and there are very few reference points to show how well you are doing. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your PLM approach, and how far do your internal methods mimic what has already been created in other companies?

At present, there are no metrics to show whether what you are doing is "Best Practice", and there is no open framework that you can follow to save re-inventing the wheel. Most PLM user companies have defined a set of internal rules or methods that work well, but they duplicate what other organisations are doing, and they all differ by so much that they cannot be used across the whole extended enterprise.

Participation at the Gothenburg Workshop on 24-25 May will give you two days of detailed collaboration with other PLM practitioners who face the same problems, and want to make the same improvements. You can share experiences about what works, and what does not work; and start to formalise these concepts for the first time in PLM.

When you get back to the office, you will have a brand new insight into what is, and is not, working within other companies, and can look at your own implementation programme with this new viewpoint.

Participation at the Munich Workshop on 08-09 June provides a second platform for detailed collaboration, and one that will build on the Gothenburg results. As the Munich event is hosted by the Bundeswehr University, there will also be a feature on the Agenda about how we can achieve the advanced PLM we should all be aiming for by 2020.

Not only do you take home a much broader and more constructive understanding of what PLM Best Practice really means, but (unlike conventional take-aways) this one keeps on delivering. As more events are held in other countries, participants in Gothenburg and Munich will receive the results and give their feedback.

Registration is open for both events, via standardisation@plmig.com.



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

Hotels, PLM Conference, September 2011
by John Stark
A cost-conscious attendee, registering for the PLM Conference and Exhibition to be held at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland on September 6-7, 2011, asked about the possibility of a room at the hotel on the CERN site.

Other attendees may find the requested information of use.

Hotel on CERN site

  • The hotel is on the Satigny Vineyard side of the CERN site
  • A block of rooms has been reserved for PLM Conference participants. They'll be released on a first-come, first-served basis
  • A single room (with washbasin, shower, toilet) is 58 Swiss Francs per night (approx. 66 USD ; 46 EUR ; 40 GBP)
  • A double room (with 2 beds, washbasin, shower, toilet) is 77 Swiss Francs per night (approx. 88 USD ; 61 EUR ; 54 GBP)
  • A standard continental breakfast, in the CERN Restaurant - a 2-minute walk from the hotel - is 5.20 Swiss Francs
  • The hotel has its own car park
  • There is Wi-Fi in the rooms
  • There are rooms with facilities for physically disabled guests
  • It's a 5-minute walk from the hotel to the PLM Conference and Exhibition in the CERN Main Building

  • It's a 10-minute walk across the CERN campus from the hotel to the Maisonnex Sports Centre (swimming pool, tennis, squash)
  • It's a 10-minute walk across the CERN campus from the hotel to the Number 18 Tram Stop. (And then 20 minutes by tram to downtown Geneva.)
  • The hotel operates a no-smoking policy
  • There aren't televisions in the rooms, but there's a TV lounge in the hotel

Details of other hotels in the vicinity of CERN can be found here.


  • CERN is 20 minutes from Geneva International Airport
  • In Summer 2011, there'll be direct flights from Geneva to 108 destinations - 81 in Europe and 27 on the other continents
  • For the cost-conscious UK-based attendee, a Gatwick-Geneva EasyJet return flight in early September, booked on May 6, cost £54 (approx. 88 USD ; 62 EUR)

Early Bird
Book now for Early Bird savings.


If you're interested in participating, please contact John Stark. 

PLM: what does it actually do?
by Henk Jan Pels
In my previous column, I stated that PLM is more than a software package. It's a business function that aims for a product portfolio that is maximally balanced with the competencies of R&D, the needs of the market, the constraints of the manufacturing system, and the supply chain relationships. It's about better coordination between those functions, in order to make the enterprise more profitable. Information technology plays an essential role in PLM, with new possibilities to store and communicate product data.

The effect of new technological possibilities can be illustrated by the famous example of the Ford T, the first car to be mass-produced and affordable for a broad public. It could be chosen in "any color, as long as it is black". The cost of flexibility became clear when, at last, green was offered as an alternative color. Before then, there had never been any stock or delivery problems, but now suddenly dealers were fighting for green cars, while large stocks of unsold black cars occupied the factory parking lots. The difference was that, in the past, a steady flow of identical cars left the factory. The distribution among the dealers was decided one year ahead and every car produced was sold. The color option introduced a planning problem: how many black, how many green? The decision had to be taken 6 month before the customers made - independent of the planning - their choice. (Even the introduction of computerised MRP systems in the 1960's couldn't solve the issue that it's not given to Man to foretell the future.)

Only since the 1990's have computer integrated manufacturing and ERP systems made the production system so flexible that lead times can be reduced to less than a week. Since then, the manufacturer doesn't need to plan anymore - just produce what the customers ordered. The Manufacturing Execution Systems tell the ERP system, real-time, the position of each piece of material and thus enable precise coordination of logistic processes over the complete supply chain. Does that mean that the end goal has been reached? Luckily not! If a customer wants something that isn't in the catalogue, it takes an awful lot of time before it's developed. Only three years ago, the PLM chief of Ford stated in a keynote speech at the international PLM08 conference in Seoul, that the task of PLM is to involve the customer more in the design process, to design more differentiated products and to reduce product development cost by a factor 10. Personally, I believe that he was too modest: the productivity of product development must increase by at least two orders of magnitude (a factor 100 or more). PLM will be the main enabler.

Mail Model and Blackboard Model
What do PLM systems bring that enables such a revolution in product offering? In the first place, PLM includes a database system that enables dynamic sharing of product data. To understand the importance of this, one should realise that there are two basic models of communication: the mail model and the blackboard model. In the mail model, the sender makes a copy of the data to be shared and sends it physically to the receivers. In the blackboard model, the sender writes the data on a blackboard that is concurrently visible for all receivers. They get the news without delay and always see the current state. The mail model is quite different. The sender will have to create a copy (redundancy) and a message. It takes time before the message arrives, and the receiver wastes time and effort storing the mail. When he looks up some data, the chance is very high that he gets outdated information. Because of the delay, the effort and the risk of errors, communication must be restricted to a minimum, and processes must be decoupled in time, causing long lead times and weak control. A database server in a network is a blackboard, because what is written on it can be read real-time by many users regardless of their location around the world. Thus a PLM system can be viewed as a virtual blackboard on which all parties involved write and read the evolving specification of the product. Since there are no delays, no redundancy, no effort for sharing information and no risk for errors, the frequency of interaction can be increased dramatically, delays are eliminated and control tightened, resulting in extreme flexibility.

If we can convince engineers to write every new piece of data - from the initial idea to the experience with demolition - directly on the PLM-blackboard, and never to store any piece of paper, then the PLM system will have real-time knowledge of every step in the process. With that knowledge, the PLM system can coordinate the engineering process with high accuracy, and reduce cost and lead time dramatically. If, in addition to document and workflow management, the product structure is well-organised and visualised in 3D, then we can stop engineers inventing every wheel a hundred times, and focus them on only designing the new things the customer needs.
- That would boost product variety,
- That is the power of PLM!

To be continued.



Dr.ir. Henk Jan Pels is Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, Information Systems, at the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He can be contacted here.


Top 5 Myths about PLM
by Scott Cleveland
My Thoughts....
Over the last 20 years, many companies have purchased a Product Lifecycle Management [PLM] solution. Most PLM implementations have gone well, some have not. The Myths have come from those that have not gone well.
  1. There have been more failed PLM implementations than successful ones. Even in the early adopter years of PLM, this wasn't true. With today's advances in the PLM software, the numbers of failures are very small and the failures are not due to the software. The failures are due to poorly planned and managed projects.
  2. A PLM software deal costs more than $1 million. More than 10 years ago, this happened frequently - today, not so much. Over the years, prices have come down; the software is easier to implement; and PLM companies are much smarter about implementing their software.
  3. PLM software takes more than a year to implement. This has been true in the past, but today most companies that take on a PLM project will complete it in less than a year. The exception - if we were implementing at a big company like Boeing, and attempted to do it all at once, the project would likely take longer than a year. It is best to attack these larger projects piecemeal - a little bit at a time.


  1. PLM integration to ERP is difficult and very expensive. Today, there are expensive ways to do the integration and there are inexpensive ways. In each case, it is much easier to do the integration today than it was 10 years ago.
  2. PLM implementations are difficult to cost justify. This has been false most of the time, even with $1 million software. I have yet to do a return on investment analysis that didn't show a payback in less than 2 years.

Your Thoughts....

Are PLM Myths holding your company back?



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

PLM State of the Union
by Roger Tempest
PLM doesn't often make the national press, but an enterprising media initiative has set out to produce a PLM supplement for one of the UK's main newspapers. A great idea, and a great opportunity to showcase what PLM can do for businesses.

However, even with the incentive of appearing in this national publicity vehicle for PLM, it turned out to be very difficult to find case studies of companies that have benefited from PLM, apart from the existing few that were already known via the vendors' web sites. The problem was made more acute by having to focus only on the UK - a quick glance at the vendors' sites shows that the generous list of customer stories is spread around many countries. Only one or two of them may be in yours.

It seems that, whenever you examine a PLM implementation in more depth and detail than a one-page overview, there are more problems than benefits to talk about. This, in turn, means that the real state of PLM is not nearly as advanced as everybody thinks it is.

It's important to understand this, and what it means for PLM standardisation. If you feel somehow that your own PLM implementation is not as advanced as everyone else's - then you are in the same position as everyone else. At the Gothenburg and Munich Workshops, the participants will be at the real PLM level, with all the successes and problems that go with it.

You don't need to qualify for the Workshops by having one of the world's best PLM implementations (though you will be most welcome if you do!). You just need to want to improve PLM from where it is now.


Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. The Daily Telegraph PLM Supplement is due for publication on 14 June.


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PLM News

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Lawson Software, Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by GGC Software Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital and Infor, in a transaction valued at approximately $2 billion. Details

Stratasys, Inc. announced that it has acquired Solidscape, Inc. Details 


ANSYS, Inc. announced revenue of $158.0 million for the first quarter of 2011. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011. Q1 2011 revenue was $266 million. Details

Dassault Systemes reported IFRS unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011. Q1 total revenue was 409.5 million Euros. Details

ESI Group announced 2010/11 annual total sales of 84.2 million Euros. Details

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced sales of $52.6 million in the first quarter of 2011. Details

Lectra announced unaudited consolidated financial statements for the first quarter of 2011. Revenues totaled 49.8 million Euros. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. reported preliminary results for its fiscal first quarter ended April 30, 2011. The company expects revenues of about $230 million. Details

Open Text Corp. announced unaudited financial results for its third quarter ended March 31, 2011. Total revenue for Q3 was $263.0 million. Details

PTC reported results for its second fiscal quarter ended April 2, 2011. Q2 revenue was $269.2 million. Details

SAP AG announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011. IFRS total revenue was 3.02 billion Euros. Details

SofTech, Inc. announced financial results for its first and second quarters of fiscal year 2011. Q2 revenue was $1.933 million. Details

Stratasys, Inc. reported revenue of $34.3 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011. Details 


Kubotek USA announced the addition of Walter Silva to the Kubotek USA sales and support team. Details

PTC named Robert "Bob" Ranaldi as executive vice president of worldwide sales and distribution. Details 


Altair Engineering, Inc. announced that ABstructures has extended its use of HyperWorks. Details

ANSYS, Inc. announced that Lufthansa Technik AG is leveraging simulation software from ANSYS. Details

AVEVA announced that INITEC Energía has transferred its diagrams and P&ID system to AVEVA Diagrams. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced Robert Bosch GmbH has standardized on an enhanced custom/analog flow based on Cadence Virtuoso v6.1 technology. Details

Catalog Data Solutions announced that Newport Corp. has implemented its online CAD download solution. Details

CD-adapco announced that Building System and Diagnostics Pte Ltd has adopted STAR-CCM+. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Embraer S.A. is deploying a complete 3D solution. Details

Delcam announced use of PowerSHAPE CAD software by Formaplex. Details

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced that it sold its first FARO Edge to Pro-Weld Inc. Details

Intergraph announced that GL Noble Denton will standardize on Intergraph SmartMarine Enterprise. Details

Intergraph announced that Shin Kurushima Dockyard Company Limited has standardized on Intergraph SmartMarine 3D. Details

Intergraph announced that OHL Industrial has chosen SmartPlant Enterprise solutions. Details 


aPriori announced the general availability of aPriori 2011. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced the latest version of its Allegro PCB and IC packaging technology. Details

Celeritive Technologies, Inc. announced the release of VoluMill for Siemens NX CAM/CAM Express. Details

CoreTech System Co., Ltd. announced the new version of Moldex3D eXplorer. Details

Delcam CRISPIN announced the 2011 versions of its range of design and manufacturing software for the footwear industry. Details

Dynamic Design Solutions announced the release of FEMtools 3.5.1. Details

Elmo Solutions announced the availability of a new connector for its Agni Link ERP-CAD Data Integration System. Details

FARO Technologies, Inc. announced the FARO Edge. Details

Fishbowl Solutions, Inc. announced their Migration Solution Set for Windchill. Details

Geometric Limited announced the release of version 3.0 of DFMPro for Creo Elements/Pro. Details

LEDAS Ltd announced version 5.0 of LGS 3D. Details

Luxology LLC announced the availability of the recoil plug-in. Details

MathWorks announced a new portfolio optimization object in its Financial Toolbox for MATLAB, enabling portfolio managers and analysts to explore and construct portfolios. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the new FloEFD for Siemens NX product for concurrent CFD simulation. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the Mentor Embedded Sourcery CodeBench product. Details

Missler Software announced TopSolid'Mold 2011. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced the availability of Adams Bearing Advanced Technology. Details

Nikon Metrology announced CAMIO7. Details

Okino Computer Graphics announced its v5.6.1 set of JT PLM/MCAD bidirectional import and export converter modules. Details

QUMAS announced the launch of QUMAS Compliance on Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced Parasolid V23.1. Details

SolidCAM announced the launch of its iMachining CAM software. Details

Striker Systems announced the release of PARTshare for Solid Edge. Details

3Dconnexion announced Autodesk added native 3D mouse support in AutoCAD 2012. Details 


BigMachines and Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. announced an alliance focused on integration services for the BigMachines Selling Platform. Details

CGTech and VMH International announced a partnership. Details

Creaform announced a new partnership with Geomagic. Details

Eurostep announced that Black & Rossi joins with Eurostep Limited to develop innovative maintenance and repair data exchange systems for commercial, public and private use. Details

 Product                         Lifecycle                         Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product                         Realisation

ICAM Technologies Corporation announced the signing of a Dealership Agreement with VCI. Details

Informative Graphics Corp. announced it achieved a Silver Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network. Details

Lattice Technology Inc. announced it has become a Vendor Member in the JT Open Program. Details

MecSoft Corp. announced a VAR partnership with Softline Company, with headquarters in Moscow, Russia. Details

Missler Software and Lexip announced that native Lexip 3D mouse support has been added to the TopSolid CAD/CAM software range. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced a partnership with Cortona3D. Details


Altair Engineering Inc. announced that it received a 2010 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. Details

Arena Solutions announced an increase in subscription sales for the quarter ending March 31, 2011. Details

Autodesk, Inc. announced its TinkerBox App is now available on the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch. Details

Autodesk, Inc. announced that General Compression is using digital prototyping software from Autodesk, Inc. Details

CADENAS announced that PARTsolutions has been certified under the Autodesk Inventor Certified Applications Program. Details

ESI Group announced acquisition of Comet Technology Corporation's IP. Details

ESI announced it was named Company of the Year by the FACC. Details

FIRST announced PTC as a Strategic Partner. Details

Gibbs and Associates announced that its latest release of GibbsCAM has been certified under the Autodesk Inventor Certified Applications Program. Details

INUS Technology, Inc. announced that its worldwide revenue for the first quarter of 2011 represents a 38% jump from the same period in 2010. Details

ISD Software & Systeme GmbH and TraceParts GmbH announced the availability of HiCAD TraceParts. Details

ITI TranscenData announced a Case Study of use of Proficiency at manroland. Details

MecSoft Corp. announced the launch of an online community for FreeMILL users. Details

Omnify Software announced it was named to the 2011 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100. Details

ProSTEP iViP announced it welcomed over 450 participants at the 14th ProSTEP iViP Symposium 2011. Details

SAP AG announced that the cloud-based collaborative application SAP StreamWork is available to integrate with SAP business software. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced Daimler AG has extended its commitment to Siemens PLM Software and its products for total of 10 years. Details

Siemens PLM Software announced findings of a survey of more than 1,200 global enterprises, conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, which sought to understand how companies are positioning themselves for revenue growth as the economy improves. Details

Sigma Labs, Inc. announced that it was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation and Research contract by the US Navy for rapid qualification of parts made using Direct Digital Manufacturing. Details

Sopheon plc announced an interim management statement for the period since 1 January 2011, in line with the requirements of the EU Transparency Directive. Details

Tata Technologies announced it completed a round of equity funding for Rs.141.06 Cr. ($30 million USD) from Alpha TC Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Tata Capital Growth Fund I. Details

Think3 Inc. announced that, upon authorisation of the Appointed Judge of the Court of Bologna dated 4 May 2011, Think3 Inc. restarts its operations pursuant to Section 104 of the Italian Bankruptcy Law. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced its acquisition of Print3D Corporation. Details


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