Technology is an Enabler, Information a Resource, but Knowledge is the Prize

2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates

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June 8, 2009 - Vol12 #6

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Technology is an Enabler, Information a Resource, but Knowledge is the Prize

by David Potter

The systematic transformation of lifecycle information into knowledge enables exciting new business opportunities that can: assure competitive advantage; achieve sustainability and environmental targets; create new service opportunities; and help to meet regulatory compliance. Closed Loop Lifecycle Management (CL2M) using PROMISE technologies and methodologies is the key.

The rapid development and expansion of Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies shows no sign of abating. In addition to bar codes, two-dimensional codes, magnetic encoding, electronic codes, and radio frequency identification (RFID), come several networked wireless sensor technologies. To these, add some Feature Extraction technologies - such as biometrics with fingerprint, iris or retinal scanning for humans; and scanning of the unique texture of individual document pages - which may be used for positive identification. Whilst these are all compelling in their own right, they are nevertheless only additional sources of information that can be exploited. They are enablers; they are not the solution itself.

The lifecycle information that can be generated and collected by these myriad technologies is itself additional to the information that may already exist in information systems like CAD/CAM, ERP and CRM systems to name but a few. We discussed the problem of "islands of information" earlier in this series, and recognised that "closing the information loops" is a necessary step in order to consolidate information from many sources, and different phases of life, in order to create a more useful information resource.

However the real advantage, the prize, comes from the ability to take these many different elements of information, and transform them into knowledge that enables new insight into product performance, and new opportunities for business advantage.

With PROMISE, selected application-specific information is progressively gathered from the chosen sources and stored in the PROMISE Data Knowledge Management (PDKM) system. This process involves one or more data processing algorithms which transform the raw information into knowledge as it is stored. Further algorithms might also be triggered that can add to, or alter, knowledge already in the PDKM. These may include PROMISE Decision Support System (DSS) algorithms which can further enhance the knowledge, or alert interested parties, about significant events. Alternatively, the DSS system may be used periodically to analyse the accumulated knowledge depending on the specific application requirements.

Taking just one of the PROMISE commercial demonstrators as an example, the collection and analysis of information, related to the utilisation pattern of heavy good vehicles, can allow different and dynamic maintenance schedules to be applied individually to single vehicles based upon the accumulated knowledge. This in turn can result in optimisation of vehicles by scheduling maintenance only when required rather than at fixed intervals, with consequent reduction in maintenance costs. It can also enable more competitive extended warranty pricing when each truck's unique utilisation profile can be analysed in comparison to others.

When this same kind of approach is applied to other, quite diverse, applications, such as refrigerators, railway locomotives, passenger cars, engineering machines and heavy earth moving equipment, the advantages are similar - and it is the knowledge that is the prize!

In the next article we will introduce the concept of Lifecycle Events. We will show how they may be used to manage awareness of changes in the life of an entity, and to monitor an entity throughout its entire life.

If you have any comments or questions related to this article, please post them on my blog at

David Potter is Chief Technical Officer, Promise Innovation International Oy., and former Chairman of the Project Steering Board of the EU PROMISE Project.

"Technology is an Enabler, Information a Resource, but Knowledge is the Prize" was written as part five of a series of articles on Why CL2M is of significance to PLM practitioners

  1. What has the "Internet of Things" to do with PLM and PLM standards? 2PLM, April 13 2009
  2. Closing the Information Loops across All Phases of All Kinds of Lifecycles 2PLM, April 27 2009
  3. Overcoming "Islands of Information" 2PLM, May 11 2009
  4. Linking the Phases, Closing the Loops 2PLM, May 25 2009

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


Building the PLM Vision

by John Stark

The importance of PLM Vision was described in the previous issue of 2PLM.

A PLM Vision can be built over a few months as one of the activites of the PLM Team. However, they can't do it alone. They need to create an extended team involving representatives of top management, functional organizations, and product organizations. The team should be representative of all the functions in the product lifecycle. It needs to include high-level managers and low-level workers.

During our consulting activities, we sometimes find that top managers are not aware of, or not interested in, PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). This is surprising as a company's products are at its heart. Products generate revenues. There is little in a company more important than the long-term vision of its products, and the way they will be developed and supported.

To increase awareness of PLM, we get the team to "walk along the lifecycle of a product", actually walk around all those places where activities happen along the product lifecycle. That way, everyone gets a better feeling for what really happens in the lifecycle - "from cradle to grave".

Top management participation in development of the PLM Vision is needed to ensure that the strategic business focus is taken into account. Upstream of the PLM Vision is the company's business strategy. This is often communicated in a relatively concise form, behind which lies a mass of detailed information and decisions. In many organizations, only top managers have a sufficiently broad view of the current and future situation to be able to pass on the full message including all the details that relate to PLM.

Development of the PLM Vision requires a lot of effort from functional managers and product managers. They have in-depth knowledge of the business. They know about the company's past, and have expectations for the future. They are the people who will be most affected by the PLM Strategy that is chosen to achieve the Vision. They have to make sure a realistic Vision and Strategy are developed, and take responsibility for them. They need to make sure the strategy that is developed is relevant to the company's business strategy. They need to make sure that everybody who will be affected by the strategy is involved in its development. Once a strategy has been agreed, they will be responsible for communicating and implementing it.

Functional managers and product managers should ensure that everybody in the organization is aware that the Vision is being developed, and that their input is welcome.

Some people who work in low-level activities of the lifecycle should be included in the team. Time should be set aside to tell them why it's necessary to develop a PLM Vision, and what will be done after it has been developed. Involving everybody in the process increases the knowledge and experience base on which the Vision is built. It may generate ideas that would otherwise have been ignored. It helps make people aware of the key issues the organization is facing, and the various possible solutions. Once the Vision has been developed, it will be easier to communicate it to people who have participated in its creation and are aware of its importance.

When helping PLM Teams develop the PLM Vision, we've found that many techniques and tools can be useful. There doesn't seem to be a single technique that is always best. The choice depends on variables such as team dynamics and previous experience of developing visions. Techniques and tools that we've used to help develop a PLM Vision include brainstorming, scenario building and comparison, simulation, Delphi techniques, experience, intuition, questionnaires, surveys, benchmarking, and process analysis.



PLM Cost Reduction: Empowerment or Failure

by Roger Tempest

In this issue of 2PLM John Stark writes about 'Building the PLM Vision'. It is an explanation of how things ought to be. An underlying feature of this best practice scenario is Empowerment - because in order for the scenario to work, every person involved from the CEO downwards must have the authority and capability to fulfil their role.

The same is true for PLM-based Cost Reduction. The PLM industry should work together to develop a metrics set that everyone can use (as outlined in the previous issue of 2PLM). This would rapidly highlight areas where PLM can make a commercial impact on a business. The next problem is - can the CEO and the PLM managers do anything about it?

There are two myths about PLM. One is that PLM will work if the CEO and the board will commit enough of their time to it. The other is that PLM will work if PLM managers are given the project resources they ask for.

The CEO and the board of a national or multinational company are presented with vague and confused messages about PLM. The messages are confused because there are so many proprietary definitions and diagrams, with little common ground; and vague because there are so few agreed metrics of PLM progress. It is not surprising that they hestitate and prevaricate - they have no clear picture of what action to authorise.

PLM managers are never truly empowered to fulfil their role. They do not have the metrics to convince the board to go for complete PLM, so they lower their expectations when they request the board for resources. They are restricted by their place within the organisation chart, so they propose projects and business improvements that do not impose on other managers' territories. When they try to use PLM to generate cost reductions, the results are bound to be sub-optimal.

PLM is potentially one of the greatest cost reduction tools of all, because it spreads through the entire enterprise like penetrating oil. The product lifecycle extends across functions within the company, and out through the extended customer and supplier chain. Everywhere it touches it can generate product-based business improvement, and also uncover cost reductions or avoidance that are based on good business management.

If the PLM industry formed a temporary, cross-platform task force to do some rapid work on PLM-based cost reduction, it would not only show companies the way to move forward but would also empower them to do so. It would create the metrics, and also the justification for using them. PLM managers would know what to propose ("These are the actions that leading companies have identified...") and the board would feel confident to approve them ("Other companies like ours are doing this successfully...").

All that is needed is for users, vendors and service providers to realise that it is possible and to decide to act. The PLMIG can organise the rest. Send your feedback or request information via

Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG


PLM News


Metris N.V. announced Nikon Corporation filed its intention to launch a conditional cash tender offer.


AVEVA Group plc announced its audited results for the year ended 31 March 2009. Revenue increased by 29% to £164.0 million.

Cimatron Limited announced financial results for the first quarter of 2009. Revenues for the first quarter of 2009 were $7.8 million.

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced revenues of $193.8 million for the fiscal first quarter 2010, ending April 30, 2009.

QAD Inc. reported financial results for the fiscal 2010 first quarter ended April 30, 2009. Total revenue was $55.2 million.

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



Lectra announced the appointment of Herve Claverie as Director of Projects and Strategic Accounts Worldwide.

Sword CTSpace announced Tom Pietryga has joined the Sword CTSpace executive team as Vice President of North American Sales.


AVEVA announced that National Petroleum Construction Company has chosen AVEVA Plant.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. announced that Netronome has adopted and deployed Cadence products.

CMstat announced that ITT Advanced Engineering & Sciences selected CMstat to provide Configuration and Change Management.

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced use of SolidWorks software by Vault Structures, Inc.

Dassault Systemes announced that Tokai Riki Mfg. Co., Ltd. has deployed Dassault Systemes' CATIA.

Dassault Systemes announced the Fraunhofer IAO uses DELMIA.



Intergraph announced that Petrofac has chosen Intergraph SmartPlant Enterprise solutions.

Mentor Graphics announced that CCG Facilities Integration Inc. used FloVENT software.

MSC.Software announced that STX Offshore & Shipbuilding selected MSC.Software's suite of engineering simulation software.

MasterControl Inc. announced that Black Diamond Equipment has selected MasterControl software.

Pilgrim Software, Inc. announced that Nucletron B.V. has gone live with SmartSolve.

PTC announced that Nokia has engaged with PTC to develop a Windchill-based functionality extension on top of Nokia's existing PLM platform.

PTC announced that Volvo Group has selected PTC as a strategic partner for the Volvo Group PLM solution.

PTC announced use of PTC Pro/ENGINEER by Beijing Institute of Technology.

Siemens PLM Software announced that Kunming Shipbuilding Equipment Co. selected Solid Edge software and Teamcenter software.

Siemens PLM Software announced that Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is expanding the use of Teamcenter software.

TraceParts announced that Schneider Electric chose TraceParts.

Trubiquity announced a contract with Superior Industries International Inc.

Valor announced Fundacao CERTI’s implementation of Valor's software.

VX Corp. announced use of VX CAD/CAM by the Healey Werks.


Altair Engineering announced the release of Altair HyperWorks 10.0.

Aras announced availability of the latest release of the Aras Innovator suite of PLM software solutions.

Aras announced connector technology for Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter.

ASCON announced Unwrap Add-On.

AutoForm Engineering GmbH announced the worldwide release of AutoFormplus R1.

Bentley Systems, Inc. announced the release of ProjectWise Dynamic Plot V8i.

Cirquent GmbH announced the Cirquent PLM Connector.

CNC Software, Inc. announced Mastercam X4.

Delcam announced new versions of its PowerMILL CAM software and its PowerINSPECT inspection system.

Endeca Technologies, Inc. announced the availability of the Endeca Manufacturing Suite.

ESI Group announced the release of VA One 2008.5.

First Trace, Inc. announced the newest release of Korrigo 4.1.

GTX Corp. announced GTXRaster CAD 2010 Series for AutoCAD 2010.

Kubotek USA announced KeyCreator version 8.5.

Lattice Technology announced the release of XVL Studio 8.1.

LMS announced the introduction of the LMS SCADAS Durability Recorder.



McLaren Software announced availability of Enterprise Engineer 3.6.2 SP2 featuring certification for the IBM FileNet P8 4.5ECM Platform.

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the availability of the next-generation PADS flow with the introduction of PADS 9.0.

Right Hemisphere announced Deep Exploration 6 client software.

Siemens PLM Software announced Solid Edge software with Synchronous Technology 2.

Siemens PLM Software announced availability of new releases of four of its D-Cubed component software products.

Surfware, Inc. announced the release of SURFCAM Velocity 4 SP1.

Synergis Software announced the availability of Adept PDM 8.1.

VX Corp. announced the release of the v14.01 upgrade to VX 2009.

Zuken announced CADSTAR BoardModeler Lite.

Zuken announced E3.cable Electrical Verification 2009.

Zuken announced E3.3DRoutingBridge, an interface between commonly used MCAD systems and E3.series.


ANSYS, Inc. announced a strategic relationship with Reaction Design.

AVEVA Group plc announced a partnership with engineering resource company Talascend, LLC and Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan.

Dassault Systemes and EuropaCorp announced a partnership.

ETRAGE LLC and TWeatherford, Inc. announced they have embedded Plot Service for Windchill with TransMagic software.

IronCAD, LLC announced the signing of their latest premier reseller, Triple8CAD based in Carmarthen, South Wales.

Kubotek announced a partnership with Bunkspeed.

NovaQuest LLC announced it signed a V6 Reseller Agreement with Dassault Systemes.

Planview announced an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partnership with Siemens PLM Software.

SDL and Language Weaver announced a partnership.

Tacton Systems announced that Teamworks A/S has signed a reseller agreement for TactonWorks.

Trace Software announced it becomes a SolidWorks Solution Partner.

Vero Software announced a new collaboration with CADENAS.

3 Engineers, L.L.C. announced that Xpresso speech recognition software is now a SolidWorks Solution Partner product.


Anark Corp. announced support for OpenFlight.

Autodesk named Ulysse Nardin as Inventor of the Month for May 2009.

Centric Software, Inc. announced that Apparel Magazine has named INTERSPORT France a "Top Innovator" for 2009.



Dassault Systemes announced that 3DVIA Shape and are serving as the 3D modeling tools for the Mobi3 program during its second year.

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced SolidWorks Education Edition 2009.

Dassault Systemes announced that its ENOVIA brand has sold new licenses to more than 4,000 companies since the beginning of 2008.

GlobalSpec announced that CEO Jeff Killeen was named 2009 Top CEO for a Small BtoB Company.

The IntelliCAD Technology Consortium announced the election of Robert McGill as ITC President and Cliff Petersohn as ITC Chairman of the Board.

LightWork Design announced the winner of the first LightWorks Image Competition of 2009. announced the results of their latest MFGWatch Survey.

OptiTex announced that Topson Downs, has been honored as one of the recipients for the Apparel Top Innovator award from Apparel Magazine.

PartMiner WorldWide Inc. reported that 40 companies in China have signed PowerBuyer subscription agreements.

QUMAS announced that QUMASCEO Kevin O'Leary was nominated as E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year 2009.

RAND Worldwide announced the PLM Ready User Enablement Solution.

Siemens PLM Software announced an in-kind software grant with a value of US$60 million to Jiaotong University.

Siemens PLM Software announced an in-kind software grant with a commercial value of US$35 million to Dysart Unified School District.

Siemens PLM Software announced a series of in-kind software grants valued at more than $150 million to Howard University.

Sword announced the decision to merge the Cimage and CTSpace business units - creating a software business, Sword CTSpace. 

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





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