PLM, Lifecycle and Google Timelapse ideas

lifecycle-plm.jpgManufacturing businesses are getting more dynamic these days. It is all about how to change and change fast. The days where manufacturing companies allowed months and even years to respond to business changes are gone. Competition is getting more aggressive. Cost pressure is getting tight. Companies need to have a way to analyze what they do in a perspective of time. This is actually one of the places where PLM technology can provide a bigger value in the future. Think about design changes and problems reported in your products with the time lapse of last 10 years. Think about quality and cost of suppliers for the last 5 years. How PLM can provide such type of insight and information?

Very often, when we speak about PLM, we want to emphasize the middle "L" of what PLM is accomplishing for our customers. It is about Lifecycle. This is where every PLM solution want to excite and provide a value. However, this part of PLM is not developed much.

I’ve been reading about Google Timelapse project earlier this week. Navigate here to read ABC news article – Google Timelapse: A Quarter Century of Earth’s Change. Working with the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA and Time magazine, search giant Google has unveiled a project that shows how planet Earth has changed over the course of a quarter century.

Another articleTime’s Timelapse story provides a bit more details about the project.

With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.

The technology is available online. You can try it by yourself. Read Google’s blog and navigate to the following link to experiment with Google Earth Engine. Here is a search for changes in Haifa district Israel I captured.


What is my conclusion? To think about time exploration in the context of manufacturing and engineering information is very inspiring. Data visualization can be potentially very cool and provide a lot of insight to manufacturing organization about how to improve their businesses. What is your take? Do you have an idea of engineering timelapse visualization? Speak up.

Best, Oleg

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