PLM Think Tank July – Top 5

July 6, 2011

The big weekend finally over and this is a time to get back on track with a long list of blogging topics. The weekend was well spent reading my feeds andmaking photo activities. Obviously, if you take a photo camera in your hands on 4th of July it is about picturing fireworks. So did I and I would love to share fewshots from this weekend with you.

Now, let’s move to my regular Top 5 posts for the last month.

My Experience with Dassault V6 PLM Cloud on Amazon

This post in a short period of time became a leader. I think, people’s interest to the Cloud and Dassault is significant. Dassault Systems is definitely pioneering in the development of PLM applications on the cloud. They are probably the first mindshare PLM vendors potentially making cloud available for a mainstream. The idea is cool – you subscribe, pay money or make a trial subscription and… magic happens. The overall impression I’ve got – it is something new. There are lots of small missing pieces, which are probably normal in the first release. In my view, time is now the most critical aspect for Dassault engineers – the idea is cool, but the details are what important in Web 2.0 environment.

Aras PLM lines up against Windchill, Enovia, and TeamCenter

This is long time leader. Aras is definitely moving towards crossing paths with PLM like Windchill, Enovia, TeamCenter. Is it possible to displace large PLM system with Aras today? My answer – it depends. The PLM implementation scope is varied, and every implementation can be different. Therefore, I specially liked the community oriented approach of development. This is something that can make a difference. On the side of platforms and integrations – time will show if Aras will find a balance between throwing resources and effective delivery. This is a big challenge.

Thinking About PLM on the Planet PTC Live

My posts from PlanetPTC raised a lot of interesting. PTC made rock solid show in Las Vegas. The team shows integrity and was well orchestrated. I was impressed by a keynote and demo provided by Brian Shepherd. It was clean and except of some problems with PTC Social Links was running smoothly. Some of live demo were very impressive. PTC execs were achievable and schedule was flexible. High speed internet can be a big plus and can improve the quality and streamlining of the information. I’m going to blog later today and tomorrow and share my thoughts about PTC strategy. Especially interesting for me was everything related to the Windchill 10 and associated presentation of “single point of truth”.

Future Promises and Concerns about PTC after Planet PTC Live

Another post (conclusion) from PlanetPTC. I found Planet PTC very energetic and enjoyed communicating with the executive and marketing team. Two days wasn’t enough to get connected to many people, but I found online community (and especially the community on tweeter) very active, and I’m looking forward to staying connected on the blog, tweeter and other social net. I think some of the things PTC is thinking and working about are very promising and following industry demands. At the same time, the strategy is still lacking some fundamental decisions related to how PLM improves the work with the rest of enterprise software. Another element of the concern is related to the scalability of solutions for different companies. My take – one size doesn’t fit all in manufacturing industry. It shows some promise in Creo Apps, but not reflected in anything else.

Design To Manufacturing Process: Bumpy Road?

This topic is ***just*** important. The space of design to the manufacturing solution is complex and not covered well, in my view. The demand from customers is significant and the same time the requirements are complicated and solution in a most situation needs to be tailored for every customer. Most of the software vendors are talking about design to manufacturing processes and, at the same time, moving integration to partners, service providers and 3rd parties.

Best, Oleg

PLM Software and Business Process Scalability

August 12, 2010

Scaling up is a tough problem. I want to talk today and PLM Software scalability in unusual aspects – business processes. In the past, CAD and PLM vendors spent lots of effort to help software scale up in their ability to manage huge CAD assemblies and very sophisticated product configuration. When PLM system first loaded airplane 3D model, made a DMU and resolved different airplane or car configurations, we said wow… However, it was many years ago. Since then, PLM wizards are stacking with a problem they didn’t expect to see – how to scale up PLM in the organization?

Emails, Collaboration and Business Processes

In order to scale up in the organization, you need to have people using the system. After many years of different types of collaborative software experience, my fundamental conclusion is simple. Most of the engineering and manufacturing organizations are run by emails. This is where PLM failed massively – it doesn’t scale up to get people using PLM systems. PLM collaboration is very successful when you think about two designers are working on the same feature. However, it is different when you think about a design engineer and a manufacturing engineer are collaborating. Yesterday, I had a chance to read Develop3D article – Design and Manufacturing in Perfect Harmony. You may think, this is an excellent example where PLM system can help design and manufacturing people to work together. So, why it doesn’t happen?

Design to Manufacturing

PLM vendors spent lots of effort and resources working on collaborative processes. Design to Manufacturing is one of them, and this is probably is one of the most important if you think about how PLM implementation can scale up in the organization. However, I can identify top 3 reasons why collaboration is so not efficient between engineering and manufacturing:

1. Environment separation
Designer and Manufacturing Engineer sees a world differently. In most of the situations designers are living in their CAD/PDM world. At the same time, manufacturing engineers are on top of MRP/ERP environment and working on their MBOM-driven processes. PLM failed to scale up and establish a scalable process between these two environments.

2. Common Goals and Synchronization
How to achieve a harmony in a common work? You need to set up a common goal. When designer and manufacturing are working in different environments, they have a hard time to define a common goal and follow this goal in their daily operation. Most of their time they spent to synchronize their environments. The final stop in the synchronization is a weekly meeting. You can see how people spending their time literally synchronizing information between them.

3. Push Processes
How to get work done in the modern manufacturing organization? Unfortunately, email is probably the most widely used mechanism. And this is really bad, because it creates a ping-pong of information going back and forth between people in the organization. This is an environment where Excel is a king of the email road.

PLM and Process Scalability

In my view, this is the place where most of the current PLM implementations failed. Scaling up beyond the engineering department is a tough problem. The best organizations I had chance to see solved this problem by a massive customization work and enormous effort in making people work together in the same environment.

What is my conclusion? When I talk to people, I’m constantly asking the following question – what is the biggest problem you faced in all PLM implementations? Here is my today’s conclusion – PLM is a great concept and a very important organization strategy. However, it doesn’t scale up in the organization. In order to make it work out, you need to spend too many resources. When it comes to results you can see a very low value for money and resources you spent. Think about space shuttles. We need to spend a lot of rocket fuel to get a space shuttle in the space. The same with PLM… Something is wrong behind the scene. Is it technology? Implementation? People?

What is your take?
Best, Oleg


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