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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »

MCADCafe e-Magazine: PTC’s CEO Jim Heppelmann Declares New Era of Manufacturing Competitiveness at PlanetPTC Live 2012

June 14th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe

At its annual worldwide gathering of customers, PlanetPTC Live in Orlando, Florida, PTC declared a new era of manufacturing competitiveness driven by technology solutions that help companies achieve product and service advantage. In his keynote address, PTC president and CEO Jim Heppelmann argued that the world is poised to enter what The Economist magazine recently labeled a “third industrial revolution.” In this new era, a concerted focus on strategy will lead a renaissance in global manufacturing which will, in turn, put companies using PTC technology solutions in increasingly important roles helping create new value for their companies, and helping them achieve a competitive edge in the 21st Century.

“Over the past few decades, global manufacturers have made massive investments in technology and process change aimed at improving operational efficiency,” said Heppelmann. “Today, however, we are reaching the limits of the competitive edge these investments can deliver. Manufacturers need to be operationally efficient to stay in the game, but they can no longer achieve meaningful advantage from that alone. The time has come for a new source of competitive advantage – product and service advantage – from technology and process change that improves strategy decision-making across the enterprise, from engineering to the supply chain to sales and service networks.”

Fundamentally, PTC technology solutions transform the way companies create and service products by enabling them to make better, smarter, faster strategy and planning decisions. These decisions relate to how products are designed and engineered, how a supply chain is optimized, how quality and compliance is assured throughout the manufacturing process and, ultimately, how service is efficiently delivered against a product once sold. Individually, these planning decisions help deliver a strategy that supports a brand. Collectively, they are the new source of competitive advantage.

Over its 25 year history, PTC has developed a deep expertise in helping companies optimize the processes associated with each stage of the product lifecycle. In recent years, through a combination of organic development and acquisition, PTC has built a broad portfolio of technology solutions that it combines with its process expertise to assist customers in achieving greatness. In 2012, PTC has gone one step further and reorganized the company itself to align directly with the organizational structure of the modern manufacturing enterprise. Specifically, PTC has established five internal leadership teams focused on driving its technology solution strategies in the areas of product lifecycle management (PLM), computer-aided design (CAD), application lifecycle management (ALM), supply chain management (SCM), and service lifecycle management (SLM).

“A new era is upon us,” concluded Heppelmann. “To win in the new century requires a new way of thinking. For manufacturers, it’s about making fundamentally smarter strategy decisions. Today, advantage goes to those who differentiate their product and service offering, and PTC is proud to align itself with leading global brands that are poised to win in the new competitive era by achieving product and service advantage.”

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

Along with about 2,000 other attendees, we just returned from PlanetPTC Live 2012.

It was a good conference with a different “vibe” than in past years – more confident, forthcoming, and upbeat. I don’t know if it was the recent management changes that made the difference, but it was evident that the era of the “new PTC” has begun.

The marquee customer that PTC showcased during the conference was definitely Whirlpool, the world’s largest major appliance manufacturer with ~70,000 employees and $19 billion in revenue. During several presentations made by Whirlpool staffers, it was pretty obvious that its Constellation program was a major thrust for it to remain and become a better world-class development system. Constellation is intended to support Whirlpool’s efforts to transform its enterprise product development and product delivery processes. Whirlpool’s Constellation program has four primary goals:

  1.     Leverage its global footprint and scale.
  2.     Enable end-to-end lean product development.
  3.     Enhance collaboration across functions, geographies, and the supply chain.
  4.     Provide a single source of all product information.

For this to happen, Whirlpool has partnered with PTC, using products that include Pro/ENGINEER, Creo, Windchill ProjectLink and PDMLink, MathCAD, MKS, Arbortext, Isodraw, Product View, among others. The two companies have quite a history, since Whirlpool was one of PTC’s first Pro/ENGINEER customers in 1986. Pro/E became Whirlpool’s exclusive CAD tool in 1990, it began using Windchill in 2007, and in 2010 the two companies formed a strategic PLM partnership. The relationship began with core capabilities, such as product design, configuration, and change control. Building on the core capabilities, PTC now helps Whirlpool support quality management, cost management, environmental and regulatory requirements, and project and portfolio management. All in all, a beneficial relationship for both parties.

The first morning of the conference, PTC’s president and CEO, Jim Heppelmann, characterized PTC from a technology standpoint as having a “product and service advantage. Technology that transforms how products are created and serviced” I was particularly intrigued about the service aspect, and more about that later.

He talked about Eli Whitney being a big part of the original industrial revolution with his cotton (en)gin(e), and the second industrial revolution coming thanks to Henry Ford. We are now well into a third industrial revolution based on the digitization of manufacturing, and according to Heppelmann, PTC is at the forefront.

PlanetPTC Live 2012 was a good conference that provided a good source for product, corporate, and customer information that was similar to, but also different, than other vendor conferences. Similar, in that products and revenues were discussed, but different in that customers, notably whirlpool, carried a big part of the load for PTC with how its products are actually used. I liked this approach because of the sheer number of products that PTC has and the challenge of how they work together.

During the conference, I realized that BOMs are the language of design, engineering, manufacturing, and beyond – and that PTC employs several different types for specific purposes, such as an eBOM for engineering, mBOM for manufacturing, and sBOM for service. I’d never really thought of BOMs in these terms, but it makes sense since they all serve different functions.

PlanetPTC Live provided a lot to take in and absorb. Over the next few issues of MCADCafe e-Magazine, we’ll discuss in more detail some of the new and improved technologies PTC introduced and demonstrated. Some of these will include:

  • Details on PTC’s Service Lifecycle Management (SLM)
  • A comparison of Creo 2.0 Direct and Parametric
  • Creo Options Modeler
  • Details on PTC’s Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
  • PTC’s mobile and social product development initiatives
  • An update on PTC’s Windchill 10.1 and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • PTC’s direction for conceptual design

I noted a couple of things during the event. First, although PTC seems to have a fairly large presence in the educational community, there were not many younger users at the event. By that I mean 25-35 years old. I wondered where is the young user base for ensuring the future of PTC? Are they out there and just didn’t attend the conference? I don’t know, but PTC does need some new younger users getting into the product design and engineering profession.

Second, in the hallways, networking events, and exhibition floor, I briefly talked with 97 current PTC customers (yes, I kept an old-fashioned tally sheet). I was quite surprised at how few admitted (or indicated) they have or are considering implementing Creo. I’m sure this will change over time. I know Creo is still relatively new, but was under the impression that Creo had a higher level of acceptance and adoption.

All in all, PlanetPTC was a good conference with a lot of new product information and interaction with PTC’s management and customers. Unlike some past years, this time around PTC employees were more forthcoming about what the future holds. The company recently had a change at the top and it shows (in a good way).

The next PlanetPTC will be held in Anaheim, CA, June 9-12, 2013.


The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week

ANSYS Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Esterel Technologies S.A.

ANSYS and Esterel Technologies S.A. a provider of embedded software simulation solutions for mission critical applications, announced that they signed a definitive agreement whereby ANSYS will acquire Esterel Technologies for a cash purchase price of approximately euro 42 million (or approximately US$53 million), subject to certain working capital adjustments at close. The agreement also includes retention provisions for key members of management and employees. Headquartered in Elancourt, France, Esterel has about 80 employees and reported revenues of approximately euro 15 million for fiscal year 2011. The transaction, currently anticipated to close in the third calendar quarter of 2012, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The Esterel SCADE solution enables software and systems engineers to design, simulate and produce embedded software, the control code built into the electronics in aircraft, rail transportation, automotive, energy systems, medical devices and other industrial products that have central processing units. Esterel provides software and systems engineers a solution to accurately model and simulate the behavior of the embedded software code to gain insight earlier in the design process and trace it to its requirements. The acquisition of Esterel complements ANSYS software solutions by extending the ANSYS Simulation Driven Product Development vision to encompass both hardware and software systems.

DFMPro for PTC Creo Doubles Design Validation Productivity

Geometric, announced the release of DFMPro version 3.2 for PTC Creo design software with configurable assembly checks for clearance and interference. The injection molding checks now support multiple pull directions for better plastic part design. Engineers often struggle with validation of assemblies, which takes significant time and effort. Many times, components or parts of the assembly have imported geometries, quilts or surfaces. Global clearance and interference checks, though useful for complex assemblies identification of failing components, are difficult due to too many items. Moreover, it is difficult to derive this with visual inspection. DFMPro allows building a list of checks and standard clearance values for specific components. It allows users to run checks only on selective components and exclude unwanted areas – for example, interference in threaded areas. DFMPro can display only the components failing the interference or clearance requirements. This significantly reduces the time required for the assembly validation process. The latest version of DFMPro, DFMPro V 3.2, now provides the ability to select required secondary pull directions. This helps avoid inadvertent undercuts and lowers tooling cost and rework. In addition, to facilitate tooling requirements, users can now control and edit default mold-face classifications using DFMPro.

The PLM Insider: PLM And MySQL – Keeping the cost of PLM down

Siemens PLM Software Ranked #1 in Fastest Growing Market Segment

Siemens PLM Software announced that – for the eleventh year in a row – it has been recognized by CIMdata as the market presence leader in the industry’s fastest growing category, collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm). CIMdata also ranked Siemens PLM Software as the market leader in the Digital Manufacturing market segment for the seventh straight year. Siemens PLM Software addresses the cPDm category with its Teamcenter portfolio, the world’s most widely used digital lifecycle management software, while its Tecnomatix portfolio is the most widely used software in the digital manufacturing market segment. CIMdata’s findings are based on in-depth data and analysis of the PLM market and were announced by CIMdata in late March. They will also be detailed in their upcoming 2011 PLM Market Analysis Report.

Japanese Electronics Giant Chooses 3D_Evolution for data translation

Sony Corp. has chosen 3D_Evolution, from CT CoreTechnologie, for its 3D feature based data conversion requirements. The implementation has allowed Sony to reduce time as well as to stream line a standard process for translations. Sony will use both the boundary representation and feature based module to convert 3D data between all major CAD systems. In addition, the brand new tool model comparison will allow Sony to validate the part geometry, assembly structure and PMI.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at or 719.221.1867.

This Week

Lead Story

PTC’s CEO Jim Heppelmann Declares New Era of Manufacturing Competitiveness

Product and Company News

SPECapc releases PTC Creo 2.0 benchmark

i GET IT Introduces iPad App, Opens iPad to Engineering Users

Autodesk Factory Design Suite Helps Global Manufacturer Digitally Create Entire Factories

Sigmetrix Launches GD&T Advisor Software For PTC Pro/ENGINEER And Creo

Luxion to Feature All New Level of Connectivity Between KeyShot and Creo 2.0

Mentor Graphics Announces FloEFD for PTC Creo with Fully Embedded Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer Simulation for Creo Parametric, Creo Elements/Pro and Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire

WorkNC brings fast and reliable 5-axis machining to Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive

Geometric launches CAMWorks Nesting

Delcam and Spring Technologies offer a direct link from PowerMILL to NC-SIMUL

ANSYS and Subsidiary Apache Receive TSMC 20 nm Phase I Certification

3DModelSpace Supplier Directory included in PTC Creo Design Software – “A Model at Every Click”

CAXA Partners with ModuleWorks for 5-Axis Machining and Simulation

Maplesoft and Noesis Solutions work together in engineering design optimization and process integration

Luxion Releases KeyShot 3.2: 3D Rendering Enhancements, UI and Speed Improvements

ZW3D 2012 Now Has 100+ Million Free Engineering Parts from TraceParts

Stratasys Announces Early Termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Period in Connection with Planned Combination with Objet Ltd.

BRP Selects aPriori’s Product Cost Management Platform

tetra4D Launches 3D PDF Converter 3.4

Hexagon Metrology Launches New ROMER Portable CMM

Successful Year For Simulation Partners (Vero Software)

HyperWorks Partner Alliance Adds CONVERSE Process Structure Interaction Software to Analyze Fiber-Reinforced Parts

Autodesk Announces Autodesk Fabrication Software for MEP Engineers and Contractors

A Challenge Winner Shares His Experience with ZW3D CAD/CAM

Flow Science Deutschland GmbH Formed to Represent FLOW-3D Software

IMAGINiT Technologies Earns Autodesk Simulation Specialization in Australia

WIN-Verlag and TraceParts Form Media Partnership

Aras Announces Recipients of 2012 Collaborate & Contribute Awards

Society of Manufacturing Engineers Announces Student Challenge Winners

LEDAS to Distribute ASCON’s C3D Modeling Kernel Internationally

GibbsCAM Generates CNC Programs for Nakamura-Tome MTMs

Applied Software Earns Autodesk Simulation Specialization

Delcam customer makes the hands of “The Voice”

MSC Software Announces Research Assist Program Winners for Q1

Superior Roughing Strategies from ZW3D QuickMill Incorporated Announces First Quarter 2012 Results

CGTech and ZOLLER Form Partnership to Simplify Tool Library Creation (VERICUT)

CNC Machine Makers and Users Agree on Alphacam from Vero

SZANSA Takes ZWCAD to New Heights in Poland

Origin International Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Apriso Redefines Manufacturing Intelligence with MPI 2.0

Origin International Inc Launches New Web Site

IMAGINiT Technologies Launches Enhanced ProductivityNOW Portal in Australia

Formaplex adds Delcam CAM software

Fast, safe and lower cost – WorkNC simplifies 5-axis machining at Meissner AG (Sescoi)

Hexagon Metrology Launches New Sheffield Shop Floor CMM

Cimatron Partners with Mitsubishi Machine Tools in Brazil

Creaform Launches New Website

KOMPAS-3D V13 Portuguese Version released

Schott Systeme Streamlines Artistic and Industrial Engraving

Outstanding Customer Support Leads Zamil to ZWCAD

Related MCAD News

The Evolution of Manufacturing Jobs

From Shop Floor to Top Floor, Neoris Introduces an SAP-Qualified Rapid-Deployment Solution for SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence for Batch Manufacturing

3D Technology Market (2011 – 2016) by Product and Technology Segments

Boeing Delivers 1st Space Launch System Hardware to NASA

HP Launches Multi-Year Restructuring to Fuel Innovation and Enable Investment

Deere to Expand Manufacturing Capacity for Hydraulic Cylinders

New Autodesk SketchBook Ink App Delivers Stunning Creative Tools for iPad

NASA Commercial Crew Partner Boeing Meets Software Milestone

CIMdata Publishes “Delivering PLM Technology to Solve Food & Beverage Industry Issues”

Wolfram Announces SystemModeler–Launching a New Era of Integrated Design Optimization

Fisher Investments Releases Research on US Manufacturing

Ford, Microsoft Tout Focus Electric Technologies as the Future of More Affordable, Efficient Transportation

Mentor Graphics’ Calibre SmartFill Addresses TSMC 20nm Fill Requirements

Stratus Survey Says: Costly Downtime Plagues Manufacturing IT Systems

‘Not Invented Here’ – What Ford Is Looking for with New Motor City Innovation Exchange and Jump Start Program

Global Aircraft, Engines, Parts And Equipment Industry

Corporate Moves

HP Appoints George Kadifa to Lead HP Software
Gerber Strengthens YuniquePLM Team with Appointment of Vice President of Professional Services
Si2 Announces Six New Members of the Open3D Technical Advisory Board
TDT Appoints Michael Dergance Vice President – Sales and Marketing
EDA Consortium Elects Officers and Board Members

Industry Events

Society of Manufacturing Engineers RAPID 2012 Conference and Exposition Proves 3D Imaging and Additive Manufacturing Technologies are Hot
PlanetPTC Live Keynote Speakers Put a Spotlight on Inspiration
Aras to Present at 2012 Collaboration & Interoperability Congress
IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2012 Rally Fighter Car Hits the Road with the Famous Gumball3000 Cross-Country Rally
New, More Powerful Multi-Axis Milling Functionality in PartMaker Version 2013 to be Previewed at IMTS
Delcam to show faster tooling design and machining at Die & Mould China
CCE to showcase EnSuite at PlanetPTC Live
<Software Factory to Showcase Automation Tools for Windchill at PlanetPTC Live in Orlando
Stratasys to Present at the Annual William Blair Growth Stock Conference
Fifty Percent of America’s Best High Schools Participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition
Delcam to show faster tooling design and machining at Amerimold
Software Factory to showcase WALLCHECK, Add-ons and Customizations for Creo and Windchill at PlanetPTC Live in Orlando
Optimization of the Interoperability Process at PlanetPTC (Theorem Solutions)
DCS Vice President to Describe Dimensional Engineering-Based Solutions that Support DFMA at 2012 International Forum on DFMA
Autodesk to Webcast Its Annual Meeting of Stockholders
Webinar: Customizing the User Interface to Make Your Work Easier with ZW3D (6/7/12)
CAMWorks debuts at the Hardinge Machine Technology Show 2012
Free Webcast CAMWorks Nesting – Features and Benefits on 5th June (CAMWorks)
VERICUT V7.2 demonstrates its Speed
CimatronE Live Machining Demo with AgieCharmilles at BIEMH, Spain
PLM in Action — Webinars in May and June (Siemens PLM Software)
Delcam PartMaker for medical device manufacture at Orthotec
Webinar (6/19/12) Explore Your Design Space Using Scriptless Automation and Optimization with STAR-CCM+
Webast Series: June 2012 Fisher/Unitech Presents Five SolidWorks Webcasts
Metrologic Group: Official sponsor of CMSC 2012 Annual Conference: Measurement study
ADT Previews TURBOdesign Volute Module at Turbo Expo 2012
Delcam to launch new PowerINSPECT at Birmingham seminar
Delcam’s latest CADCAM developments on show in Argentina
GstarCAD Reaps in Abundance at Expooficina2012
FARO CEO Jay Freeland to Discuss Manufacturing and Technology with Liz Claman on Countdown to the Closing Bell
Delcam’s ArtCAM JewelSmith faster than ever – see us at JCK Vegas

Corporate Newsletters

Vero Newsletter – May 2012
SpaceClaim News – June 2012
GoEngineer Quarterly Newsletter – Spring 2012
K2D-KeyToData Newsletter – June 2012
FEA Information Engineering Solutions – May 2012

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