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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:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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