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Posts Tagged ‘COFES’

COFES 2015: Seeing The Bigger Picture

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

We just left Scottsdale, Arizona after a great weekend at the annual Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES) event.

Over the years I’ve attended probably 8-10 of these unique events, and they have all been a bit different, but I have always come away with new insights and perspectives on engineering software.

The keynotes are always thought provoking and the roundtable discussions and general conversations are stimulating, because they often provide food for thought and  questions for further investigation rather than  just simple answers.

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This year’s theme was “Taking a Step Back To See the Big Picture.” As engineers and software professionals we are good at focusing on the thing at hand – the design challenge; the need for a new tool; our competitive situation. However, rarely do we consider the bigger world in which these issues reside.This year, COFES took a giant step backwards for broadening our view. In other words, to think about thinking about the bigger picture. The nature of our work requires that we spend the majority of our time getting things done, tightly focused on executing our tasks and plans. And while we do that, we are continuously faced with choices, big and small, along the way. Too often, we make decisions in the narrow context of what we have in front of us, unless some outside force pushes a broader context into our consciousness.

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COFES 2015: Taking A Giant Step Backwards

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

If it’s April, it’s time for COFES (Congress On the Future of Engineering Software). This annual informal event, now in its 16th year, is the engineering software industry’s only think tank/industry summit event that brings executives from design, engineering, architectural, development, and technology companies together to understand the role engineering technology will play in the future survival and success of business customers who also attend.

COFES is well-known for hosting leading keynote visionaries that bring a new perspective to the future of the industry.

The central theme for COFES 2015 is that as engineers and software professionals we are good at focusing on the thing at hand – the design challenge; the need for a new tool; our competitive situation. However, rarely do we consider the bigger world in which these issues reside.

This year, COFES takes a giant step backwards for broadening our view. In other words, to think about thinking about the bigger picture. The nature of our work requires that we spend the majority of our time getting things done, tightly focused on executing our tasks and plans. And while we do that, we are continuously faced with choices, big and small, along the way. Too often, we make decisions in the narrow context of what we have in front of us, unless some outside force pushes a broader context into our consciousness.

A quick blast from the COFES past — In 2008 Gartner declared Augmented Reality (AR) one of the Top Ten Disruptive Technologies for the next few years. While AR has arrived on mobile devices and digital cameras, it remains imprecise and far from disruptive. Are there changes in the wind? Although the video below is a couple of years old, during his COFES 2011 presentation Joseph Juhnke reviews the strengths and weaknesses of various types of Augmented Reality (hardware and software) technologies.

Practical applications for augmented reality – Joseph Juhnke – COFES 2011 Keynote Presentation

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2015 MCADCafe Industry Show & Conference Coverage Schedule

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

After a relatively quiet travel schedule for January, we’re getting ready to hit the road for several industry trade shows and conferences throughout the remainder of the year.

We plan on attending the following events and will be exhibiting at most of them. We’ll be covering all of the events with new technology, product, and business announcements through social media as events unfold, blog posts during and following events, as well as video and audio interviews, and even a few surprises.

2/8-2/11/2015 – SolidWorks World 2015 (Phoenix, AZ) – http://www.solidworks.com/sww/

At SolidWorks World 2015 learn how you can work faster and be more efficient. Choose from over 200 technical breakout sessions led by SOLIDWORKS users and industry experts. Network with other SOLIDWORKS users, Solution Partners, resellers, and SOLIDWORKS employees. Explore the latest in 3D design and technology, offered by more than 100 exhibitors in the SOLIDWORKS Partner Pavilion.

2/25-2/26/2015 – Autodesk REAL 2015 (San Francisco, CA) – http://www.real2015.com/

REAL is the first event to explore the convergence of the professional 3D sensing, making & visualization industries. REAL is both an exclusive executive summit, REAL TALK, and a world’s fair of cutting-edge 3D demos, REAL LIVE. REAL is new and different: an immersive, hands-on, high-level gathering in a historic venue with a unique program.

4/15-4/19/2015 – COFES 2015 (Phoenix, AZ) – http://cofes.com/

COFES is the engineering software industry’s only annual think tank event which brings executives from design, engineering, architectural, development and technology companies together to understand the role engineering technology will play in the future survival and success of your business.

5/18-5/21/2015 – SME RAPID 2015  (Long Beach, CA) – http://www.rapid3devent.com/

RAPID is known worldwide as the preeminent event for 3D printing, scanning, and additive manufacturing. The event will be celebrating its 25th anniversary as the ultimate authority in 2015, with the most comprehensive display of 3D technology, expertise, and innovation ever showcased in one place.

6/7-6/10/2015 – PTC Live Global 2015 (Nashville, TN) – http://liveglobal.ptc.com/

PTC’s largest education and networking event. Product development professionals will discover new techniques and best practices, while building technical skills and peer networks that help them develop more innovative products, more effectively. Service leaders will access the latest industry research and technology, innovative concepts and best practices for achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.

8/9-8/13/2015 – SIGGRAPH 2015 (Los Angeles, CA) – http://s2015.siggraph.org/

Now in its 42nd year, the annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience in the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world.

9/28-10/1/2015 – Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2015 (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) – http://cmts.ca/

CMTS is Canada’s largest manufacturing event. More than 8,000 manufacturing professionals attend CMTS to discover the latest advancements in machine tool, tooling, metal forming and fabricating, advanced manufacturing including 3D printing/additive manufacturing, automation, design engineering and plant management segments from over 700 potential suppliers.

10/20-10/22 /2015– Inside 3D Printing (Santa Clara, CA) – http://inside3dprinting.com/

Inside 3D Printing is the largest professional 3D printing and additive manufacturing event worldwide. As a conference attendee, you’ll explore the business applications of 3D printing through conference sessions led by industry experts, demonstrations of the latest 3D printers and services, and programming for designers, professionals, and makers

12/1-12/3/2015 – Autodesk University 2015 (Las Vegas, NV) – http://au.autodesk.com/las-vegas/overview/manufacturing

Discover how new technologies such as additive manufacturing, crowd sourcing, and advanced automation are changing manufacturing. Sign up for interactive workshops and classes designed to give you an edge in product design and manufacturing. Network with thought leaders and innovators in your field from all over the world.

We hope to see you at one or more of these events. In our increasingly digital virtual world, there’s still nothing that beats a real face-to-face experience!

COFES 2014: Focuses on the Year 2020 and 20/20 Vision

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

I just returned from the Arizona desert and COFES 2014. The annual event (in its fifteenth year), also known as the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES), is more than just an event featuring technology as its central theme for technology’s sake. It’s actually more of an immersive educational experience that brings together many of the best minds in the technical realms of engineering software, hardware, education, and architecture, among many others.

COFES is recognized as a think-tank event that gathers vendors, users, press, and analysts together to discuss the many important issues facing both customers and providers of diverse technologies. The three-day event provides a relaxed and informal atmosphere designed to foster genuine conversation.

According to Cyon Research, the organization behind it, COFES is:

  • A think tank where great minds come together to discuss best practices and to share ideas for managing change
  • A technology summit that promotes discussion and problem-solving among industry thought-leaders, analysts and customers
  • A business event that delivers practical strategies for achieving financial success in the engineering and design technology sector
  • An informal environment where business leaders and technology providers can meet to identify and address key industry issues and challenges

Having been to a few COFES events myself, it is certainly those things, but also a lot more.

The theme for COFES 2014 was “Correcting 2020 Vision,” that forces our attention to look further down the road to a six-year horizon. Many of the discussions centered on the non-linear nature of the future beyond a two-year horizon. The stated goal at COFES 2014 was to help attendees achieve this clearer vision – one that better reflects the business realities we will all face by 2020.

Until the second day of the conference, I couldn’t discern if the 2020 reference was just the year and/or a reference to visual acuity. As it turns out, it was some of both. Although no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, the year 2020 provides a good vision and timeline for what might be on the horizon. The trick is now that the horizon has been set, how do we build the vision?

The format of the Congress encourages active (and sometimes very spirited) exchanges and interactions on everything ranging from PLM to 3D printing to STEM to coding to engineering search engines. The keys are the discussions, dialogs between individuals and not just corporate entities. Discussions take place at all meals, around the pool, outdoors between formal sessions, and around moderated roundtables. Companies, some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t, sponsor briefings in dedicated technology suites. These provide a good opportunity to learn what new and established companies are planning. In any case, all of the discussions point to the value of disagreement, diversity, and respect, as well as rethinking rejected ideas. (more…)

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