Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 Announced - Product Design And Development Back Big Time At PTC

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 Announced - Product Design And Development Back Big Time At PTC

PTC has announced Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 for product design and development. This time around, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 provides 3D drawing capability incorporated directly into the core product that is compliant with the industry standard American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Y14.41. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 also supports interoperability with other CAD systems, including UGS PLM I-DEAS, CATIA V5, and Unigraphics NX. Additionally, this version has major improvements in utility and usability by extending the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire User Model to sheet metal, simulation. and other areas. Built upon the technology of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire, first introduced in February 2003, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 is scheduled to ship during PTC's current fiscal quarter (meaning sometime before July 3, 2004).

PTC's Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 offers 3D drawing capability as part of its core. Prior to the availability of 3D drawings, engineers have spent large amounts of time creating and/or interpreting drawings when product designs were sent to manufacturing to be produced. Companies using this new capability can reduce misinterpretation and improve productivity by eliminating or at least decreasing reliance on traditional 2D drawings. The new 3D drawing capability was developed in compliance with industry standard ASME Y14.41-2003. This ASME standard is expected to be the basis for an emerging ISO standard to be released within the next year.

"Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 offers groundbreaking capabilities that will dramatically improve productivity for users and their organizations," said Brian Shepherd, senior vice president of product management. "3D drawings are the perfect blend of the 2D and 3D worlds, allowing downstream users to consult the product model and view all the data they need, annotated directly on the model itself."

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 introduces facilities for UGS PLM I-DEAS import and associative data exchange capabilities for both the CATIA V5 and UGNX applications, complementing the existing set of industry-standard formats and direct application interfaces.

"To compete in aggressive worldwide markets, companies must continually strive for improved efficiency and agility using open solutions that can be configured and deployed to best meet their unique company requirements," said Dr. Ken Versprille, CPD Associates, LLC (formerly the PLM group of D.H. Brown Associates, Inc.). "PTC views openness as a fundamental tenet and has consistently provided the highest levels of data interoperability."

Along with the core product announcement, PTC also announced widespread support for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0, including software and technology partners focused on optimizing its functions and capabilities.

PTC Partner Advantage Program members that are supporting Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 at its release will include:
  • Adobe Systems
  • ATI Technologies
  • Blue Ridge Numerics
  • Cadenas PARTsolutions
  • CD adapco Group
  • Fishbowl Solutions
  • Groove Networks
  • Raindrop Geomagic
  • OPEN MIND Technologies AG
  • Sigmetrix, LLC
  • Simmetrix
  • Theorem Solutions
  • Thomas Industrial Network
"Broad partner support is critical for the success and full adoption of any new enterprise software today," said Shepherd. "PTC is very fortunate to have many of the leading global software, technology and service providers embrace our newest version of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0. The PTC Partners are instrumental in helping us deliver the full power and value of our software to customers across different industries and markets as they solve complex product design and development challenges."

The announcement of the upcoming release of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 seems to be as much about the company as it is about the product. For a few years now, PTC's focus and strategy have seemed to swing back and forth like a pendulum - did it want to concentrate and push the design data creation side with Pro/ENGINEER or the design data management side with Windchill? There never seemed to be a good balance between the two or a good reason given why PTC should favor and pursue one over the other. The company paid for this murkiness with reduced sales and internal strife. The announcement of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 points to the fact that PTC is indeed committed to the design side of the equation. Whether it can translate this commitment into sales remains to be seen, but this should bode well for the company as it attempts to reverse past negative trends. In a future issue of MCADWeekly we'll discuss the implications and utility of probably the two most significant areas of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 - interoperability and 3D drawings. As important as a core product is, few companies can address the needs of all customers by going it alone, so partners offering a complementary product mix is vital for a successful product launch and continued growth. This is a good strategy because it lets PTC focus its energies and expertise on the core product while allowing the third parties to do what they do best. Also, PTC is not burdened with maintaining these adjunct products and ensuring that they look, feel, and behave like the core product. This support of partners goes counter to what PTC might have done just a few years ago - acquire several of the partners' technologies. It's not that they weren't good technologies, it was more like they were not "add-ins" so much as they were "nailed-ons". That situation has changed, though, and most of the partners seem to be doing a credible job fitting and working with PTC. And, while PTC does continue to acquire other companies, it is doing so at a slower pace and using better judgement, ensuring a better fit. These two announcements should result in a good situation for all parties - PTC, the partners, and most importantly, customers. We'll keep a close eye on these announcements as they come to fruition in the marketplace.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

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