UGS Adds Capabilities To Velocity Series For SMBs

UGS Corp., announced a series of major milestones further leveraging the company's success in becoming the first to bring enterprise-level PLM technology to companies in the mid-market.

The company last year launched the UGS Velocity Series portfolio, the first-ever to deliver enterprise-level PLM technology to the mid-market in an easy-to-deploy portfolio. The UGS strategy delivers leading PLM technology to transform the process of innovation — without the need for extensive IT support — for low total cost of ownership. At the same time, the company launched an effort to increase its channel capacity by 50 percent within one year.

Today's announcements highlight several updates to the popular portfolio of PLM solutions for the mid-market:
  • UGS introduces NX CAM Express, a new series of Numerical Control (NC) Programming modules designed specifically for the needs of the mid-market.
  • UGS launches Solid Edge Version 19 of its popular 3D CAD software, focused on innovation and collaboration throughout the entire value chain.
  • UGS announced Femap Version 9.2, the latest release of the world's most popular PC-based CAE application. "According to our research, mid-sized enterprises are eager to take advantage of PLM solutions that can be adopted effectively with their limited resources," said Jim Brown, VP Product Innovation and Engineering Research for AberdeenGroup. "Leading manufacturers, including smaller companies, are achieving significant revenue gains and cost reduction from implementing PLM solutions such as UGS' Velocity Series."

    The addition of NX CAM Express to the UGS Velocity Series portfolio is the latest step in UGS' strategy to provide a comprehensive family of modular, yet integrated solutions that focus on helping mid-sized customers transition to a complete PLM solution, while minimizing overhead and maintaining a low cost of ownership.

    "The portfolio has gained momentum since its launch. Solid Edge has seen three straight years of double-digit growth, Teamcenter Express has completed shipment in all languages, and Femap has exceeded our expectations. These are strong indicators that our mid-market strategy is being well received by the market," said Bruce Boes, vice president of marketing, UGS Velocity Series. "By adding NX CAM Express to the portfolio, UGS has an opportunity to further extend its mid-market leadership with a best-in-class, rapidly deployable CAM solution."

    by Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

    The Velocity Series is an evolving product portfolio that becomes clearer with time and illustrates UGS' commitment to the so-called "mid-market." In other words, small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Many of these current and potential SMB customers do not have an IT staff, mechanical engineers are usually responsible for implementing the system. As these same customers move from 2D to 3D, data management issues move front and center, but often their processes or workflows have not yet taken this shift into account. These are all things that enterprise-scale implementations may not be overly concerned with because they usually have bigger staffs to deal with things, but are vital to the success of SMB implementations.

    We spoke with Dan Staples, Director, Solid Edge Business Unit, and he said that the goal of the Velocity Series is to bring many of the PLM capabilities available to enterprises to SMBs in an "out of the box way." The parts that comprise the Velocity Series can be purchased either individually or totally, and this is part of the appeal of the Velocity Series for SMBs.

    While the Velocity Series has been around for a relatively short time, this time around it gets a new piece added to the mix - NX CAM Express. It's available in four different variations (with accompanying price tags) depending on specific milling and turning capabilities that also takes the complex processes associated with high-speed machining and multi-function machines into consideration. NX CAM Express has a lot of potential because it is CAD-neutral and can be used with competing CAD packages and is based on varying capability/price points. It should be a good cash generator for UGS, because CAM products are still generally pricier ($10,000+) for their capabilities than are their CAD counterparts.

    Solid Edge Version 19 was also introduced as part of the Velocity Series (see item in "The Weeks Top 5" below). The major new features and capabilities in it include dynamic simulation and capture, sheet metal, design annotation through product manufacturing information (PMI), leveraging the JT open data format, and the availability of 64-bit version for users with huge assemblies (100,000+ parts). Solid Edge Version 19 has enough new capabilities to warrant a closer look on its own. Look for a review of it in a future edition of MCADCafe Weekly.

    While SolidWorks and standalone Solid Edge begin to compete more with their big design siblings, CATIA and NX CAD products, respectively, the comprehensive nature of the Velocity series really heats things up. As products continue to get added to the Velocity Series (and its overall price rises), I wonder if and when the time will come when the capabilities of NX and the Velocity series will reach a level of relative parity. The Velocity Series is shaping up to be the way to true PLM for an increasing number of SMBs who may have thought it was out of their reach - either functionally or from a cost standpoint - and UGS seems to have an understanding of the different needs, expectations, and budgets of enterprises versus SMBs.

    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.

    PTC Unveils Integration Between Pro/ENGINEER And Mathcad
    PTC demonstrated the integration between Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad engineering calculation software at the 2006 PTC/USER World Conference. The integration between Mathcad and Pro/ENGINEER is a bi-directional link between the two applications. Users of these solutions can associate any Mathcad file with a Pro/ENGINEER part or assembly using the analysis feature in Pro/ENGINEER. Critical values calculated in Mathcad can be mapped to parameters and dimensions in the CAD model to drive the geometric design. Parameters from a Pro/ENGINEER model can also be input into Mathcad for downstream engineering design calculations. The integration offers dynamic updates to calculations and the CAD drawing when parameters are changed. Additionally, Mathcad-driven Pro/ENGINEER designs can now be validated using Pro/ENGINEER Mechanica structural, thermal, fatigue and mechanism analysis solutions.

    UGS Launches Solid Edge Version 19
    UGS announced Solid Edge Version 19. With hundreds of enhancements, the new version delivers a design solution focused on innovation and collaboration for the entire global manufacturing value chain. Solid Edge is a design-centric solution in the mid-range CAD industry, and a core component of the UGS Velocity Series portfolio. Solid Edge Version 19 includes a variety of enhanced capabilities for creating, sharing and managing design information. UGS has added hundreds of customer-requested enhancements that complement new tools for motion simulation, assembly and disassembly videos, 3D design annotation, as well as visual collaboration tools that leverage the open JT data format. There is also an enhanced workflow for AutoCAD data, as well as a new 64-bit version that expedites the creation of massive assemblies and their associated drawings.

    AutoVue 19.1 For 2D-To-3D Migration
    Cimmetry Systems Corp. announced AutoVue version 19.1 that adds support for 3D formats prevalent in many industries. AutoVue 19.1 expands EDA capabilities by adding NC Drill formats, Cadence Allegro, and Concept 15.5, as well as OrCad Capture and Layout 10.5. Gerber file aperture support has also been enhanced. Printed Circuit Board manufacturers can collaborate with suppliers and customers more rapidly without risking intellectual property. A number of new format and product enhancements are included in this release, including: AutoCAD 3D 2000 and up, MicroStation 3D v8, CATIA 5 R16, and Solid Edge 18. As the design community embraces 3D technology, AutoVue provides a simple and pervasive means to view, print and comment on 2D and 3D drawings. AutoVue's native document viewing capability enables users to instantly view documents without costly and error prone file conversions.

    SolidWorks Selects Liquid Machines Document Control Software
    SolidWorks Corp. has selected Liquid Machines Document Control software to secure and control its sensitive sales and partner materials. SolidWorks sales and partner network includes thousands of employees and partners worldwide, all of whom depend on proprietary business information such as customer lists, sales qualification data, and Value Added Reseller documentation. While access to this information is invaluable to SolidWorks' direct and indirect sales teams worldwide, it is proprietary and sensitive in nature. In order to assure the security of this information, SolidWorks has chosen Liquid Machines Document Control software that allows SolidWorks to create policies that control and protect who can read, edit, save, and print its sensitive sales and partner operations data, including presentations, spreadsheets, and partner documentation. Protection remains with a document or excerpted portions of the document for its entire life -- no matter where it is sent or stored -- to ensure that only users approved by SolidWorks can access and work with the information.

    Chrysler Group Deploys Right Hemisphere PGM Software
    Right Hemisphere, a provider of Product Graphics Management (PGM) software, announced that the Chrysler Group is using its PGM software to streamline graphics publishing processes for the company's Engineering Graphics Illustration Group (EGIG). The Chrysler Group's EGIG supports the company's multi-organizational need for up-to-date product graphics. The group's PGM solution incorporates Right Hemisphere's Deep Server enterprise software and automatically creates 3D product graphics from original CATIA data. This 3D product graphics data is then used to support downstream users with up-to-date graphics to meet their needs. Right Hemisphere's Deep Server enterprise and Deep Exploration client software help the Chrysler Group leverage existing CAD assets and significantly reduce the time and resources necessary to transform large CAD models to lightweight 3D files and create product graphic images to support multi-departmental needs. The software is expected to reduce the cost of producing these illustrations by eliminating the time-consuming processes associated with using existing proprietary CAD software.

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

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