UGS Teamcenter for MRO Updated

UGS Corp. announced the latest release of Teamcenter software for MRO, the comprehensive set of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) solutions within the UGS Teamcenter software portfolio. This latest version delivers a wide variety of enhancements in the areas of Service Data Management and Service Event Management aimed at improving product and process quality and implementing lean MRO operations.

Teamcenter for MRO is tailored to the needs of organizations that need to service complex products requiring a major capital investment, such as aircraft, weapon systems, ships and power plants. Today's announcement further extends Teamcenter's ability to help these organizations track and manage large amounts of product operational knowledge, then effectively and efficiently leverage that knowledge to improve product and service quality, increase service productivity, enhance customer support and continually drive down MRO costs and cycle times.

Some of the world's leading manufacturers are realizing these benefits today with Teamcenter for MRO. In fact, earlier this month, UGS announced that Military Air Solutions, a business group of BAE Systems, selected Teamcenter software as its enterprise knowledge management technology for specific aircraft platforms within its group. As stated in that announcement, Teamcenter will serve as the foundation for Military Air Solutions' maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) solution and will manage all of the product configurations for an individual aircraft - from design to disposal. It will also serve as a virtual knowledge manager, seamlessly integrating the data and functions associated with aircraft engineering and post-delivery service and support.

The expanded functionality and usability enhancements throughout the entire Teamcenter for MRO product suite have been designed to address specific customer needs and produce immediate customer value. Teamcenter's Service Data Management capability establishes an environment for managing all product (asset) knowledge from concept through end of life, including the products' operational life based on configurations of engineered and delivered products. For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), this environment permits a link from product configurations and operating information back to product development and manufacturing to improve product quality and customer support. For service organizations, such as owner/operators or third party service providers, Service Data Management establishes a single source of asset definition and knowledge management that improves MRO planning, execution and working capital utilization thereby increasing service productivity and quality.

This release also includes enhancements to Teamcenter's Maintenance Planning and Execution and Materials Management modules to help service organizations achieve leaner MRO operations. Service Event Management (SEM), a specific capability for managing the outsourcing of MRO activities in the service value chain, permits OEMs and service integrators to capture MRO activities performed by others, such as service work, asset configuration changes, and utilization tracking. As a result OEMs and service integrators can capitalize on the capabilities and economics of the service value chain, while maintaining accurate definitions and knowledge of the assets. This accurate configuration management knowledge is the key to efficient service operations and product improvements.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

OK, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) may not be the most interesting software area in the world, but it is one that is vitally important to industries that purchase and maintain huge, expensive assets, like aerospace (everything from commercial airliners to the Space Shuttle), ships (everything from cruise ships to submarines), and huge production machines (such as metal stamping and printing presses). In a nutshell, MRO is an approach for the support and service phase of the product lifecycle.

MRO is extremely important, for example, for keeping aircraft where they belong – in the air – and is responsible for increasingly complex systems that include everything from airframes to engines to control systems to communications. It doesn’t take long to realize the responsibility placed on MRO. It also doesn’t take long to realize that MRO is also a big business. Last year, for example, the value of the worldwide commercial jet transport MRO market alone rose to almost $40 billion, and is expected to grow at a rate approaching 5 percent annually over the next several years as real labor rates continue to decline and bottom out, but as engine overhaul costs continue to spiral upward. Things continue to look up for the MRO market as forecasters predict it will be worth in excess of $60 billion by 2015, and again that’s just for commercial jets. Not exactly chump change, is it?

Teamcenter for MRO is just one of the several flavors of Teamcenter offered by UGS, so, in essence, it’s a specialized application developed off of a common platform. Teamcenter for MRO offers a little different approach to the support and service phase of the product lifecycle with what UGS calls “configuration-driven MRO.” Unlike most traditional applications for MRO, that focus primarily on enterprise resource planning (ERP) transactional data, UGS’ configuration-driven MRO focuses on product being MRO’ed as the center of the MRO function. What this does is bridge the gap between the logistics, maintenance, and engineering, and provides these various groups with knowledge of what a product’s configuration should be, as well as what maintenance operations, resources, and materials are necessary to maintain its operation.

Configuration-driven MRO works by letting service teams trace and understand product configurations as they evolve into as-maintained asset configurations. Teamcenter also provides the complete history of an asset and its associated support information and trackable parts.

Teamcenter for MRO Is actually comprised of the following four parts:
  • In-Service that visibility to a base of capital assets, including access to knowledge that describes each asset in its in-service or operational state.
  • Maintenance Planning that enables maintenance planning for capital assets.
  • Maintenance Execution that enables execution of an auditable maintenance process while retaining event histories that can be retrieved and reviewed.
  • Material Management that tracks and manages all of the parts, tools, and equipment inventories used to maintain, repair, and overhaul assets.

For Teamcenter, as well as other MRO software vendors, such as IBM’s Maximo, the market represents opportunities for suppliers to move up the value chain, to supply whole modules, and sub-systems, as manufacturers increase outsourcing. And, much like what has happened with engineering analysis and simulation software applications moving further forward in the product development process, MRO vendors will have greater design influence and a greater system integration role, as MRO considerations are addressed and resolved earlier on in the process.

Today, manufacturing productivity gains in the are being driven by combinations of such things as automation technology; lean manufacturing tools and processes; and reduced downtime attributable to progressive maintenance programs, such as Total Predictive Maintenance (TPM). Another vital factor is the relative value and manufacturing’s awareness of maintenance as a critical driver of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), and its associated influence on productivity and profits, which is at the core of any MRO program.

So, while MRO may not exactly be the most glamorous area in the mechanical world, it is one of the most important for literally keeping things moving. It is also being increasingly used for designing products correctly from the start, so hopefully, they’ll be around long down the road.

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.

Frost & Sullivan Recognizes Dassault Systemes for Digital Manufacturing
Frost & Sullivan selected Dassault Systemes and DELMIA as the recipient of the 2007 Company of the Year Award within the North American PLM space. Recognized as the leader in the global PLM solutions market, the company is known for its technologies in digital manufacturing that help customers throughout the product lifecycle. Process and manufacturing industries are leveraging these solutions to increase their throughput and obtain advanced visibility into the process and manufacturing lifecycle on a virtual platform. DELMIA Automation enables greater efficiency in validation and the control engineer can leverage the virtual model of the machine or cell to explore as many “what if?” scenarios that are otherwise difficult to validate. The entire DELMIA suite of applications comprises digital manufacturing applications that integrate with the PLM applications from Dassault Systemes, like CATIA, ENOVIA, and SIMULIA.

OPEN MIND: hyperCAD Expands Functionality

OPEN MIND announced the latest version of hyperCAD 2006.2, with new and optimized features for more flexible and efficient workflows. The ability to work with curve, solid and surface data in the same environment has now been expanded in version 2006.2. Additional features for interactive solid modeling and associative curve and surface analysis bring flexibility and efficiency to the design process. Based on the think3 geometric kernel, the latest release of the 2D/3D CAD system from OPEN MIND has a variety of new features to simplify work processes and enhance productivity. Solids can now be modified more simply, no longer exclusively in single layers or parametrically. Objects can be precisely prepared for CAM programming, for example, by closing surfaces. In addition, the interactive solid modeling has functions for closing solids as well as shifting, offsetting, removing, and replacing surfaces. A detailed history for each skin (open solid) is maintained in the new version, a feature that eases workflow. hyperCAD can import data directly from CATIA V4, CATIA V5, Unigraphics, Parasolid, and Solidworks.

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