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February 24, 2003
DaratechSummit 2003:"The Year that the Blizzard Kept the 'Wizards' Away?"
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by Amy Rowell - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

In case you happened to miss the DaratechSummit 2003 conference, held February 17th - 19th at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in NYC, you certainly weren't alone. Actually, some of the biggest names in the business were simply unable to make it due to the weather, including Bernard Charles, president and CEO of IBM/Dassault Systemes SA and Tony Affuso, President, EDS PLM Solutions. Also missing in the executive briefing line-up were Frank Perna, Chairman and CEO, MSC.Software Corp., C. Richard Harrison, President and CEO, PTC and James E. Cashman III, President and CEO, ANSYS, Inc.

Fortunately, even with blizzard conditions serving as the backdrop for the conference, most of these speakers were able to at least attend 'virtually' thanks to the help of 'modern technology. Armed with speaker phones, powerpoint slides, and in the case of IBM/Dassault's Bernard Charles' - a previously recorded videotape; the presentations went on, for the most part, without a lot of fuss. In a few instances, companies opted to have the 'second-in-command' stand in for the missing speaker, but either way, it was basically business as usual.

There were a few amusing moments. One of the most humorous occurred when Charles Foundyller, CEO of Daratech admitted that speaking to an empty chair during the Q&A sessions made him feel a bit like he was dealing with his very own Harvey (the invisible rabbit made popular by the film of the same name starring Jimmy Stewart), but once everyone adjusted to the live 'link' in place of the live person, it all went pretty smoothly. Apart from a bit of trouble with the audio at times, most of the glitches were minor and I think the majority of the attendees walked away with much the same level of understanding of the strategy and the vision of the companies presenting as they would have
received otherwise.

The good news is that many more made it than didn't, and for at least some of us, being 'trapped' in New York in the midst of a winter wonderland with literally no traffic to speak of for several days - will be something that we will remember for many years to come. What many will also remember, I'm afraid, is that the event was simply not that well-attended, particularly with respect to customers. And while poor attendance overall could be blamed on the weather, the likelihood is that simply fewer CAD/CAM, CAE and PLM industry executives and professionals are traveling these days. Having said that, there were still some extremely valuable discussions during the conference, and these will
be highlighted in upcoming issues of the MCAD Daily News and MCAD Weekly Review.

For starters, I had a chance to sit down and speak with Richard Riff, Director, Advanced Engineering Center, Ford Motor Company, who offered some keen insights regarding both the company's future plans and its recently announced deals with IBM/Dassault Systemes and EDS PLM Solutions. (Specific details concerning these discussions will appear in an upcoming issue of the MCAD Daily News.) Interestingly, in spite of the all the hype surrounding these recently announced deals, the subject of Ford Motor Company's engineering and manufacturing IT expenditures was given little, if any, attention during the general presentations.

There were, however, a number of other key developments announced at the conference, including an agreement between IBM/Dassault Systemes and ESI Group to deliver virtual prototyping and manufacturing solutions within CATIA V5; and a cross-licensing agreement between LMS International and ANSYS, Inc. to further extend the interface between each of the company's respective flagship products, LMS Virtual.Lab and ANSYS Workbench®. PTC also officially unveiled Pro/E Wildfire and its emphasis on a 'ProductFirst' approach (underscoring this commitment with the appointment of Jim Heppelmann to Chief Product Officer, a new role that PTC hopes will take hold throughout the
industry), and EDS PLM Solutions launched I-deas™ 10 NX Series, and SolidEdge Version 14, featuring new advanced shape creation technology. (For additional details concerning these and other major announcements made last week, please refer to the Top Stories section included below in this week's edition of MCAD Weekly Review.)

Overall, the primary focus of the conference this year was PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). According to Daratech CEO, Charles Foundyller, "PLM has the potential to completely revolutionize the discrete manufacturing industry." How? To a large extent, the answer to that question seems to be by not only changing the way that organizations manage product information, but by changing the actual underlying processes by which products are designed, developed, manufactured, and distributed. More to the point, PLM seems to be as much about process as it is about having a well-connected, interoperable, highly integrated set of enterprise-wide software tools and technologies.

Still not completely clear on what PLM can and can't do for your organization? Don't worry - again, you're not alone. There is still a great deal of confusion surrounding PLM, not the least of which is how companies can 'start small' and scale up in this area.

So stay tuned. We'll do our best to attempt to bring some clarity to this subject, as well as to other related topics in upcoming issues of MCAD Weekly Review.

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Email Contact to tell us what you think about this topic or if you have additional information you'd like to share on this subject!

Amy Rowell is the managing editor of MCADCafe, and the editor of MCAD Weekly Review.

Top Stories
  • Dassault Systemes and ESI Group Join Forces to Deliver Next-Generation Virtual Prototyping and Manufacturing Solutions within V5 [18 Feb 2003]
  • EDS and Avatech Solutions to Expand Reach of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Solutions to Small and Medium Sized Manufacturers [17 Feb 2003]
  • EDS Launches I-deas(R) 10 NX Series [17 Feb 2003]
  • EDS PLM Solutions Announces New Rapid Blue Complex Shape Creation Technology with Solid Edge. Version 14 [19 Feb 2003]
  • ENAER to Implement World-Class Aeronautical Design Solutions With PLM Technologies From IBM and Dassault Systemes [18 Feb 2003]
  • ESI Group Announces PAM-CRASH 2G [18 Feb 2003]
  • ESI Group Strengthens North American Presence With Appointment of Two Former Vibro-Acoustic Sciences Executives [18 Feb 2003]
  • LMS International and ANSYS Inc. Expand Alliance [17 Feb 2003]
  • MSC.Software Reports 27% Fourth Quarter Revenue Growth [19 Feb 2003]
  • PTC Defines Chief Product Officer Role; Jim Heppelmann Fills Strategic Post [17 Feb 2003]
  • Stratasys Announces Record 2002 Revenue & Operating Profit [20 Feb 2003]
    Product and Company News
  • 3D Systems to Reschedule Conference Call [18 Feb 2003]
  • A Fresh New Idea for Tier I & II Plastics Manufacturers! [16 Feb 2003]
  • Blue Ridge Numerics Showcases the Power of MCAD Integration at NDES [20 Feb 2003]
  • CFdesign v6.0 for Solid Edge to Debut at Solid Edge Summit [16 Feb 2003]
  • Cimatron E 4.2 Release Provides Robust 5-Axis Capabilities for Tooling Customers [19 Feb 2003]
  • Computer Aided Technology, Inc. (CATI) to Resell Capvidia's FaceWorks [18 Feb 2003]
  • Delphi's Horizontally Structured Modeling Available for Licensing Brings Significant Savings to 3D CAD/CAM Users [19 Feb 2003]
  • Electrovaya And Alias/Wavefront Announce Joint Program To Promote The Scribbler Tablet PC And Alias SketchBook Software [20 Feb 2003]
  • Gartner Dataquest Says Security is Top IT Priority for Manufacturing Industry in 2003 [18 Feb 2003]
  • ICEM announces the latest version of its flagship software suite; [17 Feb 2003]
  • Informative Graphics Corp. and Router Solutions Inc. Announce Strategic Partnership [20 Feb 2003]
  • Informative Graphics' Free ModelPress Publisher 3.0 Released With Support for Inventor R6 and SolidWorks 2003 [17 Feb 2003]
  • MSC.Software Goes Worldwide with Niku 6; Enables Work in Fully Auditable Environment [18 Feb 2003]
  • New Oce Print Exec Pro Software for CATIA V5 Simplifies Printing for CATIA Users [18 Feb 2003]
  • PTC Says Securities Class Action Lawsuit Without Merit [18 Feb 2003]
  • The PLM Marketing Firm -- Matrix Marketing Group Appoints Vice President of Strategic Development [20 Feb 2003]
    more MCAD News]

    Special Notices
  • Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc., Will Host 2003 International Forum on DFMA, June [20 Feb 2003]
  • EDS to Broadcast Securities Analysts' Meeting Live on Internet; Webcast to Provide Insight on EDS' Market Position From Key Executives [20 Feb 2003]
    Customer Wins
  • Chin Fong Accelerates Forging Machine Design With SolidWorks Software [18 Feb 2003]
  • ENAER to Implement World-Class Aeronautical Design Solutions With PLM Technologies From IBM and Dassault Systemes [18 Feb 2003]
  • ICEM's Surface Modeling and Evaluation Software Helps Land Rover [17 Feb 2003]
    Recommended Reading

    Fuel Cell and I.C. - at Detroit Auto Show

    Think hydrogen and you might think of the Hindenburg or the hydrogen bomb. Think again. A growing number of scientists, CEO's, and government officials believe hydrogen is the perfect fuel of the future that may ultimately wean the world off of oil.

    more Recommended Reading]


    National Manufacturing Week, 3-6 March 2003, Chicago, IL

    VirtualMCAD Conference and Exhibit 2003, 18 - 20, March 2003. Register Now! You won't want to miss out on this FREE online MCAD conference and tradeshow sponsored by MCADCafe!

    Westec '03, 24-27 March 2003, Los Angeles, CA

    COE Spring 2003 Conference & TechniFair, 30 March - 2 April 2003, New Orleans, LA

    2003 PLM Vendor Forum -- 10 April 2003, Detroit, MI. Sponsored by CIMdata, this forum is designed to provide critical market and business information to technology and service suppliers of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions.

    "Inside Design Now" 22 April - 3 August 2003, The Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York City. This exhibit is a critical overview of leading developments in contemporary American architecture and design over the last three years. On view will be the works of 80 designers and firms with over 300 objects, models, photographs, films and renderings. For information call 212.849.8400 or visit

    PLM World '03, 28 April - 2 May, Anaheim, CA

    Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing: Advanced Product Development Solutions Conference and Exposition, 12 - 15 May, 2003, Hyatt Regency, Chicago. Sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. For more information: phone: 800.733.4763; website:

    COFES2003: 4th Annual Congress on the Future of Engineering Software, 15-18 May 2003, Scottdale, AZ

    2003 PLM Vendor Forum -- 21 May 2003, Paris, France. Sponsored by CIMdata, this forum is designed to provide critical market and business information to technology and service suppliers of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions.

    more Events]

    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Amy Rowell, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.