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June 11, 2007
PLM Insight Revealed At Summit
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - 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!

The recent Product Innovation Summit, presented by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks company, was a networking and educational event for product management, product development, and engineering executives seeking to accelerate strategies for increasing product profitability through improved product innovation, product development, and engineering processes and enabling PLM technology.
As part of Aberdeen's annual series of executive summits, the Product Innovation Summit is the only executive level event in which participants can collect actionable recommendations from Best-in-Class product innovation practitioners, for immediate implementation to improve their own

company's product development and engineering performance.

Participants heard from presenters from companies like Bombardier, Xerox, Honeywell Aerospace, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Delphi, Unilever, Harris Corporation and many more including noted best-selling book authors, Michael Treacy, Tony Ulwick, Dr. Roger Nagel and others. The summit was founded on Aberdeen's fact-based research, and identified how companies are transforming their product innovation processes and product lifecycle management technology in the face of increasing complexity and corporate demands for profits.

"As a summit sponsor, we thought the quality and content of the speakers at the Product Innovation Summit was exceptional and I am looking forward to building on the relationships that we were able to secure at the event," said Terri Pruett, Senior Director, Corporate Marketing, Agile Software.

Summit presenter, Dr. Roger Nagel of Lehigh University and Previous CEO and Executive Director of the Iacocca Institute, had this to say about the event: "I found the conference to be challenging, informative and of significant value. I particularly liked the specific suggestions for understanding customer perceptions of value, and the suggestions regarding formal methodologies for the innovation process."

During the proceedings, Aberdeen recognized and presented five companies with the Aberdeen Achievement Award for Product Innovation. The award winners included:

Summit sponsors included Agile, Autodesk, IHS, Siemens UGS, Zuken, SmartOrg, IBM, Infotech, and Invention Machine.

For additional information on the summit, visit

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

Although it continues to evolve, PLM is still a relatively new term in the big scheme of things in the MCAD arena. The acronym, PLM, actually came about in the 1990s as an outgrowth of product data management (PDM). At the time of the inception of PLM, some of the “big name” CAD/CAM vendors combined their applications with PDM and called it PLM. This led to the initial confusion of exactly what PLM was, since each vendor defined it in a way that best described their respective product offerings. In other words, they defined PLM in ways that best suited their interests.

As it was in the beginning, the term PLM can still be quite misleading and tough to get a grasp on, again because the term is still seemingly defined slightly differently by different vendors that showcase what they do best. For example, if a particular vendor leans toward the business side of things (as opposed to CAD/CAM), then their PLM offering is very likely to manage things in a business-centric manner from more of a business context and perspective. These types of PLM products provide hooks into CAD databases and actually act as extensions of ERP, bringing into the technical environments of engineering and manufacturing.

In theory, PLM is supposed to encompass all aspects of a product, from concept through retirement, and its associated data. When it comes right down to it, PLM is not just about product (either the software product you’re buying or the product you’re designing), it’s more about process. Realizing that PLM is actually process driven, as opposed to product driven, is essential in successfully purchasing and implementing PLM. In essence, the tools are focused on process control – a big step above product design and engineering data management. These processes are also very wide ranging and well beyond straight design and engineering to also include processes such as approvals, sourcing, QA, and so on. However
obvious it might be, though, it is the lack of realization that PLM is process oriented that has held it back in many circles.

So, can PLM be justified for all companies? Contrary to what I’ve heard and been led to believe from virtually all vendors, I still have trouble thinking that it is necessary for all companies, especially when you consider implementation costs and return on investment. I will admit that I felt the same about 3D CAD a long time ago, but PLM is quite a bit different because it can involve many intangibles. So, with that said, I’ll also admit that to effectively compete, all companies will have to think beyond product to process in terms of efficiency, productivity, and innovation, therefore, PLM might present a stronger case for being regarded as more of an essential
component of an overall product lifecycle strategy.

Get togethers like Aberdeen Group’s Product Innovation Summit are interesting, not because they present technical material, but because they present experiences that companies have actually had in the real world. The best conferences of this type not only talk about the glowing successes, but also the inevitable problems and how they were solved. This summit was somewhat unique in its approach and discussions that included product development, product management, as well as engineering strategies – all from a business perspective. While these types of events are not perfect, and unlike many more technical events, they at least do generally give a more balanced view
of not only what’s out there, but what works and what doesn’t. Imagine that – an attempt to provide a more objective view of PLM – a term that continues to evolve and mystify as it nears the end of its first decade.

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.

Lattice and Hitachi Software Engineering release Secure 3D Data

Lattice Technology developers of the XVL ultra-compressed 3D data format, announced the release date of its newest software application, XVLstaff, aimed to prevent leaking of confidential 3D data. XVLstaff was developed jointly with Hitachi Software Engineering, and will be included with Lattice’s 3D data editing product, XVL Studio 7.0. XVL compression on CAD models, developed by Lattice Technologies, has ushered in the practical use of 3D data in a myriad of downstream uses such as design review, production management, and logistics. Given the new, broader use of design documentation through XVL, the secure management of intellectual property is becoming more of a
concern. For the high-security management of 3D data, XVLstaff grants access to files for external sharing and captures unwanted access to the data by tracing operation history. The product also enables forced expiration of previously distributed 3D data. One of the most important features of the new application is that it enables the change and ongoing management of an XVL file’s security setting after distributing it externally.

Dongfeng Chaoyang Diesel
Engine Improves Collaboration with PTC Windchill

PTC announced that Dongfeng Chaoyang Diesel Engine Co., Ltd., one of the largest diesel engine manufacturers in China, is using PTC Windchill in its product development processes. The company says that deployment of Windchill has improved cross-functional and departmental collaboration involving engineers in design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly, as well as users in other corporate departments. By building a complete, consistent, and up-to-date repository for Product Development information based on Windchill, Chaoyang Diesel Engine has realized the comprehensive integration of enterprise information, and become the first to realize integration between Windchill and SAP
in the automobile industry in China. Chaoyang Diesel uses Windchill in conjunction with PTC Pro/ENGINEER.

MSC.Software Partners with AlphaSTAR to Bring Leading Composite Failure Analysis

MSC.Software Corp. announced that it has expanded its partnership with AlphaSTAR Corp. (ASC) a provider of advanced engineering analysis services and specialized software for the analysis of complex engineering material systems. Through this agreement, MSC.Software will enable select capabilities from ASC’s flagship product, GENOA, to work as an optional module in the next release of MSC.Software’s MD Nastran. The complex nature of composite materials requires specialized composite analysis tools that can predict composite part performance and failure. ASC’s micro mechanical composite failure analysis technology coupled with MD Nastran’s finite element
analysis enables simulations to track damage and crack growth progressively—Progressive Failure Analysis (PFA)—in polymeric composites, ceramics, metals, and sandwich structures. MD Nastran multidiscipline simulation software enables different mathematical analysis models to interact so that the effects of one environment can be applied to another.

CAD-ERP Data Integration System
for AutoCAD and Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision) Announced

Elmo Solutions a provider in the area of CAD-ERP data integration, announced Agni Link, a live, bidirectional CAD-ERP data integration system for AutoCAD and Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision). Agni Link is an AutoCAD companion application that provides real-time, bidirectional integration with Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision). Agni Link offers a way to unify AutoCAD and Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision) databases. Every time an AutoCAD document is saved, the user can edit data shared between AutoCAD and Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision) using possible values obtained "live" from Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision). Upon end-user confirmation, Bill of Materials data is updated in
both the AutoCAD document and the Microsoft Dynamics/NAV (Navision) database, thus ensuring perfect synchronization of both data sets and completely eliminating redundant data entry. Agni Link can process and synchronize a wide range of Bill of Materials data from either environment.

Adobe Announces Availability
of Acrobat 3D Version 8

Adobe Systems announced the availability of Adobe Acrobat 3D Version 8, a major upgrade to the desktop application for driving document-based 3D design collaboration and CAD data interoperability capabilities to virtually anyone across the supply chain. With Acrobat 3D Version 8, CAD, CAM, CAE, and technical publishing professionals can convert virtually any 3D CAD file-including large assemblies of more than 500 MB into a single PDF document. The PDF file can maintain precise geometry or be compressed over 100 times smaller than the original file, depending on the needs of the specific business process. Three-dimensional CAD data can also be combined with other critical
project information, such as product specifications, spreadsheets and bills of material, into a more secure PDF document containing product manufacturing information (PMI) used to convey geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, annotations and other specifications directly on a 3D model.

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

This Week

Lead Story

Secrets of Product Innovation,
Profitability, and PLM Revealed

Product and Company News

MCADCafé Presents Survey On Your thoughts About Design Software For
  • PTC AND Adobe Expand Relationship to Offer Enhanced IP Protection in Distributed
  • Autodesk Helps DaimlerChrysler Drive the Future of Efficient and
    Effective Automotive Marketing
  • 3D Systems Cures NASDAQ Deficiency
  • Felt Racing designs "the most aerodynamic bicycle frame ever
    created" -- CD-adapco Article
  • EdgeCAM Certified for Autodesk Inventor 2008
  • Autodesk Files Fiscal 2007 Financial Statements
  • Pinion Software Introduces ShareSafe File Security Solution for
    ProductView Graphics Server at PTC/User World Event 2007
  • AutoForm Launches E-commerce Solution EasyStamping.com and Starts
    Partnership with StampingSimulation.com
  • NASA Tech Briefs Names ALGOR V20 as Product of the Month
  • Big Win, Big Season: UGS PLM Software Helps Andretti Green Racing Win
    the Indy 500 and Hendrick Motorsports Win Nine of the Last 10 Points Races
  • Fishbowl Solutions launches linkTools for Windchill PDMLink &
    Pro/INTRALINK 8.0
  • OPEN MIND Technologies AG has Successful 2006
  • The IntelliCAD Technology Consortium Announces IntelliCAD® 6.4 Beta
  • Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions Partner Program Extends Reach
  • Engineous Software Expands Academic Program to Over 75 Universities
  • Research and Markets: Assess the Market Opportunity for PLM Software
    in the Manufacturing Industry
  • Jetta Innovates and Grows with PTC Product Development System
  • Proficiency's Collaboration Gateway(TM) Reviewed by Leading Research
    Firm, CIMdata
  • Cimmetry Introduces Integration SDK for End Users and ISV Partners
  • Hexagon Metrology to Bundle PolyWorks® Software Suite with Portable
    and Stationary CMM Sales in North America
  • DAC 2007 Exhibitor Profiles
  • New GibbsCAM 5-Axis Option Demonstrated at PTC/USER World Event
    Americas 2007
  • Visiprise Joins PTC Partner Advantage Program
  • Leo A Daly Selects Avatech Solutions as National Training Provider
  • VX to Display Time Saving Plastic Product Design & Manufacturing
    Techniques at the Atlantic Design Show
  • Astoria Software to Highlight SaaS Flexibility With Astoria On-Demand
    at PTC/USER World Event 2007
  • CAD Schroer offers the ultimate in 2D to 3D at PTC/USER World Event
  • Need for Increased Accuracy in Motion Control Accelerates Belt and
    Chain Drives Market
  • Aras Provides Agile Customers Path Forward

    Related MCAD News

    Autodesk Extends 3D Leadership with Acquisition of NavisWorks

    Corporate Moves

    Autodesk Honors Outstanding Instructor

    Industry Events

    CAD Triple Play – An Afternoon of Baseball and CAD
  • CPDA Announces Lean Experts Dr. Durward Sobek and Michael Kennedy to Keynote at PLM Road Map™ 2007
  • Aerospace Industries Association CEO to Keynote at MathWorks Conference
  • UGS Connection Americas 2008 Users Conference - June 2-6, 2008
  • DP Technology to feature ESPRIT Mold at Makino Techno Show 2007, June 5-6
  • TopSolid’Cam at the Bourget - June 18 - 24
  • ASCON hold KOMPAS-3D training and certification in Scandinavia.
  • Delcam to sponsor international toolmaking conference

    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.