PLM Strategy %%%%

Category: PLM Strategy

23 Aug 2018
The Path to Cloud PLM White Paper

Adopting Cloud PLM in the Manufacturing Industry

A newly released study titled Making the Connection: The Path to Cloud PLM, published by CIMdata, explores the growth and adoption of cloud product lifecycle management (PLM) systems. The study examines how cloud computing is changing the manufacturing market. This report follows a similar report, which I wrote about in a blog titled Solve Cross-Functional Collaboration Challenges with Cloud PLM.

The report discusses about the challenges and benefits of cloud computing. I wanted to dive deeper into two topics. Why customers are moving to the cloud and how to make the cloud fit into your PLM strategy.

The Path to Cloud PLM White Paper

Download the CIMdata Report

Why Customers are Moving to the Cloud

There are several advantages to adopting cloud (PLM) solutions. For starters, cloud PLM systems are easier and less expensive to manage. The vendor manages the software for you. They also host the solution on their servers and will upgrade the application. Cloud solution providers are responsible for the security and maintenance of the application. And since you are subscribing to the solution, you can spread the costs out over time.

Cloud PLM solutions are scalable. You can start with a few users, then expand as you need more. Or you can start with a few basic functions then increase the functionality. You can also subtract users or functions at any time. The great thing is, there’s no need for lengthy implementation processes. In some cases, you can be up and running in a manner of minutes.

You don’t need to buy new hardware or network equipment to install or expand the cloud PLM system. That will make your finance people happy since they don’t need to spend precious funds on more hardware.

Creating a centralized data repository is another benefit of PLM. You can store your data in one location and multiple users can access the data. Having the data available on the cloud means employees can access it from anywhere in the world. It’s what many in the industry call a ‘single source of truth’. Centralized processes end the practice of storing documents in different network drives. It also streamlines version control and engineering change orders. Think of how much time you spend searching for the right document or the correct version of a 3D CAD file.

Innovative Cloud PLM Features

There are many innovative apps that leverage the collaborative nature of cloud computing. For instance, Virtual Reality applications let you share your CAD designs. Anyone can view your design in a virtual environment. You can also create custom dashboards to organize your PLM process. The 3DView app allows you to share your CAD files with non-CAD users. Other apps allow you to create social communities to gather customer feedback.

Different Paths to PLM in the Cloud

The CIMdata study presents three paths to move towards a cloud PLM solution. They suggest you don’t need to make the move at once. But you should start by identifying the best migration path for your company.

Different paths to cloud PLM
Source: Making the Connection: The Path to Cloud PLM, CIMdata

Augment

You can ‘encapsulate’ your existing PLM system with existing functionality. For instance, CAD users can use on-premise design software and add PLM functions.

Increment

You can take the incremental approach. For instance, some features are better suited to the cloud. On-premise customers can add cloud-based project management or requirements management functions. You could also roll out the cloud solution by department or business units. Either way, the first step should be to identify and locate your key data files. This will help streamline the implementation process.

Switch

Making a total switch is a final alternative. But it’s also the riskiest. If you do choose this path, we recommend working with a partner who has experience in this area. A complete switch might work if your company has not yet adopted a PLM solution. You also have to consider what effect the change will have on your total IT infrastructure. For instance, will your cloud PLM integrate with your ERP, MRP, or CRM solutions?

You’re Not Alone

Research firms like CIMdata can provide you with guidance and advice. You can also speak with the PLM experts here at Adaptive. We’ll be glad to help you plan your next move.

Download the CIMdata Report

23 Mar 2018
POWER'BY for 3DEXPERIENCE Introduction

Digital Twins Powered by POWER’BY?

UPDATE: Power’By is now PLM Collaboration Services?

In this blog post by Jonathan Scott of Razorleaf, he shares how the Dassault Systèmes POWER’BY capability on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can help with Digital Twin initiatives.  He states that POWER’BY represents a “useful evolution in CAD authoring tools… and helps overcome the deficiencies in current CAD tools today”.

Other POWER’BY highlights he mentioned include:

  • Makes it easier for non-CAD users to quickly imagine new mechanical designs simply by mashing-up parts of BOMs of existing products
  • Takes advantage of high-end downstream capabilities, like DELMIA manufacturing planning and SIMULIA simulation without first having to rip-and-replace, or translate data from, their existing mid-range CAD tools
  • Enables users of any 3D CAD tool to leverage their data into instance-specific, digital twin models

To read Jonathan’s whole article, click here.

 

19 Mar 2018

Solve Cross-Functional Collaboration Challenges with Cloud PLM

A study performed in January 2018 by CIMdata, in partnership with leading PLM solution providers, uncovered compelling insights into plans for cloud PLM adoption. CIMdata’s motivation for the survey of industrial companies was a belief that cloud adoption in the PLM space was slower than in other enterprise application areas—a belief that was surprisingly not borne out by responses. What CIMdata did find is that cloud PLM seems poised for significant growth in the near future.

Some of the most intriguing information in CIMdata’s paper about the research, Cloud PLM: Understanding Adoption Prospects, has to do with the benefits survey respondents expect to reap from cloud PLM. Topping the list is making data management easier for IT teams, as well as easy scalability, lower costs—for both startup and ongoing maintenance—and greater simplicity and predictability for future upgrades and validation of implementations. Top concerns respondents expect to face with cloud PLM implementations are issues with integration, security, inability to customize, lack of confidence in cloud-based performance, and potential data-lock-in.

But the most interesting metric has to do with the biggest challenges respondents’ face with their PLM implementation, particularly the fact that cross-functional coordination is number one on the list. This ubiquitous concern is independent of PLM, of course, and speaks more to the intractability of many entrenched organizational structures. Over and over the issues that arise during any kind of enterprise platform implementation are how to get information out of departmental or team silos and into a central repository to be accessed company-wide.

Doing so requires not only a procedural change, from one software platform and set of habits to another but also a cultural change that can be similarly tough for an entrenched corporate structure. Overcoming resistance to change is a universal, perennial challenge for companies and organizations large and small, but it’s the first step toward making meaningful improvements that can help productivity, employee satisfaction, and ROI.

One of the best tools for overcoming resistance is, ironically, one of the sources of concern: a cloud PLM solution. But it’s better seen not as a new piece of software mandated for company-wide adoption, but as a single source of truth—a single location where all product and part information resides, connected and cross-referenced, so all teams and departments can access any information they need, any time they need it, and know with total certainty that the data is up to date.

The move to a single source of truth must begin with the enterprise making a clear decision to change. To guarantee cross-functional collaboration takes root, there must be clear organizational goals driving the activity. Executive sponsorship of the process is key, paired with team accountability, to ensure everyone in the company moves forward together.

Benefits of Cloud PLM

When a company gets onboard with cloud PLM, every department, every team, and every individual stand to realize the benefits. The “single source of truth” means a single platform delivering all the functionality the enterprise requires, making installation, administration, and maintenance easier for everyone. It also means a central repository—a central location where all product data is stored and where everyone can find the information they need. This ultimately reduces the burden on individual departments, especially engineering, that no longer have to respond to multiple requests for information tailored to another department’s needs.

PLM based in the cloud offers anytime, anywhere access and, typically, high availability, without the attendant burden on the corporate budget to finance or IT to maintain a capable system. High-end PLM platforms are also easy to integrate with a wide variety of other enterprise systems, such as ERP, CRM, MRP, SharePoint, and more.

In addition, a cloud PLM platform enables the complete enterprise collaboration package: all of the different activities and actions that combine to deliver business intelligence and reporting, including design, simulation, virtual manufacturing, additive manufacturing, and inspection and metrology.

In the end, with an integrated, comprehensive cloud PLM system, it becomes much more than a piece of software, but a single source of truth for all teams who take an active part in bringing a product to market.  This is the level of true collaboration that will help to improve an organization’s bottom line.

03 Aug 2017

Part 2: Understanding PLM Fundamentals

PLM is rooted in technical data and processes, but it has evolved to also encompass a variety of non-technical roles and teams. Everyone from engineers to marketing, purchasing, and sales reps create, use, and/or rely on the product information that’s managed through PLM. Engineering and purchasing access CAD files. Purchasing and inventory access bills of materials (BOMs). Sales and marketing access sales orders, product images and information. And corporate executives and managers rely on data and other information to make more informed business decisions (business intelligence).

The value of PLM—and a PLM platform —is that product data is accessible from a central repository where everyone can find what they need and it enables collaboration across teams who are responsible for product development. This repository reduces the burden on individual departments, especially engineering, that no longer have to respond to multiple requests for information tailored to another department’s needs.

PLM Drives Data Management

A centralized location ensures continuity of data around all product information—this is vital and affects many departments. Top PLM systems ensure lots of people can access, work with, and even change full, rich product data in the PLM system without the data getting out of sync. That also means improved collaboration across the enterprise—it’s easier for everyone to find and work on the latest version of a file.

PLM is Useful Whether You’re Big or Small

PLM has long been seen as the province of large companies producing complex products. Dozens of teams work on a single product, each focusing on one tiny step or element in the manufacturing process. The challenge in those organizations is getting each focused team to consider the bigger picture and work with other teams when necessary. But the size of the company has little to do with the complexity of a product, and these days, with improved technology and automation, very complex products might be produced by small teams.

PLM’s emphasis on data management and collaboration is as important for a small company as it is for a company of 200,000. At a small company, an individual might play more than one role, such as a technical role in the morning and a sales or marketing role in the afternoon. That’s where PLM shines, because it helps the multi-tasking individual switch between roles, needs, and information seamlessly. PLM systems help manage all the information the worker requires for whatever role they’re playing at the moment.

PLM software solutions, in particular, can be of enormous value to organizations, as a tool to improve collaboration and communication. Working with an experienced solution provider like Adaptive, we can help you wherever you are at in your software journey. Some of our customers just use a CAD or PDM system and want to evolve to something more comprehensive, others may have experienced failed PLM and don’t know where to go next. We can help give you the right information and tools you need to help your organization move forward.  We invite you to contact us, we are here to help.

This post is part of a 2-post blog series.  Read the first post here: Part 1: Understanding PLM, PDM and More

30 Jun 2017

Part 1: Understanding PLM, PDM, and More

We’ve all heard the buzzwords: digital transformation, product lifecycle, product data, PLM, PDM, systems engineering, models-based engineering and so on. It can be confusing, trying to figure out which technology or trend will have the biggest impact on the business. It’s also easy to imagine you’re missing out on a new, hot trend. But before we worry about whether we’re ahead of the curve or behind it, let’s be clear exactly what we’re talking about.

Defining Terms

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) as a term has been around since the 1950s—it is not a new concept, but recently, more organizations are looking at this process as a place for improvement. A product lifecycle is simply the stages a product goes through from the initial concept to end of life—whether that’s a complex manufactured product like a rocket or a simpler product such as a house or a winter coat.

Product lifecycle management is the set of processes and/or procedures used to manage all of the product’s information throughout the lifecycle—from inception and planning; to design, engineering, and manufacture; to service and disposal.

At Adaptive, we have defined the product lifecycle to start with the digital design process and continues into the physical side of manufacturing for prototyping, testing, first article inspection, and quality control.

Is PDM also PLM?

But what about product data management (PDM)? Where does that fit?

As the words imply, PDM involves managing the information about a product, from models and drawings to bills of materials (BOMs) and more. But PDM shouldn’t be equated with PLM. PDM is about the data involved in managing all the data around the development of a product – product specifications, version control and more. PLM calls on the data in PDM to manage the entire digital design process.

Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is also sometimes confused with PLM, but that focuses on how to design and manage systems (which almost always include products). It’s the overall organization and oversight of a system, as well as the people and processes that ensure all aspects of a system are considered and integrated into a whole. PLM, which focuses on everything about the product, can sometimes help automate design processes related to systems engineering. But generally speaking, systems engineering has a broader scope, as it also includes the coordination of teams, logistics, and other responsibilities outside of the product stream.

Models-based Systems Engineering

Within systems engineering is the concept of models-based system engineering (MBSE). MBSE establishes a “model” to analyze and document key aspects of the systems engineering life cycle which includes system requirements, analysis, design, and validation and verification activities. Similar to a PLM, it is intended to improve communications within engineering teams and other stakeholders, it provides early identification of requirements issues, improves specification of allocated requirements to hardware and software resulting in fewer errors during integration and testing and provides requirements traceability, reduces project risks and lowers costs, and more.

Digital Transformation

The idea behind digital transformation is to establish a process for organizations to track the entire cross-functional cycle of product development capturing and integrating key data points to establish traceability and manage how a product is conceived, created, tested, and brought to market. In essence, the data trail creates a “digital thread” that captures the evolution of that product.  Of course, this doesn’t happen all at once and needs to be taken in discrete steps that build success upon success.  In some cases a digital thread will extend beyond the walls into the supply chain, this is the ultimate nirvana. However, many organizations are not quite ready for that just yet and it is more talk than anything. However, the concept of establishing a digital thread goes hand in hand with PLM and systems engineering strategies.  The transformation part happens when there is a more collaborative approach in an organization when everyone is working off the same data and making better business decisions. We will be writing more on this topic later.

In Conclusion

As you can see, product development covers a broad spectrum in an enterprise as it tends to touch many functional departments as work gets completed across an organization. In some cases a business problem on the surface may not “appear” to be a PLM issue, but in many cases due to collaboration needs, managing product changes, and tracking all documentation it quickly becomes something a PLM strategy can affect.

Stay tuned for our next post where we will dive a little deeper into Understanding PLM Fundamentals…