Autonomous Driving (Popular Mechanics)

Software Behind the Wheel: How Software is Driving the Auto Industry into the Future

By | Automotive, PLM | No Comments

It’s Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile

Automakers have been keeping a steady pace of technology innovation and manufacturing excellence for over a century. Since the big industrial breakthrough of the highly efficient assembly line, auto manufacturers continue to design and manufacture cars that are successively better, safer and cleaner. For many decades, the industry has been at the center of the US economic development, and, to many, a social icon.

But more recently, over the past decade or so, the iconic and seemingly stable industry has been in turmoil. It has been undergoing massive changes caused by the cumulative effect of rapid technology innovation, disruptive business models, new competitors, and emerging supply chain ecosystems whose full impact is not fully comprehended yet.

One of the most profound changes the auto industry is grappling with is the emerging notion of connected and autonomous cars. Most industry visionaries and practitioners portray a bold vision of a future in which cars, occupants, and cloud-based information and control systems communicate and exchange information in an omnipresent Internet of Things cloud. Cars are becoming part of the Internet, or, in today’s parlance, they are yet additional “things” in the Internet of Things (IoT). Read More

Section perpendiculaire du moulin des Verdiers (Jean-Jacque Lequeu, 1778)

PLM as an Innovation Platform

By | PLM | No Comments

The Promise of PLM

A recent discussion titled Dassault Systèmes Bets Big on a Product Innovation Platform argues that the role of a PLM platform is to bundle different data sources and enable smooth data exchange among tools, processes and users. While not incorrect, this view is potentially limiting.

File and data interoperability, single source of (electrical/mechanical/software) truth, hardware/software development synchronization, and similar notions have been the core principles of PLM for quite some time; some, in fact, for a very long time. How well PLM vendors achieve these goals is a topic for a separate conversation. Read More

Decalcomanie (Rene Magritte, 1996)

IoT is PLM

By | Internet of Things, PLM | No Comments

Is IoT The New PLM?

At the recent LiveWorx technology conference, PTC’s CEO Jim Heppelmann stated “IoT is PLM.” An observation some of us, and, I believe, Mr. Heppelmann himself, have made before. This notion is more profound than some may realize.

Despite the capital ‘L’ of PLM, many product companies do not actually exercise product lifecycle management. Many PLM software systems are reduced to PDM and engineering change management.  In his comments to industry analysts, Mr. Heppelmann observed: “Nobody, not just PTC, is doing product lifecycle management. You build a car, the car leaved the factory and you never hear about it again.”

Connected products offer visibility and insight that most organizations never had before. Read More

If You Build It They Will come

If You Build It (Using Machine Learning) Will They Come?

By | Design Reuse, PLM | One Comment

Autodesk Claims Machine Learning Technology Will Transform 3D Engineering

Autodesk announced recently the availability of a shape-based search capability in A360. A blog article titled How Machine Learning Will Transform 3D Engineering describes the new capability, called Design Graph, as a “Google search-like functionality for the world of 3D models.”

Google search functionality is probably the wrong metaphor for 3D search. Web search is fundamentally text based, whereas searching for a part or a design requires a combination of textual and geometric terms and attributes, and sufficiently deep domain semantics. In fact, the blog article makes the very same argument later, describing Design Graph’s purpose to “identify and understand designs based on their inherent characteristics—their shape and structure—rather than by any labeling (tags) or metadata” (i.e. not Google-like).
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London City Farmhouse

PLM Redefined: PLM-ALM Integration

By | PLM | No Comments

In the first article in this three-part series, Why Do Software Bugs Continue to Plague Products?, I described how the proliferation of complex control software in most modern industrial, commercial and personal products are challenging product companies, and the expectation that engineering issues and quality snags will not only persist, but, in fact, are likely to increase.

A follow up article, Agile vs. Corporate Culture, discusses Agile software development methodologies and explains the organizational processes and cultural barriers that impede the adoption and reduce the efficacy of Agile practices.
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