Magic Mirror (M.C. Escher, 1946)

Recharging Your PLM Investment

By | IT Strategy, PLM | One Comment

What Does the ‘L’ in PLM Stand For?

Many product companies that use product lifecycle management software do not manage to reach the full potential of the concept and exploit the power of the software.  Often, the engineering department merely uses PLM product data management (PDM) tools as the system of record, and as a central repository of product design changes. But these only scratch the surface of toady’s very capable PLM software tools.

A long-promised, but frequently under-delivered, the principle of PLM has been the ability to frontload key product-related decisions such that design engineers can incorporate key capabilities and considerations concerning downstream activities such as manufacturing and service. Later, as the product continues down the path and goes into production and deployment, the PLM software provides feedback that informs upstream processes about manufacturing quality, warranty issues, and field service operations. These, in turn, enable a continuous quality and product improvement process throughout the product’s life, all the way to its decommission and retirement. This is the ‘L’ in PLM; at least, this is the intent.

Why do some product organizations struggle to implement this notion and to incorporate downstream considerations during early design stages and thereafter? Read More

Kroa A (Victor Vasarely, 1970)

Why Are You Not Using Component-Based Software Development?

By | IT Strategy | No Comments

Software Is Eating the World

It’s been over five years since Marc Andreessen famously quipped in The Wall Street Journal essay “Software Is Eating the World”. Today, the idea that practically all new products are software driven and “every company needs to become a software company” is almost a cliché.

From personal gadgets to home appliances, and from cars to the power generation and distribution industry, sophisticated software provides functionality and value for consumers, and ability to tailor products to a broad array of industry applications and individual tastes and needs.

The recent wave of rapid innovation and aggressive proliferation of enabling software technologies, ranging from blockchain and the Internet of Things to data analytics and artificial intelligence, is affording product company excellent opportunities to innovate rapidly and offer new and exciting products at lower cost and smaller physical footprint. Read More

The Great Wave off Kanagawa (Katsushika Hokusai, 1832)

Digital Disruption: Shaping the Future of the Auto Industry

By | Automotive, Mergers & Acquisitions, PLM | No Comments

Industry in Turmoil

Automakers have been keeping a steady pace of technology innovation and manufacturing excellence for over a century. Since the breakthrough of the highly efficient assembly line, auto manufacturers were in the forefront of engineering innovation, designing and building cars that were successively better, safer and cleaner. For many decades, the industry has been at the center of the US economic development, and, to many, an industrial and social icon.

But 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, aggressive new competitors, and an emerging supply chain ecosystem whose full impact is not fully comprehended yet.

One of the most profound changes the auto industry is grappling with is the emergence 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 the omnipresent Internet of Things cloud. Cars are becoming part of the Internet, or, in today’s parlance, they are yet additional, if unconventional, “things” in the Internet of Things (IoT). Read More

Aras Announces $40 Million Investment Led by Silver Lake

By | Mergers & Acquisitions, PLM | No Comments

Continuing its strong growth momentum over the past few years, Aras Corp. announced today it has raised $40 Million in a new round of funding from private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and GE Ventures

The funding will be used to expand Aras’s global growth and extend the company’s PLM technology, especially in offering customers comprehensive digital twin capabilities – the ability to create and manage a complete and exact digital replica of a physical product in operation. Aras technology will give Internet of Things (IoT) solution providers and users powerful configuration management tools to establish and manage IoT information in the context of detailed and up-to-date product configuration throughout the extended product life cycle: as designed, as built and installed, as maintained, and as operated.

Aras digital twin expansion strategy continues to build on the growth momentum in IoT services from cloud infrastructure providers such as Azure, AWS, Bluemix, and MindSphere, some of whom are already Aras partners.

Clairvoyance (Rene? Magritte, 1936)

Digital Transformation and The Internet of Things

By | Internet of Things, IT Strategy | No Comments

The Industrial Internet of Things seems to be in full swing, as the digital transformation of business operations and customers engagement models promises to bring about radical business improvements, new customers and additional revenue streams.

And technology innovations continue to keep the conversation alive, as hardware miniaturization, reduced power consumption, falling hardware prices, and ubiquitous wireless connectivity proliferate and power practically all new products.

The confluence of new technologies and innovative business models fuels the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things. There are plenty of compelling arguments—both business-oriented and technology-induced—that the Industrial Internet of Things will, indeed, lead to a radical transformation in practically every business sector.

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