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The advantages of a product lifecycle management ('PLM') system are – generally – widely understood and accepted.
The issue with choosing to take the plunge and move ahead with a solution usually comes down to business justification of the cost and ultimately the Return On Investment ('ROI') calculation.
So, what is the solution to the 'PLM ROI conundrum'?
Here at Desktop Engineering we believe the answer is simple – Reduce the size of your ‘I’.
Keeping customers loyal to your company is getting harder. Not only are companies pushing the limits of competing on price, but most product information can be found online, meaning companies can simply copy innovations from one another and provide customers with very similar alternatives – which may be cheaper.
So what can organisations do to differentiate themselves and stay ahead?
This is where 'Experience Thinking' comes in.
In recent years many papers, both government whitepapers, research document and industry guru’s have voiced concern on the poor productivity within the construction industry.
Comparisons have been made with manufacturing industry where overall productivity has doubled over 20-30 years. So how did that industry achieve such gains and construction didn’t?
On Cloud software is the general trend of many applications – starting with email, it has progressed through to accounting software, customer relationship software and even finite element analysis.
PLM was supposed to be a natural evolution, taking advantage of the information associated within 3D data to then flow into all downstream activities. PLM was created (by Dassault Systemes) around 20 years ago and the process was adopted industry-wide.
As you may be aware the industry standard definition of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception to its retirement. PLM encompasses people, data, processes and business systems that providing the backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.
While nobody doubted the opportunities available in utilizing the information for downstream activities, the overall investment, along with necessary changes in company’s culture, and process curtailed its wider acceptance. Based on the above, PLM become the domain of larger companies (OEM’s).
Another term that is now being thrown into the mix, when trying to understand or determine whether CAD on Cloud is a realistic option is the term "Full Cloud"– what does it mean?
Firstly, it needs to be understood is that modern CAD systems deliver a high level of functionality - which in simple terms means lots of icons, buttons, options and ways of doing things. This means lots of lines of code.
Further, the geometry representations created now can create and visualise, to close engineering accuracy, the geometry of parts and assemblies that truly represent what will be manufactured. All this means that the data being created gets bigger.
All you trekkers out there will know this draws from an immortal phrase uttered by Spock to Capt. James Kirk to express something new outside their current experiences.
I have taken the liberty to extend it to refer to the On-Cloud capabilities of CATIA – it’s something much more than a CAD system.
Over the years CAD has now become such a well-known and used term that it is all encompassing – referring to something that is 2D and free, right through to some of the higher end more expensive solutions such as ProEngineer, NX and CATIA.
To label them all as CAD does a disservice to these capabilities.
We are currently in a place called “post-truth era” where “alternative facts” are being positioned as acceptable currency. I was wondering how this impacts an engineer who must work with the laws of nature and harness them for the good of mankind.
A key lesson we all learn during our engineering education and working experiences is that the mechanical psychical world obeys Newtons Three Laws of Motion.
These laws have the laid the foundation for classical mechanics upon which engineers have built the knowledge and hence technology that has delivered cars, aeroplanes and got mankind to the moon.