MCAD Tech News (#346)

13 Jun, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Siemens PLM Connection 2013

The annual user conference previews NX 9, reviews the Curiosity rover project, and promotes product lifecycle management.

By Bill Fane

Dallas, Texas, was hot and sunny early this month, with temperatures getting into the 90s. At least, that's what I heard; I wouldn't know for sure because I never left the air-conditioned comfort of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

I was in town for the Siemens PLM Connection 2013 Americas User Conference, where 1,750 registrants had their choice of about 400 instructional sessions. Events of this type are usually corporate activities, but Siemens PLM Connection is a user group meeting organized by the independent PLM World organization and sponsored by Siemens PLM Software.

If you are a typical CAD user, you may be unfamiliar with Siemens and PLM. Or you may have heard of Siemens in the context of electrical equipment manufacturing, but that is just a small fraction of the activities of this old, large German company, which also provides products and services for the energy, healthcare, and infrastructure industries.

As for PLM, the acronym stands for product lifecycle management. Exactly what does it mean? Well, you can think of it as a document control system on steroids. PLM software lets you link related documents — such as a warranty claim, lab reports, engineering change requests, drawing revisions, engineering change orders, tooling change documentation, production orders, serial number control, and so on — for the entire life of a product. For example, if you want to know why a particular change was made to a part, PLM lets you trace it back to the original warranty claim. Siemens' PLM offering goes by the name of Teamcenter.

Siemens developers originally created a PLM system for their own internal use, but soon realized that they had a saleable product in its own right. The company also develops a pair of 3D parametric CAD systems: Solid Edge is a mid-range product, going up against Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor, while NX is a high-end product, competing with Dassault Systèmes CATIA. Read more »

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Bill Fane is a Cadalyst contributing editor, a registered professional engineer, and a close personal friend of Captain LearnCurve.

PTC Live Global 2013, Part 1

Technology is key to getting ahead of the forces driving massive transformation in the manufacturing market, says company CEO at annual user event.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

"When it comes to products and services, and the relationship that those products and services create with your customers, we are in the middle of some kind of massive transformation."

Those were the words of Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO of PTC, at the company's four-day user conference and exhibition that ran through yesterday at the Anaheim (California) Convention Center. From the world where products are consumed, to customer expectations, to a product's very bill of materials, Heppelmann remarked, the manufacturer's reality is dramatically changing. In his opening keynote address at PTC Live Global 2013, an event attended by a reported 1,900, the company leader discussed seven macroeconomic forces he believes are driving this transformation.

"If you think about any one of these forces," Heppelmann said, "by itself it's a big deal. Any one of these forces could help you gain an advantage on a competitor — or put you at a big disadvantage if they beat you to it. But I would position with you that the sum of all of them is completely transformational. This is a life-or-death moment for companies to either get ahead of these things — realize that the world of the future is smart, connected, global, configurable products and try to win in that world — or perhaps get run over by new people who try to disrupt your market, your business, by getting to this concept before you."

PTC President and CEO Jim Heppelmann
PTC President and CEO Jim Heppelmann

Read more »

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Nancy Spurling Johnson is editor-in-chief of Cadalyst.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

The Truth Behind 3D Modeling
June 13, 2013
2 p.m. ET
Learning to use a feature-based CAD program is a skill that many engineers don't have time to master, and yet many engineers still need to modify and repair CAD files. In this webinar, Frank De Simone of SpaceClaim will posit that users don't need to be CAD experts to do 3D modeling. Read more »

Solid Edge University 2013
June 24–27, 2013
Cincinnati, Ohio
This conference will focus on presentations and workshops developed for veteran Solid Edge users, as well as new and prospective Edgers. The event will include the Femap Symposium, which offers advanced learning opportunities, including hands-on workshops, and presentations from Femap experts and technology partners. Read more »

CMSC (Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference)
July 22–26, 2013
San Diego, California
Hosted by CMS (The Coordinate Metrology Society), this event caters to users of portable 3D measurement solutions applied by manufacturers and science laboratories. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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PTC Paper Examines Design Agility for Manufacturers
Cadalyst is offering "CAD and the Need for Design Agility," a free digital publication written by engineering technology expert Chad Jackson of Lifecycle Insights and sponsored by PTC. The four-page document digs into the challenges that traditional CAD software has managing design iteration, exploration, and discovery and how recent innovations in CAD software are changing the landscape. Download now »

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