Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Siemens PLM Shares Strategy and a Glimpse of What’s Ahead

25 Sep, 2013 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

As it remains focused on continually shoring up Teamcenter’s core architecture, the company announces plans for Industry Catalyst apps designed to address the needs of specific markets.

Grindstaff went on to explain how the industry is changing:

  • The digitization of manufacturing is transforming the way goods are made.
  • Increasing product personalization is supporting a consumer class that is expected to grow by 1.8 billion by 2025.
  • Mass production is transitioning to mass customization.
  • Economic policy is investing in sustainable industries as manufacturing is being revalued for its contribution to enterprise and societal development.

Product lifecycle management technologies are a key part of this picture, aggregating product-related data and delivering the right information to the right person so decisions can be made earlier and better, saving time, money, and wrong moves down the line.

When it comes to Teamcenter, Siemens PLM calls this the HD-PLM Environment, a concept it introduced in 2010. HD-PLM helps users “predict what might happen, examine what did happen, and connect them together,” Grindstaff said. PLM connects mechanical, electronics, software, and manufacturing development, enabling a dramatic increase in development and production productivity.

Siemens PLM focuses its own development on its core tools, including Teamcenter, the Tecnomatix portfolio of digital manufacturing solutions, LMS testing and mechatronics software, Fibersim composites engineering software, Syncrofit for airframe design and manufacturing, and NX and Solid Edge for product design and development. The company looks to acquisitions to expand its portfolio rather than develop tools from scratch. Grindstaff said the company is able to undertake numerous acquisitions “to take us into the future and ensure we can meet future needs of customers because business is quite good for us around the world.”

New Industry Catalyst Series

Over the course of the Boston event, Siemens PLM executives repeatedly emphasized the company’s focus on developing tools that support product development in specific markets, including aerospace and defense, automotive, retail apparel (including footwear) and consumer goods, electronics and semiconductors, energy, machinery and heavy equipment, and shipbuilding. PLM is not a one-size-fits-all solution, they said.

To that end, Siemens is developing the new Industry Catalyst Series — eight tools, each of which works in combination with Teamcenter to add PLM features specific to the needs of each user base.

In a press release, Grindstaff stated, “Two years ago we began our transition from a product-focused organization to one focused on the unique requirements of industries. [This] announcement represents a pivotal step forward in that transition. Each offering in the Industry Catalyst Series will be built around a specific industry’s best practices, based on in-depth knowledge we have collected over more than 30 years of working with customers. By imbedding that knowledge and experience in each offering, our customers will not only experience accelerated PLM implementations, but those implementations will be tailored to each company’s business in a way that facilitates the adoption of new technology. The result is more business value, faster ROI, and the ability to benefit from the latest technology as soon as it becomes available.”

Industry Catalysts could include

  • step-by-step guides for optimizing key industry best practices and processes;
  • “deployment accelerators” — that is, proven industry implementation procedures to boost PLM performance and allow rapid PLM adoption at a rapid pace; and/or
  • configuration solution components that personalize the behavior of the PLM system without custom programming.

Two Industry Catalysts — one for automotive functional safety and another for the electronics and semiconductor market — are available now. Versions for shipbuilding and footwear are coming in December, with others to follow. By the end of 2014, Bashada said, there will be a specific Catalyst for each industry. The company aims to bring in partners and, eventually, build an app store that could offer as many as 30 to 40 Catalysts, each simple and straightforward to use.

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About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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