Keywords: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Siemens, Digital Manufacturing, 3D Design, Product Data Management.
Siemens PLM Software, in conjunction with the PLM World user organization, held its annual PLM Connection Americas Users Conference in Dallas, Texas, from June 3rd to June 6th. The conference brought together users and partners to discuss the latest developments in Siemens PLM software in the context of various industry motifs. More than 1,775 people attended a number of fascinating keynotes and extended conference sessions. These provided an overview of and context for the expanding Siemens PLM portfolio.
Bill Allen, a Senior Engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, delivered a keynote on the Mars Curiosity mission and the conference adopted a corresponding "space" theme. Sessions touched on key releases, features, and strategies; complemented by a number of training sessions for users. This wide-reaching conference explored a number of important advancements, including various interface and user experience enhancements, best typified by the Siemens PLM's new 4th Generation Design (4GD) initiative.
Another important talking point was Siemens PLM's November 2012 acquisition of Belgium-based mechatronic simulation software provider, LMS International. One central theme to PLM Connection was the integration of LMS into Siemens PLM's solution set.
Key takeaways from the conference include:
4GD allows Siemens customers to provide an engineering context to massive amounts of data for large-scale projects
Siemens PLM hopes not to just integrate LMS into NX CAE, but to leverage it to provide a truly system-level, closed-loop solution spanning from conception to validation to task
4GD: The Next Generation
In his keynote presentation, Siemens PLM President & CEO Chuck Grindstaff remarked on the explosion of large groups of data as projects become increasingly global in nature. To partition and manage these data, Siemens PLM trumpeted several usability improvements to its solution set, most notably 4th Generation Design (4GD). These are critical to fulfilling Siemens' "Mission Objective" of delivering secure, high performance collaboration to take advantage of what would be an otherwise unwieldy amount of data. Also instrumental to this vision is Siemens PLM's new Active Workspace interface and promotion of the JT standard file format to facilitate data exchange across CAD platforms; the latter echoes Siemens PLM's culture of openness.
4GD was compared to many things: a "recipe," a "search engine," and an "iTunes playlist," among others. Much as how one might create separate iTunes playlists depending on the ambience and disposition of the listener, engineers can do something similar with 4GD. Each song is a design element and by including and excluding certain elements, engineers can better manage and leverage data within Teamcenter. Siemens PLM will initially launch 4GD in the shipbuilding industry, an industry typified by large-scale projects.
LMS: The Final Frontier in Delivering a System-Level Portfolio
For LMS, a company that views openness as its "ethos," there certainly was no cultural clash when it was acquired by Siemens PLM, which also promulgates open architecture. While Siemens PLM has a defined plan to deliver LMS on a unified platform, its ultimate goal is not merely to integrate, but to leverage the innovation-driven, deep and broad multiple and multi-physics solutions coming from Siemens and LMS. "1+1=3" opined Nick Tzannetakis, Vice President 3D Simulation Product Architecture at LMS. Through creating a system-specific data workflow, Siemens PLM strives to become the #1 provider of Functional Performance Engineering in support of "Closed Loop System Based Product Development."
LMS International was established in 1980 as a spin-off of the University of Leuven to address the dynamic and complicated challenges of system-level multiphysics. To deal with these engineering challenges, LMS develops system-level solutions to manage the complexity of the modern engineering workflows and spur future innovation.
PLM World, the user-run organization for Siemens PLM, hosts the industries' longest running PLM user conference in the form of Siemens PLM Connection, and this experience certainly shone through based on the organization and depth of content displayed in the 2013 iteration. Siemens has already spent more than $4 billion to provide a comprehensive, closed-loop PLM solution set and will continue to invest. The acquisition of LMS provides further evidence of the company's resolve to deliver system-level engineering solutions to drive product development; ultimately resulting in a "system of systems engineering".
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