PTC’s LiveWorx was held virtually as a one day, complimentary technology event focused on digital transformation

By Craig Resnick

Company and Product News

PTC’s LiveWorx was held virtually on June 9, 2020 as a one day, complimentary technology event focused on digital transformation.  Designed to educate those in the industrial enterprise on how to achieve business efficiencies, and bring together the digital tools, strategic solutions and emerging technologies that are transforming companies worldwide, PTC also used LiveWorx to make several product announcements, including:

  • Factory Insights as a Service
  • ThingWorx 9.0 Advances Industrial IoT Across the Enterprise
  • Windchill 12 for Improved Collaboration and Innovation



PTC and Rockwell Automation Announce Factory Insights as a Service to Help Accelerate Value of Digital Transformation for Manufacturers

PTC and Rockwell Automation, Inc. announced Factory Insights as a Service, a turnkey cloud solution that helps to enable manufacturers to achieve greater impact, speed, and scale with their digital transformation initiatives.  The new offering marks an advancement to the collaboration among Rockwell Automation, Microsoft, and PTC.

Factory Insights as a Service, powered by technology from PTC, Rockwell Automation, and Microsoft, is delivered in the cloud in a turnkey fashion and supports many of industry’s most common high-value digital transformation use cases, such as:

  • Real-time Production Performance Monitoring

  • Asset Monitoring and Utilization

  • Connected Work Cells

  • Digital and Augmented Work Instructions

Factory Insights as a Service includes many of the key product components of PTC and Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, including PTC’s ThingWorx, Kepware, and Vuforia products, further optimized for OT data coming from Rockwell Automation’s automation and information offerings.  It leverages Microsoft’s cloud, industrial IoT, and edge services, including Azure IoT Hub and Azure IoT Edge, enabling manufacturers to more rapidly connect individual sites and implement projects across their enterprise network.  This helps enable customers to save time and money by helping to reduce the complexity that they typically undertake as part of an industrial internet of things (IIoT) implementation and overall digital transformation effort. 

Factory Insights as a Service can also be an on-ramp for manufacturers interested in improving their operations by providing critical intelligence and insights on operational performance, asset utilization, and workforce efficiency.

With Factory Insights as a Service, some manufacturers have reported up to a 90 percent reduction in development time and cost, and as much as 90 percent faster time-to-value for many critical high-value use cases underpinning industrial digital transformation.


PTC to Help Advance Industrial IoT Across the Enterprise with ThingWorx 9.0

PTC announced the upcoming release of the latest version of its ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform.  Designed to help accelerate Industrial IoT deployments across the enterprise value chain, ThingWorx 9.0 will deliver new and expanded features to help industrial companies create, implement, customize, and scale their solutions.

ThingWorx is focused exclusively on the industrial market for digital transformation use cases.  ThingWorx is a platform for delivering Industrial IoT solutions at scale, across the enterprise, and helps to enables organizations globally to gain competitive advantage and reduce costs.

ThingWorx 9.0 is designed to deliver new advances in several core development areas and introduce new features and capabilities:

More Enhanced Scalability and Availability

With Industrial IoT a key component to companies’ digital transformation efforts, ThingWorx 9.0 will introduce a new, further optimized clustered configuration that will help to improve the horizontal scalability and availability of the platform.  This improvement will help to fortify the ability of ThingWorx to scale to a larger populations of devices, manage more demanding data processing requirements, and support a greater number of application users.  Additionally, the clustered configuration will further strengthen ThingWorx deployments for critical operations, systems, services, and assets that need to remain highly available under the most important circumstances.

Accelerated Application and Solution Enablement

Expanding on the platform’s background as a tool for more rapid application enablement, ThingWorx 9.0 will introduce solution building blocks.  These building blocks are pre-defined, pre-built configurations of connectors, domain models, business logic, and UI elements, which will help to simplify implementations of higher-value Industrial IoT use cases, such as status monitoring, digital work instructions, and manufacturing job order management.

Data Models with Microsoft Using OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA)

PTC and Microsoft are both helping to drive openness and interoperability in industrial IoT and support the industrial interoperability standard OPC UA.  ThingWorx 9.0 will bring more seamless integration with OPC UA components that Microsoft contributed to the OPC Foundation, including OPC UA Publisher, OPC UA Twin, and OPC UA Global Discovery Server, offering the ability to deliver additional intelligence and data richness from the edge to the cloud.  OPC UA helps integrate the ThingWorx Kepware connectivity solution and Microsoft Azure with ThingWorx, where data models get automatically standardized for more simplified solution enablement.

Analytics Advancements

ThingWorx 9.0 will introduce enhanced predictive analytics scoring at the edge to help reduce data transmission costs and latency challenges and help improve the accuracy of asset performance predictions.  This is important for deployments of ThingWorx at the enterprise level, as these companies rely on the insights from the ThingWorx Analytics solution to help improve decision making, better optimize operational processes, and reduce unplanned downtime.

Scaling ThingWorx with Solution Central

ThingWorx 9.0 will help to simplify the scaling of Industrial IoT deployments across the enterprise with enhancements to the Solution Central tool.  Administrators will have access to a broader range of self-service functions for deploying ThingWorx solutions, managing ThingWorx environments, and enabling development team collaboration.  Since its introduction in ThingWorx 8.5, Solution Central has been adopted by hundreds of ThingWorx customers and partners that are scaling ThingWorx deployments across their organizations.



PTC Releases Windchill 12 for Improved Collaboration and Innovation

PTC announced the launch of the latest version of its Windchill product lifecycle management (PLM) software.  Windchill 12 offers new collaboration tools, capabilities to improve product quality, and enhanced deployment options that provide the tools necessary to adapt to today’s changing work environment.

Enhancements in Windchill 12 include:

Easy, Secure Access to Product Data

Building on Windchill’s web-based user interface and highly configurable out-of-the-box applications, Windchill 12 enables companies to improve collaboration across the enterprise with even broader access to product data.  Extensions to Windchill 12, including Silicon Expert and IHS integration, provide sophisticated component sourcing, part selection, and risk assessment, enabling customers to improve profit margins.

Quality Built into Every Project and Process

Closing the loop between engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, and field service, Windchill 12 gives companies greater end-to-end capabilities to uncover design issues early and react faster to adverse events.  These capabilities enable companies to drive down the cost of poor quality and enable greater speed to market and customer satisfaction.  The new proof of traceability feature, delivered through tight OSLC integration with Windchill 12, Windchill RV&S, Windchill Modeler, and third-party requirements management tools, such as IBM Doors NG, allows companies to protect intellectual property at the origin of the digital thread.  Leveraging the latest version of PTC’s Creo design software, Windchill 12 and the Creo View visualization solution allow users to identify changes in the view states captured in the CAD design to visually manage critical-to-quality (CTQ) characteristics.

Concurrent Manufacturing

Meeting the growing demand for customer-driven product configurations has become increasingly difficult given supply chain interruptions, evolving safety regulations, and time-to-market pressures.  Windchill 12 helps customers adopt more flexible ways of producing products by providing digital thread continuity between the design and the information on the factory shop floor.  Windchill 12 introduces BOM transformation tools that enable manufacturing engineers to quickly view and reconcile upstream changes to downstream manufacturing and plant-specific BOMs.

Digital First

With Windchill 12, PTC continues its commitment to openness and standards-based integration with new enhancements based on the ODATA standard to enable multi-system orchestration and compatibility with PTC and non-PTC applications.  Windchill 12 provides administrators additional tools to plan and execute upgrades from previous releases, enabling companies to streamline upgrades and get value quickly on the latest Windchill platform.

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