There is no shortage of talks about IoT these days. CAD and PLM vendors included. While each company is developing their own approach with regards to PLM and IoT, the overall trend shows growing interest from PLM vendors to see what benefits IoT can bring to their businesses.
Few months ago, I posted about 3 things PLM can do with IoT tomorrow. One of them was related to requirement management. More specifically, I guessed that IoT can become an intelligent approach to validate design hypothesis and get a better perspective on customer needs.
My attention caught by DE article Internet of Things take guesswork from design, which speaks exactly about the same topic. Here is an interesting passage-
Next-generation products outfitted with embedded sensors, actuators and other technologies will be able to detect things about their environment — temperature changes, for example, or an imminent part failure — and communicate that information in real time over the standard Internet Protocol to a database accessible by engineers. From there, engineers could analyze this trove of product-related data as part of their regular workflow to guide future product designs, address persistent quality issues, and inject more realism into verification and testing procedures.
Moreover, article brings examples of prototype application made by PTC based on ThingWorx and Windchill alerting engineers about product failures and providing product performance data.
These examples made me think about challenges related to growing data complexity of engineering solutions. CAD and PLM applications are not the example of simplest application. The demand for better user experience and simplicity is everywhere these days. IoT brings benefits of additional information, but increases a complexity of data and can be potential overwhelming for engineers.
What is my conclusion? We are overloaded with information these days. Products are getting more complex by adding electronic and software components. Our social interaction online brings even more information to product development, engineering and manufacturing. IoT creates a next wave of data, which in my view will become even bigger than everything we’ve seen until now. The future architectures of CAD and PLM solutions will have to count scale and complexity of future data. This is a note for PLM architects and IT managers. Just my thoughts…