Top Five Disappointing PLM Technologies

Once in a while, industries, companies, or developers come up with something that they think will change the technological and product landscape. PLM is no exception in this lineup of excitements and disappointments. Here are five technologies, that disappointed me in the CAD/CAE/PDM/PLM world listed from least to most disappointing): 

#5 – 3D Search

The CAD and PLM industries probably developed the most advanced capabilities to create 3D models, design products and everything around us. But they are pretty unsuccessful at being able to find them, once designed.

 #4 – Viewers

One of the top requirements of PDM since the early days is the ability to view what designed without running a CAD system used to design a specific product. So, I’d expect that viewers should be a commodity. But, unfortunately, this is not happened and the ability to view products/models continues to be a challenge for an organization

 #3 – CAD Interoperability

The inability of CAD vendors to agree on how to exchange models continues to affect people in the industry. You can see people spending their entire lives translating files from one CAD to another. You can still find “translation departments” in organizations. Quite a large amount of companies in our industry still focuses primarily on interoperability. So far, it looks like this problem will be still with us for awhile…

 #2 – PDM/PLM to ERP Integrations

When I look at the problem of integrating PDM (and later PLM) with the ERP environment, I see that the same list of unresolved problems has remained for at least  the last ten years. New PDM, PLM and ERP systems have been developed, technologies for EAI, middleware, programming languages have changed, but the problem of how  to integrate PDM/PLM with ERP in a robust way still faces us.

 #1 – PLM Standards

This is my ‘favorite’ disappointment. Standards are like toothbrushes. Everybody needs them, but nobody wants to use those of somebody else. There is some correlation between this problem and CAD interoperability. There are a few more/less stable standards – STEP, IGES. But this space continues to disappoint me with the lack of an approach that can change the status quo of “yet another standard development” adopted by one or two vendors only.

 So far, this is my perspective on my disappointments. At the same time, I see each topic in my list as both a challenge and opportunity. And I’m looking forward to an interesting (rather than disappointing) discussion…


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