New manufacturing and product development communities

New manufacturing and product development communities


The strongest community wins. Thanks Ed Lopategui for reminding this very important thing in your last GrabCAD blog – . It certainly resonated with  one of my earlier conclusion – 3 reasons why size won’t matter in the future PLM. Small is a new big. These days we can spot some earlier signs of new communities.

Octopart blog 2015 Electronic Hardware Development and Manufacturing Trends by Sam Wurzel gives you an interesting perspective on the development of communities in electronic hardware industry. Few interesting factors to spot – new people, internet influence, new technologies for manufacturing, crowdfunding. One of my favorite and the most significant is growing number of players connected together into eco-system of services to enable small manufacturing to do something that was only possible for large players before. The following passage is my favorite:

A quickly growing segment of manufacturing is the “one click manufacturing” space. Players such as CircuitHub and Tempo Automation are perfecting the software flow that allows a hardware designer to upload their PCB layout and Bill of Materials and immediately get a quote on assembled PCBs delivered in as fast as 3 days. These services leverage the Octopart API for up-to-date component pricing and availability information, along with deals struck with their manufacturing partners… All ecosystem shifts that are in opposition to the way large consumer electronics companies like Apple and Samsung operate. Can hardware startups take on the large incumbent players? If these trends continue to grow, then yes, they can and they will.

In my view, these shifts will have a direct impact on the way manufacturing companies will think about product lifecycle support. In the past, company data management and control was an absolute priority. The strategy was to set a data model and changes processes in the company. This things are still important. However, here is the thing, the data is not in the company anymore. It is everywhere. On mobile devices, in suppliers’ services and website, contract manufacturers, etc. The priority of PLM implementations will have to shift towards supporting community needs.

What is my conclusion? New manufacturing eco-system will change the priority and architecture of future engineering software. It will become agile, lean and service oriented. Communication and openness will become one of the most important competition enablers. One-click manufacturing eco-system has no luxury for import/export function. Product lifecycle management will become a connected service for manufacturing community. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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