CIMdata PLM Roadmap: Digitalization trend and old PLM problems

CIMdata PLM Roadmap: Digitalization trend and old PLM problems

Yesterday, I attended PLM Roadmap, one day event organized by CIMdata and Eurostep. The event is co-located with PDTEurope 2017, which will take today and tomorrow. You can get more information online here. CIMdata and Eurostep are partnering to get these 2 days events. OpenBOM, the company I co-founded last year year was one of the sponsors of the event together with Siemens PLM, Aras,Configit, HCL and Altair.

The main topic of the event was Digitalization – the next step of PLM evolution. The following slide from CIMdata’s Peter Bilello gave you an idea of what is behind the message – evolution of product development technologies to create cheaper products faster with high quality.

So, how digitalization is happening in manufacturing and PLM? According to Bilello’s it comes in the way of platform development. Platform is the next magic word in PLM development with the goal to make it transparent, open, attractive to users and developers and supporting end-to-end processes.

My special attention during the event was caught by the following few presentations made by Airbus, Boeing, CEVT and Schaffler. Here are few slides I captured.

CEVT presentation was discussing challenges of PLM implementation for automotive OEM.  CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology) is part of Geely Cars – a Chinese multinational automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. CEVT inherited Volvo PLM program and turned it out into Geely PLM strategy.

You can see challenges alongside the road as it was presented by CEVT

However, behind the “PLM strategy” moniker it is about multiple BOM representations and views. Nothing can be done with good BOM management.

Continue the conversation about BOM and change management, the following slide shows some very unique requirements to product structure and change management presented by Boeing and Airbus. The key element of the problem is the need to maintain two consistent integrated BOM (product structure) representation for engineering and manufacturing views while supporting manufacturing deviation caused by continue improvement of aircraft manufacturing process.

The digital thread in aerospace and defense is set of method to maintain digital model based definition combined with Bill of Material management

The slide from Schaffler demonstrated “digital cockpit” implementation connecting to domain specific data and systems.

At the same time, people are critical factor to make PLM digital transformation successful. The following slide speak for itself – without people each PLM implementation is dead.

What is my conclusion? New name old problems. Digitalization is a modern trend in the development of information systems, but I found most of presenters were just using this name to speak about old problems manufacturing companies and PLM developers are facing for the last 10-15 years. To develop faster, cheaper and with high quality is important. But manufacturing problems and challenges are real and PLM vendors need to think how to help manufacturing companies today. However, to develop a better PLM is probably not what industry need to make it digital. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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