Develop3D Live 2018 – Data Management Session

Develop3D Live 2018 – Data Management Session

I was invited to speak at Develop3D Live 2018 about Data Management. If you followed my blog earlier, you might seen articles about Data management 2.0 before Develop3D Live. Check my earlier blogs here and here.

This 1.5 hours sessions combined four presentations made by Joe McBurnie, Mike Payne, Neil Cooke and myself. Each of us presented our perspective on data management in engineering and product development. I wanted to share some key elements of these presentations.

Joe McBurnie of CSI shared he 30 years perspective on the evolution and usage of different tools for data management and process of digitizing of data. According to Joe, for a very long time, manufacturing companies and engineers are using wrong technologies to manage data. Knowing the history is hard to argue – Excel, Office, MS Access, SharePoint – this is only short list of products and companies. Right technology is PDM system relying on database – maybe not the most modern technological choice and proven and can help manufacturing companies to rationalize data management.

Mike Payne of Kenesto brings a perspective of document creation and management. His main point – documents aren’t going away any time soon. He brings an example of how CAD vendors have tried to eliminate drawings for the last few decades and why it failed. Kensto is cloud based file manager allows you you to track files and revisions.

Neil Cooke of Onshape shared new announcements and capabilities of Onshape in Data management such as elimination of files. Onshape uses cloud databases to store all information. It allows lot of flexibility and control that cannot be achieved using files. The following few slides shows key elements of Onshape data management.


In my presentation, I shared ideas and vision how data management will help digitally transform manufacturing industry by collecting information about products, contractors, suppliers and using it to create an intelligence. As a first step in this process, OpenBOM allows you to digitize such an important element of product development as part catalogs and bill of materials. Common industry practice is to use Excels for BOM management and/or exchange of data. OpenBOM can be used as a tool to start you digital transformation. My full presentation is here.

What is my conclusion? Everyone needs to manage data. But nobody wants to be responsible for data management. Traditional pain of data management in product development and manufacturing organization is related to the need to manage data either in Excels or CAD files. It is hard and inefficient. Therefore, to make it easy is the first step in manufacturing transformation. Expanding data management to help companies to communicate and work efficiently together is the second step in digital transformation. The third and one of the most important is to create an intelligence to support decision support. Think about future digital navigation for each company helping to decide what part to use, what contractor to work with and how to optimize the product for cost and other criteria. The future of manufacturing intelligence starts now. 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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