Model-Based Marketing in CAD and PLM

Model-Based Marketing in CAD and PLM

I enjoyed the discussion around the article I published earlier this week – Model-based confusion in 3D CAD and PLM. I wasn’t alone in this confusing. Thanks all for such a great discussion! It made me think about how to bring some clarify to model-based discussion. Here are some additional thoughts.

Long time ago, one of marketing managers told that enterprise marketing is easy – you just pick an important word from a lexicon of enterprise company and add word “management”. Here you go – Design Data Management, Engineering Change Management, Project and Portfolio Management…  You can see an idea. I disagreed initially, but after years of looking at enterprise software and PLM marketing changed my mind. Looking into long list of ePortfolios, iManufacturing, xDesign and many other names, we can see lot of examples how existing solutions can be packaged to be presented in an attractive and novel form. But when you look at any new form, we should remember about PLM misconceptions. Jos speaks about Marketing = Reality, which I guess requires to put a question mark at the end. The quote is connected to marketing of PLM platforms slide.

According to Jos, no-on would buy a PLM system without marketing after understanding the details:

In the future of PLM Business Models. Oleg showed a slide with the functional architectures of the major PLM Vendors. In the diagram all seems to be connected as a single system, but in reality this is usually not the case. As certain components / technologies are acquired, they provide the process coverage and only in the future you can imagine it works integrated. You cannot blame marketing for doing so, as their role is to position their products in the most appealing way customers will buy it. Without marketing perhaps no-one would buy a PLM system, when understanding the details

Model-based is marketing. But it is connected to rational elements of how systems are built and used. So, here is my explanation about MBx. I tried to stay simple as much as I can.

MBD (Model-Based Design or Definition): 3D CAD models for everything. Stop using 2D drawings. Pretty much that’s it. The idea isn’t new and has some traction. But the adoption is hard. People were using 2D drawings for centuries and changes are not simple. The fact new CAD systems are prioritizing 2D drawing functions development is another confirmation that 2D is not going to disappear any time soon.

MBE (Model-Based Engineering and Enterprise): PLM as we know today. It covers multiple product baselines and change management. The key element here is to provide information model that can be used for all activities in the company and full lifecycle. The border between Engineering and Enterprise is blurred, but this is a place where PLM vendors are fighting for expansion in every large company.

MBSE (Model-Based System Engineering): To use PLM platform for system engineering. You need to have rich modeling platform to make it happen. Some PLM systems can do it better then others. PLM vendors are in competition with other vendors. Google “System Engineering” for more.

What is my conclusion? I can see “mode-based” asa new and very interesting wave of marketing in 3D CAD and PLM.  However, it is not pure marketing and it has some rational. The rational part of model-based approach is to have information model combined from 3D design and all connected data element. Such model can be used as a foundation for design, engineering, manufacturing, support, maintenance. Pretty much everything we do. It is hard to create such model and it is hard to combine a functional solution from existing packages and products. You should think how to combine multiple CAD systems, PLM platforms and many other things together. It requires standards. It requires from people to change. And it requires changing of status quo. New approaches in data management can change siloed world of 3D CAD and PLM. It is hard, but nothing to do with slides that will bring shiny words “model-base”. Without changing of technology and people, it will remain as a history of marketing. 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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