Aras ACE 2019 – Digital Transformation is a new PLM

Aras ACE 2019 – Digital Transformation is a new PLM

I attended ACE 2019 Aras Community Event that took place in Phoenix, AZ last week, Aras Corp branded it as “Red Hot PLM”. I spent almost 3 days in the hotel with very little outdoor time. So, not sure about the weather in Arizona, but inside it was clearly a lot of RED from Aras’ branding colors.

It looks like everything in this hotel was literally red 🙂

Aras CEO and founder, Peter Schroer took a stage with community update and key topic – Digital Transformation or what we knew before as PLM. It was little about PLM and much more about Digital Transformation.

Peter Schroer spent time to talk about all myths of Digital Transformation stories. Check these topics out. 

Aras is seriously coming after digital transformation. It was clear from the presentation as well as if you check Aras’ website.

My favorite part of Peter Schroer presentation was a story about Digital Twin. This is clearly Peter’s pet peeve. Watch the video below and draw your opinion.

I can see Peter’s point – 3D CAD model is not Digital Twin. It makes sense, but then the question “what is Digital Twin?”  has no simple answer. It is a bunch of things – multi-disciplinary data, CAD models, BOM, simulation, electronic, software, etc… you name it. While logically it makes a lot of sense, it doesn’t give an easy answer and this is where it continues a well-known tradition of PLM definition – no easy answers, complex problem, and complex solutions.

What is my conclusion? Aras provides a strong message about digital transformation broad picture and clearly send a message – Digital Transformation (DX) is a new PLM. I like the idea. Digital Transformation is a very important topic for many organizations. DX is well funded by CIOs and getting into priority lists of companies. Aras flexible platform seems like a good candidate to make it happen. However, execution matter. Aras might discover many new players outside looking on how to grab a piece of Digital Transformation budget. I look forward to seeing how “Aras new PLM” will set new goals and claim a new set of priorities in organizations. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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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  • Oleg, I definitely agree with Peter on the Digital Twin topic.. posted the following descriptions (off the top of my head) to help a reader of a Dassault employees’ blog post who asked for someone to help distinguish between digital mock-up and digital twin… Interestingly, I can’t link through to the comments now…perhaps they closed the discussion (or other?).

    A digital mock-up is a digital (3D) representation of what might be one’s product (and this could even be a building f/e) to help understand what its form might be, and often its fit and function before it’s physical. When I say function this could also include estimated performance and operating characteristics. The mock-up may also be used to help in things like (simulated) training, placement, installation etc. Some might argue that a digital mock-up might include (simulated) electronics and software, but general perception is that it’s usually referring to the 3D digital representation of the expected physical entity.

    A digital twin (and there may be more than one…) is a (often more high-fidelity) digital model that mirrors or is connected to in-test or in-use and operating product or assembly (or even building). The digital model may be constructed of content that includes f/e mechanical (3D), electronic, software, pneumatic, hydraulic etc.. It may, and often does include other usable/valuable content such as semantic information, attributes, material specs, manufacturing information and a whole host of other data that allows it to be more valuable when used in the design through manufacturing/assembly and service lifecycles (as required). Indeed, some companies talk about discrete design, manufacturing and service digital twins. The (digital) twin allows one to better understand, compare, use and/or augment and leverage the situation of digital representations as and when products come to exist in the real world, as they approach it or are maintained in it.

  • beyondplm

    Allan, Thanks for such a great comment! I’m sure readers will appreciate it. I agree with Peter that Digital Twin is not equal to 3D model. Unfortunately, there are lot of digital twin marketing online, yet somebody clearly stating what Digital Twin is and more importantly what is NOT Digital Twin. Most of materials is marketing connecting what company does to Digital Twin. Again, thanks for sharing it. -Oleg

  • You’re welcome!

  • Christine

    Maybe not digital twin… Digital relative? The digital baby you thought you would have?

    My first job in the industry post graduation was to validate a digital simulation of a fuel economy model at a major auto manufacturer. My findings were not popular. The vehicle development diverged from the model development faster than anyone could keep up with, testing was sporadic, and in the end I saw no similarities between the test data and the simulation output. There was no hardware in the loop testing to validate the model components, and it was a train wreck. (This was an HEV project, so software was heavily involved.) In the end they missed the FE target by 20%. Surprise!

    Digital twin is certainly a sexy term for product developers, but vendors have latched onto it to include any of the granules that their portfolio may contribute without consideration of the connectivity gaps in their own applications. This defeats the entire purpose. A company can not buy a “Digital Twin” or even a comprehensive digital simulation solution off the shelf.

    As was discussed at ACE, the best digital simulation outputs are achieved when you diligently apply processes with smart people and the right products that track the digital thread as closely as possible across the entire lifecycle.

    Thanks for the blog Oleg! It’s certainly something to think about. We need more commentary like yours that challenges the marketing messages that are getting so complicated that it is hard for companies to make informed decisions.

    (I work for Aras, but my opinions are my own and I fully own any trouble they may get me in 😉

  • Christine

    The first but certainly not the last time I ended up with a sad performance review for telling people things they didn’t wan’t to hear and I would do it again! “Your job was to Validate the model!” …oops.

  • beyondplm

    @disqus_74mPyVLqDS:disqus Thanks for sharing your thoughts. What you said make sense and your examples are great. It struck me that you can do an entire speech without saying “Digital Twin” word. Which is again, a confirmation it is a buzzword – a very sexy and catchy buzzword.