Coming to LiveWorx 2019 – how to navigate digital thread with PTC Navigate?

Coming to LiveWorx 2019 – how to navigate digital thread with PTC Navigate?

I’m coming to PTC LiveWorx 2019 event later this week. For the last several years. PTC established LiveWorx event as a place for technological, product and manufacturing innovation.

This year PTC LiveWorx is focusing on human capabilities and technologies that empower humans. Expect a new level of productivity and a bunch of new technologies in AR/VR and 3D printing. What should I expect (based on press and media kit)?

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On the high level these are top themes for LiveWorx 2019:

1. PTC is a digital transformation technology leader, empowered by a world-class partner ecosystem (Ansys, Microsoft, Rockwell Automation), and enabling transformation across the value chain – from product design to manufacturing to service.

2. The factory creates the most industrial IoT benefit, and PTC is making it real today with solutions that address the most-common, high-impact use cases.

3. Enterprise augmented reality optimizes the human/machine (or physical-digital) relationship, enabling humans with superpowers to improve productivity, reduce waste, and increase worker safety and compliance.

LiveWorx is a great opportunity to meet people and I look forward to having it as much as I can. Besides themes and catchy phrases, I’m coming to LiveWorx with 2 questions I’m coming to LiveWorx with.

The first one is coming from the article published by – ThingWorx Navigate’s App-Based Approach to PLM. The article presents somewhat interesting about PTC Navigate – ability to differentiate the roles of users. Here is a passage:

PTC, provider of the Windchill PLM platform and ThingWorx Internet of Things (IoT) platform, has a different approach: apps. By offering a suite of out-of-the-box apps built on top of ThingWorx, called ThingWorx Navigate, users with different needs can have tailored solutions for following the digital thread. These include apps focused on viewing, such as viewing models, drawings and parts, or taking 3D measurements, as well as contribute apps which bring new users into critical product development processes such as change management. Contribute apps enable a broad set of users inside and outside of engineering, including members of the supply chain, to participate in change management online via digital voting.

PTC Navigate touches one of the most significant problems in PLM – availability of information for downstream use and simplification of user experience.

“The challenge is we have these different systems, different processes. We struggle very much with systems that are sometimes complex to use. And we have people that just need very specific information, and they’re not heavy users of that given system,” said Tiago Bitencourt, PLM solutions architect for appliance manufacturer Whirlpool. “Navigate helps us deliver apps that have a very simple user interface and a good user experience. So, for folks that are really not frequent users of Windchill or SAP or other downstream systems, we’re trying to abstract all that complexity and provide them a user interface that’s easy to use and gives them the specific information they’re looking for.”

While almost every PLM application claims that, I’ll be looking to learn more about differentiations of PTC Navigate comparing to other similar systems (3DEXPERIENCE and Teamcenter ActiveWorkspace).

The second topic of my interest is the connectivity between different domains of information. A recent announcement from PTC  – PTC Extends Windchill PLM Platform by Integrating Requirements, Systems, and Software Engineering Capabilities.

Today’s smart, connected products require manufacturers to harmonize mechanical and electrical components with software. Cumbersome, old processes and out-of-date technologies provide poor visibility, and often require duplicate entry and thwart timely business decisions.

To address these challenges, Windchill now includes built-in linking and tracing between its native product data management capabilities and systems engineering, requirements management, source code management, and testing – powerful capabilities inherent in the current Integrity™ products, which will be rebranded under Windchill.

This comprehensive view of PLM enables designers to identify dependencies, view design progress, and understand improvements and exceptions. PTC is uniquely positioned to provide this extended PLM solution as it is the only leading PLM vendor with all these lifecycle collaboration products under one roof.

The most interesting part I captured is how PTC is planning to connect these systems – using standards  such as OSLC .

Core to the enhanced offering, PTC is using OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration), an OASIS industry standard, to integrate its Integrity application lifecycle management and systems engineering brand into Windchill. In addition, PTC is also extending PLM linking and tracing with its ThingWorx® Flow solution for collaboration.

The goal is clear and understandable. However, I wonder how OSLC based approach will be used. While the desire of all PLM vendors is to organize information digital thread, the technologies used by some of vendors are rather outdated. So, I look forward to learn more.

What is my conclusion? PTC is coming with few very interesting announcements around LiveWorx and I look forward to learning more. Linking information and making it available downstream is PLM challenge for many years. It is very interesting to see how PTC does it also combining with simplification and standards. It sounds too good to be true. So, I’m up to learn. 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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