Earlier this week my attention was caught by Hexagon Nexus platform announcements. Hexagon announced Nexus. According to the announcement, it is a platform to connect siloed engineering and unlock smart manufacturing innovation. I was not able to attend the HXG Live conference in Las Vegas, but I had a chance to catch up on the keynote session recording on Youtube.
Hexagon Announced Nexus Platform
What caught my special attention in the announcement was about connecting multiple organizations and siloed manufacturing activities. Here are a few passages:
Announced at Hexagon’s HxGN LIVE Global 2022 conference in Las Vegas, Nexus will enable real time data sharing between different design, simulation and production applications. It will connect different applications to form workflows, and combine technologies to develop unique solutions to engineering and manufacturing problems, from concept to delivery. It will empower cross-functional teams to leverage fragmented digital data by improving visibility and connectivity, and help them gain unprecedented insight, bring their ideas to life faster, and produce higher quality results.
Parth Joshi, Chief Product and Technology Officer for Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, said: “Our customers are managing increased complexity in the market, which is demanding faster innovation than ever. Siloed tools, rigid systems and inaccessible data are increasingly ill-suited to the manufacturing industry’s needs and pressures. Our vision for Nexus is to enhance the products our hundreds of thousands of customers have come to know and love with additional capabilities, powered by the cloud, AI and Machine Learning, real time collaboration and advanced visualisation.
I’m super passionate about data connectivity and real-time collaboration. So, I wanted to dig a bit more inside to understand what Hexagon is developing. Especially when it comes to the point of connecting multiple existing systems. Collaboration is a popular word in the lexicon of PLM vendors. However, many of the modern announced collaborative systems are dead in the water of existing applications. Cloud CAD systems and some PLM suites can offer great collaboration capabilities, but cannot do much with existing tools and bunch of Excel files flowing around.
The following Youtube allows you to see the fragment of the announcement in the HXG Live Keynote.
So, what I was able to learn about Nexus? Below I put some of my notes and comments.
Hexagon Nexus Vision
According to Parth Joshi, Nexus connects, empowers, and innovates by connecting data and allowing people to collaborate.
Some of the visuals presented in the keynote are very powerful and show a very interesting user experience of collaboration.
Intelligence is super important these days, so figuring out supply chain intelligence could be a very interesting thing. Especially when it allows us to analyze multiple companies and product data. Not much was mentioned about it in the presentation, but I’d like to dig more into this when I have a chance.
What is Nexus Technology? Here is some interesting information I was able to learn.
Nexus Technology and Microsoft Fluids Framework
Not much was mentioned in the presentation about Nexus technology and how the platform will manage data and connect people together. Nevertheless, I found that Nexus is using Microsoft Fluid Technology Framework, which is introduced and promoted by Microsoft Office 365 for the last few years.
The following video can give you some ideas about Microsoft Fluids
Hexagon presented during the recent Microsoft Build conference demonstrated Nexus and collaborative scenarios. The following example demonstrates how Nexus collaboration is built using Microsoft Fluids. Hexagon is promising to open source some of the technology.
What is my conclusion?
The demand for collaboration, communication, and data connection is huge these days. The digital transformation has a massive power on the organization and the way companies are organizing their work, connecting organizations to create new products. In my view, we are going to see more examples of software vendors looking at how to transform existing manufacturing workflows and to offer modern collaborative technologies capable to connect people and companies into a single digital thread. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing a digital cloud-native PDM & PLM platform that manages product data and connects manufacturers, construction companies, and their supply chain networks. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.