I’m heading to the CIMdata PLM roadmap event next week in DC and wanted to give you a sneak peek into the agenda of this event, which I had a chance to attend in the past and it is currently coming back after COVID days. The roots of the PLM roadmap go back to the time when it was created by CPDA (Collaborative Product Development Associates). The conference was initiated to bring together industry leaders, experts, and professionals to discuss the complexities and challenges associated with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Since its inception, the event has grown and evolved, eventually being acquired by CIMdata in 2011, who continue to organize and host the conference to this day.
The 2023 CIMdata Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is set to take place in Washington, D.C., and I’m looking forward to catching up with many PLM professionals from different organizations – vendors and industrial companies after the long COVID break.
We are moving fast into a world that is governed by data and computer algorithms.
In order not to get lost in this world, we need to equip ourselves with the tools and new technologies that can help us to develop new products faster using the data we have. This is a vision of brining AI and other modern tools and tech to help industrial companies.
In this article, we’ll provide my insight and expectations from the agenda and share some of my thoughts about the topics and expectations.
Digital Thread – The Topic for the 2023 PLM Roadmap
The lead topic of this year’s event is Digital Thread, the same topic CIMdata used for the CIMdata Industry and Market forum I attended in Ann Arbor back in March. The 2023 conference seems to continue the legacy, featuring a wide range of presentations, and panel discussions that give you an insight into the landscape and insight of PLM hot topics.
This year’s agenda boasts a diverse range of topics, reflecting the multifaceted nature of product lifecycle management. You can check the agenda here. Here are my five favorite sessions.
- An A&D Roadmap for Enabling Global Collaboration Robert Gutwein, Associate Director, PLM Collaboration and Data Exchange, Pratt & Whitney [Bio] & Ansel Koehler, The Boeing Company [Bio]. Collaboration among Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their product design and manufacturing engineering partners and suppliers is key to any major aerospace and defense (A&D) program. Process analysis by an A&D PLM Action Group (AD PAG) project team has shown that the exchange of product data, such as 3D-MBD, Bill of Materials (BOM), and Model-Based Engineering (MBE), between multiple OEMs and suppliers present a challenge within the industry. Currently, the exchange methods for long-term collaboration between OEMs and suppliers are independent and exclusive environments and protocols, each unique and complex. Improving the consistency and efficiency of establishing and managing OEM-supplier collaboration can significantly improve cost, schedule, and quality across all phases of the product lifecycle. This presentation offers a new “Desired State” for OEM-supplier collaboration through the application of and adherence to a set of guidelines defined by the project team. A description and brief demonstration of the CMS application will be shared, concluding with the results of actual OEM-supplier evaluation trials.
- Debate: Tug of War – How OEMs and First-Tier Suppliers enable the Digital Thread in spite of themselves. Craig Brown, ex General Motors (representing the voice of the OEM) [Bio]Mark Pendergast, ex Delphi, and Aptiv (representing the voice of the Supplier) [Bio]. Relations between an OEM and a First-Tier supplier are always genial until the contract negotiations start and profit and loss take precedence. Each party has something the other wants but is also suspicious of the other. In spite of this, they need each other to be successful. Forging a digital thread in this environment requires technology and standards, but also bridging the gap of trust that is often present. This session will have a moderated interchange between prominent thought leaders representing the both ends of the OEM-supplier digital thread. Craig Brown, former PLM chief for General Motors, representing the OEM perspective, and Mark Pendergast, former PLM chief for Delphi, representing the First-Tier perspective, will answer questions and dialogue on the evolution of the digital thread across the Supply Chain.
- Supporting the Digital Thread – A Case for Agile Prioritization to Guide Disruptive Change
Paul Kaiser, Director of A&D Product Lifecycle Management, Moog Inc. [Bio]
The implementation of digital threads is poised to disrupt traditional companies’ business operations. This session will delve into the challenges of introducing end-to-end traceability (digital thread) to a traditional 70-year-old aerospace company. The presentation will highlight the disruptive power of the digital thread and the critical role of agile prioritization in modernizing business processes. A particular focus will be on the need for Platform Governance and Lean Portfolio Management concepts to support the digital thread and drive change. The need for and challenges of shifting the business case decision process towards a more holistic collaborative approach across the C-Suite will be highlighted.
- Executive Spotlight: What Does it Take to Make the Digital Thread a Reality? Moderated by Peter Bilello, President & CEO, CIMdata
Rob McAveney, Chief Technology Officer, Aras [Bio]
Michel Tellier, Vice President of Industry Services, Dassault Systèmes [Bio]
Kevin Wrenn, Executive Vice President of Products, PTC [Bio]
Dale Tutt, Vice President, Industry Strategy, Siemens Software [Bio]
This executive spotlight offers an insightful discussion between those in the know and in control of where digital thread enablement is heading. All of the solution providers represented on this panel are deeply committed to addressing the digital thread challenges of industrial companies. Over the past several years, they have invested heavily to deliver the technology advances that have made the implementation of the digital thread a practical possibility. This is a rare opportunity to hear directly from those responsible for strategy and roadmaps for some of the critical technologies we will rely on to realize our digital thread vision. In this session, we will probe the panelists’ perceptions of the drivers, needs, opportunities, soft spots, and gaps. We will ask for their assessment of the most significant barriers to success and areas where we can cooperate as providers and consumers of technology to expand the opportunity and accelerate the time-to-value from our digital thread investments.
- Moving Ahead
Monica Schnitger, Founder, President, and Principal Analyst, Schnitger Corporation [Bio]
The last few years have been challenging, and it’s time to step out of reactive mode and do more to control our enterprises’ future. What technology to employ and what to let pass by will only get more difficult as the pressure builds to adopt the newest tech — if we don’t use AI-enabled technology, will we lose out to competitors? If we do use AI tools, how will we grow our workforce, and what skills will they need? If we don’t co-design with our supply chains, will they continue to support us, or will we be cut off? And so on. This event is an opportunity to step back, consider the options, and hear from peers about what they’re trying and what’s working. This session will share lessons learned from across industries, company sizes, and geographies to try to distill what is essential as we all move forward to a more digital future.
Although the sessions are inspiring, the main reason to go to the event these days is obviously an opportunity to talk to people and exchange opinions and notes about what is happening in the PLM world these days beyond the educational sessions.
My Top 5 PLM Priorities in 2023
In my view, manufacturing companies are struggling with implementations and getting value from PLM investments they did in the past. Hence the conversation about digital initiatives and how to prioritize them. My recent article about PLM, MES, and ERP “conflict” around BOM management triggered a lot of interest and questions about how companies can achieve a seamless information flow and prioritize their activities.
Besides that, companies are looking for the effectiveness of their decisions processes and finding a way to accelerate their processes to achieve a “better, faster, cheaper” way to manage their processes.
While looking into future discussions about PLM, I took the liberty to work on my top list of PLM priorities I can see these days.
- Information Accuracy (operating with wrong data) is the number one activity in my view. The manufacturing industry is struggling with this one in my view. Manufacturing processes are spanning across multiple silos of applications making a very hard time to manage intermediate processes and connect the manufacturing output with business cases addressed by PLM companies. Supply chain, large-scale production complex products, real-time data – this is just a small list of use cases where information accuracy is paramount.
- Improve decisions (data in silos, complex dependencies, distributed teams) – is a huge issue for all companies trying to decide how to optimize manufacturing processes based n manufacturing and engineering information. Making decisions in NPD as well as in the operation and maintenance is extremely important. People like to decide based on the data point and in any enterprise manufacturing organizations are stuck.
- Accelerate processes such as NPD and CM. Faster is not a joke. Companies want to do things faster. To shorter their development activities, to deliver new products with innovative features, and optimize them for the reality of modern economy and supply chain.
- Risks mitigation (supply chain, compliance, and others). Complexity means a lot of risks and everything in manufacturing processes can go wrong. The manufacturing process is critically dependent on many factors that bring a lot of uncertainly to PLM companies to ma
- Support new manufacturing business models (XaaS). Companies are moving from old ways to sell products to new ways to sell services instead of products. But they need a new infrastructure to make it happen.
The 2023 CIMdata PLM Roadmap conference promises to be an enriching and insightful experience for all who attend. With a diverse agenda addressing the most pressing topics in the world of product lifecycle management, attendees can expect to leave the event with a wealth of knowledge and ideas to enhance their organizations’ PLM strategies. If you’re there, please reach me out- I’d love to talk. Otherwise, there is still an opportunity to register today to secure your spot for such a great opportunity.
For more information about the event and to register, visit the official conference website agenda.
Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing a digital-thread platform with cloud-native PDM & PLM capabilities to manage product data lifecycle and connect manufacturers, construction companies, and their supply chain networks. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.
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