The trend of global PLM technology and application

On the 6th Chinese Manufacturing Product Digital Innovation International Summit hosted by e-works in November 2010, I introduced the trend of global PLM technology and application as follows:

1. The integration of main 3D modeling technology.
Feature modeling and direct modeling have been integrated gradually, to make designers speed up the modeling and editing. Siemens PLM’s synchronous technology, PTC’s CREO and DS SolidWorks’s SWIFT all reflect this trend, while DELCAM has integrated feature modeling with surface modeling and 3D point cloud modeling.

2. SNS based Collaboration.
As a more and more important communication tool of Internet age, Community can be used in the process of product R&D as well, to provide a communication platform for technicians. Mainstream PLM vendors have provided this kind of Web-based Community Collaboration tool in their PDM products.

3. Visualization and knowledge-based collaboration.
Different departments need to interact based on product model during R&D process, in order to make the design decision to be more effective and correct. So, how to add more information on 3D model to allow people from different departments to work together efficiently has become the important trend of PLM technology. How to express and reserve design, analysis and engineering knowledge is more important.

4. 3D-based interactive document publishing.
3D model not only can support product manufacturing, but also play an important role during the processes of product assembling and maintenance. So, lightweight 3D-based interactive document publishing has become an important trend. PTC, Dassault Systemes and Autodesk have provided this kind of products, and they can be applied in a wide range of marketing and service departments.

5. Specialized applications in footwear, shipbuilding, mold and die, apparel and other industries.
DELCAM released integrated CAD/CAM system for footwear. Except the traditional 3D design software AVEVA Tribon and PTC CADDS5, Dassault and SENER (The name of product is FORAN) have involved in China shipbuilding industry as well. There are many professional software for mold and die industry, for example, HoteamSoft’s SINOVATION has been applied in domestic mold enterprises. CAD vendors of in apparel industry have provided PLM systems as well. So, the vertical industry application has become one major trend in PLM market.

6. Application of Mectronics
Mectronics is one focus of concern for many PLM and EDA vendors, and is also a problem need to be solved in manufacturing enterprises. Recently, Siemens PLM introduced mectronics conceptual design software.

7. Deep integration of ERP and PLM
The deep and mutual integration of ERP and PLM has always been the key concern of PLM customers. ORACLE, UFIDA and Kingdee have acquired PLM vendors to consolidate their integration of ERP and PLM. However, to realize the seamless integration between different platforms-based ERP and PLM systems still needs more development.

8. Digital design, processing and manufacturing integration
The integration of CAD/CAM and numerical control system, digital design, process and manufacturing and MES is one major trend of PLM market.

9. MRO application
e-works hosted the first Chinese MRO Technical Seminar in 2010. Besides manufacturing enterprises, there were some defense and civil aviation maintenance enterprises attended the event as well. The application of MRO needs the support from product BOM.

10. More comprehensive and more accurate simulation to product performance
The core trend of CAE market is to apply CAE technology with physical test to simulate the product performance in all aspects, during the processes of conceptual design, detailed design, manufacturing, performance test, actual use, etc. in whole product lifecycle to reduce the physical test. So, the simulation data management, multidiscipline simulation platform, multi-field coupling and other technologies is a hot area of PLM application.

Editor: Sophie Shi sophie244@msn.com

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