Digitalization and the Digital Thread

3D CAD Model Gears and Drawing

Mechatronics Management (Part 1): Mechanical Aspects

For the past three years, I’ve headed out to Phoenix AZ for the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software to talk with numerous providers and users of engineering software. The discussions are always pretty forward-looking, almost bleeding edge instead of leading edge. In the analyst briefing on System Modeling and Analysis, which was led by Allan Behren (who goes by the twitter handle @AllanBehrens), one of the engineering IT leader for For, Richard Riff, made a statement that made my ears perk up (the following is a paraphrase).

The PLM Misnomer: What We Know It Isn’t

Seems there’s been a lot of buzz lately about what exactly PLM is. Jim Brown and I went back and forth in the comments of one of my posts. Jim also had a good post in response to one of my earlier posts. There was a good post on why you need PDM and PLM by SPK and associates. …

Breaking Down Autodesk’s Vision for Simulation

Five years ago, if you asked which software providers had the strongest set of design and simulation capabilities, it’s safe to say that Autodesk wouldn’t be the first one out of your mouth. Many would admit they’ve developed and provided a number of design and engineering accelerator type technologies, but analysis and simulation? But lo and behold, fast forward to today and the story has changed a bit. Autodesk still might not be the first software provider mentioned, but they’re not far down the list.

Planview: A Little More than PPM? Not Quite PLM?

We all know what Product Portfolio Management (PPM) is. Right? Is the system that let’s us assess product ideas, compare them and ultimate fund a few for development. But it also let’s continually assess the health of funded projects to kill those that aren’t as successful as we’d like. Well, a few weeks back, I met with the folks at Planview (company website) to get some insight into their products. And I think there’s a little more to their software than first meets the eye.

Simply Pragmatic: The SPLM Teamcenter and Microsoft Office Integration

Most people that follow this blog might notice a recurring theme in my posts: engineers simply have too many lifecycle responsibilities to be come experts in any software application or system. A few weeks ago, this line of thinking led me to post some thoughts on how mashup applications could bring access to many enterprise systems to the engineer in one place. And I still think that’s one of the more feasible alternatives for engineers.

Integrating Simulation and Test: From Conflict to Collaboration

There’s nothing quite like a good old war between departments, is there? As disruptive as it can be, conflict between organizations happens all too often. And engineering’s had more than its fair share. But instead of focusing on how engineering’s agenda might be at odds with another department like manufacturing or procurement, I’d like to hone in on a dynamic within the engineering organization between the simulation office and the test lab.

The State of Paperless: More Feasible Than Ever?

Going paperless. What a vision, right? Some ten years ago, the concept of taking product development completely electronic seemed like some far off and unobtainable goal. But fast forward to today and it doesn’t seem quite so far out of reach.

The Intersection of Engineering IT and the Cloud

Seems nowadays its hard to read about engineering IT without coming across something about the cloud. And while it’s definitely an interesting concept, it hasn’t necessarily been explicitly clear what advantage or value it providers to designers, engineers or analysts. With ideas of IT related issues that have plagued engineering in the past, I started to think hard about the cloud.

What is the Killer App for the Modern Engineer?

A couple weeks ago, I asked a question that has been on my mind for a while: do engineers have the broadest reach within the enterprise? I’ve always thought there’s been a little bit of a misconception that an engineer’s sole focus is on new product development and more specifically, design work. Instead, just about every day for an engineer is a firedrill where they’re scrambling all over the company to resolve issues across a number of product’s lifecycles. So after coming to that conclusion, I started thinking about another question: what technology would best enable engineers to do their job?