PLM software as sport, user conferences as resources

Product lifecycle management software is engineering progress, as shown by acquistions, implementions, productivity, and training.


If PLM were a sport, 2007 was the year it made it into the Olympics. Many vendors made major announcements, and user conferences in 2008 are the best place to learn first-hand how advanced technology and lower prices for computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software can improve product and production-line design.

Dozens of PLM solutions

are available at every price point, with Siemens PLM Software and Dassault Systemes dominating the landscape, and

Autodesk in the fray as “the unPLM company


Autodesk announced record revenues

of $538 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008, an increase of 18% over the previous year’s performance. Success was driven by “strong increases in revenue from its model-based 3D and 2D vertical design products, revenue in the emerging economies, and revenue from new seats,” according to the company.

Autodesk acquired NavisWorks software and logged new seats for its Inventor, Revit and Civil 3D products.

2007 saw Siemens shake up the PLM world by acquiring UGS and its Tecnomatix, NX, and Solid Edge software brands. The resulting

Siemens PLM Software

business unit installed the three millionth seat of UGS Teamcenter, and introduced Teamcenter Express for smaller businesses.

In 2007 users heard about Boeing’s high-profile use of Dassault Systemes software to validate the manufacturing process of its

787 Dreamliner

. There was Dassault Systemes announcement of Version 5 Release 18 of its Delmia Factory Automation portfolio and Delmia PLM Express for small to midsize manufacturers.

Dassault’s 3DLive

environment, which integrates applications and broadens collaboration among the company’s Delmia, Catia and Enovia software, took another step toward real-time 3D simulations. Also,


at the end of the year, promising to keep analysts busy deciding what’s going to happen next.

The upshot for users is all good. PLM software and the digital factory are bringing benefits to more than just product design engineers or super-large companies, and true virtual design and production environments are becoming a reality for manufacturers of all sizes.

Learn firsthand what’s possible
To hear the latest about what’s being done today and what’s coming regarding 3D modeling, production-line simulation, and virtual commissioning, spend a day or two talking to the people doing it. Get the background and the big picture at analyst conferences. Learn the details of what’s possible at user conferences. Here are a few to look into:

UGS Connection Americas 2008 Users Conference is abrands including NX, Tecnomatix, Solid Edge and Teamcenter.

PLM Roadmap 2008

, Sept. 23-24, an annual conference put on by Collaborative Product Development Associates, LLC, a PLM analyst firm. Research reports and whitepapers are available online.

Delmia Worldwide Customer Conferences

: North America, Oct. 7 - 8, Detroit, MI USA; Europe, Oct. 15 - 16, Stuttgart, Germany; Asia Pacific, Nov. 11 - 12, Yokohama, Japan.

Autodesk University

, Dec. 2–5, 2008, The Venetian Resort Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

For related reading from Control Engineering , see:

3D Does It: How do control engineers use PLM software

help change production line capabilities quickly? Early adopters of PLM software say it’s about pushing the technological limits with 3D modeling, process simulation, and virtual commissioning.

PLM: Autodesk 2009 products to enhance design, collaboration

Renee Robbins , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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