The Internet of Things (IoT) and the ability to work with large amounts of information represent a revolutionary opportunity for design organizations. For the first time, the companies working with digital models have faced the need to consider real data in the work on products and effectively manage this data. Likewise, customers of these companies, when introduced to Big Data, are looking for suitable solutions, and large CAD developers are trying to offer them functional tools before competitors or “strangers” from the high-performance computing (HPC) market do it.
Intelligent PLM Integration and Productivity
PTC has been working in the field of the Internet of Things for a long time. The company created a new division that develops solutions based on the acquired ThingWorx platform and provides support and maintenance services to customers. Now, with the release of Windchill 11, the new version of the Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) system, PTC offers the first intelligent PLM solution supporting smart network devices. With the launch of the new version of Windchill, PTC talked in detail about the technologies acquired from ThingWorx and how it expands the role of PLM and takes lifecycle management beyond the usual engineering departments.
Kevin Wrenn, PTC’s Chief Executive Officer working with PLM systems, says that with the acquisition of ThingWorx, the company has received technologies that combine data from devices and other information systems (ERP, MES, and many more) and create mashups (software application that uses data from several sources). At the same time, a new function for collecting relevant data is available on previous releases of Windchill, starting with version 10.1.40. PTC has created role-based applications for Windchill 11 to provide users with access exclusively to the information they need to work on. Kovair Windchill Adapter integrates PTC’s Windchill with the best-of-breed ALM tools, thereby enabling users to track inherent PLM components namely WTParts, Documents, ECR, ECNs from within the application lifecycle management (ALM) Tool interface.
Salient Features of Windchill Integration
- Windchill 11 supports OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration) standards, and when a new version of Integrity is released in spring 2016, OSLC support will allow for asynchronous data exchange between Integrity and Windchill. OSLC is an IBM-supported system collaboration standard, and PTC Integrity Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) must be part of this ecosystem.
- PTC notes that Windchill creates a single source of reliable data. As the company provides an ever-closer interaction between its data processing solutions including Integrity. Access to such a single source of reliable information will be even more simplified.
- According to Kevin Rennes’ words, many customers have spent more than one-year entering data into PLM systems, but in the end, this information is only used by people who enter it themselves. The concept of the new version is to provide professionals who are not involved in the engineering design process with a simple and convenient user tool. Especially for CAD developers who have long been separated from the world of integrated systems. Until a certain moment, which came about 10 years ago, CAD developers developed in strict isolation from the world around them.
- PTC has managed to include even more features in this version of Windchill for product lifecycle management, design, and maintenance. On the one hand, declaring support for IoT functionality is not difficult. However, this is probably one of the most difficult technological tasks – to correctly calculate how to bring all data elements together.
- Windchill’s new features include Windchill Search, which offers a single search user interface that connects PTC PartsLink to the Windchill core. Thus, it is enough to set the search only once to get the necessary information.
Advantages of Integration in PLM Solutions
- The new more integrated version of Windchill allows users to retrieve product lifecycle data using Windchill Prediction (formerly Relex Reliability Prediction), which brings us back to the previously mentioned customers that Kevin Rennes spoke about and who faithfully entered product information into their PLM system. Their work will be fully justified since information on parts, inventory, procurement, sources of supply, etc. can now be consolidated using the ThingWorx platform, which provides monitoring of business processes and provides reliable information and accurate forecasts (for example, relative to the average uptime). Customers can connect the ThingWorx-based Windchill Performance Advisor to get the data they need to optimize.
- An added benefit of targeted access to information is ‘security’. If necessary, you can configure the rights so that the user can edit only certain parts of the project.
- Finally, it is a flexible system that will be easily accessible to customers regardless of licensing conditions and the way the system is deployed. It can be deployed in the cloud using the SaaS model, purchased for a perpetual license, or installed on a local server.
Today, they are enthusiastically exploring new opportunities, and all major companies are investing in projects in the field of IoT, Big Data, collecting real data, etc. Moreover, PTC has achieved great success in implementing such projects. thanks to the acquisition of third-party high-tech companies and our own developments. It is important to note that PTC is also developing relationships with other solution providers, including IBM.
Sooner or later, the concept of product life cycle management (PLM) will be replaced by a new term that includes a much wider range of capabilities that consumers need.