This IDC Manufacturing Insights commentary recounts some of the key highlights from the recent 2013 Siemens PLM Analyst Event, held September 4th, 5th in Boston, MA, including the launch of the company's new "Industry Catalyst" offerings. With the introduction of its "Industry Catalyst" series for accelerating PLM deployments, Siemens PLM continues to build on its vision to deliver more industry-focused, customer-driven PLM offerings.
Siemens PLM Reiterates Its Commitment to Manufacturers
Viewed by most as an "engineering-centric" PLM provider, the focus of Siemens PLM has traditionally been to invest heavily in software development in order to deliver strong
This industry-focused approach to PLM, in fact, was a key theme at the recent Siemens PLM analyst event, held Sept 4th and 5th in Boston, MA. Opening remarks by Siemens PLM CEO, Chuck Grindstaff reinforced the message that "Manufacturing Matters," citing the impact that manufacturing has on economic growth, emphasizing that Siemens intends to continue to capitalize on its deep industry and technical expertise around design and manufacturing to deliver more targeted end-to-end PLM offerings, across each of the manufacturing industry segments that it serves -from aerospace & defense, automotive, and shipbuilding to consumer products, electronics, and heavy equipment.
Siemens PLM Launches "Industry Catalysts" to Accelerate PLM Deployments
During the event, Siemens PLM introduced the concept of an "Industry Catalyst," a set of industry-focused tools, procedures, workflows and pre-configured templates to help customers get started with their PLM implementations. Each Industry Catalyst offering features step-by-step guides for optimizing key industry processes, provides configuration aids to simplify customization, and offers deployment accelerators. A forthcoming industry catalyst for footwear, for example, will include industry best-practice workflows designed to streamline product development by unifying design, merchandising, and sourcing activities.
The objective? As the company puts it, "to accelerate time to value for a specific industry implementation, while providing an environment for swift adoption of future technology." Industry catalysts for electronics and automotive functional safety are available now, with catalysts targeting such industries as shipbuilding, aerospace, consumer products, and other automotive capabilities (e.g. body in white, powertrain, embedded systems/software management) scheduled for availability in the coming year.
Siemens PLM Targets Eight Industry Sectors
In line with its focus on delivering industry-specific PLM, Siemens PLM offered the following industry strategy update, highlighting the capabilities of its PLM offerings across each industry vertical.
Aerospace and Defense
For the A&D sector, the key challenges cited were execution, globalization, complexity, and maintainability. To address these challenges, Siemens PLM for A&D is focused on delivering fully integrated systems-driven product development - from virtual aircraft simulation and virtual verification of technical, manufacturing, and in-service requirements to program execution, and closed-loop verification. Key pillars include: program management; systems engineering; product development; manufacturing; logistics planning and service; and verification management.
Automotive and Transportation
For customers in the automotive and transportation sector, challenges cited were environmental issues, globalization, safety, and information management. In this category, Siemens PLM offerings target the integration of end-to-end automotive processes such as vehicle, powertrain, embedded systems, and manufacturing. Support for the virtual design of the customer experience including sound, driving behavior, energy efficiency and aesthetics is also provided. Key pillars include: integrated cross-domain systems engineering; automotive mechatronics and process management; vehicle and powertrain engineering; CAE and vehicle simulation and test; integrated manufacturing; and structure management/BOM management.
Consumer Products and Retail
For consumer products and retail customers, key challenges cited include brand image, market speed, environmental issues, and cost reduction. To address these challenges, Siemens PLM offerings for Consumer Products and Retail are focused on delivering end-to-end solutions for key industry processes - including product, color, and raw material management. Key pillars include: portfolio and program planning; product detailed design; raw materials management; supplier integration; manufacturing and quality management; and sustainability, green packaging and compliance.
Electronics and Semiconductor
For electronics and semiconductor customers, key challenges cited include sustainability, globalization, quality, and information management. To address these challenges, the emphasis of Siemens PLM for Electronics is on optimizing the NPDI process through closed-loop solutions for cost and quality management. Key pillars include: unified electronics system design and development; synchronized planning and governance; collaborative product quality management; smart manufacturing; virtual supply chain management; IP and patent management; and integrated circuit development management.
Energy and Utilities
For energy and utilities customers, the focus is on sustainability, globalization, quality, and information. To addresses these challenges, the emphasis of Siemens PLM for Energy is on improving design efficiency across multiple disciplines such as mechanical, piping, architectural, structural, electrical and composites. Key pillars include: equipment design and manufacturing, plant design and construction, capital project management, and plant operations and maintenance.
Industrial Machinery and Heavy Equipment
For industrial machinery and heavy equipment customers, the focus is on innovation, environmental issues, globalization, and service. Therefore, the emphasis of Siemens PLM for Industrial Machinery is on supporting the complexity of increased automation, global design, and production; connecting the virtual and physical world with integrated part design and production, and manufacturing cost management. Key pillars include: part design production process chain, product variability and configuration management; product costing and cost management; closed-loop service; systems engineering; and advanced prototyping.
Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals
For manufacturers engaged in the development of medical devices or pharmaceuticals, key challenges include profitability, complexity, globalization and regulatory concerns. In this industry segment, Siemens PLM for Medical Devices is focused on integrated design and manufacturing. Key pillars include: systems-driven product engineering and controls, systems-driven manufacturing engineering and controls, digital verification and validation, labeling and submissions, integrated quality, and personalized products.
For the shipbuilding industry, key challenges include sustainability, cost, globalization, and safety. To address these challenges, Siemens PLM for Shipbuilding is focused on such areas as collaborative design and reliability of construction planning and validation. Key pillars include: 4th generation ship design and engineering; shipbuilding program and product management, supply chain management, digital ship construction, and ship service & support.
Customer Testimonials - By Air, By Land, and by Sea
The first day of the event featured a series of customer presentations and "lessons learned" involving Siemens PLM implementations in aerospace, shipbuilding, transportation, electronics, and consumer durables. First up was United Launch Alliance - the result of an alliance between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, makers of the rockets responsible for launching countless satellites and payloads into space for the U.S. government. Key product design and development requirements for the rocket scientists? Process and discipline, and the importance of being able to identify even the most seemingly insignificant change to the BOM. The example given revealed the impact of inadvertently introducing a slightly different material in a component, causing unexpected chemical reactions, which ultimately, if gone undetected, would have resulted in a failed product launch.
Other examples followed, including a leading automotive customer, a small electronics manufacturer and a manufacturer of appliances. By far, however, the most compelling example of a recent Siemens PLM implementation was in the marine category - yacht builder Lürssen Yachts. Not only because of the design and engineering complexity involved, but because the end result was an impressive $8.5 million yacht - all created and designed using Siemens PLM. Key to the success of this particular PLM implementation was the ability for the PLM software to handle the systems engineering requirements of the project, as well as support advanced engineering simulation, 3D visualization, and collaboration capabilities.
Using Teamcenter/NX, Lürssen was able to cut its development time from 47 months down to 43 months. Moving forward, the company cited a 39 month development cycle as its new target, and plans to use the 3D capabilities of Teamcenter/NX to further integrate product and manufacturing data, to make 3D viewing accessible on mobile devices, and to leverage its PLM system to support training, operations and maintenance.
What Can Manufacturers Expect to See Moving Forward?
In many ways, "time to value" with respect to PLM implementation is as important for product manufacturers as time-to-market is for their product offerings. With the ability to "jumpstart" PLM deployments with its industry catalyst offerings, it is our view that Siemens PLM will be able to deliver more relevant PLM capabilities, more quickly, enabling their customers to derive more immediate value from their PLM investments.
Siemens PLM was keen to point out that it is adapting its organization to support the shift to the industry focus of the catalyst approach, as well. It is retooling both its go-to-market and marketing teams, for example, in order to support the industry catalyst push. What companies can expect to see from Siemens PLM moving forward is the services team focusing on a fast deployment framework, and seeking to ensure global consistency and that the marketing team developing material that is industry specific and tailored to different levels within the organization. From a customer perspective, the difference should be around speed. The approach that Siemens PLM is taking should enable a more rapid procurement decision, and also a more rapid implementation of the tools through the catalyst approach.
Continued Emphasis on Systems-Driven Product Development
Support for systems-driven product development remains a key component in the Siemens PLM arsenal. With product complexity on the rise, more and more products require the integration of electrical/electronics, software, and mechanical design. Siemens PLM continues to provide key capabilities in this area with its advanced engineering simulation capabilities, as well as its "systems-level" modeling and simulation capabilities.
How important are these kinds of capabilities? Critically important, especially for highly-engineered products. In fact, without visibility into the impact of design decisions being made throughout the design process - at the system level, subsystem level and even at the component level, product performance is immediately put at risk.
Immersive Decision Making
Siemens PLM was also keen to point out that its applications are changing to support change in the manufacturing world - to one of increased complexity, tighter integration between hardware and software, a plethora of new materials (composites), and a focus on speed. Siemens PLM highlighted the move to closed-loop product development, where the impact of decisions on the entire value chain needed to be understood. At a system level, the integration of simulation and test to improve product performance decisions was also discussed. Siemens PLM is looking to take this approach to all its customers, including the small and medium sized businesses, so will be looking to enable its channel partners in this regard.
Delivering Greater Business Value with PLM in the New Manufacturing Economy
Noting an overall growth rate of 8% for its PLM software and services, Siemens PLM continues to succeed in the marketplace with its extensive set of offerings across product design, development and manufacturing. Another key strength of Siemens PLM is its ability to fully support integrated design and manufacturing with a platform that includes HD PLM and Active Workspace, Teamcenter, Tecnomatix, NX, and LMS. The company also demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the customer, and to the development of the underlying technologies required to assure the robustness of its PLM offerings. At the same time, the competitive landscape is changing. Traditional ERP vendors are increasing their investments in PLM, and other vendors are exploring the PLM MES space, where Siemens PLM has dominated the marketplace with its integration to manufacturing operations with SIMATIC IT.
So what should manufacturers do? In our view, Siemens PLM continues to be a top contender, not only because of its emphasis on delivering industry focused end-to-end PLM, but because of its ongoing strength as an engineering software developer. As products continue to grow in complexity, the ability to support an engineering-oriented, systems-level view of the product development environment will be critical, especially for highly-engineered products, and Siemens PLM has its roots in aerospace and automotive design where systems-level thinking originated.
The company's greatest challenge? To extend its heritage as an established PLM provider - with a long history of developing and delivering 3D design, modeling, and simulation tools for engineers -into a provider of easily deployed, data-driven, decision-making tools that meet the needs of today's time-constrained manufacturing executives. Increasingly, manufacturers are being challenged to take a more business-centric view of the world, while also needing to support excellence in product quality, reliability, and performance. Manufacturers are being challenged to more effectively leverage PLM capabilities to support this more strategic, product lifecycle economics view. With its emphasis on delivering more immediate PLM value via industry-specific PLM and its industry catalyst series, it is our view that Siemens PLM has taken an important step towards assisting manufacturers in this quest moving forward.