IDC Manufacturing Insights attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas recently where the theme was decidedly around connections: connected products, connected partners, and connected experiences, across not only the consumer electronics industry, but other industries, including automotive.
With announcements of autonomous concept cars by Audi and Mercedes, as well as hydrogen powered car by Toyota, it became apparent that CES has now become (at least in part) a meeting point for industries, not only a showcase of consumer electronics. As CES research head Shawn Dubravac stated, "products are being pulled into the fabric of consumer electronics." Essentially the EOVC (Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, and Machinery markets), which has the characteristics of modularity to enable product reuse, instrumented products, and increasing service revenue, and the TOVC (High Tech, Consumer Electronics, and Semi-conductor markets), which has the characteristics of faster new product development and introduction (NPDI), accelerating time to volume, and design for repair/warranty, are converging.
With the trend of mass customization extending into discrete industries like automotive, and the growth of connected products in all industries, one can see two basic reasons why this is happening:
- Increasing design reuse: Both value chains now need to focus on designing and developing complex products, and so reuse (of parts, designs, and models) has risen in importance since product variants change so often, and development cycle times have shrunk so that the time to market expectation from customers for a new car is practically as short as that of a GPS multi-sport watch.
- Systems engineering: Companies in both value chains have to simultaneously take a systems engineering, model based, design-for-service approach to product development, that also achieves rapid time to market, volume, and value goals if manufacturers are to meet the expectation from customers that connected products should enable a constant feed of quality information and rapid ability to not only update the software within, but alert about any pending or immediately necessary service.
This merging of value chains brings a broader spectrum of people into the NPDI process that aren't only engineers but could be non-employees such as partners and customers. Hence there is a need to extend PLM to become a product innovation platform that integrates with data, technology, and people across the enterprise (not only in engineering workgroups) easily and dynamically as needed.
Feel free to share your thoughts on product innovation, connected products, and value chain collaboration any time with me at email@example.com. For more information on IDC Manufacturing Insights please go to http://www.idc.com/prodserv/insights/manufacturing/index.jsp.