Although Creo 1.0 was the big news to come out of the PTC camp last year and Creo 2.0 is only months away (March 2012), the focus of this year’s PTC Live Tech Forum in Copenhagen was clearly data management.
Presentations from two of PTC’s clients, Rolls Royce and Bang & Olufsen, provided detailed case studies around their use of PTC’s life cycle software offerings. The two presentations also demonstrated the important difference between Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). Essentially similar models, PLM allows product designers to interact, understand amendments and ensures real-time version control, ALM aims to provide the same functionality but for software engineers.
PLM – putting things in their place
Windchill, PTC’s PLM offering, underwent a $100m upgrade for it’s 10.0 version release which took place in April this year. Andrew Wertkin, CTO Integrity Business Unit at PTC says the upgrade was designed around the company’s slogan of ‘do more, know more, get more’. According to Wertkin, “the changes to Windchill 10.0 reflect the feedback from the customers” and includes a more intuitive and “cleaned up user interface”.
Some of the other improvements include:
- Windchill Service Information Manager and Windchill Service Parts are now available which have been designed to provide more accurate service and parts information to improve customer support.
- Windchill Product Analytics (formerly InSight) helps manufacturers meet the latest product performance requirements and assess product compliance with REACH regulations and the E.U. Battery directive.
- The new Windchill MSG-3 module helps aircraft maintenance groups identify and schedule reliability-centered maintenance tasks in accordance with ATA standard MSG-3.
- PTC System Monitor pro-actively detects system bottlenecks in the Windchillproduction environment before they impact users.
Thorbjørn F. Jacobsen of Bang & Olufsen says that while it uses Creo for its audio visual production designs, the company uses Windchill for product data management purposes. Implementing Windchill in 2008, the company has promoted the use particularly within its electronics design department to,as he put it help them to “keep track of documents and ascertain who made it and where it belongs”. Importantly, due to the company’s association with the Automotive industry for in-car audio systems, Bang & Olufsen are also able to use Windchill to manage files from other CAD platforms which are used in the automotive industry.
ALM – a programmers journal
In late May this year, completed its acquisition of MKS, developer of MKS Integrity, a platform for software application lifecycle management (ALM). Offered now as a part of the PTC range of products, Integrity coordinates and manages all activities and artifacts associated with developing software-intensive products, including requirements, models, code and test and provides version traceability.
Software has become an integral, embedded component of most manufactured products today – everything from automobiles and medical devices to smart phones and children’s toys. For example, cars rolling off today’s assembly lines include more than 100 million lines of embedded software code and nearly three quarters of all medical device innovation is now attributed to software changes. Yet, while software is critical to future product innovation, it is commonly managed independently from the physical product in which it is embedded.
With the combination of the PLM and ALM formats, PTC is aiming to assist manufacturers integrate product hardware and software more efficiently. Currently two separate offerings, as was hinted at the event in Copenhagen, as the use of software continues to increase within product manufacturer, the PLM and ALM formats are likely to become even more closely linked.