IT News

Posted on 12 Nov 2010 by The Manufacturer

The latest news from the IT sector.

K3 AX conducts an ERP HEADtoHead in a European first for Microsoft Dynamics AX
K3 AX has been showcasing Microsoft Dynamics AX at an event pitting ERP products against each other.

The company took part in the two-day ERP HEADtoHEAD event in Dublin where six products were demonstrated using a single script, allowing for a true like-for-like comparison for finance and IT executives.

Basil Fenton operations director Ireland for K3 AX, said: “It provided a ‘timeeffective’ and ‘costeffective’ event format for senior management, including finance and IT executives and members of their ERP selection teams to review the leading ERP products and to learn how to manage their selection process so that risk is reduced and benefits are maximised.”

Autodesk Expands SketchBook Line
CAD vendor Autodesk will be issuing a series of updates that provide a new look and feel to the Autodesk SketchBook product line, spanning both the desktop and apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

“Millions of professionals and consumers rely on the unparalleled sketching capabilities of the SketchBook products for all kinds of creative processes,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president of the Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “The latest releases mark an important step forward, offering a complete suite of sketching and illustration products that address a more complete spectrum of form factors and capabilities.”

New Femap software released
Siemens PLM Software has announced the latest release of Femap, the PC-based finite element modeling component of the Velocity Series portfolio of PLM solutions.

Siemens has said that Femap 10.2 makes it faster and easier to create the meshed models used by engineers to simulate and analyse product performance using finite element analysis (FEA), and to determine the structural, dynamic, and thermal performance of complex engineered parts.

The latest release includes features to help ensure model accuracy and to visually evaluate analysis results.

“Femap is recognised throughout the global engineering community for its in-depth finite element modeling functionality and its best-in-class integration with the industry leading Nastran solver,” said Bill McClure, vice president of product development for Velocity Series, Siemens PLM Software. “Today’s announcement builds upon the usability of Femap with extended interactive modeling and analysis capabilities, and increased program performance.

The combination of Femap with the industry standard solver NX Nastran software, delivers a world-class, easy to use analysis solution, or what we call ‘real FEA made easy’.”

The Wheatley angle
IT Correspondent Malcolm Wheatley sums up October IT news.

ERP is often regarded as mere plumbing: necessary, but not something that confers competitive edge. That’s not the view at Stockton on Tees based Nifco, a supplier of plastic injection-moulded components to Ford, Nissan, Toyota and Honda. The company’s investment in an Infor System21 Aurora ERP system, made just before the recession, provides it with two unusual claims to fame.

First, it allowed it to respond rapidly to the severe downturn in the automotive industry that hit in late 2008. Using the system, Nifco quickly identified surplus resource, stripped-out waste, and precisely aligned resources to production requirements, says Nifco’s IT manager John Tinkler.

While revenues fell by a third, the business was still able to record a profit—a remarkable feat in the lean automotive world. More remarkably still, the system is credited with enabling the business to produce components more cheaply than a sister plant in Poland.

My question to the ERP vendor community: why we don’t hear more such success stories? And moving on, one success story that I do think we’ll hear much more of in the next couple of years is Google’s open source Linux-powered smartphone operating system Android.

It seems it is rapidly finding favour among corporate buyers. Gartner and other analysts say corporate demand for Blackberrys and iPhones is softening, while demand for Android-powered smartphones from vendors such as HTC is accelerating.

Quite simply, cost is what prevents manufacturers pushing more ERP workflow out onto smartphones—and increased take-up of Android can only lower the price-tag.

BT warns of ‘cloud washing’ at symposium
At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida in October, BT outlined its vision for cloud services for large enterprises. The company said CIOs and CTOs are being confronted with a deluge of information about everything cloud, and unhelpfully, many technology companies are simply re-branding products and services as cloud – a phenomenon that has been described as ‘cloud washing.’ Neil Sutton, vice president, Portfolio, BT Global Services, said: “Large organisations want to realise the benefits of cloud computing – such as flexibility, more reliable services, reduced financial risk, and lower costs – but they first need to get beyond the confusion surrounding cloud terminology, focus on deliverable business results and look at what they have to do to make cloud solutions work for them.”

NEC chooses Microsoft
NEC Display Solutions of America, a provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, is using Microsoft’s enterprise-ready software platform to support its VUKUNET digital signage ad-serving engine.

Microsoft is supporting NEC’s VUKUNET through its enterprise software platform, including Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft.NET, Microsoft Silverlight, security and mapping software, and user interface tools. Project Leadership Associates, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, provided development services for the rollout of the platform.

Siemens launches Solid Edge update
Siemens PLM Software has announced the release of its latest Solid Edge ST3 software, enabled by synchronous technology. The company says that this enables accelerated product design, streamlined revisions, and makes importing and reusing third-party CAD data easier.

“We believe Solid Edge ST3 marks a major milestone in advancing the technology while still catering to customers’ specific needs,” said Dr. Ken Versprille, PLM research director, CPDA. “Synchronous technology has the capacity to perform a wide variety of design tasks in a fraction of the time it takes with a traditional approach. This could provide engineers with more time for creativity and innovation, resulting in better product designs produced faster.”

Irkut chooses Siemens PLM software
Irkut Corporation, a Russian aircraft maker, is expanding its deployment of NX software and Teamcenter software for the design and development of the MC-21, the company’s new mid-range passenger jet.

The MC-21 mid-range passenger jet development program envisages three aircraft versions for 150, 180, and 210 seats. The aircraft are designed for flights up to 5,500km in any climatic zone, day and night, in easy and complex meteorological conditions.

Epicor unveils latest app
The company has launched the Epicor Mobile Sales Assistant, an enterprise mobility solution that provides sales and fulfillment workflow processes.

The applicatiom is designed for sales and distribution field workers who require immediate visibility of inventory, pricing, stock availability and customer-specific data to fulfill customer orders while on the road. It is fully integrated with Epicor enterprise resource planning solutions.

James Norwood, senior vice president, worldwide product marketing for Epicor said: “Mobile devices are continuing to trend up as companies are viewing enterprise mobility solutions as a viable means to maximise field staff productivity and increase customer satisfaction. Epicor Mobile Sales Assistant joins Epicor Mobile Field Service as a true extension of the enterprise that synchronises seamlessly with Epicor ERP ensuring sales and service opportunities are not lost to travel and customer needs are taken care of on-the-spot.”