By Anthony J. Lockwood
Arena Solutions (Foster City, CA) recently introduced the Fall 2013 release of its cloud-based PLM (product lifecycle management) suite. Key additions are four new application solutions — Arena Demand, Arena Projects, Arena Exchange, and Arena API (application programming interface).
Arena Demand shows your material needs across your entire product portfolio according to your manufacturing projections. Image courtesy of Arena Solutions.
The new applications join Arena’s existing solutions for controlling BOMs (bill of materials), integrating enterprise solutions, and managing compliances, documents, engineering changes, and quality as well as applications for functionality. The company says its newest applications individually allow manufacturers to aggregate material demand, manage projects with greater visibility, securely share comprehensive manufacturing build packages across the supply chain, and integrate business systems with Arena’s BOM control capabilities.
The Arena Demand application is said to provide manufacturers with part visibility to calculate aggregated component usage for their entire product portfolio. Having this data for a full portfolio, says Arena, enables manufacturers to better negotiate with their suppliers and contract manufacturers. Features include a component demand aggregation calculator, volume discount assessment tool, and capabilities for time-based material demand analysis. With Arena Demand, users can also set up analyses to forecast quantities needed, edit and recalculate settings, and output results to a spreadsheet.
Arena Exchange provides cloud-based collaboration and communication with your suppliers as well as your suppliers’ suppliers. An unlimited number of users can be invited to review and approve build packages from Arena PLM or other systems. Image courtesy of Arena Solutions.
Arena Exchange offers OEMs what is described as a flexible and traceable environment for ad hoc collaboration with multiple suppliers at every tier throughout their global supply chain. Partners can, for example, collaborate with manufacturers on transferring product data for rapid turnaround of prototypes or help determine the cost or schedule impact due to a change order. Features include the ability to review, comment, approve, or reject build packages and real-time approval tracking.
Directly connecting a project schedule to the product record, the Arena Projects application, says the company, can increase visibility and accountability for new product introductions, quality improvement processes, and cost reduction projects. Features include real-time updates, the ability to create data trend reports, and establish project metrics, an assortment of reporting tools, and functionality to invite suppliers and development partners to participate.
Arena Projects connects your project schedule to your product record and provides connected users with real-time product and project data. Image courtesy of Arena Solutions.
The Arena API application expands the information value chain captured in Arena PLM by allowing you to develop flexible integrations from your enterprise application infrastructure to Arena PLM, such as sending cost data to Arena from an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. Features include authentication controls, secure protocols, and cloud-based web service standards. Arena API is said to offer a scalable API control set that supports simple as well as complex application development needs.
"The Fall 2013 release delivers fundamentally new and unique PLM and supply chain solutions to all our highly innovative customers," said Arena CEO Craig Livingston in a press statement. "The four solutions incorporated in this release address some of the most important manufacturing challenges of our time, giving our customers more tools to succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace."
For more information on the Fall 2013 release of Arena PLM, go here.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.