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Check it Out, 2 in a Series

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Editor’s note: On May 31, 2011, PTC finalized its acquisition of MKS Inc., developer of MKS Integrity.

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

Check Out "Accelerating Innovation in Automotive Engineering."

Today, you have PDM, PLM, and simulation management systems managing MCAD/CAM and CAE workflows and securing data. Versions are tracked automatically. BOMs, ECOs, and so forth are controlled and automatically routed to stakeholders. Authorizations are audit tracked. Design reuse is the norm. Collaboration is ubiquitous. Scrap, rework, and time delays resulting from misinformation or manual rework are minimized because staff, suppliers, and even clients have access to the latest data when they need it. Good times.

The problem with this scenario is that today is a world of electro-mechanical devices, and your software development team is out of the loop. While software development may have its internal process management system, generally it is barely coupled with the rest of the enterprise. That means that information about the status of software development processes and the true costs of change can be nearly impossible to divine. And since the software development data itself can reside in isolated locations, collaboration, traceability, and data reuse are inhibited. The time wasted wrestling and bumping through this byzantine labyrinth, in turn, stifles innovation — the very thing that engineers and developers do best.

All of this adds up to bloated development costs, wasted time, software rework, and, worse, product reliability or safety concerns leading to expensive recalls. Alone or in combination, any of these stifle innovation. And yet we know that innovation in the form of new features and functionality delivered by your electro-mechanical system’s software to consumers are what set you apart from your competitors. That is why today’s Check It Out sponsor, MKS, believes it is time for Applications Lifecycle Management (ALM) to do for software development what PLM has done for design: control costs and accelerate innovation.

Today’s Check It Out read happens to focus on controlling costs and accelerating innovation in the automotive software development process, but the ideas conveyed apply to every manufacturer developing electro-mechanical devices, such as high tech and electronics, aerospace/defense, and medical devices. (As an aside, technical certification service provider TÜV SÜD Automotive is conducting a fit for purpose certification of MKS Integrity ALM software and a reference automotive solution for ISO 26262 functional safety.)

The quality and reliability of the software in your electro-mechanical device is key to your success. Controlling your software development process while unleashing your developers to innovate is key to the quality and reliability of your software. Hit the link over there and check out this intriguing white paper from MKS.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

Register to download the "Accelerating Innovation in Automotive Engineering" white paper.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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