Digital manufacturing, PLM, and lightweight materials design took center stage this week as the Obama administration launched a pair of public-private manufacturing innovation institutes as a part of its on-going push to re-invigorate U.S. manufacturing.
Led by the Department of Defense and supported by a $140 million Federal commitment in addition to millions in non-federal resources, the administration announced a Detroit-headquartered consortium of businesses and universities focused on lightweight and modern materials manufacturing and a similar Chicago-based center that will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies. Continue reading
Instead of heaping on a laundry list of new bells and whistles, the latest release of Aras PLM concentrates on the user interface and scalability functionality—key attributes to supporting the next wave of adoption as PLM extends beyond engineering. Continue reading
PTC’s recent $112 million acquisition of ThingWorx steers it directly into the path of the Internet of Things (IoT), an era where increasingly smart and connected products generate real-time operational data streams that can be captured and analyzed to fuel innovation and generate new revenue streams.
ThingWorx is an early-stage company delivering a platform that enables companies to build and run applications for monitoring, maintaining, and operating products. Using the ThingWorx platform, companies in such industries as oil and gas and manufacturing are developing IoT applications that track the flow of products or physical assets through the factory, manage the performance of individual machines or systems in the field, as well as monitor systems and products as part of a predictive maintenance strategy. Continue reading
In her book U.S. Army War College: Military Education in A Democracy (Temple University Press, 2002), Judith Hicks Steihm discussed an acronym the War College invented to describe the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous climate of the modern era: VUCA. Last week, at Autodesk University conference, Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski saw fit to recycle the term to capture the mood of the times.
“We live in the age of VUCA,” he declared. To some, it might sound like an ominous warning; to others it carries hints of new opportunities in unexpected corners. Continue reading
Amidst the backdrop of an already complex regulatory landscape, manufacturers will soon be facing yet another compliance directive—this one requiring them to investigate the sources of certain materials for origination in the war-torn region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, companies listed on the U.S. stock exchanges have until May 14, 2014 to comply with a directive to investigate whether the sources of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold used in their products are from the region in question and thus are considered so-called “conflict minerals.”
It’s not just the 12,000 publicly-traded companies that are on the hook. The compliance requirements are applicable to the entire supply chain, which means the hundreds of thousands of component suppliers also need to have systems and processes in place to orchestrate compliance with the forthcoming conflict mineral regulations.