If there were lingering doubts about whether Autodesk was fully committed or merely experimenting with the cloud, that ambiguity should be put to rest with its latest announcement: Autodesk Fusion 360, what the company claims is the first comprehensive 3D CAD program to support the emerging delivery paradigm. Continue reading
Autodesk’s bet on a cloud-based delivery model for PLM appears to be paying off, with the platform gaining traction among smaller manufacturers, which historically have been shut out from traditional PLM due to the associated expense and complexity around implementation and on-going IT support.
One year post debut, Autodesk is claiming a user base of 350+ companies using PLM 360 in production mode, encompassing 8,000 individual users, more than 40,000 active workspaces, and managing more than 2.2 million items. While its roster of customers is impressive, it hardly reads like a Who’s Who’s of typical Fortune 500 PLM adopters. Rather, for most of the early adopters, Autodesk PLM 360 is their first foray into the world of PLM technology. In fact, according to an Autodesk PLM 360 Customer Survey conducted in October and reflecting insights from 20 organizations across nine industries, 61% of respondents had been using Microsoft Office tools to handle their PLM needs with 28% having no PLM system at all in play prior to their use of PLM 360.
“It’s easier to move pixels than to move atoms around,” noted Michael Grieves, author of Virtually Perfect: Driving Innovative and Lean Products through Product Lifecycle Management. In other words, perfecting a product is easier done in the virtual world than the physical world.
“My ideal [design environment] is where I digitally design the product, digitally test it, digitally manufacture it, digitally figure out the support activities–and only when I get it right do I actually go out and bend some metal,” he said. Manufacturers didn’t have that option before because, he observed, “The ability to use computers to mirror the physical world and simulate physical things in the virtual world is a relatively new phenomena … 3D models became robust enough for simulation only in the last decade or so.” Continue reading
The past challenge for manufacturers was a lack of information: Is this material strong enough for my product? Is this supplier in compliance? But the present challenge is the opposite. We have too much data, too much to review, too much to evaluate, too much to make sense of for decision making. Continue reading