When he assumed the role of a project traffic cop at CNH Industrial Parts & Service, Collin Fagan didn’t realize the tangled web he was stepping into. He had a rude awakening when someone showed him the company’s project-tracking method. It was “a 165-column spreadsheet with more than 70 pivot tables, with thousands and thousands of rows,” he recalled.
Despite its complex setup, the spreadsheet wasn’t accurate either, because it relied on more than 20 users to input departmental statistics. Fagan recalled a colleague spending days fixing data errors resulting from input. Just to check on the status of certain parts in development, it took rounds of communication from senior staff. “These were talented engineers hired at fairly expensive rates,” Fagan noted, “and we were wasting their time — at least 20-25 hours a week — just on data gathering.”
It quickly became clear to Fagan that, instead of managing product launches, he risked becoming a clerical person. So he decided to take a stand. “I went to my boss, and I said, ‘Fire me if you have to, but I won’t take over that spreadsheet.’ ” Fortunately, Fagan’s boss agreed the business had outgrown the spreadsheet. Fagan, responsible for product development & platform integration, is a much happier man now that project activities are flowing through Aras PLM, implemented a year ago. Continue reading
At Converse’s design-your-own-sneaker portal, you get to create your own pair of Chuck Taylor, Jack Purcell, or Poorman. You pick the fabric print. You pick the sole and lace colors. You can even specify the eyelets — the rings through which you fasten your lace. Want something with more support than a lightweight Converse? Head over to Reebok to design your own running shoes. Marvel now lets you envision your own crime-fighting crusader at its Create Your Own Superhero portal. You choose the skin type, the headgear, and the outfit. If you’re so enamored by your custom superhero that you’d like to put him or her on your iPhone cover, head over to Skinit to upload the saved image and order your own cover.
The DYI consumerism is now spilling into larger products, including cars. Ford wants you to create your own custom Mustang V6, Gt, or GT500. Renault and Maserati are also happy to let you configure your own car online, outfitting it with from preferred bodywork, wheels, and carpets. Partly driven by instant visualization over the web, partly driven by the buyers’ participatory behavior, shopping seems to heading into the virtual world, into an environment that accommodates instant input and feedback. 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
Managing CAD files from diverse CAD systems remains one of the on-going pain points for engineering organizations, despite the myriad solutions that attempt to address the issue.
For years, the vendor community either overlooked or under solved the problem, hoping their customers would be content to live in a homogeneous CAD world. With global, oftentimes, cross-company engineering efforts now the norm today, CAD vendors have come to grips with the fact that multi-CAD is here to stay and the onus is on them to provide a harmonious environment if they want to keep customers satisfied and remain competitive in the market. Continue reading