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
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.
On the outset, the challenge for the high school students seems straightforward: design “a UAS (unmanned aircraft system), which may have a fixed wing, rotorcraft, or hybrid design.” But this UAS needs to perform certain mission-critical tasks. It needs to fly over the cornfields of Iowa and pick out areas affected by a pest known as the European Corn Borer (in its lava stage, it can tunnel into the corn’s ear and feed on the plant). Oh, by the way, the project needs to stay within budget and come with a business plan.
The prizes are: $50,000 scholarships from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to each student on the national winning team; and a $1,000 stipend to the teacher who best integrates the challenge into their curriculum.
In what some might call a stepping stone to the cloud, PTC has acquired its long-time partner NetIDEAS Inc., which specializes in providing software hosting and services around PLM.
For more than a decade, NetIDEAS has provided secure hosting environments for PTC customers looking to offload the heavy lifting around PLM deployment and day-to-day maintenance. Instead of investing in the server and storage infrastructure to run Windchill PLM on their site (along with the IT personnel to administer the enterprise application), NetIDEAS hosts, administers, and supports Windchill along with providing additional consulting services. Continue reading
Product-centric service has been a mantra for PTC the last couple of years, and the company just initiated another acquisition designed to fill out its Service Lifecycle Management product line and tighten the loop between engineering and service.
As part of PTC’s efforts to stake out new turf beyond CAD and PLM, the company has steadily built out a broad portfolio of products in the SLM space, including modules for service parts planning, field service management, warranty management, technical publishing, returns management, and more. PTC’s strategy is to tap into the growing number of large companies (Eurocopter was a recent win) that are looking to overhaul service processes and build synergies between service groups and engineering to transform service from functioning as a cost center to becoming a steady source of new revenues and profits. Continue reading