GE and ANSYS Team Up to Bring IoT Data into Simulations
Shawn Wasserman posted on October 07, 2015 |
Eric Banegnie (left), vice president, ANSYS systems business unit announces partnership. Image courtesy of ANSYS.

Eric Banegnie (left), vice president, ANSYS systems business unit announces partnership. Image courtesy of ANSYS.

ANSYS is now participating in GE’s Digital Predix early adopter program. This partnership will bring access to GE’s industrial cloud platform for data and analytics to the simulation company.

The two companies will be integrating the two platforms to take advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT) connections of many products designed using ANSYS.

The Predix industrial internet platform is an interesting cloud offering. Predix is a tool that creates Internet applications that collect operational data in real time and assess it to better inform a company’s decision making. The tool offers this data analytics to various industries including aviation, transportation, oil and gas, and healthcare.

The goal of ANSYS and GE is to bring this real world data assessment into simulation throughout a product’s complete life cycle. The idea is to not only improve a product while it is in the field, but to also improve future design iterations of the product using these data assessments.

"GE has been a long-time, strategic ANSYS customer, and we're excited to take our relationship to the next level by helping its customers around the world innovate faster," said Walid Abu-Hadba, ANSYS chief product officer. "By combining the power of ANSYS solutions with Predix, we will be able to empower our customers to push the boundaries of innovation and productivity — impacting top- and bottom-line business results."

For instance, many mechanical, fluid and electronic based products are now coupled with embedded connected software through the IoT. By collecting that data and inputting it into a simulation, customers will be able to better predict maintenance and failures. This could go a long way to reducing downtime, risk, time to market and warranty issues.

"With Predix, GE is helping to drive digital innovation across the industrial world — but the success of the industrial Internet depends on a collaborative ecosystem," said Harel Kodesh, vice president of Predix. "With ANSYS, we look forward to giving our customers the tools they need to adopt digital technologies and software to drive better outcomes for their businesses."

Can ANSYS and GE Compete with PTC’s Digital Twin?

PTC Digital Twin features IoT data on Creo. Image taken at LiveWorx 2015.

PTC Digital Twin features IoT data on Creo. Image taken at LiveWorx 2015.

During PTC’s recent LiveWorx conference, they showed off their concept of the digital twin. The concept is that the digital twin contains all the contextualized data collected from the product over the IoT. The data is then matched to a 3D model of the product in PTC’s Creo, Creo Simulate and PTC’s other software options.

Mike Campbell, executive vice president of the CAD segment at PTC, explained the benefits of PTC’s digital twin. “As an engineer, when you design a product you get requirements from marketing and you design a product with the specifications to meet those requirements. However, the requirements are idealized. They are what we think will happen in the real world. But we don’t really know how the [product] is used until it gets used. The digital twin provides visibilities into real world conditions and usage that will allow you to better optimize your designs for future products.”

Campbell also explained that the different PTC tools and will have access to different aspects of the digital twin. The tools will only collect the data that a particular tool needs to perform the specific task within the product’s lifecycle.

Doesn’t this sound very familiar? Clearly, ANSYS and GE have noticed that there might be something in PTC’s ongoing push into the IoT and are looking to compete. What is unfortunate for the giant partnership is that for a few years now PTC is has built up a half a billion dollar investment into various IoT tool and product options. (Read about that investment here.) As a result, ANSYS and GE have quite a lot of catch up to play in this side market.

But to PTC’s credit, their jump into the IoT has been labeled a considerable risk by the industry. Time and money will tell, at the end of the day, if the risk was really worth it. However, ANSYS looking to follow into the IoT is certainly a significant litmus test.

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