Oakland University Opens Product Lifecycle Management Center
Shawn Wasserman posted on February 26, 2014 |

OU announces the opening of Automation Alley’s PLMC
Last week, Oakland University (OU) announced the opening of the Automation Alley Product Lifecycle Management Center (PLMC).

The creation of the center will help certify and teach students, individuals and local employees in product lifecycle management (PLM). Furthermore, a student-to-industry matchmaking program will be implemented to help companies update their design and manufacturing to the digital age by taking advantage of the fresh graduates.

PLM design looks to optimize and manage the whole lifecycle of a design based on data, people, processes and businesses. This includes the manufacturing, disposal and intermediate services. This design method will be essential in the future as companies get a leg up on each other optimizing and streamlining their methods, productivity and processes to produce a cheaper, greener, yet high quality product. Courses at the PLMC will teach CAE, CAD, CAM, equipment and software, 3D scanning, 3D printing, and digital factory simulation.


UO Student Biplob, Dutta, presenting 3-D printing operations to Provost James Lentini.
Ken Rogers, Automation Alley Executive Director said, “Our desire for the center is to educate the workforce in order to better serve industry. And what better place to do that than here, in such close proximity to both the educators and the industry? What better place to explore innovative new technologies than in this historic, collaborative space?”

Automation Alley is Michigan’s largest association for business development technology, ranging from start-ups to large corporations. It has almost 1,000 members, including non-profits, schools, businesses and government from the area around Detroit.

The PLMC, on the other hand, is in partnership with Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Siemens, Geometric Solutions, solidThinking Inc. and OU’s School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Alex Violassi, director of the PLMC adds, “Ultimately, we want Southeast Michigan to be known as a center of excellence for PLM — meaning a place where people from all over the country can come to find PLM expertise, talent and resources. And we can’t do that on our own. That’s why we’re partnering with businesses, schools, and experts to help us make this vision a reality.”

PLM will be a linchpin to the 7 trends in product design reported by ENGINEERING.com and PTC last June (globalization, localized customization, digitization, regulation, smart, internet of things and servitization). All of which require massive amounts of PLM and planning.

In the changing world, products must reach a global market but have the customizability to satisfy local markets and regulations too. To make this possible, companies must rely on digital representations of data such as BOM, geometry, materials, vendors and more. New products are getting smarter, and we are increasingly seeing companies turn to connecting or interconnecting over the web to better serve the user on an increasing pay-as-you-go economy. For each of these trends to succeed, though, PLM will need to keep track of all the data and ensure that the miles you buy on a car, for example, will not be the last miles that car will ever drive.

 Source Oakland University and Altair

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