PLM This Week: PTC Acquires Kepware
Felix Nilsson posted on January 15, 2016 |

PTC Acquires Kepware

During the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, PLM developer PTC announced the acquisition of Kepware for over $100 million.

According to PTC, the acquisition will enhance PTC’s portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) technology and accelerate the company’s entry into the factory setting and Industrial IoT (IIoT).

Kepware is based in Portland, Maine, and has extensive international operations with offices in over 120 countries. It is mainly active in industry segments such as manufacturing, oil & gas, building automation and power generation.

The company’s flagship product is KEPServerEx, a communications platform that can link various devices and control systems to provide a unified data source in disparate industrial environments.

PTC stated that it intends to integrate KEPServerEx as a strategic component of its ThingWorx platform, which is the basis of the company's major bet on IoT.  Once this integration is complete, the machine-related data will be aggregated into the ThingWorx platform, which will be able to immediately and automatically analyze the information by using its machine learning capabilities.

This deal is the latest in a string of IoT-related acquisitions for the PLM vendor. PTC started with the purchase of MKS in 2011, followed by ThingWorx in 2013, Axeda in 2014, and ColdLight and Vuforia in 2015.

To learn more about PTC’s strategy around the Industrial Internet of Things and smart connected products, I suggest you read this article.


Infor Upgrades PLM Solution Optiva

Earlier this week, enterprise solutions vendor Infor announced the release of Infor Optiva 12, a cloud based PLM solution for the process industry.

According to Infor, version 12 comes with more than 60 major enhancements. Among these enhancements are integration with Infor’s 10x user experience, a streamlined HTML 5 interface, as well as integration with the company’s social platform Ming.le.

Optiva 12 also comes with a new Wizard feature that allows users to launch and complete workflow tasks, create formulas, items, projects and product specifications, and helps simplify the essential data gathering processes.

“Infor Optiva 12.0 is designed to help streamline processes through better collaboration, access and management tools," said Chris Krechting, vice president product lifecycle management at Infor. "Infor is committed to investing in cutting-edge technologies to continue to enhance the PLM product suite and to strive to offer the best tools to process manufacturers."

Optiva 12 is offered either as a single-tenant hosted offering or as cloud-based deployment through Infor’s ERP solution M3.


Electric Car Company Implements 3DEXPERIENCE

Dassault Systèmes recently announced that electric car company Faraday Future has implemented their product development platform called 3DEXPERIENCE, including the automotive vertical solutions “Target Zero Defect” and “Smart Safe & Connected”.

Faraday Future used these solutions during the development of its FFZero1 concept car, which was unveiled during CES 2016 last week.

According to Dassault, the “Target Zero Defect” and “Smart Safe & Connected” industry solution experiences were fully deployed across the company within two weeks. This enabled the company to design, simulate, and prepare for production in ways that were not possible with any other solution.


ESI Group Releases End-to-end CAE Solution in the Cloud


Using the cloud for product development is a good idea for two reasons: i) to access more processing power and ii) making the data available for collaboration.

For the last few years, we have seen a large number of application developers in the PLM arena investing heavily into these types of cloud-related solutions.

Simulation and virtual prototyping are especially well suited for cloud solutions, and with ESI Group recently announcing the launch of ESI Cloud we see further confirmation of this future development track. ESI Group is active in the CAE and simulation arena and is regarded as very competent with virtual prototyping solutions for the manufacturing industry.

One of the main selling points of cloud based solutions is the availability. It is possible to access data and results anytime and anywhere. Flexibility in supply when working on an SaaS basis (Software-as-a-Service) means that users typically only pay for the time they use a program. 

This means that users can switch between different solutions without having to pay initial license fees for each software used. One of the benefits of this is that there are good opportunities to reduce costs for software, while providing access to more solutions.

ESI Group describes its new cloud solution as a "reliable, scalable, multi-functional and secure SaaS platform". The platform can deliver advanced CAE solutions with immediate availability. This addresses different needs ranging from occasional use to more comprehensive and long-term simulations based on extremely heavy loads. It was originally developed by Silicon Valley-based developer Ciespace, which ESI acquired in April 2015.

The first app that will be available on the ESI portal is an end-to-end CFD solution, which makes it possible to use the open source software OpenFOAM. ESI's flagship product Virtual Performance Solution, which allows users to evaluate and optimize product performance across multiple domains, will also be available on the platform at the start.

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