PLM This Week: Siemens PLM Releases End-to-End Simulation Platform
Felix Nilsson posted on June 21, 2016 |
Also: PTC accelerates the development of smart products. PLM investment growth slowed down in 2015.

Siemens PLM Releases End-to-End Simulation Platform

A NEXT GENERATION SIMULATION PLATFORM. With Simcenter 3D, Siemens has created a solution offering a wide range of functions including computational solid mechanics, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, multi-body dynamics, controls, physical testing, visualization, multi-disciplinary engineering survey and data analysis. These technologies are managed within a PLM framework via the Teamcenter software.

A NEXT GENERATION SIMULATION PLATFORM. With Simcenter 3D, Siemens has created a solution offering a wide range of functions including computational solid mechanics, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, multi-body dynamics, controls, physical testing, visualization, multi-disciplinary engineering survey and data analysis. These technologies are managed within a PLM framework via the Teamcenter software.

Siemens has long been known for its market-leading Teamcenter PLM suite. This week, the company added another memorable name to its portfolio: Simcenter 3D.

This new solution is based in large part on Siemens’ recent acquisitions of the simulation and CAE solutions LMS and CD-adapco, in combination with the company’s existing computing and analysis tools such as Nastran and Femap.

Using this software, Siemens has laid the groundwork for a platform that could put them ahead of the pack in terms of engineering and simulation capabilities. Simcenter 3D is the clear manifestation of the company's vision around this goal, and the first step on the road to a “next-generation” CAE platform.

According to Peter Bilello, president of PLM analysis firm CIMdata, “Manufacturers are under a great deal of pressure to evolve their product engineering practices to meet new challenges, or risk becoming obsolete.”

He added that, “Through its Simcenter portfolio and predictive engineering analytics vision, Siemens is proactively addressing these challenges by utilizing its strong collection of existing technology combined with its acquisition of LMS and, more recently, CD-adapco. As a result, Siemens is able to continue helping its customers solve engineering challenges for today’s products while setting the stage for the new generation of future products.”

Systems-Driven Product Development

One of the basic tenets of the Siemens PLM vision is an approach called systems-driven product development. Today's increasingly complex products - particularly in the automotive industry - require a systems-driven approach to development. A vehicle, for example, consists of a number of different systems which all need to be developed in a way that allows the systems not only to coexist, but also work together. This requires an approach that combines systems with integrated product definitions and reconciliation of the parameters included in a framework.

But it does not end there. This framework should cover not only product development, but also the manufacturing processes involved. In the latter case, it needs to include things like digital control of events on the shop floor.

For those who have been following the discussions around the Industry 4.0 concept, this reasoning might seem familiar. Added complexity comes from the fact that hardly any car today is like another, with regards to engine power, electronic features, colors, type of driver's seat and other features. The complexity becomes almost too great.

It is here that the concept of systems-driven product development becomes critical to coordinate the development of these disparate systems so that they are consistent relative to each other and to the whole.

Ability to Test Virtually in The Early Design Phases 

Another integral aspect of Siemens PLM’s systems-driven product development “ideology” is helping their customers to virtually attempt designs (simulation-driven product development) instead of doing it physically.

There are a number of good reasons to use this method.

The ability to make changes virtually would be considerably better, faster and cheaper than having to verify or change the actual physical product, although LMS’ solutions allows this as well. As an added benefit, there’s also the possibility of reusing information and processes relating to other products, and to make this data available downstream for production and aftermarket (MRO).

This is where Simcenter 3D fits in. With a complete suite of simulation tools, everything can be tried and tested at the digital level in the early stages, with products that are all linked to and can relate to the Siemens product definition for solutions like the CAD platform NX.

With the help of this portfolio, users can:

  • Simulate and test digital twins, using a virtual copy of the physical product, which includes sensors to input real world information about the object into the virtual model.
  • Work from a systems-driven product development approach.
  • Conduct multidisciplinary, multiphysical tests of the digital models. Users can check what happens when a product is exposed to several parallel forces and events. For example, electric current generates heat, thermal conductivity deteriorates and affects the material, which in turn can affect the material's ability to withstand other stresses, and so on.

With Simcenter 3D, Siemens has created a solution with a wide range of functions including CSM (Computational Solid Mechanics), FEA (Finite Element Analysis), CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), multi-body dynamics, controls, physical testing, visualization, multi-disciplinary engineering survey and data analysis. These technologies are managed within a PLM framework via the Teamcenter software.

Solutions for the Internet of Things

We briefly touched on this topic with digital twins, and we can conclude that with Simcenter 3D, Siemens is also taking a firm stance on the Internet of Things through the integration of solutions for sensor and physics-based simulation capabilities.

In this way, users can build and maintain digital twins and synchronize them with their physical counterparts where and when they’re used "at the edge” by the end users.

“Our vision regarding digitization in general and predictive analysis in particular has assumed a particularly elaborate, holistic view of the challenges facing modern product development and distribution. With Simcenter 3D, we also take the next step on the journey of implementing this strategy,” says Chuck Grindstaff, CEO of Siemens PLM Software.

PTC Claims to Accelerate the Development of Smart Products

Jim Heppelmann at LiveWorx 2016.

Jim Heppelmann at LiveWorx 2016.

PLM and IoT developer PTC recently held its global user conference, LiveWorx 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts. 

While a large portion of the event's focus was on the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality, PTC also announced the release of a software called AgileWorx, which could be said to be the industry's first "agile solution" designed to help product development teams improve innovation and time-to-market.

“Agile practices have revolutionized enterprise IT. The challenge for engineering industries is to bring their engineers up to speed with this transformation,” said Michael Azoff, principle analyst at Ovum.

“With its flexible support for teams that need to bridge different Agile sprints, Ovum is impressed with PTC’s vision for agility in engineering. AgileWorx is an excellent tool for multi-disciplined engineering teams,” Azoff added.

As usual, PTC's marketing rhetoric focused the message on smart, connected products. The whole IoT trend, said CEO Jim Heppelmann in his keynote, "completely changes the way companies create and capture value." Now the point is how quickly organizations can respond to these opportunities.

“It will increasingly determine their ability to meet, and preferably also exceed, the market's demands,” Heppelmann said.

Companies that successfully deploy agile methods can accelerate their innovation by up to 80 percent, claimed Heppelmann, pointing to a survey indicating these numbers. However, many organizations struggle to apply agile principles in the area of product development.

Meeting Unique Needs

PTC AgileWorx is designed to meet the unique needs of manufacturers who build complex, smart and connected products. The platform provides a central hub where engineering teams can visualize the work in progress, prioritize activities, identify dependencies and remove obstacles.

“Agility is the optimized reaction to changes. How well manufacturers can adapt will determine their ability to win. We created PTC AgileWorx to give customers the competitive advantage necessary to accelerate their agile development journey,” said Roque Martin, senior vice president of PTC's Application Lifecycle Management segment (ALM).

Connecting Products in the Field to PLM Tools 

PTC AgileWorx also enables manufacturers to respond faster to customer feedback and market disruptions. It helps product development organizations with:

  • Uniting multidisciplinary teams by providing insight into group activities and links to CAD, ALM and PLM systems for better informed decisions.
  • Safety, quality and security, enabling the team to exploit and expand their existing quality and compliance frameworks.
  • Organizing product variations, including supporting component based development and product technology to maximize recycling and reduce costs.
  • Connecting to real insights with support for the integration of IoT and second data streams into the core product development feedback loops.


PLM Investment Growth Slowed Down in 2015

The global PLM market is growing, but this growth slowed in 2015 compared to the previous year, noted PLM research firm CIMdata in its recently released annual report on the status of the PLM market in terms of trends, income and technologies.

In total, PLM investment grew by 2.8 percent last year to a total value of $38.7 billion. This compares with figures for 2014, when investments grew by 8 percent compared with the previous year (for a total of $37.6 billion).

However, some factors suggest that the actual investments haven’t really decreased in 2015, but remain at about the same levels as in 2014. These factors indicate that the decrease is mainly due to currency effects suffered by the dollar over the course of the year.

According to CIMdata, the “constant currencies” growth for 2015 was 8.2 percent.

“The whole basket of currencies in which CIMdata measures PLM revenues was down against the US dollar in 2014,” said Stan Przybylinski, VP of research at CIMdata. “Since our calculations are based on the dollar, exchange rate fluctuations have reduced the growth in each segment.”

He adds that several of the PLM sub-segments could note double digit growth figures after currency adjustments, including focused collaborative applications (including document management, visualization and quality management), DM (Digital Manufacturing, also known as "digital manufacturing planning and control"), standalone CAM, CAE (simulation and analysis tools) and even tools for software development.

What Areas of the PLM Market Have Seen the Biggest Growth?

According to CIMdata, EDA solutions (Electronic Design Automation), takes the top spot when it comes to investments, which seems reasonable in light of the increasing degree of electronification of virtually all products. EDA tools accounted for 20.5 percent of the total PLM related investments globally in 2015, reaching a value of almost $8 billion.

In second place, with 15.4 percent of the total, is the money that companies are investing in PLM industry resellers, VARs and SIs; an investment that is actually spread across several of the PLM subsegments. This sum is almost $6 billion.

Large cPDM systems, or PDM solutions including collaboration tools, end up in third place with an investment share of 13.8 percent. In this category, we find software such as Siemens PLM’s Teamcenter, Dassault's ENOVIA and PTC's Windchill. In monetary terms, this area brings in about $5.4 billion for these vendors.

Beyond these top three areas, we find CAE solutions (simulation and analysis) with 12.5 percent (just over $4.8 billion). It is important to note that more than half of the EDA total is actually for CAE in that segment.

AEC tools take the fifth spot, with a share of 9.4 percent, and $3.6 billion invested.

Number six is MCAD solutions included in the suites, such as CATIA (Dassault), Creo (PTC) and NX (Siemens PLM), which have a share of 8.8 percent of the total, or just over $3.4 billion. Standalone CAD solutions, such as SolidWorks, IronCAD and etc., have 6.7 percent (2.6 billion dollars).

Investments into standalone CAM solutions that are not specifically linked to any PLM and CAx suite, such as Mastercam, Edgecam, Gibbs CAM and etc., had a 3.1 percent market share (just under $1.23 billion).

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