PLM THIS WEEK: New Solutions from Siemens and Mentor, Big PLM Contracts for Aras and Dassault
Felix Nilsson posted on March 05, 2018 |

IoT Solution with Holistic Vision: Mentor Purchase Releases Creative Power in Siemens PLM

The acquisition of Mentor Graphics appears to have released a burst of creativity at Siemens PLM Software.

Besides the purely commercial aspects of the acquisition, the technology acquired through Mentor has triggered an interesting development trajectory. This applies, of course, to the electronics and similar fields related to integrated circuits (IC) and printed circuit board (PCB) design and simulation.

In today's product development arena, which is characterized by a push towards digitalization, Internet of Things and mechatronics, this is exactly what more and more companies are looking for. At the same time, this area is extremely complex and under rapid technological development, which means that the demand for more competent and versatile platforms—especially in manufacturing— is on the rise.

This is where Siemens PLM is aiming with its recent announcement of a new platform they are calling Valor IoT Analytics. This is a Big Data and Business Intelligence platform that monitors and manages global real-time electronics manufacturing with an eye on overall equipment efficiency.

The platform is powered by Siemens’ IoT software, MindSphere.

The new Siemens solution, Valor IoT Analytics, captures and investigates material, quality and process data for PCBs and assemblies. The software measures and analyzes how resources are utilized, in real-time and in parallel, with full traceability. It also manages data from manufacturing sites and production lines, including machine performance and usage analysis. This gives circuit board manufacturers, production line managers and manufacturing engineers a smart tool for optimization.
The new Siemens solution, Valor IoT Analytics, captures and investigates material, quality and process data for PCBs and assemblies. The software measures and analyzes how resources are utilized, in real-time and in parallel, with full traceability. It also manages data from manufacturing sites and production lines, including machine performance and usage analysis. This gives circuit board manufacturers, production line managers and manufacturing engineers a smart tool for optimization.

An important aspect of the newly-launched solution is about overview. Valor IoT Analytics is intended to collect data from all production units on the workshop floor, analyze this data and list all factors in the production chain—from suppliers to material handling and product quality—while offering traceability on a global level.

Captures Data and Provides Real-Time Visibility 

The new product can be described as an extension of the former Valor Manufacturing Solution. This is a plug-and-play IoT device and data acquisition product for electronics manufacturing. What makes it unique is that it also implements Siemens’ specialty in the product development area: software seamlessly integrated into long event chains.

Siemens’ Dan Hoz, head of the Valor Division at Mentor (which, as previously mentioned, is now under Siemens’ leadership) claims to cover the entire chain, "from first conceptual design through manufacturing planning and execution, to service and support for both the products and the facilities that produce the products.”

"Our Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) instrument for Valor and data acquisition for electronics production has evolved into today's new IoT Manufacturing Analytics solution. All of this is in line with Siemens’ commitment to developing innovative technology for factory automation, "said Hoz, adding: “This new technology will provide invaluable data on performance and real-time visibility for handling events at the workshop floor. The result is high quality, high-yielding products as an important competitive advantage.”

Smart Tools for Production Optimization

The new Valor IoT Analytics solution captures and investigates material, quality and process data for PCBs and assemblies. Siemens says that the software measures and analyzes how resources are utilized, in real-time and in parallel with full traceability. It also manages data from all manufacturing sites and production lines, including machine performance and usage analysis. It is especially useful for circuit board manufacturers, production line managers and manufacturing engineers.

According to Hoz, it’s now also possible to increase "design-to-manufacturing efficiency" for clients' work orders by detecting factors that may affect production and identifying areas that can be improved.

Positive Analyst Reactions

So, how important to Siemens is this news? Laurie Balch, chief analyst at Gary Smith EDA, is positive, "Generally speaking, smart capture and utilization of technical data is essential to enabling effective analysis of manufacturing processes," noted Balch. "Manufacturing teams have often found it incredibly difficult to obtain the critical data they need. Providing solutions to streamline and simplify the process, such as the Valor IoT Manufacturing Analytics solution, is crucial for improving data analysis capabilities and making decision making."

MindSphere’s Role as "IoT Engine"

MindSphere is Siemens’ open cloud-based IoT operating system. The solution has a wide range of connectivity options for different devices, applications and specific enterprise application options. It also provides advanced analysis and an innovative development environment that utilizes both Siemens’ open platform-as-service features (PaaS) and access to built-in cloud services.

Valor IoT Manufacturing Analytics is now powered by the MindSphere platform.

Strong Connections Between PLM and Automation

With today's announcement, Siemens extends its offerings for manufacturing and for companies with digital ambitions. The company has a high level of expertise in digital manufacturing, with possibly the market's strongest links between digital product development and manufacturing tools.

On the product development side, Siemens offers the Teamcenter PLM suite with CAx tools such as NX, as well as the Simcenter simulation platform.

On the manufacturing side, these link to automation solutions and PLCs. Specific examples include Simatic Automation System and Totally Integrated Automation (TIA), offering a modular automation/production concept.

Digital Twins and Threads

The company's Digital Factory division, of which Siemens PLM is a part, has taken a broad approach to concepts such as digital twins of products and processes as part of the planning phase. This thread goes on to bring together digital production and the digital twin of the production equipment. This is, of course, extremely complicated and still in the early stages of development.

Through the acquisition of EDA leader Mentor Graphics, Siemens has gained access to powerful tools for IC, PCB and software. The result might just be a productive way to meet the need for digitization in most industrial activities.

Similarly, Siemens takes digitalization into mechanical manufacturing, joining this with the electronic bits through end-to-end solutions that cover the entire PCB design through the manufacturing flow.

The new Valor IoT Manufacturing Analytics solution is the next step in Siemens’ vision of digital companies. The goal is to enable seamless connections between electronic and mechanical flows, with real-time updates between each discipline.
It looks to be an important step on the road to Industry 4.0.


Kärcher Turns Up the Pressure with Dassault in the Cloud

Originally, the German cleaning machine manufacturer, Kärcher, thought of an on premise, local installation of Dassault's 3DEXPERIENCE platform. But once the possibilities became clear, the focus shifted towards a cloud-centric strategy.

Kärcher is digitizing its existing processes and expanding operations into the cloud environment—which is a large order for PLM developer Dassault Systèmes to land. The order includes 1,200 users, and the goal is to be first on the market with digitally developed resource-efficient cleaning systems, products and services

Kärcher’s goal is to upgrade and start the journey of digitization by implementing new technologies that follow in this trend: Cloud, Platform Thinking, Digital Twins, Simulation and IoT are a few parts of this. For the
Kärcher’s goal is to upgrade and start the journey of digitization by implementing new technologies that follow in this trend: Cloud, Platform Thinking, Digital Twins, Simulation and IoT are a few parts of this. For the "trip," Kärcher chose one of Dassault Systèmes’ industry-specific solution packages, "Single Source for Speed."

It’s worth pointing out that this is quite a catch for Dassault Systèmes. Kärcher had revenue of EUR 2.5 billion in 2017 and employs more than 12,300 people in 67 countries. The company has long used Dassault Systèmes engineering solutions, implemented by Dassault Systèmes’ partner CENIT.

But the product development world is surely in the middle of a dramatic shift that requires upgraded solutions for those who aim to maintain competitiveness. Kärcher is no exception.

Taking the Leap into Digitization

For Kärcher, the goal is to upgrade and start the journey of digitization with the new technologies that lead this trend: the Cloud, Platform Thinking, Digital Twins, Simulation and IoT are a few parts of this. For the "trip," Kärcher chose one of Dassault's industry-specific solution packages, "Single Source for Speed."

With this digital toolbox featuring apps such as CATIA, ENOVIA and others based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the company gets a foundation for integrating its product development processes, fostering collaboration and increasing knowledge sharing.

Initially Wanted to Install Locally

“We originally intended to install the local 3DEXPERIENCE platform (3DX) on premise, and not in the cloud. But once we realized the value and benefits having the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud could bring to our business, we clearly chose cloud investment," said Michael Stritzelberger, CEO of Kärcher.

With 3DX, Stritzelberger aims to support the company's overarching strategy for digital transformation. With the cloud investment set to increase, the company’s flexibility and agility to develop products and innovate in collaboration with both partners and customers should grow as well.

Digital Twins

There are several exciting aspects of Kärcher's initiative, which in the long term is not just about establishing itself on 3DX, but also establishing digital twins for systems engineering, configuration, manufacturing, after sales services and packaging design.

“Successful industrial equipment companies must be able to define and manufacture quality products tailored to customer preferences, and service them anywhere in the world at record speed, despite growing market competition, complexity and costs,” says Philippe Bartissol, vice president for Industrial Equipment Industry at Dassault Systèmes.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is for any company—large or small—seeking a robust digital environment that facilitates the design, simulation, manufacturing engineering, service engineering and decision-making needed to make this happen,” added Bartissol.


Aras Adds New Logo in Aerospace Industry

Last week, PLM developer Aras announced that BMW is investing in the company's Innovator Platform. Recently, it also added another logo with Swedish electronics company, Micronic.

Now this “PLM upstart” adds one more logo with aeronautical industry supplier Aeronamic, which chose Aras Innovator, using Danish Aras-partner Minerva as an implementer. Aeronamic has both Airbus and Boeing on its customer list.

For Aras, the curve is definitely pointing in a positive direction, going from success to success in a market that has previously been quite closed for PLM solutions not developed by the “big three” incumbents: Dassault, Siemens PLM and PTC.

Creating a transparent link between the different BOMs—eBOM, mBOM (manufacturing bom) and pBOM (processBOM)—is of great importance to all manufacturing companies. Aeronamic is no exception. The ability to connect, manage and quickly access data is key for efficient manufacturing. For the Dutch aviation industry supplier, these are also the basic features needed to further develop the vision of a
Creating a transparent link between the different BOMs—eBOM, mBOM (manufacturing bom) and pBOM (processBOM)—is of great importance to all manufacturing companies. Aeronamic is no exception. The ability to connect, manage and quickly access data is key for efficient manufacturing. For the Dutch aviation industry supplier, these are also the basic features needed to further develop the vision of a "Digital Factory." They believe that this can be achieved through Aras’s PLM solution, Innovator.

Aeronamic is a high-tech company that develops, manufactures, tests and maintains complete high-speed rotation systems for the aviation industry. Their products are available in Airbus and Boeing airplanes, as well as on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Gulfstream Business Jets.

The company wanted a platform with an intuitive architecture that could make it possible to store all important data in a central location—requirements that are part of Innovator's strength.

"We want to grow," says Ronny Blaauwgeers, production manager at Aeronamic. “To do that, we need to take care of a rather complex data structure. We must be able to share information in a simple, yet correct, manner. Taking this information in an oral data exchange is no longer a viable strategy.”

A Better Fit

An evaluation that included a demonstration of Aras’s PLM solution was what convinced Blaauwgeers. "They could offer us a better fit for what we want to be able to do with our data,” he said.

In particular, Blaauwgeers points to the system's flexibility and ability to handle all types of data. Openness through compatibility is also one of Aras’ distinguishing features, like the ability to create smart workflows and quality templates.

“Ultimately, everybody decided that Aras is a better fit for us, for what we want to do with our data. When we saw a demonstration of the flexibility of Aras in managing all types of data, we were impressed with how easy it was to create workflows and quality templates. We all thought, ‘Ok, it is ready to use. Let’s do it,’” said Blaauwgeers.

Unclear Data Structure

The Aeronamics Production Manager adds that one of the company's problems was its unclear data structure.

“Over time, it became more difficult for me and my colleagues to maintain a good overview of documentation, staff and other data sets. For instance, we had an Excel file with a list of people that are qualified to do a certain job. We managed our EBOM in an Access database, and our MRO records in another Access database. I can name a lot of similar examples, but the idea is that these systems were not connected but were containing identical information.”

Innovator as a Digital Factory

One of Aras’ real strengths lies in its BOM (bill of materials) management capabilities.

Creating a transparent link between the different BOMs—eBOM, mBOM (manufacturing boom) and pBOM (processBOM)—is of great importance to all manufacturing companies, and Aeronamic is no exception.

The system's ability to connect, manage and quickly access databases for efficient manufacturing is the key. For the Dutch aviation industry supplier, this are also the basic features one needs to further develop their vision of a "Digital Factory." Easy and quick access to information from different sources and a software that allows users to work concurrently on the same project (known as concurrent engineering), with full traceability and without loss of process changes, is critical.

“There are a lot of benefits from Aras, but the top one is that eBOM, mBOM and pBOM are all linked in the system in a very intuitive and straightforward way. There is still some manual work between the ERP system and Aras, but soon we will have them linked as well.

How soon does Aeronamic expect to be running a full implementation?

"By mid-2018, I hope we will get all the documents stored in Aras and we have realized our Digital Factory," said Blaauwgeers.


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