There are very few events that are designed exclusively for PLM Solution Providers in the PLM economy. CIMdata’s annual PLM Market & Industry Forum, which is now over 25 years old, is one that comes to mind. Of course, I might just be a little bit partial! But consider how rare it is to get all the key PLM solution providers together in the same place for networking and an open discussion on the state of the PLM industry. This is the very essence of CIMdata’s PLM Market & Industry Forum.
The event, which this year takes place during April at various locations globally, offers attendees the opportunity to gain key insights into the current economic climate and trends. After the trends are identified their effects on the PLM economy are examined. Additionally, it is at this event where we take the first look at CIMdata’s eagerly awaited 2017 PLM market analysis results.
This year the event will be focusing on Industry 4.0 – Its Global Impact & Status, a concept that started in Germany in 2011. The core design principles of Industry 4.0 are interoperability, information transparency (digital twin), technical assistance, and decentralized decision making. Some people talk about Industry 4.0 as being the convergence of information technology and operation technology; a bridging of digital and physical, cyber-physical production systems enabled by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). At a practical level, however, companies are looking to employ these technologies and processes to enable mass customization, allowing them to make money while serving markets of one. It is important for solution provider members of the PLM economy to leverage this new wave and be part of the solution.
Unique to this event is the opportunity to hear from CIMdata analysts who all come together in the months prior to the event to craft a formidable agenda that covers all the key topics.
I recently visited CIMdata’s Ann Arbor headquarters where I was able to spend a few minutes talking with the PLM Market & Industry Forum team to get some perspective on what they are going to discuss in April.
Industry 4.0 – A Regional Update
First, I spoke with our Vice President, Stan Przybylinski. Stan is instrumental in selecting the topic for the Forum. During our conversation he mentioned that as the CIMdata PLM Market & Industry Forum takes place in several locations around the world he thought it would be useful to open a dialogue in each of the locations we are visiting to learn more about the progress of Industry 4.0 in each of the geographies. For 2018 our locations are Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Frankfurt, Germany; Pune, India; Shanghai, China; and Tokyo, Japan. At each location a regional update on the progress of Industry 4.0 will be shared before opening up the conversation to attendees.
The State of PLM – Today’s Market and Leading Trends
A review of the current state of the PLM industry, with an emphasis on the trends and issues, will be shared by Peter Bilello, CIMdata’s President. Peter’s presentation will include topics such as enabling the digital enterprise and the digital twin and other emerging trends that are critical to PLM software and PLM service providers. CIMdata’s views on these trends and the impact they have on participants in this increasingly challenging market will be shared with attendees.
2017 Market Analysis Results
Recognized for many years as the best source of comprehensive and accurate insights into the evolution and direction of the PLM industry, CIMdata’s annual PLM Global Market Analysis is first revealed during this Market and Industry Forum. This is an eagerly awaited presentation as it highlights where individual PLM Solution Providers stack up in the various sectors of the industry that are analyzed by CIMdata.
Manufacturing in the Built World
My colleague, Mike Fry, CIMdata’s Director, Manufacturing Systems Engineering Consulting Practice told me that he will be speaking on the topic of Manufacturing in the Built World. During his presentation, he will consider whether or not the adoption of the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 practices, and new technologies, such as Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality, are providing added value and return on investment.
The Industrialization of Additive Manufacturing
I also had the chance to sit a while with James White, Director, Additive Manufacturing Strategy Consulting Practice. An acknowledged AM devotee, James will take a look at advances in AM equipment such as; AM machines, design & simulation software tools, and AM materials. He will share his thoughts on whether the prospect of making industrial quality, for end-use, components, and even whole products is for real. He will also outline those areas that must be considered by companies looking to implement AM into production.
Service Lifecycle Management: Leveraging IoT/IIoT to Deliver New Capabilities and Business Models
Ken Amann, a long-term colleague and CIMdata Executive Consultant, will focus his presentation on Service Lifecycle Management (SLM). In his presentation, Ken will describe SLM and how companies are leveraging IoT/IIoT to capture and manage more information about the in-service use and status of products and systems. This information allows them to provide better responses to their customers and to create new business models in which service rather than the product is the focus, e.g., power by the hour.
Closing the Big Data Loop in PLM
I took the opportunity to find out a little more about John MacKrell’s presentation on Big Data, a topic which continues to get a lot of attention from the industrial companies he encounters while he is teaching the PLM Certificate Program and during his consulting work. John, who is CIMdata’s Chairman, told me that for PLM, it is essential to enable closing the loop for big data from IoT, IIoT, and other sources. He is going to discuss PLM’s expanding role in managing and extracting value from Big Data.
Virtual/Augmented Reality: Where Did It Come from and Where Is It Going?
My colleague, Tom Gill, will consider if Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have finally crossed the chasm. He will provide attendees with a brief history of AR and VR and will identify the pros and cons of the current state of the art. Upcoming developments, including standards and consumer developments, will be assessed to determine where AR and VR are likely to go in the next 2- to 5-years.
This year’s PLM Market & Industry Forum offers a thought provoking agenda, one that provides the perfect opportunity for PLM Solution Providers to help shape the future of the PLM economy. As Stan Przybylinski says, “People will be talking.”
Yes, they will! I do hope to see you at one of our Forum stops!
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