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Virtual 2021 PLMRM LOGO Fall Day 2 of the virtual conference, PLM Road Map & PDT Fall 2021, was held today, November 17, 2021, under the title “DISRUPTION—the PLM Professionals’ Exploration of Emerging Technologies that Will Reshape the PLM Value Equation.” Mr. Peter Bilello, President and CEO of CIMdata and Mr. Håkan Kårdén, Director of Marketing, Eurostep, again welcomed the attendees. Mr. Håkan Kårdén introduced Mr. Ken Webster, Director, IS4CE (International Society for the Circular Economy) who’s keynote presentation was titled, “In the future, you will own nothing, and you will be happy.”

As a circular economy pioneer, Mr. Webster spoke of the Biosphere, where products are manufactured by companies and bought by users and then ultimately discarded. He then linked it with the Technosphere, where companies manufacture products but users subscribe to their use.

He noted that climate change requires a focus on materials, not just emissions. Mr. Webster made an interesting point that a product as a service business model avoids over-specification of the product.

That was followed by a presentation titled, “Digital Disruption in Maritime,” given by Mr. Rob Clifford, Head of Data, Maritime and Land Sector, BAE Systems. He spoke of the need to corral innovation and described the architecture of BAE’s PropheSEA digital asset management solution. The architecture focused on the enterprise rather than individual product stages. During his presentation, he wove in a number of aspects, including digital footprint and digital thread, enterprise market twin, and the benefits of data analysis. He noted that BAE recognized it was important to deliver immediate impact with the maintenance twin.

Dr. Rodney Ewing, Director of PLM – Components Business Unit, Cummins, next presented “A Balanced Strategy to Reap Continuous Business Value from Digital PLM.” Dealing with five business units, each with a different level of maturity, Cummins partnered with TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) to implement multiple process tracks on a common foundation focusing on future capabilities.

Their development work used the Digital Thread as the backbone across a product’s lifecycle, and priorities looked for quick wins for all to see the added value. They used key PLM building blocks with a focus on the enterprise level. He described a number of projects and voiced that they paid attention to train users on new tools. During the Q&A, he spoke of the need for PLM champions and attention to KPIs and metrics.

Dr. Patrick Hillberg, an Adjunct Professor at Oakland University, where he teaches graduate courses in engineering management, then spoke. He emphasized the need for systems thinking but cautioned on possible systematic problems depending upon the type of system. He gave several examples where lives were lost, and millions of dollars were wasted.

The conference concluded with a roundtable discussion titled. “State of the Industry—a Fireside chat with industry leaders.” Dr. Ken Versprille posed a series of questions to the three panelists: Mr. Peter Bilello, President & CEO, CIMdata, Dr. Patrick Hillberg, Professor, Oakland University, and Mr. Torbjörn Holm, Co-Founder, Eurostep.

The questions included:

  1. We often talk of the three pillars of product development – design, manufacturing, and service. Can you offer up what disruptive technology looms today in your opinion as the most impactful in each of the three?
  2. Can you give examples of a disruptive technology that has been adopted and commercialized with speed that surprised you and why?
  3. The gap between what is used in reality and promising new technology is widening every year with the explosion in tech. How do you see large enterprises in A&D, automotive, and the like managing this to be part of the disruption and avoid being disrupted by external forces? Is there a pattern for successfully or at least partly remaining “on top”? (skunkworks, tech fellows, phantoms works, incubators, etc.)


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