SolidWorks World 2012 Attendees: Why you should care about PLM in San Diego.

solidworksworldWhile sitting in my office in Portland, Oregon on yet another rainy day, dreaming of San Diego and sunshine, my thoughts suddenly turned to the real reason I am lucky enough to fly down to greener pastures—the CAD and PLM community and how Zero Wait-State can be of better service to them. If I were an engineer, a SolidWorks user myself, attending the greatest MCAD show on earth, why in the world would I want to learn about PLM technology? After all, it was designed for people outside design engineering. PLM may seem flashy and come with names like “Agile”, but it still can’t put a variable radius fillet around the inside of a plastic medical device. It can’t create a detailed drawing. You want 3D? Not even close…

One name should inspire you… Autodesk.

Why am I bringing up Autodesk? In November 2011 at Autodesk University, the big Autodesk announcement was that everything had changed. Autodesk was now providing a PLM solution, Nexus, complemented by a suite of three products called Autodesk PLM 360. Even Autodesk, the company that has been the most firm in its stance of anti-PLM within the design software space, has changed its position on PLM. The Autodesk marketing machine is cranked up to high and letting all manufacturing companies know that PLM is now available from Autodesk. This recognition that CAD customers do indeed possess problems that could be solved by PLM does indeed provide validation of PLM, though those-in-the-know never needed any to begin with.

Autodesk has packaged their service in a cloud-based system, similar to the Arena PLM platform, and the market will determine the effectiveness of the configurability claims and application footprint. Far too many companies don’t even have a PLM strategy let alone a PLM platform, so I welcome the raising of the PLM tide in whatever form. In the end, all boats will benefit, and the market will determine which boat is best for catching fish.

In Conclusion
The writing is on the wall with the introduction of Autodesk PLM 360. Mainstream PLM just got a big boost. Manufacturing companies do have a PLM problem seeing as all products have a lifecycle that should be managed. Come check out our booth, #137, at SolidWorks world in San Diego and we will educate you on PLM options for SolidWorks users. Zero Wait State’s people, somewhat like a genetically modfied organism, have PLM in our DNA. We have deep roots in CAD and PDM as well.

PLM can start with PDM, and whether you take Enterprise PDM into the PLM space with add-on applications or your company requires a mature PLM platform to connect to, we can outline a road map for you based on your company’s business model, size, and current infrastructure. Learning about PLM is free, but not learning about it could cost your company a competitive edge within today’s manufacturing climate.


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