PLM, even the Product Data Management (PDM) portion that serves up product data and helps teams collaborate on designs, is a mouthful for any small to mid-size business to swallow. Siemens PLM Software [www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/] has been trying to change that with its Velocity Series [www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/velocity/] aimed at the mid-market, and the firm just rolled out Version 3 of its Teamcenter Express cPDM offering, which builds on that promise.
Version 3’s biggest claim to fame is improved integration with Microsoft Office 2007 [http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx], which officials say opens up PLM capabilities to anyone comfortable working in the Office environment. Users of Word, Excel and Outlook, for example, can participate in design-through-manufacturing workflows provided by Teamcenter Express without leaving their natural work environment.
Specifically, the upgrade offers:
The ability for every day document management tasks such as creating new documents, assigning numbers and adding documents to the PDM repository to be done in the familiar Word and Excel applications;
The printing and plotting of documents and drawings from the user’s desktop along with the ability to add watermarks;
The ability to browse the Teamcenter Express inbox, performing signoffs on workflow tasks and saving Outlook emails as a dataset to the Teamcenter Express database all from Outlook;
Extended Web client view and markup functionalit, allowing a wider cross-section of users to access the Teamcenter Express database and perform common tasks such as searching for parts or taking measurements from 3D CAD parts.
Most machine design engineers will survey existing component manufacturers for standard linear guide products, limiting what they can do with their designs. Using extruded aluminum profile guides can customize machine designs while shrinking the bill of materials.
Weaned on the relatively effortless connectivity of today’s massive variety of consumer electronic products, automation users in the IIoT will likely not tolerate too many competing, piecemeal standards for long. And the Industrial Internet Consortium is trying to preempt history.
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