Much like its PLM competitors, Siemens PLM Software has put some muscle into improving the technical documentation aspect of Teamcenter. It has enhanced the integration among the various modules so product documentation can be created in parallel with the design process. Engineering teams can rest assured that changes to the design are automatically reflected, so technical documentation can evolve accordingly.
There are also new configuration-driven documentation features for reusing common components of text, graphics, and meta data to support the multiple options and variants that characterize most product portfolios.
Improved integration with Cortona3D's Rapid Author applications lets users create documents with illustrations that remain linked to the design data. That way, any changes are rippled through to documentation.
The last feature of Teamcenter 9 that we'll call out is the new service scheduling and execution functionality, which extends the core Service Lifecycle Management vision. Johnson called this another example of work that has typically been separate and performed outside of core PLM, making it difficult to track whether a service is compliant with published procedures. The module is important in sectors such as aerospace or industrial machinery, where heavy maintenance is a core aspect of the product. The module allows companies to control costs more effectively by defining and scheduling service orders and tasks. Making this functionality a core part of Teamcenter helps service personnel maintain an accurate history of assets and service records. They can also work through Teamcenter to deliver feedback back to engineers -- "closing the loop," so to speak, in product development.
Johnson also said Siemens PLM Software made a significant investment in quality and performance for the new release, expanding its automated testing capabilities and conducting more widespread beta testing with users. "As enterprise software gets bigger, more robust, and covers more IT platforms, there's a lot of issues that need to be ironed out and fixed."
Beth, you have written a lot of articles on this PLM area. Systems engineering has often been tied into software engineering as far as requirements are concerned. On the other hand, integrating hardware requirements has been harder. These PLM systems seem to be following the software world, where there is a two way link between implementation and requirements. This is very important, but it is often not done. It would be interesting to see how entensively these tools will be used in industry and in which industries.
Good observation, Naperlou. PLM software, which is pretty well entrenched in a variety of industries--including automotive and A&D, among many others--is now taking a page from software engineering and looking to broaden out to requirements while at the same time integrating both hardware and software requirements in a shared platform. The idea is that a systems engineering approach isn't really possible if software, electrical, and mechanical systems data is maintained in separate systems. Siemens isn't alone in pursuing this level of integration. PTC and Dassault have also done a ton in this area with their PLM platforms and design suites.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.