Siemens PLM Software, one of the leaders in the full-scale PLM space with its Teamcenter offering, just announced a new product called Insight XT, which builds on the capabilities of Insight, a free data management add-on for its Solid Edge CAD platform. Due to ship in August, the platform promises additional data management functionality for users working with Solid Edge CAD files, including easy vaulting and retrieval of those CAD files and related design data, along with new capabilities related to projects, tasks, and change management.
Like its predecessor, Insight XT is based on Microsoft SharePoint, a collaboration platform used extensively in the corporate enterprise (not just in engineering groups) and with which Siemens has been working for more than 10 years. With the Insight XT release, Siemens is delivering new part, product, and project structures that are required by engineering and manufacturing organizations, but aren't readily available in standard SharePoint document libraries, according to Siemens officials.
With Insight XT, designers and non-CAD users can collect relevant data and attach them to an Engineering Change Request (ECR), and multiple ECRs can be rolled into an Engineering Change Order (ECO) to help organize a series of changes. (Source: Siemens PLM Software)
Karsten Newbury, Siemens' vice president of mainstream engineering, said in a press release:
The volume of associated design data continues to expand, and mainstream manufacturers are under great pressure to affordably manage this increasing data and often struggle with the complexities of data management solutions. XT... helps increase efficiency and allows mainstream manufacturers to have full control of their data and intellectual property.
The software's new visual approach to displaying data relationships and associated tasks will enable users to quickly understand the impact of proposed design changes, officials said. However, for companies requiring multi-CAD capabilities and engineering process data management, Siemens executives said Teamcenter and potentially Teamcenter Express remain more fully functional PLM options.
Thanks for wading in, David. Just to clarify, so unlike other PLM or new-style data management collaboration platforms, Insight XT is specifically meant for SolidEdge shops. Does that mean it can't handle multi-CAD data? That would surprise me given Siemen's emphasis on open standards like JT Open.
Good point, Beth. You've delivered about three stories just this month that involve search, collaboration, and data management for design engineers. Nice to see the PLM function is taking into account the need to handle the growing challenge of data.
I think the benefits are not necessarily tied to certain industries or applications. More likely, they are aimed at small- and mid-size firms that still have the need for centalized data management and collaboration capabilities around product development (what company doesn't), but which have been left out of the PLM equation because of the complexity and cost associated with a platform that is really a process management tool. This offering aims to take some of these key capabilities around pure data management (i.e., applications around engineering change orders etc.) and simple collaboration tasks (design reviews, markups etc.) and make them more accessible and without all the other capabilities that might be considered baggage for smaller firms.
It's really both--storing/finding and sharing parts file, all built around SharePoint, which has a lot of traction within companies already as a collaboration platform. The interesting thing is it's sort of an acknowledgement that traditional PLM systems are too big and complex for many companies who really need help managing and sharing product information with people beyond just engineering departments, which typically use PDM systems exclusively.
Hi Beth. Interesting new tool. What's the advantage. Is it the ability to retrieve files (search) or to manage data (storage and retrieval), or sharing? Seems like Siemens is doing tons now in collaboration and data management.
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