PTC has filled in another
piece in its strategy to build out a new family of product analytics
applications with its acquisition of Relex
Software Corp., a 50-person, 20-plus year provider of software used to
analyze product reliability and safety.
The Relex software suite will find a home within PTC's
InSight brand, an emerging family of analysis tools aimed at helping engineers
get earlier visibility into criteria about their product designs that might
affect overall performance, according to Andrew Wertkin, PTC's director of
products. The Relex acquisition comes on the heels of the December 2008
acquisition of Synapsis,
which delivered a rules-based engine and architecture for analyzing product
data in addition to a patented solution for tracking product compliance at the
substance, material and part levels. The Synapsis technology will provide the
core foundation for building out the product analytics line, Wertkin says,
which in addition to compliance and quality and safety analytics is likely to
include modules for evaluating such factors as cost.
"We want to help engineers analyze a product along a variety
of different criteria, providing a dashboard, tradeoff analysis-type view," he says. "This will help them in the decision-making process by doing product analytics as
early on as possible. Different than business intelligence, which usually looks
backwards, we want to take historical data, new data, predictive data scores
and dashboards and examine products well before they're built."
The Relex tools help engineers gain early insight into
potential risk and reliability issues, predict reliability performance and
track reliability against targets throughout the development stage. The
software has 11 modules covering such areas as fault tree analysis, failure
mode effects analysis as well as closed-loop field performance analysis.
Initially, PTC will continue to sell Relex through the
company's existing channels, but Wertkin says the company is evaluating how to
best meld its capabilities with the Synapsis technology and future extensions
to the InSight line going forward. He says to expect to see PTC deliver additional
InSight analytics products over the next couple of quarters.