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.
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.
Siemens and Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering to address limitations in the current additive manufacturing design-to-production chain in an applied research project as part of the federally backed America Makes program.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.