Charles, this is Abhijit Dastidar from Siemens, responsible for Tecnomatix marketing. We offer robotic path planning in our Tecnomatix Process Simulate application. In fact, we use the same Kineo engine for path planning algorithm. Check out the Tecnomatix Process Simulate web page
Chuck: The capability in terms of software has definitely existed (the Kineo CAM) was/is a popular product, albeit in a niche, on its own and the company has partnerships with other PLM vendors. But the point is that the capabilities are separate or siloed from the rest of the engineering applications. Given Siemens' acquisition of the PLM software group several years back, it's not surprising and actually part of their stated intent, to deliver tools that integrate engineering/development work and processes much closer with manufacturing and the factory floor in terms of closing the loop between those functions. This is meant to ensure that designs can be manufactured and serviced effectively as part of the development process, eliminating subsequent costly rework and nasty, late-stage surprises.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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