At the heart of the latest release of the NX CAD system is
new HD-PLM technology, a
framework Siemens PLM Software
says will transform the existing PLM paradigm into a high-definition,
decision-support system that proactively guides users through the collaborative
Borrowing key Web 2.0 and user interface principles and built on modern technologies like role-based portals and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), HD-PLM delivers a more intuitive, personalized user experience with PLM to aid in decision making throughout the entire product lifecycle, according to Eric Sterling, Siemens PLM Software's senior vice president of global marketing. Just-released NX 7 is the first product to leverage the HD-PLM framework, and subsequent versions of the Tecnomatix digital manufacturing software and Teamcenter PLM platform will feature HD-PLM capabilities, including visual reporting and tagging.
Sterling says the vision for HD-PLM was driven by several macro industry trends, including influences like the popularity of Google and the gaming industry's mark in establishing high expectations around personalization and visualization. Yet the biggest driver for HD-PLM is customers' need to get a better handle on the volumes of disparate product-related data and materials that they need to access and process in order to aid in innovation efforts and bolster time to market. "There is digital information overload within the engineering role, and our customers in PLM are getting that level of information and complexity in their day-to-day jobs," Sterling explains. "The reason we named it high definition is this gives you a whole new level of clarity in what you're seeing and how you see it."
HD-PLM, under development within Siemens for the last two years, employs four basic tenets to bolster decision making:
- Personalization: Through the use of role-based technology and portals, HD-PLM will recognize a user in relation to their daily tasks and actively present them with information they need to perform their jobs. For example, an HD-PLM-enabled system would recognize a given user not just as a CAD operator, but as a powertrain engineer, and automatically personalize the workspace to put that individual in the proper context for the tasks they need to perform.
- Assist: The software aggregates, delivers business analytics and monitors information, serving up data proactively to aid in collaborative decisions and notifying users when an action is required. In the vein of Web 2.0 platforms, the technology will suggest collaborators that can aid in decision making relative to the context of the problem at hand.
- Clarify: The software employs now familiar interface paradigms like attaching tags to objects (popularized by Google Earth) or the "cover flow" GUI concept of iTunes to present "rich" information in an intuitive way to allow users to navigate to associated data from different disciplines and sources.
- Validate: The HD-PLM technology allows users to validate decisions against best practices, while also employing analytics to assess design alternatives and let design teams capture their decision-making best practices for future reference.
In related news, Siemens unveiled NX 7, the latest upgrade to its 3-D CAD platform. The software's implementation of HD-PLM, specifically HD3D, lets the user visually explore PLM data with interactive navigation as opposed to navigating and processing lists of attribute data and manually correlating them to 3-D product models. For instance, a user can view a product's 3-D representation and easily get the right context to answer questions related to project status, design changes, team responsibilities, suppliers, cost issues and other attributes. NX 7 employs color coding, on-screen tagging and legends to enable fast visual analysis of product development issues and decision criteria. HD3D also plays a role in NX 7's validation checking tools, providing visually rich feedback, allowing users to monitor critical functional requirements throughout development.
In addition to support for HD-PLM, NX 7 includes a variety of other enhancements, including new rapid design tools to accelerate 2-D profile creation and positioning. The upgrade also integrates Synchronous Technology with NX freeform modeling and delivers extensions to Synchronous Technology in the areas of assemblies, thin-walled geometry, blends and chamfers. The new NX DraftingPlus tools further enhance 2-D functionality in NX, eliminating the need to use separate 2-D software.
NX 7 also ushers in a number of CAE enhancements. The upgrade adds new integrated multi-physics solutions that include durability and motion analysis with flexible bodies as well as additional solutions for structural, thermal and flow analyses. There are also two new CAE products--NX Finite Element (FE) Model Correlation and NX FE Model Updating, providing a complete, integrated system for modal analysis, pre-test planning, test-analysis correlation and model updating.