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Automotive Sector Ground Zero For PLM Battles

DN Staff

February 17, 2011

3 Min Read
Automotive Sector Ground Zero For PLM Battles

The automotive sector, which has a deep roots in evolvingPLM software and practices, is shaping up as a fresh battleground for the majorvendors in this category with all touting recent customer wins that play uptheir strengths and cement their positions as core development platforms fornext-generation vehicles.

Dassault Systemes announceda 10-year partnership with BMW, in which theautomotive giant will use the V6 PLM solutions to develop the futureelectrical, electronics and embedded software (E/E) architecture of BMW cars.For its part, PTC announced that after atwo-year benchmark test, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corp. (HKMC) haveselected Windchill as their enterprise PLM platform for the entire vehicle, notjust the power train-which is the one area in automotive where PTC hashistorically held traction. SiemensPLM Software also got in the automotive act with its announcement thismonth that Aston Martin will standardize global sports car developmentprocesses on NX for integrated computer-aided design, manufacturing andengineering analysis, as well as Teamcenter to manage product and processknowledge.

Automotive Sector Ground Zero For PLM Battles

Automotive Sector Ground Zero For PLM Battles_A

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Even though BMW and Dassault Systemes have had along-standing relationship, the new alliance around the V6 PLM solutions issignificant because it keys in on the platform's strength as an architecturefor systems engineering, not just mechanical design, according to KevinBaughey, brand strategy for ENOVIA at Dassault Systemes. In the past, BMW had committed to using CATIAto create a single reference model for the design of all future engines as wellas the Abaqus Unified FEA (Finite Element Analysis) software for theengineering of passive safety and crash tests as part of the auto maker'svirtual design process. In addition, the two companies last March signed astrategic, five-year global alliance that promoted collaboration across the twofirm's R&D centers.

The new agreement, which is based on CATIA and Enovia V6,goes beyond partnering on mechanical design or any specific area, but rather takesa systems engineering approach. As part of its Architecture, Integration andDesign for Automotive (AIDA) project, BMW will implement a collaborativeprocess that connects the various constituencies in the electrical, electronicsand embedded software process. The aim is to create a single IP reference thatlinks customer requirements to functional, logical and physical models. "Thisis true multidisciplinary systems engineering," Baughey says. "This ismechanical engineers talking to software engineers talking to network engineersall working on the vehicle. The key element to convey here is that it's in thesame systems that the hardware engineers are designing in."

Traditionally, engineers in each of these disciplines haveworked in separate systems encouraging a lot of replication and rework, heexplains. The V6 platform's systems engineering focus and openness are what ledBMW to the standardization decision, Baughey says.

For PTC, its latest HKMC win marks the first time a majorautomotive maker has standardized on Windchill for development of the entirevehicle, not just the power train, according to Sin Min Yap, PTC's seniordirector of product and market strategy. HKMC will deploy Windchill as itsenterprise PLM solution to consolidate multiple existing systems into a singleplatform for managing product data and related processes for vehicledevelopment. In the first phase, Windchill will be leveraged as a system ofrecord for the complete vehicle-from the engineering Bill of Materials (BOM)and for change management. This phase also encompasses CATIA data managementand a digital mock-up environment.

While currently in pilot phase, this part of initiative willgo live in December 2011, followed by phase two, slated for availability inmid-2013, which brings the R&D center and the supply chain into theenvironment. Phase three, targeted for a 2014 roll out, will expand the PLMfootprint around Windchill to areas like program management, concept design,requirements management and process management, Yap says. "This is a watershedmoment for us," he explains. "Windchill will be managing the complete vehiclewith this win."

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