"Reinventing" Product Lifecycle Decision-Making

May 24, 2010
Siemens new PLM "technology framework" helps users make better decisions faster, so innovation increases
Siemens’ new High-Definition PLM software “personalizes” the workspace for each user and delivers pertinent information from the supply chain instantly, via devices like smart phones and tablet computers, so that every user has the chance to make an impact on the product lifecycle.

Siemens PLM Software says that the High Definition PLM (HD-PLM) technology framework it introduced in May will help decision-makers throughout the product lifecycle to make better informed decisions more efficiently, and with a higher level of confidence.

Because global manufacturing industries are so highly connected, pressure is strong to deliver impactful products to market faster than ever before, and this demands innumerable critical decisions to be made by dozens or hundreds of individuals across the supply chain. Yet, each decision will be based on a variety of skills and a constantly expanding universe of data stored in different formats, all of them widely dispersed.

HD-PLM will “reinvent” cross-domain decision-making, according to the Siemens Industry Automation division unit, by uniting users with the people, tools and precise product-related information they need to intelligently evaluate decision alternatives. The users’ experience will be personalized by placing them into the digital context appropriate to their role, and it will proactively assist users in collaborative decision-making, and information will be clarified and turned into knowledge through a highly intuitive visual presentation.

The new framework is based on four tenets that define how the technology framework will help users make better decisions faster:

  • Personalize – Personalize the users’ experience by recognizing who they are and actively presenting them with only the information they need to perform their tasks.
  • Assist – Proactively assist users to make collaborative decisions, by aggregating, analyzing and monitoring information, notifying them when action is required and suggesting collaborators to aid in their decision-making.
  • Clarify – Clarify the users’ understanding by presenting “rich” information in the most intuitive way and enabling them to navigate to associated data from different disciplines and sources.
  • Validate – Validate user decisions against best practices, by applying analytical techniques to assess alternatives and capturing decision-making best practices for future reference.

Siemens offers the following example of how an HD-PLM enabled system might perform: Once it recognizes a user as not just a CAD operator, but also a powertrain engineer or airfoil designer, it automatically personalizes the workspace to put that individual in the right context for the tasks being performed.

Then, the system will proactively assist this user to accomplish tasks by informing him or her of issues to be addressed, seeking out pertinent information to consider and individuals to collaborate with based on the activity being performed.

Throughout the process, HD-PLM will help clarify information by presenting it in a visually intuitive way and making it easy to access further detail from a variety of disciplines.

Finally, through analytic techniques as well as evaluations based on domain, company and industry best practices, leveraging available knowledge can validate decisions. As a result, users will not only formulate more intelligent decisions, but they will make those decisions with a significantly greater degree of efficiency and confidence.

All of the pertinent information necessary to this process will be delivered to the right people instantly, regardless of location, via a wide variety of supported devices including smart phones and tablet computers. By intelligently navigating, integrating and applying meaning to broadly dispersed stores of heterogeneous data, and then leveraging state-of-the-art technology to efficiently act on and distribute this information in a visually compelling way, HD-PLM will help build shared knowledge within an organization and enable “high definition” decision-making.

“People have a fundamental need for a platform that creates an opportunity to collaborate and exchange information in order to reach intelligent decisions, and then to understand the impact of their decisions on other stakeholders,” states Joe Barkai, practice director for Product Lifecycle Strategies with IDC Manufacturing Insights, a specialty research group. “The role of a better decision support system is to allow people to ‘see’ each other, either literally or virtually, communicate effectively on a common platform and then optimize and harmonize their decisions to meet each other's needs.”

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