Collaboration-Innovation-Cloud and CAM360: Autodesk

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AU2013

 The annual Autodesk University event is a great place to learn tips and tricks of    Autodesk’s software. It is also an event to learn about Autodesk’s strategic product announcements. In addition to focusing on collaboration and innovation, one of the notable announcements that Autodesk made  at AU2013 was introduction of its CAM360 package in cloud.

Continuing with its strategy to provide affordable product development tools in cloud for the masses,  Autodesk announced CAM 360,   a cloud based computer aided manufacturing (CAM) solution. CAMCloudCAM360 is a logical addition to    Autodesk’s      current  cloud manufacturing portfolio of design, product life-cycle management and  simulation namely   Autodesk Fusion 360 , Autodesk PLM 360 and Autodesk Sim 360 offerings  respectively. Further CAM360 is    based on  HSMCam Kernel which will reduce the manufacturing    downtime if the product is designed and    machined within  the Autodesk’s cloud ecosystem.

Here are some salient points of CAM360:-

    •  CAM 360 will streamline the entire flow of design and prototyping in one environment (cloud)
    • Manufacturers and designers can try CAM360 in beta for now; it is expected to be generally available in select markets next year
    • Pricing expected – 2.5-axis is free, 3-axis for $75 and 5-axis at $150 per month
    • Currently – CAM360 is not fully a part of Autodesk 360 and it does not require Fusion 360.
    • Autodesk CAM package –  Inventor HSM, HSMWorks for Solidworks and of course CAM 360 to benefit from the Delcam’s assimilation after Autodesk completes the acquisition of Delcam

Autodesk’s entire cloud platform and the new products such as CAM 360 aim at improving real time online collaboration between teams for faster and more accurate results.  In his keynote, Autodesk’s CTO Jeff Kowalski emphasized about collaboration outside of the organization for innovation, which I think can be achieved easily with cloud. Collaboration was further highlighted by Autodesk CEO Carl Bass when he talked about Orphanage guitar that was designed by using Autodesk Fusion 360.

A markedly younger audience at Autodesk University and several booths displaying academically oriented project efforts have a lot to say about Autodesk’s future vision to attract young talent as its customers.

 

 

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What is PLM (Product Life-Cycle Management)?

Filed in BPM | Enterprise Software | PLM Leave a comment

For sticklers,  here is my attempt at the definition of PLM: –

“PLM is an enterprise software strategy that helps firms plan and achieve product-process innovation from their conceptualization to decommissioning, encompassing people or systems across the value chain”.

PLM has evolved from its origins in computer design, management of product development data, simulation and now taking root in advanced virtual reality. It can certainly be a topic of contention to define the boundaries of PLM.  I think the PLM concept becomes easily understandable if we concentrate on one word i.e. – “life-cycle”. Simplistically, PLM is the management of the entire life-cycle of a product. Lifecycle  is defined as a series of stages through which something (as an individual, culture, or manufactured product) passes during its lifetime.

This simplistic view of life-cycle makes PLM expansive and a bit confusing.  It is undeniable that PLM is an enterprise software strategy rather than just a business strategy. End-users (consumers of PLM) might have a business need that may or may not require end-to-end PLM suite. An end-user might choose more than one PLM software vendor to address their product’s life-cycle.

The question arises, if PLM manages life-cycle of a product or a process. Why can’t we use an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or BPM (Business Process Management) software? The answer is “INNOVATION”. PLM software helps in innovating new products and processes from existing ones. Please be assured I am not talking about Invention, the keyword is “innovation”. If your PLM software implementation has not helped you innovate, you could be better off with customized ERP or BPM software. My focus in this blog piece is not highlight difference between PLM and other enterprise software’s, but to draw some boundaries and provide an understanding in few words to both engineering as well as business audience as to what PLM is really all about ?

PLM What

 

This figure provides a representation of the areas or domains that PLM software covers; each domain is represented in the outer circle like Simulation, Idea Management, Design, Configuration etc. Many PLM vendors specialize in a single or multiple domains of PLM. It may also be noted that certain domains or areas of PLM represented in the figure such as PPM (Project & Portfolio Management)  have roots and applicability outside of PLM, but only their  product innovation based functions grant them to be part of PLM.

I hope this write-up  provides a starting point for a wholesome discussion about the definition and boundaries of PLM.

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