The State of PLM Software: What's New? - by Randall Newton

The Utopian imagination of a perfectly implemented PLM with all of the bells and whistles communicating in harmony while riding a unicorn. Your coworkers and company embracing a common vision that streamlines the company, and you are able to take pride in a perfect PLM solution…

Ahh, the promise of a better future can be a tempting addiction.  The world of PLM innovation can be even further complicated by new business strategies, industry standards and the ever increasing battle between security concerns from I.T. and customer demands for rich and full information in a mobile and OS agnostic environment.

Let's tackle a few of the directions that Siemens is looking to improve business within their PLM Solutions.


Siemens recently purchased Polarian, an ALM solution that is based on developing and handling Code design. As software becomes part of nearly all manufacturing in the world, there is an increased necessity to collaborate changes between Software Developers, Circuit Board Designers and Mechanical Engineers. Combining the tools to communicate changes throughout the general development lifecycle can substantially shorten time to market.  This can especially be advantageous to highly competitive industries that must create new products faster than their competition.

ALM and software development is not controlled the same way that Traditional Mechanical design has been managed in the past.The push for Agile workflows has made a much larger impact on software development.  This push happens for many good reasons that the mechanical world is still trying to take advantage of.  Most PLM tools have not embraced the Agile Project Management workflow for mechanical design.  This is changing rapidly as companies quickly understand the business benefit of Agile. Siemens has all of the tools to be a leader in this field.  Their development around this will be groundbreaking when they do it.


The Siemens acquisition of Mentor Graphics is also a very positive development in the PLM Industry.  The ability for electronics design and mechanical design to collaborate in a common change management repository is huge.  And the ability to seamlessly translate circuit board 3D models directly into Traditional CAD 3d models within CAD Change management is a revolutionary breakthrough.

Visualizations and mobility

The ease of access to this data in a rich, easily understandable, flexible, interactive tool is probably the highest requirement and improvement that every company is looking for. The next generation will not work well in an environment where information isn't easily accessible on phones or in a rich 3d environment.  They don’t want to jump through a hundred clicks and loops to accomplish simple tasks. And they understand that the technological barriers to achieve these highly valuable tools are easier than ever to accomplish.

Everyone’s mind is in the clouds

The last innovation coming is from the cloud. Nearly all PLM solutions have some form of cloud architecture opportunity.  Some of this is still in development by most vendors in order to accomplish a full solution.  Some restrictions include technical limitations around GPU processors.  To accomplish a 3D model in the cloud requires specific GPU hardware infrastructure in the cloud.  The cloud industry is catching on to that in order to satisfy both general CAD workstations in the cloud and PLM servers that feed 3D visualizations in the cloud.  GPU and security requirements are well positioned to give all of those benefits and more to your company.   It is worth a discussion with your vendor on what you can do to speed up your company and pull in the next generation of designers and engineers who want to work in a cutting-edge, efficient environment.

Siemens is well positioned to take advantage of the meshing of software, electronics, and mechanical design with Polarian, their recent purchase of Mentor Products, and their traditional world-class PLM toolset.  All though they have not yet created a full ecosystem that combines all of these very important workflows into a single intelligent environment, the future looks bright for Siemens.

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