EDS Corrals Life-Cycle Management

THTE Suite packs templates for business processes.

EDS PLM Solutions has introduced software to help manufacturers stay ahead of competitors in developing products.

EDS PLM—a business unit of Electronic Data Systems Corp., of Plano, Texas, which makes product life-cycle management software—last week released Teamcenter High Tech Electronics, or THTE. The software provides engineers with industry-specific, configurable solutions in the form of templates for streamlined, repeatable business processes. The templates let users create a collaborative development environment that can be expanded to an open, standards-based infrastructure. Available now, THTE is part of EDS PLMs software offerings that include Teamcenter Aerospace and Defense and Teamcenter Automotive Supplier.

THTE provides an integrated, Web-enabled environment where companies can manage product life-cycle data created by product development teams, EDS officials said. The built-in templates support workflow-driven collaboration, review, release, distribution and change processes, officials said.

Parts and supplier management capabilities, along with change management functions, enable users to expedite change solutions from problem reporting through to impact analysis, change approval and change execution, officials said.

At the same time, a companys supply chain members can access any element of a product definition and adapt it to external changes while remaining internally compatible. This lets suppliers and partners join dispersed development teams based on user entitlements.

THTE provides a single source of product data from existing systems, officials said. Users have a single, consistent point of entry to access and share and view data about a product through its life cycle.

Meanwhile, users can establish product definitions created with in-house or third-party CAD parts classification, supplier management, and document authorizing systems. The data is integrated with Teamcenters visualization files, enabling users to work in the format they choose.

THTE is built on a standards-based infrastructure that includes Java 2 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft Corp.s .Net Framework, as well as Web services technologies such as Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, Simple Object Access Protocol, and XML.

Edwin Kincaid, chief of the U.S. Air Forces Avionics Electronics Technology Branch, is using EDS Teamcenter software for several projects. Kincaid said he will look at the THTE module to see how the business process templates fit into the engineering offices plans.

"In our repository, were not doing true configuration management," said Kincaid, at Tinker Air Force Base, in Oklahoma City, Okla. "With the new module, once we populate the product data, it would start showing some configuration management and some processes. We usually let [airplane manufacturers such as] Boeing [Co.], who are the prime contractors, be the configuration owners. Wed like to start getting that data ourselves, where we ... make modifications of the data and we can show the relationships of that [data]. It should reduce our costs back to the prime, which is Boeing."