Apps Speed Product Development Cycle

Two product lifecycle management suites are getting beefy makeovers to make life easier on engineers and manufacturers alike.

Two product lifecycle management stalwarts are beefing up their respective suites to further widen the circle around product development—a crucial area for engineers and manufacturers as they look to get new products to market faster.

UGS Corp. announced last week the latest iteration of its Teamcenter suite, which adds functionality for new product development and introduction on a unified code base, essentially integrating idea management and requirements planning with life-cycle management processes.

Meanwhile, Dassault Systèmes and i2 Technologies Inc. last week provided additional details on their May partnership agreement that has Dassault integrating i2s sourcing software into its V5 PLM platform for the Catia, Enovia and Delmia applications.

"The idea here is that we will embed the core technology of i2, and we will rebuild the application part of it [around] PLM," said Fabien Fedida, strategy director at Dassault, in Paris. "Were going to build a new solution on Enovia to enable people to author and to set up a cross-functional catalog of components—which will merge engineering and sourcing and life-cycle management."

With the combined product, due next year, the three-dimensional cross-functional catalog will be available in the Catia and Delmia applications, which rest on the Enovia infrastructure, according to Fedida. This will provide users with the ability to search for product components, to visualize and compare them, and finally to instantiate potential components into a design.

During its relationship with Dassault, Dallas-based i2 will continue to work on its product enhancements and upgrades, which will then be integrated into the V5 platform. i2 is committing its intellectual property to Dassault for the next seven or eight years, officials said.

UGS is also looking to step further back in the design process by enabling engineers to include product planning and strategy in the PLM cycle. Through a relationship with Microsoft Corp., Teamcenter 2005 lets engineers collaborate with other team members, partners and suppliers using the Office environment. There is a collaborative decision framework to suss out the most promising design ideas and a planning and execution framework that optimizes product launch processes.

With the 2005 release, UGS, of Plano, Texas, is adding new functionality to facilitate global product development and regulatory compliance initiatives. For better global development capabilities, Teamcenter 2005 adds automated digital validation and enhanced integration with Microsoft Office, Windows Server 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services 2.0.

To enable companies to comply with state, federal and international tracking mandates, an integrated requirements capability lets users capture compliance requirements so theyre visible during the product development cycle. At the same time, new functionality for information access management, retrieval and retention, and process visibility also helps companies keep up with compliance mandates, officials said.


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