Virtual Dutchman

Why Virtual ? This is my first post and in the future, I will update you about my experiences in the world of PLM. Those of you not familiar with PLM I suggest search for the definition on the web and you will find many almost similar definitions – a neutral one you can find on wikipedia. The main goal behind PLM is that by managing all steps of the product lifecycle from concept through development until even destruction, the company will be able to optimize and integrate all steps and information. This combined with best practices on how to develop, release and benefit from customer feedback will lead to higher revenues and a more competitive position for such a company.

Most of the PLM software companies provide their solutions around a 3D CAD system, as the 3D CAD model is the understandable representation of a product. Here we see the virtual products and with analysis and simulation software we can test these products even before they are produced. Mobile phones undergo virtual crash tests; cars crash virtually and as I learned, even diapers are tested virtually.

Some PLM companies like Dassault Systèmes and Siemens UGS go even beyond the 3D CAD and integrate the whole manufacturing process initially through software to provide a virtual production process. This allows companies to fix (virtual) errors in the production process and the prototype even before a single product is manufactured in the real world. The time and costs savings of this virtualization allow companies to respond faster and better then their competitors. This change to define a complete virtual product and production process is costly and only affordable by the big enterprise but for sure this trend will continue.

With the introduction of PLM 2.0 Dassault Systèmes even introduced another extension to PLM, the involvement of the customer, experiencing the virtual product before it even exists. The 2.0 version is a reference to WEB 2.0 bringing WEB content to be influenced by the consumer. In the same analogy PLM 2.0  brings the world of product design to be influenced immediately by the customer, where in the past customers only could review and select from existing products.
Look at the See What You Mean movie.

A virtual world seems to be a future trend, with possible virtual consumers. Currently the trend to virtualization can be compared with teenage sex; they all talk about but …….

As a Dutchman working in the real world, I am targeting to become a virtual Dutchman. This allows me to experience things I have never done and dared before. But before reaching this goal I will entertain you with my observations around PLM and look forward to real discussions