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Howard Heppelmann SOFTWARE UPDATE NEWS ABOUT DIGITAL MANUFACTURING TOOLS AND SOFTWARE


Transforming Manufacturing with New IIoT Technologies


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Manufacturing Engineering: The Industrial Internet of Things [IIoT] has gotten a lot of hype. How critical is it for manufacturing companies to be fully engaged in IIoT? Howard Heppelmann: I think this is a topic that comes along sort of once in a generation, and hopefully manufacturers recognize the opportunity that the Industrial Internet of Things or Internet of Things provides for them, as well as the threats, if they don’t act. A simple way to size this up is when you look at the fact that the three largest economies in the world all have strategic initiatives—in the US we call it Smart Manufacturing, in Europe they call it Industry 4.0, in China it’s Made in China 2025. The three largest economies in the world have recognized


the enormity of this opportunity and are driving strategic initia- tives at the governmental level to make sure that they seize the potential that comes with the opportunity in the form of protect- ing their future manufacturing economic viability. The leading manufacturers in the world also see this op-


portunity. We at PTC are fortunate to partner with, and have as a customer, companies like GE, which has a well-known strategy around Brilliant Manufacturing. If you look at Airbus, they’ve described this as the factory of the future, or compa- nies like Denso in Japan talk about it as dantotsu factories— the ‘best by far’ factories. It’s not just the largest economies in the world that have recognized this opportunity, it’s also some of the largest and best-run manufacturing companies in the world. This is a once-in-a-generation kind of technol- ogy, that’s why Europe refers to it as the Fourth Industrial


28 AdvancedManufacturing.org | August 2016


Revolution. Companies really need to study and understand what opportunities and threats it provides to them, and make sure that they’re acting accordingly that they’re securing the opportunities and to mitigate those threats. ME: How has PTC, which started as a CAD/PLM-oriented


company, transformed into a leader in the IoT/IIoT industry? Heppelmann: We started out, yes, as a CAD company, and then we helped companies connect design teams, both inside their companies and externally through key suppliers around the world. We then helped them fi gure out how do they leverage that upstream digital model and product defi ni- tion into downstream processes, whether that be manufactur-


“The ability to quickly build augmented-reality-based applications is enabling a whole new realm of experiences, with exciting potential for how people interact with the physical and the digital world.”


ing or fi eld service. What we saw as far back as fi ve years ago is that there was a trend toward value shifting from mechanical to software, sort of embedded to the cloud, through this early stage evolution around the Internet of Things. Products were becoming smart and they were becoming connected. In some of the areas that we had branched into, such as service of products in the fi eld, it became very apparent that the idea of PLM extended beyond manufacturing a product and when that product rolled out of the factory; now these products were live and forever connected. The products had the kind of information one could glean from them to better service them to avoid unnecessary recalls, and to understand how the customer was using those products really became an obvious opportunity for our customers—in fact, so much so that the design of products itself are evolving from the physical


Divisional VP and General Manager, IoT Manufacturing Solutions PTC (Needham, MA) www.ptc.com


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