Category Archives: Product

Updates from Siemens

What is enterprise PLM? The answer is today’s Teamcenter.
By Margaret Furleigh – As Teamcenter has evolved as the world’s most widely used enterprise PLM software, the challenge has been to explain in simple terms the enormity and complexity of what Teamcenter can do to transform businesses … and help companies become more agile and adapt to disruptions, whether caused by changing technology, regulations, markets or competition.

If you’re a PLM user, where are you in your PLM journey? Are you primarily focused on product data management (PDM), controlling your designs, documents, BOMs and processes … or have you grown from PDM to reach more people, beyond functional boundaries, or outside your company to suppliers, partners or customers? Maybe you’ve extended from product development to manufacturing and service, or brought in requirements and program management. Are you using PLM to transform the way your business manages product costs, quality, safety, reliability, or sustainabilty? more>

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Updates from Ciena

Standards Update: 200GbE, 400GbE and Beyond with Pete Anslow – “Live” from Geneva
By Helen Xenos, Pete Anslow – IEEE 802.3bs defines the technical specifications to support MAC or Ethernet data rates of 200Gb/s and 400Gb/s – double and four times the capacity of Ethernet rates today – that can operate at distances to meet the requirements for most applications. The objective of the project is to define specifications that will enable multi-vendor interop, using appropriate technologies that will meet the performance and cost points required by the industry. Cost will be a function of volume and yield of components, so we aim to use existing components and technologies that can be supplied by multiple vendors.

The IEEE 802.3bs project defines physical layer specifications for operation over 100m (400GBASE-SR16), 500m (200GBASE-DR4 and 400GBASE-DR4), 2km (200GBASE-FR4 and 400GBASE-FR8), and 10km (200GBASE-LR4 and 400GBASE-LR8) distances.

The most popular formats to meet the majority of core router to transport distance requirements are the 2km and 10km devices.

While the per lane technology for 100GbE used 25Gbps NRZ signaling, we are now using PAM4 signaling for most of the new electrical and optical interface specifications. PAM4 stands for Pulse Amplitude Modulation with the “4” indicating 4 levels of modulation. 50G PAM4 requires a more sophisticated receiver design but allows for the doubling of capacity per lane while reusing existing high volume, reliable electro-optics. The signal operates at a symbol rate of 25GBaud (speed of the electro-optics), but carries 2 bits per symbol, thus doubling the capacity (50G per lane). more>

When exponential innovation meets the infancy of “Industry X.0”


Accenture – With everything from agriculture to aeronautics in the midst of paradigm shift, a cautious approach to adopting new technologies simply can’t keep pace.

Nor will adopting just one innovation suffice. Effective adaptation almost always involves a combination of innovations working together: a dash of machine learning here, a sprinkle of automation there.

As Accenture Chief Strategy Officer Omar Abbosh describes: “You’re combining a series of innovations, one on the back of the next, to do something fundamentally different… You’ve all heard about Big Data and artificial intelligence and internet of things… They are all very meaningful in their own right, but when they come together they can have a massive impact on business and society.”

The benefits of combination abound. For example, amalgamating just five technologies—autonomous robots, AI, 3D printing, big data, and blockchain—could save industrial-equipment companies a total of $1.6 billion. more>

Updates from Boeing

Unlocking the Future of Flying
Boeing – Boeing is accelerating breakthrough advancements in autonomous air travel.

It recently completed initial flight tests of an electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) unmanned cargo aerial vehicle (CAV) prototype. The innovative platform is designed to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.

In less than three months, Boeing engineers designed and built the CAV prototype, which stands four feet off the ground, measures 15 by 18 feet and weighs more than 700 pounds. It is outfitted with eight counter-rotating propeller blades and custom Boeing batteries that allow for vertical flight. more>

Updates from Ciena

Retail Digitization… Friend or Foe?
By Brian Lavallée – The retail industry is one of the most competitive industries today, placing enormous pressure on the retailers who are continually striving to reinvent, reinvigorate, and rejuvenate their position with buyers, who are more informed than ever due to readily available online resources, long before they enter a brick and mortar store.

The same assets that consumers use to become increasingly informed can and are also being leveraged by retailers to best become the store of choice to sell their products – networks and data analytics.

The wealth of readily available and free online resources allows customers to perform advanced reconnaissance by researching product specifications, product field performance, as well as comparative product analysis pricing, performance, warranty, and user experience. This means that consumers are extremely informed before they purchase a product and often more so than the salesperson.

In short, the digital transformation has forever reshaped customer behavior and the shopping experience, which means retailers must change to this new shopping environment often by leveraging the very same tools that created the shopping ninja – networks and analytics – which allow retailers to create the required digital shopping experience that today’s consumers want and need. more>

Updates from Siemens

2017 in Review: Best Teamcenter Topics on Enterprise PDM to PLM
By Katie_Dudek – If you’ve been watching the Teamcenter blog, you know we covered a range of topics from enterprise PDM (product data management) to PLM (product lifecycle management) in 2017, with a focus on showing how Teamcenter is easier to use and deploy than ever before … along with the breadth of our portfolio to reach new users!

Best Practices Implementing Workflow
By Susan Zimmerlee – Companies look to workflow on PLM as one of the tools to improve productivity, let’s discuss some best practices that will help ensure that you are focusing on this end goal, and not just making a manual process electronic. more>

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Updates from GE

The Fix Is In: AI Is Solving The Riddle Of Smarter, Faster Maintenance
By P.D. Olson – It might seem like a cushy job to be the man or woman who works out of the carpeted offices of a power plant, coordinating field service crews who traipse out into the elements to fix, say, an idled wind turbine. But it’s far from elementary. “It’s still a judgment call,” says Scott Berg, chief operating officer of ServiceMax from GE Digital. “Dispatchers probably can’t consider all the historic factors and track record of the individual. Your ability to dispatch might be dependent on your personal knowledge of 20 people.”

But starting this year, artificial intelligence will help make some of those decisions less complex. “We call it intelligent dispatching,” Berg says.

ServiceMax leads the global industry of field service management software — an estimated $25 billion market worldwide. The ServiceMax research team is now developing algorithms that will help dispatchers pick the right repair person by scanning each individual’s work history and predicting which technician would be the quickest and most reliable at a particular task.

The new AI-driven suggestions will offer details that most people wouldn’t be able to remember, never mind calculate together with all the other parameters to consider, such as a field worker’s skill set, time available and distance to the site. “We’re running a proof of concept now,” Berg says. more>

Updates from Ciena

Year in Review: Ciena’s Top 8 Announcements of 2017
By Bo Gowan – We started off the year in January with a new member of our Blue Planet family: Blue Planet Analytics. Built for the new world of Big Data, Blue Planet Analytics generates deep network insights to help network operators make smarter, data-driven business decisions.

Paired with Blue Planet’s orchestration and policy systems, Blue Planet Analytics helps operators to continue on the path to a more autonomous network and is a strategic evolution of Ciena’s Blue Planet software suite.

Following shortly after our Blue Planet Analytics news was the unveiling of a much anticipated Blue Planet offering: Manage, Control and Plan (MCP).

MCP brings together all aspects of network operations within a single, unified interface, providing customers real-time software control and advanced visualization across Ciena’s packet and packet optical portfolios. For our existing packet and optical customers, Blue Planet MCP is a new way of managing their network. more>

Intel flaws hint at tech “too big to fail” risk

By Liam Proud, Robert Cyran – Tech groups like Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet are attracting increasing political heat for their dominance of markets like e-commerce, social media and web search.

But a recently discovered security flaw in chips made by Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and ARM highlights another important concern: bugs potentially affecting hardware found in the majority of computing devices.

Scale helps justify the massive investment needed to develop improved semiconductor technology and produce chips. Intel last year said it would spend $7 billion on a U.S. factory, and it had already started building the facility years ago. The dominance of a few players also helps ensure compatibility between machines. The downside is that hardware flaws like the newly revealed Meltdown and Spectre affect a huge number of users and could become systemic.

It’s an analogous problem to vulnerabilities in the once-dominant Microsoft Windows operating system – or, in the agricultural world, to a disease affecting widely used crop variety, like the preponderant but under-threat Cavendish banana.a more>

Updates from GE

Fired Up: GE Successfully Tested Its Advanced Turboprop Engine With 3D-Printed Parts
By Tomas Kellner – Stephen Erickson normally works at a GE Aviation plant in Lynn, Massachusetts. But in September, he moved to Prague on a special assignment: getting GE’s first 3D-printed commercial aircraft engine ready for its inaugural test, and then firing it up for the very first time. Last week, Erickson was in his element, attaching the final sensors to the engine, called Advanced Turboprop, or ATP. He worked methodically inside a bunkerlike test cell located on the snowy outskirts of the Czech capital. “There is no engine like it in the world,” Erickson said.

The engine passed the first test just before Christmas. “This is a pivotal moment,” says Paul Corkery, general manager of the Advanced Turboprop program. “We now have a working engine. We are moving from design and development to the next phase of the program, ending with certification.”

Some 400 GE designers, engineers and materials experts in the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Poland, the U.S. and elsewhere spent the last two years developing the engine. More than a third of the ATP is 3D-printed from advanced alloys.

3D printing and dozens of other new technologies used for the first time in a civilian turboprop engine allowed the team to combine 855 separate components into just 12, shave off more than 100 pounds in weight, improve fuel burn by as much as 20 percent, give it 10 percent more power and simplify maintenance. “This engine is a game changer,” Corkery says. more>