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Online and even more Content

Darmstadt, June 2021 - Due to Corona, the prostep ivip Symposium 2021 again took place in front of the screen. Instead, the association attracted with even more digital content. The two-day live event with inspiring keynotes and presentations on the challenges of digital transformation was supplemented by a digital platform with an on-demand library of more than 60 contributions on trend topics such as Digital Twin, Digital Thread or Artificial Intelligence, which participants can still view until June 30. They also have the opportunity to get in touch with speakers or other participants. 

This year, the symposium was supported by more than 20 virtual exhibitors. The main sponsors were aircraft manufacturer Airbus and PLM manufacturer Dassault Systèmes, who presented their vision of the digital future in the introductory keynotes. One of the megatrends in the aviation industry, in addition to autonomous flying, is the avoidance of pollutant emissions, as Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus, emphasized. The aircraft manufacturer aims to launch the first zero-emission aircraft powered by hydrogen by 2035.

To shape the zero-emission future, Airbus has launched an ambitious change program for the end-to-end digitization of design, manufacturing and service (DDMS), whose IT foundation is Dassault Systèmes' 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It enables companies to reinvent their products, services and processes and to create disruptive innovations, said Oliver Ribet, executive vice president EMEAR at the PLM vendor.

There is a close connection between product and process innovations, as Thomas Kamla, Senior Director Compliance and Process Management at Volkswagen AG, made clear in his keynote address. The classic tools and methods of product development are not keeping pace with the growing complexity of products, which is why the car manufacturer has decided to implement function-oriented system engineering. However, this paradigm shift also requires developers to rethink and collaborate in a different way, Kamla said.

Volkswagen's keynote was one of numerous presentations that focused on systems engineering. In addition, Digital Twin and Digital Thread were again at the top of the symposium agenda this year. Prof. Dr. Martin Eigner (EIGNER Engineering Consult) explained the basics of the Digital Twin concept to the participants. In essence, he said, it is dictated by the as-built BOM, but then slimmed down and extended in terms of information technology. The concept is not only relevant for the manufacturing industry, but also for logistics companies that want to optimize their customers' supply chains, for example, as Bernd Schwenger (LGI Logistics Group International) explained.

The new symposium concept was very well received by the PLM community: Around 650 participants from all over the world followed the world's largest, manufacturer-independent PLM forum, which this year had the motto "Future Driven by Digital Value Creation". At the start of the virtual event, which was broadcast live from the ICS in Stuttgart, the Executive Board explained how the association intends to position itself in the future in order to provide its members with even greater support in managing the digital transformation. One of the strategic fields of action for digital value creation is software in products, said board member Philipp Wibbing.

Products are becoming smarter and smarter and are collecting vast amounts of data, but this data is not yet being used efficiently. Europe in particular is lagging behind the USA and China, and the European Commission wants to make up for this through shared data spaces run by trusted partners. Prof. Dr. Reinhold Achatz, Chairman of the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), explained in his keynote speech how these data spaces work. They offer all participants equal opportunities to share in the value of the data. Up to now, it has mostly only been the platform operators who have benefited.

Federico Julian Camerota Verdù

Scientific Award Winner 2021 - prostep ivip Association

Dr. Atif Mahboob

Scientific Award Winner 2021 - prostep ivip Association

Dr. Steven Vettermann

Honorary Member of the prostep ivip Association



Prof. Dr. Oliver Riedel

Honorary Member of the prostep ivip Association

However, the Digital Twin must be linked to the business processes in order to develop added value; without a Digital Thread, it remains an orphan, said Dr. Patrick Müller (CONTACT Software). In the closing keynote, he and Stefan Knauf (Mitsubishi Electric) explained how digital data flows between the store floor and IT can be made more consistent based on the CONTACT Elements platform. Both companies are the main sponsors of the next symposium, which is scheduled to take place again in Stuttgart on June 1 and 2, 2022.

The symposium traditionally serves to inform the members of the association about the progress of the various standardization projects. The participants in the DPDA project, which deals with data preparation for data analysis and AI, have developed a uniform process model for this purpose and defined corresponding use cases together with Daimler and Airbus in order to test the model. The DDP (Digital Data Package) working group is working on a metastandard for the exchange of configured and linked engineering data that makes it possible to maintain digital continuity (digital thread) across company boundaries.

One of the highlights of the symposium this year was once again the presentation of the Scientific Awards to young scientists. The prize for the best doctoral thesis, endowed with 4,000 euros, went to Dr. Atif Mahboob from the Technical University of Ilmenau in Thuringia, whose dissertation dealt with the use of SysML behavior models for the verification of technical products with different VR systems (virtual reality). In addition, the board awards honorary membership to the association's long-time managing director, Dr. Steven Vettermann, and former board spokesman Prof. Dr. Oliver Riedel in recognition of their services to the association and the symposium.

The association's board of directors hopes that the prostep ivip Symposium 2022 can again be held as a presence event. However, the digital platform for the provision of on-demand content is to be retained. "Even if networking was a bit lacking, the positive feedback from the participants shows us that this year's symposium was worthwhile for them," sums up Managing Director Alain Pfouga.


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