Darmstadt – 24 May 2018 – Manufacturing companies have to establish closer links between development and manufacturing, if they want to master the challenge of digital transformation. This was one of the key messages at the prostep ivip Symposium 2018, which took place under the motto „Boosting Digital Realities in Engineering and Manufacturing“ this year. With 700 participants from 21 countries the largest meeting of experts and executives from the PLM environment registered a new visitor record – what was probably the best gift to the association, celebrating its 25-year anniversary on the evening just prior to the big event at the premises of the BMW Classic Group. The symposium itself was held at the MOC Conference Center in Munich, accompanied by an exhibition where 36 enterprises from the PLM industry showcased their products and services. Again, another record turnout.
Digitalization and integration will be inevitable. They will dematerialize entire value chains and undermine the business models building upon them, stated the „digital Darwinist“ Karl-Heinz Land in his keynote. Digital Darwinism occurs, if technology and society are changing more quickly than companies are able to adapt. Only companies that manage to keep pace with the digital transformation will survive.
Agility is therefore one of the core demands for corporate IT. It is no coincidence that the BMW Group, industry sponsor of this year’s symposium, wants to become 100% agile in the course of implementing its IT strategy. In the future, there will be one common strategy for the IT in vehicles and in the backend. The walls between IT development (Dev) and operation (Ops) will be torn down, said CIO Klaus Straub. Nevertheless, it will take a few years to become completely agile, because processes, structures, cultures and technologies have to change.
Because of their high degree of perseverance, Germans do have difficulties with disruptive change, stated Kurt Bengel, CEO of system provider CENIT. CENIT sponsored the symposium together with BMW. In his keynote Mr. Bengel talked about the autonomy of people in the digital age and suggested that people will not fail due to a lack of state-of-the art technology but rather due to a lack of consensus on their usage. He recommended that companies must adopt procedures for the ongoing assessment of emerging technologies, in order to proactively shape the digital future.
Armin Hoffacker, newly elected chairman of the association, emphasized that prostep ivip has always focused on digital transformation, but that the issues have changed over time. While the focus was on the development and introduction of the STEP standard in the beginning, it shifted towards the digitalization of processes after the merger with the iViP lead project for integrated virtual product creation. Without this important step we would not be talking about Digital Twin or Digital Manufacturing, said Dr. Steven Vettermann, former General Manager of prostep ivip. During the anniversary celebration, he and other long-time companions recognized the success story of the association, which was founded in 1993 and today counts worldwide 180 member companies and 19 partner organizations.
The association, however, not only reminisced about its history but also looked into the future. General Manager Dr. Alain Pfouga stressed the declared goal to open the path for new topics and circles of users and to further expand internationalization. Some of the new topics, e.g. the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the PLM context, have already found their way onto the agenda; familiar topics like the (Model Based) Systems Engineering and current standardization projects took an even broader part of the work this year. Great attention was paid to the accredited certification program for the Code of PLM Openness (CPO). It will secure sustainability of the initiative for more PLM openness, said Dr. Dietmar Trippner, one of the initiators of the CPO.
One of the most important topics at this year’s symposium was the digitization of manufacturing and the importance of the digital twin for the linkage between digital and real factory and the integrated development of product and production systems. Volkswagen expects significant rationalization effects from the usage of the digital twin for monitoring and optimizing production facilities, such as more robust processes, better quality, time savings and error prevention, said Dirk Voigt from Volkswagen AG.
The value added in the automobile industry is more and more shifting towards the system providers. There still is a lack of suitable solutions for a fast and reliable synchronization of the distributed development and change processes. Dirk Spindler, responsible for R&D Processes Methods & Tools at automotive supplier Schaeffler, explained how change management could be validated with the help of blockchain technology in a partner network without central authority. More on this topic at the next prostep ivip Symposium, which will be held on April 9/10, 2019 at the ICS in Stuttgart.
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