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ProSTEP iViP Symposium - Focus on the Internet of Things and Digital Manufacturing

May - Darmstadt - The ProSTEP iViP Symposium breaks all records. This year, over 550 participants from 19 countries met at the International Congress Center Stuttgart (ICS) to learn about the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on digital product development and engage with other current topics such as digital manufacturing. This year’s symposium saw more visitors than ever before in its 18-year history. In addition, an all-time record of 33 PLM providers presented their products and services at the accompanying exhibition.

The schedule of the two-day event, which focused on the theme of ‘smart engineering,’ was filled with an interesting range of events, including around 50 keynote addresses, lectures, and workshops.  According to Dr. Steven Vettermann, CEO of the ProSTEP iViP Association, the success of the event was largely a product of its concept, which was aimed at presenting solutions for current challenges in the area of virtual product creation while addressing future ideas such as systems engineering and digital manufacturing.

In addition to serving as an informational meeting, this traditional ‘family gathering’ of IT specialists from the automotive and aeronautics industry offered plenty of opportunity for attendees to network with one another and build business relationships. It came as some surprise to see so many new faces among the participants; over half of the visitors were attending the symposium for the first time. The event was a true success for its organizers, who aimed to address new topics, new industries, and new markets in order to increase the event’s appeal. Thanks to targeted advertising initiatives, this year’s event drew far more visitors from abroad.

One of the new topics on the agenda included digital manufacturing, which can be understood as a closed information cycle between product development, digital factory planning, and production. The association commissioned its own study on the subject and presented its findings at the symposium. As Dr. Oliver Riedel from Audi AG, the association’s Chairman of the Executive Board, explains, the goal of digital manufacturing is to improve quality in the production planning process and to speed up the start of production. Digital manufacturing is a major pillar of Industry 4.0, or the intelligent cross-linking of machines, systems, and productions systems via the IoT.

This year’s symposium was dedicated to the IoT and to questions regarding the impact of the development of smart cross-linked systems on company business models, existing development tools, and employee working environments. Keynote speaker Prof. Alexander Verl from Fraunhofer IPA pointed out that unlike the industrial revolutions of the past, this cross-linking of the ‘Brave New Working World’ also poses a threat to white-collar professions.

The event featured a number of user lectures which demonstrated that while model-based systems engineering is gradually working its way into business practice, companies still have a long way to go. This topic is guaranteed to reappear in next year’s symposium. Another hot topic at this year’s event was the faithful old BOM. While PLM expert Oleg Shilovitsky advocated for a ‘single BOM’ in his keynote, the experts at Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer and Belgian manufacturer of special semitrailers Faymonville illustrated the advantages of their multi-BOM approach.

The symposium was sponsored by IT provider IBM and industry partner Bosch. In his keynote address, Dr. Matthias Klauda from Robert Bosch GmbH explained to participants how vehicles and the environment can be cross-linked to make parking – and searching for a parking spot – a thing of the past. He also spoke about the new requirements for the E/E architecture of the vehicles and IT security that arise from this cross-linking process. Bret Greenstein of the IBM Software Group focused on his company’s IoT strategy and in the importance of open systems for the cross-linked future, and in his concluding keynote address, Dr. Siegmar Haasis from Daimler AG championed the cause of standardization. Without open standards, we will no longer be able to manage the complexity of product development and manufacturing processes with multiple partners scattered all over the world.

Daimler and Accenture are set to sponsor next year’s symposium, which will be held from 20-21 April 2016 back at the ICS in Stuttgart.


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