PTC Forum Europe - half real, half online
With a good 1,800 participants in the ICS Stuttgart and a roughly equal number of online transmissions of the keynote and four other lectures, the PTC Forum Europe was an expression of change: the upheaval in industry through comprehensive digitalization; and the upheaval in the IT industry, which wants to pave the way there for their customers. From "IoT is PLM" last year to "Digital Engineering Journey" today.
AR-demo during the keynote (photo Sendler)
Absolutely in the foreground was the digital transformation of the industry - in addition to the introduction of the new version Creo 4.0 of the CAD system and numerous product innovations with the PLM system Windchill and other software products. The extensive exhibition with demos of PTC solutions and applications by customers and over 30 partners was at least as important to the visitors as the approximately 40 lectures, partly in three parallel sessions. The slight decline in the number of participants compared to the LiveWorx event 2015 (2,500) is more than weakened by the online participation, which was first offered and abundantly used.
An important highlight was the PTC Navigate, introduced only last year. The system is intended to link all the data that any company employee needs anywhere in the world, and that is specific to the employee's roll. It has been installed 70,000 times within nine months. It combines PLM and ALM with ERP and CRM, without changing the data and not taking care about the manufacturer of the system with which the data was generated and stored.
With Vuforia, PTC had adopted a leading AR system. Now it is becoming a link between digital and real product world. During the keynote, the audience could see how the raw scaffolding of an electric car standing on stage was virtually covered with the possible cover of the finished model. At many booths, there were examples of how a digital model was brought to life via mobile devices and apparently placed in the room.
A typical customer example (photos Sendler): The GCE group has used ThingWorx to connect the portable oxygen concentrator Zen-O, with which patients with respiratory disorders organize their oxygen therapy. Data about function, battery status and other are thus accessed from everywhere. Well protected against hackers. Two weeks PTC partner InVMA needed for a prototype. After two months, the product was connected.
Integration of Kepware and Coldlight with ThingWorx and Creo and Windchill - PTC sets a remarkable pace on the way to closed loop lifecycle management. The IT provider wants to help its customers to improve their product development via real-world data, to develop connected products and ultimately new business models for the Internet of things. In Stuttgart it looked as if the customers would go faster this way than one might have thought a year or two ago.