Daimler project PLM2015 will be completed by the second quarter 2015
One of the major change projects in industrial IT runs better than planned
On a TecDayPLM on April 29 the technical press was given insight into the PLM2015 project. With PLM2015 Daimler moves with 6,000 users from CATIA ( provider Dassault Systèmes) to NX ( provider Siemens PLM Software). Dr. Michael Gorriz, CIO Daimler, and Dr. Peyman Merat, head of PLM2015 project, presented the motivations for the board decision and the status of the project.
In November 2010, the management board of Daimler AG decided to switch from Catia to NX. Dr. Michael Gorriz (Photo Sendler) explained the alternatives that were under discussion before a pending change from CATIA V5 to CATIA V6. The use of CAD can, as Dr. Gorriz said, only be seen in close connection with PLM. For Daimler, the system SMARAGD is in use, which was customized on the basis of a previous version of Teamcenter (provider Siemens PLM Software) to a company-specific solution that enables the manufacturer today, to have access in all processes of development and production worldwide and at any time on the same current data.
(Photo: Daimler AG)
When moving from CATIA V5 to V6 Daimler saw itself now faced with the choice either to change the CAD system, because SMARAGD would not be adequately supported by V6, or to exchange SMARAGD by ENOVIA (provider Dassault), but which did not support the processes of Daimler in a comparable way. Thereupon, the board decided to move from CATIA to NX and in the next step from SMARAGD to Teamcenter.
Even if the move in CAD is not as critical as in PLM, PLM2015 is obviously one of the largest IT change projects, that there has been in the industry. About 6,000 users change their main tool and must be trained and supported in the new one. Tremendous amounts of old data must be transferred to the new data format. And last but not least the suppliers of Daimler have to endorse the change.
Dr. Merat (Photo Sendler) and his colleagues in the project as well as colleagues from Siemens presented at different booths, how far the project has progressed, to which extent the data migration is fulfilled, and what kind of consequences the change has for the work of the Daimler engineers. With more than 3,000 users already more than half has received their training in NX, which is divided into 33 application-specific training modules and for which currently 61 trainers were certified. In addition, there are web-learning documents in German and English. Five educational service providers are licensed for the training of suppliers. Nearly 1,000 users from 574 partner companies have been taught in supplier meetings on the status of the project.
(Photo : Daimler AG)
Daimler is cooperating in this project very closely with Siemens, which was underlined, among other things by a joint appearance by Professor Siegfried Russwurm and Dr. Dieter Zetsche at an annual kick-off meeting of the project in 2014.
The recent releases of NX meet, according to Dr. Merat, already most of the wishes of the automaker, who is one of the fastest, according to Siemens, in implementing new versions. At the same time, according to Dr. Gorriz, they both learn from each other. There were also things that Siemens explained to the Daimler project team, which in turn would contribute to improvement of Daimler’s action.
( Photos Sendler )
At one booth, Daimler engineers using the example of a car-seat, demonstrated the possibilities for kinematics simulation in NX, which went far beyond the possibilities known from CATIA.
And Siemens colleagues showed using the example of a motor housing that Daimler-specific requirements on the dimensioning and on the drawings, sometimes still required for subsequent processes, can be fulfilled with NX. Drawings can be derived automatically from the 3D model derived and conversely the dimensions can be shown at the 3D model.
Questions on possible similar tool changes at competitors among German carmakers Dr. Gorriz did not answer. However, he stressed that one of the foundations for the success of the project is the fact that Daimler had all CAD models archived for several years in the neutral JT format in parallel with the native format. This now leads to the fact that a big number of the original models do not need to be converted to NX as a post-processing based on JT is possible.
In the Q&A session Dr. Gorriz left no doubt that PLM2015 is implemented as planned. Whereby the originally planned timeline (end of 2015) was in several iteration steps considerably reduced : "In the second quarter of 2015, we want to be finished with the project." Dr. Gorriz continued: "We are right on schedule and have strong support from our software supplier. We are well equipped with the new design and product data software for the future. For us, this project is more than just a system conversion – we take the opportunity to bring all the engineering processes on the most modern state of the automotive industry." The next step will be to switch from SMARAGD to Teamcenter. But in this point there were no details and no timetable.