PLM 2015 well into implementation at Daimler
Daimler surprised the PLM community in November 2010 with a strategic decision on CAD applications – namely to switch from CATIA (Dassault Systèmes) to NX (Siemens PLM Software). The ambitious plan to implement the first products with NX by 2012 appears to be well underway. This was revealed in a discussion with the PLM 2015 Project Manager, Dr. Peyman Merat (pcture). The interview is to be read in VDI-Nachrichten.
In 2011 Daimler already began to modify existing methods and toolkits to operate on the basis of NX. Over 150 application scenarios were defined, covering the requirements of various domains such as the body shell, chassis, interior/exterior, overall vehicle, electro-technical/electronics and drive train operations, taking into account the individual needs of each division. “We use as many methods as possible from our current methods toolbox” explains Dr. Merat. “For example, we will also have a ‘Start Part’ that, by the way, in the course of preparation for over 10 different versions of CATIA, has been standardized to one single Daimler-wide version for NX. The move away from CATIA and towards NX is in full swing and the first production pilot will now take place at the beginning of 2012 in the Car division.”
A migration tool has been developed together with Siemens to permit the CATIA parametric data to be converted to NX with as little loss as possible. The data migration itself will be carried out by Mercedes-Benz Research and Development (MBRDI) in India.
To give the maximum amount of support to users who are changing their most important IT tool , a modular training concept is being set up, consisting of individual building blocks that can be combined to deal with the specific application case. In the periods between the training modules, intensive on-site ‘training-on-the-job’ support is given.
(With NX created parts for validation of methods and preparation of roll-out, example body shell, source: Daimler)
All preparations, such as the methods and toolkits and the interface between Smaragd and NX, are now being speedily concluded so that in the summer of 2012 the first product projects utilizing NX can begin at Mercedes-Benz Cars and in parallel at VAN and the Truck drive train operation. The conclusion of the changeover is fixed for the end of 2015 for Mercedes-Benz Cars and VAN. The Truck and Bus divisions will complete their changeover by the end of 2016.
Daimler expects NX data to be delivered soon
Daimler expects that following the introduction of NX, engineering services suppliers and general contractors will deliver their CAD data for the corresponding model ranges in the future NX process format in compliance with Daimler CAD methods and standards. Dr. Merat notes that “many suppliers already work with NX today and have signaled their ability to deliver NX models now. Suppliers who do not yet use NX should employ the time between the present there and the introduction in getting up to speed on this. We are, moreover, pressing ahead with our JT strategy. In certain cases (depending on the internal process criteria) we are prepared to accept JT data as the primary data format. This is currently being trialed in pilot projects with selected suppliers.”
Regular newsletters provide up-to-date information on the changeover. In February 2012 training commenced for service providers, who are subsequently certified by Daimler and are capable of training suppliers on Daimler methods adapted to NX. For its part, Siemens PLM Software offers a program for early adopters.
Complete changeover in two steps
The current Smaragd PDM system is already running on the basis of Teamcenter Enterprise. For the changeover of the entire Engineering IT environment, Daimler has chosen a two-step procedure. In the first step, NX is introduced in its entirety. To ensure that the process stays stable, the PDM system will initially largely remain unchanged. The second step will involve the next generation of Smaragd. In preparation for this, individual pilots will be run to safeguard the processes involved. The first project will be the successive introduction of NX and Teamcenter Unified Architecture (TCUA) into the Drive Train operation in 2012.
The cooperation with Siemens PLM Software, which had already functioned well in the previous project, is, according to Dr. Merat, “an intensive and cooperative partnership with mutual respect and a highly-focused approach. With Siemens PLM we have a partner who recognizes, addresses and implements our process requirements very quickly.” The next NX versions take into account the Daimler requirements and have, in accordance with the PLM 2015 milestones, fixed dates for the changeover.