Product Life live (PLL) event ends


The sixth Product Life live (PLL) was held at the end of September in Stuttgart. As now announced by the event organizer Mesago Messe Frankfurt on its own homepage, this will be the last time: “Given the considerably changed market situation, we have decided to no longer organize the “Product Life live” event and to remove it from our program.”  It could, however, continue without Mesago.

In fact, the event was not particularly credible in either 2010 or 2011. The stagnating numbers (according to information supplied by the organizer around 150 in 2010 and 2011) and an almost unchanging visitor community did not become more attractive to IT suppliers, and therefore the number of companies represented in the accompanying exhibition also stagnated. PLL should actually have taken place in the spring of 2011. Shifting it to the fall brought no noteworthy change. Even holding it for the first time in the new Stuttgart trade fair venue at the same time as the DMS (document management) and IT & Business events proved to be of no help.

tl_files/plm/img/Nachrichten/PLL.jpgThe concept of being “a user-oriented and neutral knowledge exchange platform for congress participants, consultants, exhibitors and visitors on the subject of product data management and product lifecycle management” made the claim of being an event organized by users for users.

The reason for terminating PLL, given as the changed market situation, is incomprehensible. On the contrary, all concerned, even CIOs, have in recent years expressed themselves positively on the subject of PLM, including when at PLL; investments everywhere are shifting from ERP to PLM.

PLM itself is changing, going in the direction of mobile use and cloud computing and in addition to purely mechanical construction departments, PLM increasingly encompasses almost all technical areas. Across the board, the use of PLM now covers the entire product lifecycle.

It is possible that the PLL Professional Committee, chaired by Professor Abramovici, has not been successful enough in modifying the concept to meet the current needs of PLM users and providers. The basic idea of having a neutral event for PLM is not wrong, as one can see from the ProSTEP iViP Symposium, which has been very successful in recent years. 450 participants from 13 countries in 2011 is the latest record. Behind the symposia, however, is an association in which from the beginning three groups have been active: Research and Education, IT suppliers and user industries. With such a broad set up, even events aimed more at specific sectors can be successful.

Would perhaps the key to the success of PLL lie in a similar structure? One in which a partnership with a Society or Association could be of advantage to the members of the congress? Perhaps the event should also be more open to suppliers of services and IT and for topics originating from outside the mechanics discipline.  Professor Abramovici and the PLL Professional Committee are in any case considering continuing – even without Mesago.

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