Mustard, Microscope, __? Submit the Best PLM Metaphor and Win a Prize

By Derek


The inaugural Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference (lovingly referred to here and on Twitter as #DSCC09) spent quite a bit of time illuminating just “What is PLM?”

You’d think a 600 person conference on PLM by the leader in the space (yes, contradictory claims/flames to derek.lane[at], please) wouldn’t need to focus on just what is PLM. Everybody there already knows what it is, otherwise they wouldn’t be there, right?

Well, yes. But there’s still a reason for the focus.

Day Two of DSCC opened with a Jaywalking-style Man on the Street video asking Orlandonians “Do you know what PLM is?” As Fabien Fedida, director of global offer strategy, stated in the video below, each and every attendee is part of (perhaps) the best kept secret in the world (except for that whole Da Vinci Code thing, of course!).

YouTube Preview Image

While the passers-by didn’t realize it, PLM impacts nearly everything in their lives, from their cars, to their phones, to the shirts and shoes they wear. As part of the communications team, I’m constantly wondering, how can I best explain PLM not only to such passers-by, but also to more savvy individuals?

Is it the spicy mustard of collaboration that holds the ham & cheese sandwich of product development together, as Josh Mings of SolidSmack put it?

Josh spicy mustard on Twitter

Or is it the strategic electron microscope that brings the complex, interlocking molecules of product development into focus?

348px-Ernst_Ruska_Electron_Microscope_-_Deutsches_Museum_-_Munich-editSuch analogies are useful explanatory techniques, but they are reflective of something much more important. How we describe things (dare I say, “visualize” things?) determines how we think about them.

Analogizing PLM and describing it goes straight to the heart of an executive’s own mental processes, or a company’s own philosophical and strategic perspectives on product development.

How a company thinks about PLM determines how they implement it, what they expect from it, and how it changes their company’s innovation processes. This is the Observer Effect in action.

As a customer was overheard saying to a senior DS executive at DSCC,

I don’t care if my V6 project works perfectly or not. What I care about is how [PLM 2.0] will alter my guys’ thinking about creating, innovating, and collaborating. It will shift an engineering mindset to a broader innovation mindset.

Let’s keep asking ourselves, “What is PLM?” Let’s talk about how we perceive PLM, how we describe it. In the long run, it will shape how PLM works.


© BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

For the record, if we have to go with a food metaphor, I don’t think it’s spicy mustard. Too limiting.

PLM is the entire chicken sandwich of product development, with a dash of collaborative (spicy) mustard and mayo slathered all over the CAD chicken, digital manufacturing tomatoes and FEA lettuce, plus the all important consumer-experience wheat bread.

So, spicy mustard? Electron microscope? Chicken sandwich? Take our poll below and then submit your own PLM metaphors in the comments section. In addition to PLM fame, the winning metaphor gets you a personalized t-shirt boasting the metaphor. Be sure to wear it to the next DSCC! (Spicy mustard and electron microscope ideas excluded. Sorry, Josh!)



P.S. Don’t forget to submit your metaphors in the comments section below!

Derek Lane is PR manager for Dassault Systèmes Americas. Derek Lane

The Personal Touch

By Michael


Are you aware how effective it is to have an identifying emblem directly applied on a product? Did you ever ask yourself how a company manages to establish brand awareness by slipping the product name or logo into your subconscious?

You recognize it / you touch it / you feel it / you eat it … you internalize it!

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However, everyone who ever tried to “sign” a 3D model by applying a name, a phrase or a logo probably became aware that this is not a straight-forward task, as it must be done by modeling every detail as 3D volume. This can get quite tedious and time-consuming.

Now, in my discovery series of world wonders and Dassault Systèmes partner solutions, I’d like to present a company called VISION NUMERIC with their CAAV5 product “Type3”. What this sleek application does can be compared with an Office Word editor – but this time you can write in three dimensions onto a structured surface.

Type3 runs within CATIA and will merge any text or graphics with the 3D CAD model. Afterwards this application can be patterned and colored. And its geometries can still be adapted to respond to change requests.


Sounds logical? Yes it does. And the benefits are obvious too: efficiency gains with Type3 and CATIA are reported to quantum-leap the traditional way of virtually chiseling into the surface. Practical it is.


Personalizing your 3D model has never been easier. I wonder: is there a reason not to use Type3?

To start online, find detailed information and specifications regarding Type3 on the PLM MarketPlace. For the records: Vision numeric is headquartered in France with global representations and resellers, to support your PLM project needs locally. Philippe Blache is your focal point to get in touch.

This ends today’s report of DS Partners’ applications. I hope that you have been touched.

Best, Michael

Sunshine Hearts C-Pulse Enters U.S. Clinical Trial

By Tim

The C-Pulse, an innovative heart pump designed by Sunshine Heart with the help of Abaqus FEA software from SIMULIA, has entered into a U.S. Feasibility study. YouTube Preview Image

The goal of the trial is to enroll 20 patients at 6 clinical sites. Dr. William Abraham of Ohio State University and Dr. Patrick McCarthy of Northwestern University Medical Center are the national co-lead principal investigators. Trial locations and eligibility requirements can be found here.

In my previous post on simulating devices and treatment for the human heart, How Do You Mend a Broken Heart , I mentioned how Sunshine Heart’s life saving heart pump is intended to be used in patients with moderate heart failure as an alternative to open heart surgery.

The heart pump can be implanted in a patient in a one-hour operation with no blood contact, which offers the potential of lower complications and costs. The decreased risks make the C-Pulse available to a larger group of patients.

You can view the U.S. news casts with patient testimonials and learn more about the how the pump works at Sunshine Heart’s website.



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