2023 EMEA agenda

PLM Road Map & PDT EMEA 2023 | Paris, France | 15 & 16 November

The Digital Thread in a Heterogeneous, Extended Enterprise Reality
A call for PLM Professionals to share their knowledge and experience

Last updated 24/10/2023

Day 1

07:30 – 08:30 | Registration & Continental Breakfast in the PLM Collaboration Café

08:30 – 08:40 | Welcome
Peter Bilello, President, CIMdata & Håkan Kårdén, Director of Marketing, Eurostep

08:40 – 09:20 | Opening Presentation: Digital Thread: Why Should We Care? 
Peter Bilello, President & CEO, CIMdata [Bio]

Like most technology-enabled trends, there tends to be more hype than reality, especially during the early days of study and implementation. So, where are we today when we consider the digital thread? Have digital threads, or perhaps better stated, digital webs, reached their tipping point? Essentially, the digital thread is a chart, or a map, of decisions that look like a web. For some, a web is a more realistic representation of how data and processes are interconnected in enterprises throughout their products’ lifecycles than any other representation. These webs, in concept, need to connect hundreds, thousands, and perhaps millions of information nodes and data repositories, and that is where the value is believed to exist. So, does it? This presentation seeks to understand that question and position the digital thread in the bigger context of CIMdata’s Critical Dozen, which defines 12 critical trends and enablers of successful digital transformation.

09:20 – 10:00 | Keynote Presentation: People, Process & Technology: The Pillars of Digital Transformation Success
Christine McMonagle, Director, Digital Engineering Systems, Textron Systems [Bio]

Change management is pivotal to the success of any modernization initiative within an organization. With multiple generations in the workforce, it is even more critical. Change management must be active, not reactive, and must be applied more broadly than just the management of technology change and modernization. Digital Transformation is an agile process that requires iterative change in people, processes, and technology. Changing the mindsets of an entire organization can be daunting, but it is the most fundamental and impactful pillar of change. Creating a universal movement around a new concept with no universally accepted meaning, one that extends from the executive team to the shop floor employee is critical to Digital Transformation success. In this presentation, we will present the Digital Transformation change management plan developed and executed within Textron. The focus will be on the practical steps, critical success factors, and lessons learned.

10:00 – 10:20 | Sponsor Thought-Leadership Vignettes
Share PLM

10:20 – 10:25 | Summary

10:25 – 10:50 | Networking Break & PLM Collaboration Café

10:50 – 11:20 | The Promise & Reality of the Digital Thread – Insights from Industry Research
James Roche, A&D Practice Director, CIMdata [Bio]

CIMdata, on behalf of the Aerospace & Defense PLM Action Group (AD PAG), recently completed extensive industry research on the digital thread. For this effort, CIMdata and the AD PAG partnered with five PLM solution providers – Aras, Eurostep, Jama Software, PTC, and Siemens Digital Industries Software. The shared objective was to align perspectives on the topic and have a meaningful impact on solution strategies and implementation roadmaps. This presentation offers CIMdata’s perspective on the digital thread: what it is, what drives its value, and how value is effectively realized in practice. Key findings from the industry research will be shared.

11:20 – 11:50 | How to Convince the Business to Implement the Digital Thread 
Darren Nice, Director of Digital Asset Management, BAE Systems Digital Intelligence [Bio]

Drawing on a background of successfully implementing complex international Digital Thread initiatives, from training establishments to Aircraft Carriers, this presentation will show how to successfully unlock the funding and buy-in from businesses now realizing the benefits of the Digital Thread. The key building blocks for a successful and collaborative implementation will be highlighted in this presentation by bringing it all to life, using current examples of the customer benefits and value being delivered in the UK and Internationally using Digital Twins. The outcomes of recent academic research on how to construct the business case for Digital Twin and Thread will also be shared.

11:50 – 12:20 | Learn how LEONI is achieving Digital Continuity in the Automotive Industry 
Tobias Bauer, Head of Product Data Standardization, Global Design Lead, LEONI Bordnetz-Systeme GmbH [Bio]

LEONI is a global provider of products, solutions, and services for energy and data management in the automotive industry based in Germany. LEONI concentrates its research and development work on the automotive industry’s major trends, such as electromobility, autonomous driving, digitalization, and connectivity. Developing next-generation cable solutions and wiring systems requires connectivity from engineering to manufacturing along the digital thread across the extended enterprise. This presentation will describe how the business has implemented sustainable product development processes with PLM software in an agile approach to manage a massive volume of common PLM objects and their variants. These product management processes can handle more than 1,000 changes to a single product annually. The presentation will also explain why LEONI chose Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software with Product Data Management Integration to kick-start its digital continuity journey and build a digital thread. This PLM project is part of a bigger transformation challenge within the company to prepare for the digital future.

12:20 – 12:25 | Summary

12:25 – 13:45 | Networking Lunch & PLM Collaboration Café

13:45 – 14:15 | AI-Powered Collaboration: Revolutionizing the Digital Thread & Digital Twin 
Erdal Tekin, Senior Chief Leader for Digital Transformation, Turkish Aerospace [Bio]

The relationship between the Digital Thread and Digital Twin is symbiotic. The Digital Thread provides the necessary data and information to create and maintain an accurate Digital Twin. Conversely, the Digital Twin feeds back valuable insights and data into the Digital Thread, influencing decisions and improvements across the product lifecycle. The implications of AI in the Digital Thread and Digital Twin are immense. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data generated by the Digital Twin, identifying patterns, anomalies, and optimization opportunities. This enables proactive decision-making, predictive maintenance, and the ability to simulate and test scenarios to optimize product performance and efficiency. This presentation explores the relationship between the Digital Thread and Digital Twin, exploring how AI can augment and enhance this transformative concept. It will include case studies, best practices, and insights on how organizations can leverage AI to unlock the full potential of the Digital Thread and Digital Twin, driving tangible business value and competitive advantage.

14:15 – 14:45 | A&D Industry Digital Twin and Digital Thread Standards
Dr. Robert Rencher, Sr. Systems Engineer, Associate Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company [Bio]

Digital twin and digital thread standards evolved from existing standards developed to address product definition and data management needs before introducing the concepts of digital twin and digital thread. This presentation addresses the availability and use of digital twin and digital thread standards in the aerospace industry. Findings indicate a limited availability of mature digital twin/thread standards, necessitating greater attention from standards organizations that support the A&D industry. This includes the recognition and willingness to address the continuity of the digital twin across the product lifecycle. This presentation shares the A&D PLM Action Group (AD PAG) Digital Twin/Thread project team’s recent findings regarding digital twin and digital thread standards in the aerospace industry. The AD PAG Digital Twin/Digital Thread Definition Framework will be referenced during the presentation to understand digital twin and digital thread standards and their relationship with existing industry standards. The next phase of the project, examining the Digital Twin/Digital Thread Value Proposition, will be introduced.

14:45 – 15:05 | Sponsor Thought-Leadership Vignettes
Contact Software

15:05 – 15:10 | Summary

15:10 – 15:30 | Networking Break & PLM Collaboration Café

15:30 – 16:00 | An A&D Roadmap for Enabling Global Collaboration
Robert Gutwein, Associate Director, PLM Collaboration and Data Exchange, Pratt & Whitney [Bio]

Collaboration among Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and their product design and manufacturing engineering partners and suppliers is key to any major aerospace and defense (A&D) program. Process analysis by the A&D PLM Action Group (AD PAG) has shown that the exchange of product data, such as 3D-MBD, Bill of Materials (BOM), and Model-Based Engineering (MBE), between multiple OEMs and suppliers presents a challenge. Currently, the exchange methods for long-term collaboration between OEMs and suppliers are independent and exclusive environments, each unique and complex. Improving the consistency and efficiency of establishing and managing OEM-supplier collaboration can significantly improve cost, schedule, and quality across all phases of the product lifecycle. This presentation offers a new “Desired State” for OEM-supplier collaboration through the application of and adherence to a set of guidelines defined by the project team. A description and a brief demonstration of the CMS application will be shared, concluding with the results of actual OEM-supplier evaluation trials.

16:00 – 16:30 | Enabling Marketing, Engineering & Manufacturing Digital Thread thanks to PIM / PLM integrated applications 
Cyril Bouillard, PLM & CAD Tools Referent, Mersen [Bio]

The Mersen Electrical Protection (EP) business unit started its PIM/PLM journey by digitalizing its broad catalog of over 15,000+ standard product SKUs and managing hundreds of technical characteristics. This transformation enabled Mersen to feed its website with product attributes, provide automated product data export reports to meet all main global e-commerce industry standards, and always generate up-to-date product data sheets for standard products. The “Voyager PLM” program was then launched to build a global PLM backbone on top of the PIM application, replacing four legacy PDM systems. Voyager has enabled digital thread through the entire life cycle of MERSEN EP products: from marketing to engineering and manufacturing, throughout the extended enterprise. This presentation will share this end-to-end PIM/PLM return on experience, starting from the business stakes, going through the Marketing/Engineering business processes and information model, and highlighting the lessons learned from such a transformation program. A specific focus will be made on sustainability, showing the PIM/PLM application features in terms of control of substances and compliance with regulations such as REACH and ROHS.

16:30 – 16:50 | Sponsor Thought-Leadership Vignettes
Modular Management

16:50 – 17:20 | Meeting the Challenges of Sustainability in Critical Transport Infrastructures: how does SYSTRA address digital continuity with PLM throughout the built assets lifecycle? 
Etienne Pansart, Head of Digital Engineering for construction, SYSTRA [Bio]

Systra designs and delivers large railway infrastructure and mobility solutions worldwide. Digital transformation is a major enabler for digital engineering: BIM (Building Information Modelling) is now well deployed for the design phase, and Systra is extending Information Management to the whole asset lifecycle. Specifically, Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) provides key breakthroughs to manage interfaces and ensure compliance but faces challenges in controlling shared information from a complex and fragmented supply chain. This presentation shares use cases where PLM provides the underlying platform and methodology to support MBSE in a federated context for critical transportation infrastructure.

17:20 – 17:30 | First day summary

17:30  | Conference Adjourns for the Day

17:30 – 18:30 | Happy Hour – drinks and snacks in the PLM Collaboration Café

19:00 – 21:00 | Conference Dinner – separate ticket required

Day 2

07:30 – 08:00 | Registration & Continental Breakfast in the PLM Collaboration Café

08:00 – 08:10 | Welcome
Peter Bilello, President, CIMdata & Håkan Kårdén, Director of Marketing, Eurostep

08:10 – 08:50 | KEYNOTE:Turning AI into an Operational Reality – Lessons & Challenges from Defence
David Henstock, Chief Data Scientist, BAE Systems Digital Intelligence [Bio]

The advent of increased computing power and more advanced models and approaches – such as generative AI – means that AI can now replicate human decision-making. This presents a huge opportunity to all market sectors: in defence, there is the promise that investment in machine learning and AI research programmes can deliver game-changing operational capabilities. But there can also be significant barriers to maturing AI from proof-of-concept projects into in-service capabilities supporting users. This presentation draws on experience “operationalising” AI for the defence industry, providing an overview of the opportunity, the importance of the AI operationalisation step, and how to overcome some of the key challenges to making operational AI a reality. These challenges include having the right data to build models, integrating models into systems, and assuring that the AI solution is fit for responsible and governed use.

08:50 – 09:20 | Standardized Ontologies as the Glue to Secure a Quality Digital Thread & its Impact on Business  
Dr. Mikkel Haggren Brynildsen, Chief Data Scientist, Grundfos [Bio]

Can you use the sales and marketing taxonomy for labelling fault data from pump IoT systems? No! But, in a world where everything is connected, how do you connect the sales and marketing view with the IoT predictive maintenance ML view? This presentation is about the experiences, plans, and hopes for using standardized Semantic Web Ontologies to glue together the digital thread of product data in large-scale discrete manufacturing. Grundfos uses “Industrial Data Ontology” (IDO) to build product models (some data from MBSE) and facility management models to interoperate data from big commercial data systems in product design, the manufacturing backbone, marketing & sales, and digital offerings in the facility management domain. Basing the work on standards, the aim is to avoid vendor lock-in, which is just one benefit of standardized enterprise ontologies.

09:20 – 09:50 | Transforming the PLM Landscape: The Gateway to Business Transformation  
Dr. Yousef Hooshmand, PLM Architect and Lead for the Modernization of the PLM Landscape, NIO [Bio]

In today’s competitive environment, redesigning the PLM landscape has become a strategic imperative for business transformation. This presentation offers a pragmatic look at how a comprehensive PLM strategy can drive business efficiency and growth, particularly by moving from traditional, monolithic PLM solutions to modular, federated architectures. Drawing on lessons learned from various industry experiences, the path for a successful PLM transition will be outlined. Concrete steps towards evolutionary PLM transformation from both a business process and a technological perspective will be put forward. This presentation will also explore how a modern PLM landscape can facilitate efficient and more resilient business transformation. For this, the role of executives in linking PLM strategies to business objectives, emphasizing the importance of leadership alignment is highlighted. By acknowledging the root causes of the PLM industry’s challenges and daring jointly to tackle the technical and process debts, the entire industry, including tool vendors, will benefit from this transformation.

09:50 – 10:20 | Sponsor Thought-Leadership Vignettes
Dassault Systèmes

10:20 – 10:25 | Summary

10:25 – 10:55 | Networking Break & PLM Collaboration Café 

10:55 – 11:25 | Heliple-2 PLM Federation – A Call for Action & Contributions
Erik Herzog, Technical Fellow, Saab Aeronautics[Bio]

The aim of the Heliple-2 project is to investigate the feasibility of the modular federated PLM implementations in accordance with the Saab Aeronautics Genesis architecture pattern. The project investigates the capabilities and limitations of the OSLC standard for implementing the integration points identified as part of the Genesis architecture pattern. The assumption is that the following four conditions must be fulfilled for modular federated PLM to succeed: Validated Technical feasibility, Proved Development efficiency, Demonstrated Operational feasibility, and Reasonable Realisation effectivity. Preliminary results indicating that Technical feasibility and Development efficiency objectives can be met using OSLC technology were presented this event in 2022. In this presentation, we demonstrate our results on realization effectivity through a model-based approach to define and generate high proportions of any necessary OSLC interfaces. More importantly, we identified that long-term operational feasibility depends on a stable approach to building configuration-aware structures across software, hardware, and systems engineering disciplines. This requires a community effort to reconcile the differences between the relevant standards, namely OSLC and STEP.

11:25 – 11:55 | Model-based OEM/Supplier Collaboration Needs in Aviation Industry Driving Toolchain Requirements and Tool Provider Selection
Hartmut Hintze, Team Leader for Quality Cabin Program Operations, Airbus[Bio]

The aviation industry represents one of the most challenging industries in terms of complex product development in combination with very high product maturity and reliability requirements. Today’s approach for solving the multi-system and multi-domain complexity is so-called Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) used in combination with a well specified product development and lifecycle management process. To ensure an efficient way of system development, there is a strong need for OEM/Supplier collaboration along the overall process as well as an optimized and consistent digital information exchange between all involved parties, starting in the conceptual design stage. This presentation will share the latest findings of the AD PAG MBSE Data Interoperability working group and present the model-based OEM/Supplier collaboration requirements and standards that need to be supported by the PLM/MBSE solution providers in the future.

11:55 – 12:00 | Summary

12:00 – 13:15 | Networking Lunch & PLM Collaboration Café

13:15 – 13:45 | The Need for a Governance Digital Thread
Jos Voskuil, TACIT[Bio]

While businesses are discussing the benefits of the digital thread and how to implement this in their current enterprise, there is a need to implement digital threads supporting existing and upcoming regulations. All upcoming environmental regulations require companies to measure and analyze their environmental impact (Carbon Pricing and Emissions, Plastic and Waste Management). This presentation takes you through some examples of Life Cycle Assessment and the Circular Economy describing the needs of digital threads.

13:45 – 14:15 | Why a Digital Thread makes a lot of sense, why it goes beyond manufacturing, and why it should be standards-based 
Dr. Mattias Johansson, CEO, Eurostep[Bio]

The digital thread is more than manufacturing. CIMdata’s recent A&D PAG survey highlights significant business benefits with the digital thread related to configuration management of products as they are used and maintained. Digital threads are not a PLM project with a clear start and finish. PLM should not even own them. They typically evolve over time based on a vision, business strategy, and a need to solve the most urgent issues or respond to the most promising business opportunities. A Digital thread, with a heavy emphasis on a part of the product’s life cycle, can easily result in sub-optimization. What if there is a way to start neutral with a predefined model to be implemented piecemeal? This session shares such an approach where a standards-based digital thread is presented. Such a thread will not just span the total life cycle of a product but also be vendor-neutral, making implementations more resilient and investments less risky.

14:15 – 14:20 | Summary

14:20 – 14:35 | Networking Break & PLM Collaboration Café

14:35 – 15:05 | Enhanced Digital Thread for the Airbus A320 Programme
Fred Feru, PLM Senior Expert, Airbus[Bio]

Airbus is nearing the end of its journey to upgrade the A320 family aircraft programme’s legacy PLM solution to one improving the Digital Thread. When the programme started in the early 1980s, the PLM acronym (or even PDM) did not exist. The four partner companies (Aerospatiale, DASA, British Aircraft, CASA) each built their own Data Management system to manage the data generated while creating the first commercial aircraft equipped with full electrical controls. This configuration of information systems has evolved and is still in production today. Meanwhile, many things have changed: the founding companies merged and became Airbus, and the production rate and the number of suppliers managed has exploded. The new A320 PLM solution is based on well-established modern technologies already implemented for the A350 aircraft programme. It improves the Digital Thread between the different historical countries for Engineering, Manufacturing, Customer Service, and the extended enterprise of suppliers. This presentation explains the context of the project, its constraints and challenges, and how the new PLM solution has been built to open new digital opportunities.

15:05 – 15:50 | Roundtable: AI, PLM, and the Digital Thread: Why should we care about AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents a huge opportunity for all market sectors. In this panel discussion, we will ask real-life practitioners to comment on the following questions:

  • How do we move to value creation with AI?
  • When is the time to act, and what has to be done to move into production with AI and Digital Thread?
  • AI and the PLM Digital Thread – complementary or disruptive?

15:50 – 16:00 | Conference summary

16:00 | Conference Adjourns

What have previous events been like?

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If you have any questions about PLM Road Map & PDT, please contact:

Håkan Kårdén
e: hakan.karden@eurostep.com
p: +46 (0)708 300 398