The Path to Innovation: Key Insights from PTC LiveWorx 2023
On May 15-18, 2023, over 10,000 industrial enterprise professionals convened virtually and in person at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to attend LiveWorx, PTC’s premier digital transformation event.
This year’s forum was all about harnessing the power of digital to help manufacturing companies improve efficiencies and deliver better products and services. It featured:
- Engaging keynotes from industry thought leaders including PTC’s President and CEO Jim Heppelmann
- 70+ tech demonstrations
- 320+ educational sessions
- Networking, live entertainment, and other fun festivities
With its first-ever live participation at LiveWorx, Arena, a PTC Business was delighted to offer several trainings and best practice sessions aimed at helping attendees get the most value from its cloud-native product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS) solutions.
If you didn’t have a chance to attend LiveWorx, here are some highlights and key takeaways from this unforgettable event.
“LiveWorx demonstrated PTC’s commitment to delivering leading technology that transforms the development of physical products. And PTC’s investment in Arena was evident throughout the event. Customer response to LiveWorx was better than we could’ve imagined. We’re excited for the next conference!”
-Ann McGuire, Director of Product Marketing, Arena, a PTC Business
SUSTAINABILITY: IT’S NOT JUST GOOD FOR THE PLANET, IT’S GOOD FOR BUSINESS
Sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have in business as consumer and investor demand for greener practices continues to rise and environmental regulations become more stringent. Manufacturers are now seeing the benefits of shifting from a traditional linear business model to a circular economy which focuses on remanufacturing, recycling, or reusing products and materials to minimize the environmental impact.
LiveWorx focused heavily on sustainability, providing attendees insights into how they can adopt lifecycle thinking and shift to more circular value streams and modes of production. Sessions also explored how organizations can apply design for sustainability (DfS) to identify and capture opportunities for value creation.
In their presentation titled “Tangible Strategies for Improving Product Sustainability,” PTC’s EVP, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Catherine Kniker, and VP of Sustainability, Dave Duncan, noted that an estimated 65% – 85% of a product’s carbon footprint is determined during the design phase. Due to new embodied carbon legislation and hazardous materials regulations like RoHS and REACH, organizations need to ensure sustainability early in the design cycle. When it comes to pre-built components or buy parts, engineers can leverage integrations between Arena PLM and electronic component databases such as SiliconExpert and Octopart to retrieve embodied carbon information and drive better footprint design decisions.
APPLYING AGILE PRACTICES BEYOND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Although traditionally intended for software, more and more manufacturers are looking to apply agile methodologies to hardware product development. Amid today’s environment of uncertainty and constant change, companies must drive greater flexibility and transparency throughout the new product development (NPD) process to minimize risks and achieve commercialization success. By utilizing rapid design iterations or “sprints,” Agile enables manufacturers to respond quickly and address part shortages, requirement changes, and other issues that impact the product design and final production.
As part of his LiveWorx presentation, Michael Keer, Managing Partner of the Product Realization Group, shared best practices of agile hardware product realization that enable companies to successfully transition their products from concept to volume production.
In the session titled “Embracing Agile Product Development,” MIT Professor Steven Eppinger discussed how companies can successfully apply agile development techniques to physical products by making these three adjustments:
- Modifying the cadence of sprints (e.g., lengthening duration) to meet the unique needs of the hardware project team
- Decomposing major development milestones into a series of smaller sprint goals
- Achieving a reviewable increment of work (e.g., new prototype feature) with each sprint that can feed into the next development sprint
Professor Eppinger and PTC’s Chief Evangelist Jon Hirschtick dive deeper into this topic in their recently published white paper “Transitioning to Agile Development: How to Develop Hardware Like Software.”
Because many organizations are utilizing cloud-native solutions like computer-aided design (CAD) and PLM to execute design, project management, analytics, and other critical NPD activities, they have a solid foundation to readily support an agile hardware development workflow and significantly reduce costs in the manufacturing process. In their breakout session, Michael Halladay, Principal Solution Consultant, Michael LaFleche, Director of Technical Content, and Pär Svensson, Senior Product Manager at PTC, discussed how a connection between Onshape and Arena enables engineering teams to easily share the latest product designs with quality, procurement, suppliers, and other downstream stakeholders. In turn, they can quickly gather valuable feedback and fine-tune the product before investments are made in expensive assembly lines and tooling.
XTROPOLIS: AN IMMERSIVE AT-HOME GLIMPSE INTO PRODUCT INNOVATION
For the duration of LiveWorx, attendees had the opportunity to explore the Xtropolis exhibit floor. Arena provided visitors an immersive at-home experience, where they could interact with innovative customer products like Bevi Water Dispenser, August Home, Sleep.me, Cricut, Kinsa QuickCare Smart Thermometer, Sonos Portable Speakers, Fitbit Inspire 3, Pact Sense Muscle Scanner, Molekule Air Mini+ Purifier, and SNOO Smart Sleeper. Visitors also learned how Arena PLM and QMS enable companies to streamline product development processes and meet their compliance goals.
ASCENDING TO THE TOP: MITIGATING RISKS ALONG THE WAY
Alex Honnold is the only human to free solo Yosemite’s El Capitan, and Jimmy Chin is well-respected for his achievements in climbing and skiing as well as his award-winning photography, film, and book. On the final day of LiveWorx, Alex and Jimmy took the stage to deliver a keynote on risk-taking and living a life of purpose. They discussed their approach to achieving goals throughout life. It involves anticipating the roadblocks or issues that may lie ahead and identifying ways to mitigate risks.
This same approach can be applied in business, especially in today’s manufacturing world, where companies are confronted with constant supply chain disruptions, ever-changing consumer demands, and a shifting regulatory landscape. Adopting a “digital-first” mindset enables organizations to respond and adapt more quickly to change and maintain a competitive edge.
EXPERIENCE LIVEWORX ON DEMAND
LiveWorx 2023 was a truly transformative experience for all who attended. It served up a wide assortment of strategies and best practices that manufacturing professionals can put into action to help advance their day-to-day operations and business.
“I look forward to taking the tips and experiences I gathered from Arena training sessions and discussions with others and implementing them at my organization.”
-Scott Partridge, Director of Quality, Cognito Therapeutics, Inc.
“At LiveWorx I gained a better understanding for how a robust solution like Arena benefits product companies across so many different industries.”
-Mandy Lantigua, MEDIcept
Ready to catch up on LiveWorx? Explore recorded content including sessions and keynotes on the latest in agile product development, sustainability, CAD, PLM, QMS, and more. Get LiveWorx on demand.