Embrace a New Era of Product Development
Full transcript below:
Hello and welcome to the New Era of Product Development webinar. My name is Alaine Portnoy, the Senior Manager of Content Marketing for Arena, a PTC Business, and I will be your host today.
Today’s event will consist of a 30-minute presentation and demonstration leaving about 15 minutes at the end for a live Q& A. We encourage you to please try and stay to the end to hear answers to your questions.
Before we begin, I have just a few housekeeping items to review so that everyone will have a positive experience. First, this webinar is listen-only mode. If you need technical assistance for things like audio issues, just please submit them via the chat box on the right-hand side of your screen to let us know. Second, if you have questions, you can submit them anytime into the question box in the control panel, also on the right-hand side of your screen, and we will answer them at the end of the presentation.
If there are any questions that we’re not able to get to due to time today, we will follow up with you and get you an answer. Third, a copy of the presentation and a recording will also be shared with you 24 hours after the event. If someone happened to miss anything, wanted to hear something, we will be sharing the slide deck and the recording.
Now, I would like to introduce today’s presenter, Mike Halladay. Mike is a Principal Solutions Consultant for Arena. With over 20 years of experience in engineering, design automation, and product lifecycle management, Mike has a wealth of knowledge that he’s ready to share with you today. Welcome, Mike.
Thank you, Alaine, and thank you everyone for joining our webinar today. Let’s take a look at the agenda. We’re going to start out with a few slides. We can talk about why collaborate early and often in new product development, talk about a few best collaboration practices, and dealing specifically with a virtual global team like we mostly have today. We’ll talk a little bit about how cloud technologies help support achieving your product launch goals. That includes a demonstration of a connected CAD and PLM system, and then we’ll have some time at the end for questions and answers.
Without further ado, let’s go ahead and jump into our presentation. First question, why collaborate early and often on new product development? We’re going to start out with this screen, which are really the challenges you face in getting that early-and-often goal for your product development.
First challenge is you have global expertise, you have a distributed team, you have virtual environments. People aren’t all sitting in the same office anymore, and that creates a little bit of a bottleneck for streamlining your processes. There are new challenges. Use COVID for an example. We were not expecting COVID, we were not expecting a global pandemic and the shutdown of our offices and people having to work from home and so on. Other challenges are queuing up to happen. Hopefully, nothing as severe as COVID, but those challenges happen all the time.
You have the challenge of being first-to-market. You want to grab those early profits on new technology and innovations. You need to be first-to-market to do it.
Last one’s not a challenge, but it is just a statement that if you are able to collaborate early and often, it works. It works to streamline these processes and avoid these pitfalls that we have on the screen today.
What are the best practices of achieving these goals, of doing things early and often? First one is you have to provide visibility and not just within the design work group, but across functions, across the team, across the enterprise, and even including customers, and contract manufacturers, and so on.
Providing visibility creates alignment. Everybody’s on the same page. Everybody knows what’s happening. Everybody knows what the new features are, what the design looks like, what this product is supposed to do and accomplish.
You can improve customer satisfaction if you involve customers in that process where it makes sense. Obviously, in some cases, not every customer is going to be involved in the design process. But when it makes sense, when you have customer input, that just helps with customer satisfaction at the end. Maintaining a steady pace, avoiding those bottlenecks in the process so that you can steadily work toward that release goal.
Sorry. Focus on the business value. Is this a good design? Will this be profitable? Will it meet our customer expectations?
And so on. These are all the best practices you need to focus on. I’m going to jump in and just read a quote from our customer EVBox. This is from Steven Whitacre. He’s a Senior Program Manager there at EVBox. He says, “Arena helps companies like EVBox move away from manual disconnected systems and bring together product information, people, and processes in a single cloud-native PLM system. The result is faster product development and faster commercialization.”
Cloud-native to support product collaboration. What are the elements of cloud-native that help in this process? Cloud-native is business focused. There’s more in cloud- native technologies for your product. There’s no need to reinvent process. Processes are built in. Cloud-native applications are typically what we call business-ready, so the best practices are already built into it. You have regular updates to cloud-native applications, and those updates are seamless.
It doesn’t interrupt your day or your week to update those applications. Faster to implement. We’re talking weeks to implement versus months to implement for non-cloud-native applications. Of course, there’s no hardware purchase, no code to write in a business-ready application. And then connections. Connecting to other systems, streamlining this process. This is a big part of where we leverage the ability to eliminate those bottlenecks that happen in moving data from one system to the next system to the next system.
Arena provides an event engine and REST API, which is the basis for integrations to other systems. Of course, Arena meets all requirements for all your security requirements and system validation requirements.
Another quote, this is from Nutanix. “Make sure you consider a cloud- based PLM solution that can be developed quickly or deployed quickly. You have a business to run. You don’t need distraction of a lengthy implementation cycle. In today’s product development environment, the one thing you can be sure of is, that sooner or later, you’ll be partnering with folks well outside of your time zone; make sure your system supports this global reality.”
Let’s talk about a CAD-PLM connection. Our demonstration today is going to be a connection between Onshape and Arena, but these points are true for all CAD and PLM connections.
Connecting your CAD or PDM to PLM provides early visibility, not just within the design team, again, but across all departments, and even including your supply chain and customers, if that makes sense. That enables things like design for manufacturing, design for quality, design for costs. Those folks that are downstream are the ones that give you input for all your design for X considerations.
Provides process automation. One good example of process automation is change management. It streamlines the change management process, because the change management and routing happens in PLM but information beats back to CAD.
And then enterprise integrations to other enterprise systems like ERP and CRM. What are the benefits? It is just faster. You’ve eliminated a lot of bottlenecks in providing the connection between your CAD, PDM, and PLM. This is faster, it’s simpler. Again, the same things that make it faster, make it simpler, you don’t have all that manual import, export type activity that you would do without a connection.
For this consideration for today’s demonstration, it’s unified. Your part numbering, categorization, and so on is all unified. Between CAD and PLM, there’s confusion with different categories and part numbers and so on.
Cloud-native connections, there’s less administration. No installs, no copies, no servers, no special hardware. This is a cloud-native connection that we’re talking about.
Easy configuration. In most cases, your configuration of both the connection itself and Arena PLM is a set-and-forget type configuration. You set it up, it just works from then on out, but it also lends itself to easy modification. If your situation changes, if your requirements change, you need to make a tweak to your configuration. It’s easy to do. With the connected systems, you have a one- click synchronization. You click one button, the data in CAD synchronizes with the data in PLM.
Let’s focus in on the Onshape-Arena connection. One of the things that we’re introducing today in this demonstration is connected change management. We’ve had these two connected for over a year. Now, with the ability to request part numbers from Arena to synchronize on categorization of parts to publish bills of materials, now we’ve got change management connected as well. You’ll see how that really streamlines the process, being able to work change management on both sides. Of course, we’re able to leverage same-company synergy with this connection because we’re both part of PTC.
Benefits of this connection, it helps you accelerate new development. Again, the concept of early and often. There’s visibility on both sides. Both systems lend themselves really well to collaboration outside of the design work group and including all the folks across the enterprise that need to contribute. You are able to continually evolve product designs because this change management process is built-in. All of your different phases of pre- production development, you can have people involved in the review and approval process.
Again, administration is very simple. There’s no additional overhead to it. You set it, you forget it, and it works. Last quote, Dynisma. “It has been a real game changer adopting a solution that can be executed so efficiently in the Cloud.”
Let’s go to the demonstration. I want to show this graphic. It just summarizes what you’ll see in the demonstration. Where we’re going to start in Onshape, we’re going to use the tools we have available to us in Onshape to connect to Arena, to get part numbers, to align on categorization of those parts to publish to Arena, and then to walk through an introduction change in Arena, and then we’ll see how we close the loop. When the change releases in Arena, it also closes out the change in Onshape. I want to go ahead and change my share so that you can see Onshape.
Let’s go ahead. We’re going to start… This is the model that we’re going to use for the demonstration. This is a battery pack for an electric lawnmower. It just provides a good example of something that’s in development. It’s ready for its initial release, and we’re going to walk through the process of how that works.
Let’s introduce you a little bit to the model itself. I’m going to open up an exploitive view of this. You can see that it’s got an outer housing; it’s got an inner housing that houses the battery cells. It’s got plastic components; it’s got metallic components for the conductors. It’s got a printed circuit board assembly. Now, I want to point out. This printed circuit board assembly is not owned by the folks that use the mechanical CAD system.
Their electrical engineers own this. They, but we use these in the development of our product because we need to check for clearances, interferences, mount points, and so on. What we’ll also see here, this closed triangle is just an indication that it has released. This is already released in Arena, but it will be included when we publish this assembly to Arena. That will just be included in with the bill of materials when we publish because it’s referenced here on the model. Let me show the bill of materials.
What we’ll see in the bill of materials are a few columns that are relevant to this connected environment, specifically category and number. You’ll see in the list of categories all the categories that have been assigned to these components. The interface here makes it really easy. The list of categories available to you are all the categories that we have mapped into the CAD environment. That makes it really easy to go in and categorize. If something isn’t categorized yet, we can set the category for it. Like I said, those are Arena categories. They’re not categories that were defined in the CAD system, but they’re coming from Arena that you’re selecting from. What that enables is easy part numbering as well. I just take this bottom cover and I generate a part number for that bottom cover. It goes to Arena, requests a part number based off of that category, and Arena sends the part number back.
Now, in this case, we’ve got a full assembly and everything in there needs a part number. There are also tools for generating all the missing part numbers at once. Now we’ve gone to Arena, we’ve progressed to these part numbers. Arena has sent them back and they’re automatically assigned with it. This is part of that steady-pace part, eliminating bottlenecks that we saw in the presentation.
This eliminates the need to click back and forth between different systems and manually transfer those part numbers. When they’re connected, you just get those part numbers.
I want to also show you that we have a couple of drawings. These drawings need some updates because the drawings were created before the part numbers were assigned. I’m just going to refresh the drawing so it picks up the new part number. You’ll see that pops in here. Same thing. We’ve got an assembly drawing, which has a bottom table on it. I’ll refresh that drawing and you’ll see that those are all now populated in the drawing.
Another thing to just point out is you’ll see, as we view this drawing, there’s a watermark. It says this drawing is in progress and it hasn’t been released. This is where we want to start the launch point into initiating a release. We’re going to do that right here in the CAD system. From the drawing, I’m going to initiate a release candidate. This flash screen is just showing me that the Arena connection is active and we’re using the Arena workflow to actually approve and release this.
As I prepare the release candidate, because I started in the drawing, it’s going to include the drawing in the release. Everything that’s underneath the drawing will be included in that release. I also want to include the top cover drawing. Let me just add that in. We have everything associated with both drawings here in the release.
You’ll notice this box right here. This logo is the Arena logo. I talked in the presentation about one-click synchronization. Everything really happens between the two systems by clicking on the icon that represents the other system. What this is going to do is it’s going to allow me to associate this release candidate with an ECO in Arena. I know that I have an ECO that’s number 230.
It’s looking into Arena. When it does the lookup in Arena, it’s only ever going to return in that search changes that are open and available for additional items on the change. You also notice that it picks up data from that change order in Arena. The release notes are just the summary information about the change itself.
Last thing is I want to make sure that the drawings, I’ll have the same number as the parts or assemblies that they represent, and I’ll submit this change to Arena. Okay. Submit, sorry.
The submit is going to do a few things. It’s doing all the synchronization just between the parts here in CAD and the items that we’ve reserved in Arena. When I assigned part numbers to all the components in the bill of materials, what it did on the Arena side is made a reservation for that part number. It didn’t actually go out and create those parts yet.
When I do a submit, so I can either do it from the bill of materials and sync the BOM and just use that to create those items, or it’s doing the same kind of synchronization here from the change and synchronizing and creating those items on the Arena side of things. It’s creating the items and then it will also add those items as affected items on the change order that I referenced. In Onshape, we get notifications letting us know the different things are happening in the system. It’s letting us know about this change order and the transition that’s happening.
Now, another thing I want to point out here is when I open up this panel, which is my versions and history panel, you’ll notice that a version was automatically created that represents the ECO. Now, you just saw that little transition, little update that happened. This icon here changed from a dot to an open triangle. What the open triangle indicates, if we look down here, is that we now have a release candidate and it is synchronized with Arena. I’m going to actually use this to open up the Arena change.
This is the Arena change order that we just linked to. This is the items tab, which shows us all the items that will be affected by this change order. All of the items have been added to the change order. This change order indicates that there is a phase change. These will all go from unreleased to a new phase of design beta. They’ll all get released at Revel 1. This is an initial release of these items. Another thing that I want to point out is this column, which is the files column. This will indicate files that are associated with the parts assemblies that are being released on this change order. You’ll see something here, CAD data STEP file was generated. That’s just a configuration setting that we have in the connection that it says when we’re going through a change, we want to publish these files.
By coming down here to the top cover, you’ll notice there are three files. One of those files is a PDF of the drawing. If I want to look at that PDF, I just click on the file name and it’ll open up in a new tab. I’ve got a PDF of the drawing. You will note that it does say Revel 1. It picked that up from the link to the change order, but it does still say pending because our change is in a pending status.
Let’s go ahead and walk through the change process. This is the real advantage of linking change management, is that we have a much more robust change management routing and approval capability in PLM than you would typically have in a PDM system. Right now, this change order is in an open status. Open status is just the status where you’re defining the change. You’re adding files that help document the change. You’re adding attributes for the change and documenting how this change is going to work. When you’re done setting up the change, you will submit the change. Submitting the change then requires a signature. This does meet 21 CFR Part 11 compliance. Your password is your signature. I’ll submit that change, and what that’s going to do is it’s going to queue this up routing.
You’ll see underneath this approval status, there’s this dash section. I have two stages in my routing and it’s just showing me that I’m active in that first stage. Let’s take a look at the routing that we’re using today. The routings in Arena are predefined. You can define all the routings that you typically use in your change process. They’re easy to configure if you need to add a routing. The routings are the configurable part of change management.
In this case, for this change, because this is a pre-production release, we only have two stages and really two signatures that are required. We’re going to route to engineering in stage one, engineering as a role that’s defined in Arena. This will route to all of those people, but my requirement says I only need one signature from that group of people. Whoever responds first will meet my requirement. Same thing with doc control. When it routes to doc control in stage two, I need one signature from that group that will complete the approval process here. But this can be as robust or as simple as it needs to be for the release process that you’re managing.
For the sake of the demonstration, I just want to go ahead and force approval. It happens quickly. Again, I’ll be the one entering my signature on this approval. All right. Now you see that it’s been approved, it’s effective. There’s one more status on this workflow, which is complete. That’s just so that if you have implementation tasks that need to be performed after the approval process and these items go effective, you can complete those implementation tasks and complete the routing. But for the sake of the demonstration today, this is a complete change. It’s released, it’s effective. It also is communicating back with Onshape that this is released and effective.
Let’s go back to Onshape. It’s working in Onshape right now to complete that change.
We’ll see some indications as they happen. Arena is sending the release information back to Onshape. The indication is here that with the closed triangle, the release has been confirmed. If I right-click on here and hover over releases, you can see that it’s now released and the loop is complete. The diagram that I showed just before I started the demonstration, we had a closed-loop process. This is the closing of the loop. Now the release candidate in Onshape, that we started with, has now been completed by the completion of the Arena change order.
That completes my demonstration. I think now we are ready to take questions. Let me go back to my last slide here and let’s answer a few questions.
Yeah, great. Thanks, Mike. That was a great overview of why product teams need to collaborate and communicate earlier in the design and then showing how it can be done. That was a great demo, so thank you.
All right. We do have some questions that have come in, so I’m just going to start reading them to you and you can answer away. Our first question is, all right, we use our PDM system to manage CAD files and changes so why do we need a PLM solution?
Okay. Yeah, great question. I think I addressed it during the demonstration. But typically, in a PDM tool, the changes that you’re executing there are really only for the work group, work group approvals.
The extended team isn’t typically in that PDM approval process. Using a PLM allows you to include the extended team and that’s where you really leverage the design for manufacturing, design for cost, design for quality aspects of it.
All right, that’s great. Another question. This is more around… Today’s presentation was focused a lot on cloud native, which is obviously great, but if we don’t have cloud-native solutions in place, what’s the best way to connect our product information in teams?
Yeah. Great question. We do have integrations to a long list of CAD systems. I showed this one today because they’re PTC PTC products and it’s easy for me to be able to use our PTC CAD system and show the connection.
Obviously, being Cloud to Cloud gives you some advantages, especially in the setup process. They’re both cloud native, they talk to each other really well, but we do have connections to all of the most commonly used CAD systems.
We can give you the same kind of capabilities in those connections to the other CAD systems.
All right, great. Another question. You touched slightly on using agile methodologies, how these connections between the cloud-native solutions can support that for hardware development, and I find that intriguing. Do you have examples of how companies are doing this?
Absolutely. We do have some examples of companies now. Obviously, you saw in the quotes that were in the presentation today, those customers are leveraging this to employ and deploy agile hardware development technologies. But just the streamlining of the process and the inclusion of the extended teams allow for agile methodologies where you… I think of a key phrase in agile development methodology is to fail fast. You introduce a change or you introduce a release candidate, and then you release it quickly and you include the extended team, and you get input from all of those other departments and then you can jump right into the next redesign and re-release of those pre-production revisions of the product. You can do that early and often to use that agile methodology and get to your end solution quicker.
All right, great. Thank you. Let’s see, next question. How are cloud-native integrations different than other types of integrations?
In this case, cloud-native integration. For one thing, there isn’t a middleware piece. With non-cloud-native CAD tools, you typically have a middleware piece that handles the communication between the two systems.
In this case, with cloud-native tools, the capability for Onshape to talk to Arena is written into Onshape. The capability for Arena to talk to Onshape is written into Arena. There’s nothing in between, and they talk natively to each other.
All right, that’s great. I have another question that came in, which is about more about the capabilities between integrating Onshape and Arena and SolidWorks in Arena. Will the features between Onshape and Arena be the same with SolidWorks and Arena, or are they the same?
No. Yeah. I’ll talk through the use cases that will be the same, and then the ones that the cloud native actually allows you a little bit more capability.
Part number requests will be the same, categorization will be the same. The ability to publish bill of materials and publish those derivative files that you want to associate with your items, those are all going to be the same.
Change management, there’s a little bit more activity you have to do on the non-cloud native side of things, where after the publish, you’ll have to initiate the change on the Arena side and complete it and then push those changes back to the CAD tool. There’s a little bit less automation on the change management piece.
All right. I think we’re going to wrap that up. We don’t have any more questions coming in. I’d like to thank everyone for joining us today. We hope you found this to be informative. Just ask that once the session ends, please stay on for a three-questions survey. Also, remember to visit arenasolutions .com for more resources. Also, keep an eye out for the recording. Have a great day.