I just received some news I thought I would pass along. (The marketing guys promised to buy me dinner for this.) It is news that could be important to you if you are using or considering adoption of the PDF format for leveraging CAD data across your operations and repourposing it in technical docs and so forth. Adobe is announcing an update that you may want to check out… details are spelled out below.
2D to 3D… What is the trend?
Okay, what’s the trend? According to almost every account or study I read, use of 3D CAD data is growing. To some that means that everyone is (or will be) moving to 3D. I don’t believe that at all, but I think 3D data should become the standard for key workflows. I think that the reasons it has not are a combination of business and technical limitations that are being overcome.
Use of 3D data is growing. Cambashi recently reported 13% 2007 growth in sales of engineering software world-wide (with the Asia Pacific region leading the way, which I think is very important to note). While slower growth rates are expected through 2010, there is clearly something going on here. You can assume that 3D data use/applications are growing proportionately, at least. They are probably faster, because there are indeed many mid-size and smaller companies that have resisted, but are being driven to 3D by the large OEMs they sell to. Then there are 3D Model Based Engineering/Design initiatives intended to take whole industries in that direction.
How fast is 3D usage growing? The rates vary, depending upon whom you want to believe. I’m not going to try to give a precise answer. I’m not going to look at this question from the perspective of someone who has worked to develop PLM systems (broadly defined to include CAD, CAM, PDM, etc.), deploy them. I am going to look at this from the perspective of what will benefit the enterprise mostly outside of today’s PLM focus.
I am going to ask you to look at this problem by starting with the end in mind. We will then look at the product lifecycle in reverse, trying to identify where 3D data makes sense, and perhaps where it doesn’t.
So let’s get to it… click below to read on.
Is Adobe a PLM company? Product Lifecycle Management or PLM is an area I have been around for the majority of my career. I decided to name this blog “Doug at Adobe PLM”, but I must say I have been asked several times about changing the name.
Let’s start with a definition of PLM. Dr Michael Grieves in his book Product Lifecycle Management defines PLM this way:
“Product Lifecycle management (PLM) is an integrated, information-driven approach comprised of people, processes/practices, and technology to all aspects of a product’s life, from its design through manufacture, deployment and maintenance – culminating in the product’s removal from service and final disposal. By trading product information for wasted time, energy, and material across the entire organization and into the supply chain, PLM drives the next generation of lean thinking.”
Well, by that definition, Adobe is certainly not a PLM company. So why would someone like me, at Adobe blog about PLM? To understand, please read on.
The Adobe Manufacturing Team visited Anaheim, CA last week for the Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show where we had the opportunity to speak with several hundred customers. To all of you who stopped by to see us, Thank You! This show seems to attract a high percentage of entrepreneurial firms. Many of the companies we spoke with are already Adobe customers, and wanted to investigate how to better leverage our products in there day-to-day operations. We get lots and lots of questions, and I can’t answer them all here, but I want to discuss the ones that seem to surface over and over again. These customer needs stood out at this show:
- “I am growing my innovation network globally, and need to reach partners and customers in emerging regions.”
- “I need to share all kinds of data, including 3D CAD, more effectively across the extended organization.”
And this question:
- “How is this different than the visualization technology we already have (or are thinking about acquiring)?”
Read on to find out how we responded.