PTC User: Orlando 2010 – Day 2

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A bright start as today’s presentations got underway

Today saw PTC wheel out a few of the big guns from its customer base as sportswear giant Adidas presented the well received keynote.

Elsewhere in the cavernous Rosen Shingle Creek conference centre DEVELOP3D got a couple of chances for exclusive interviews with the incredible multi-million dollar design challenge of the America’s Cup winning sailboat team BMW Oracle, and at the other scale of things, how a small 7-man design bureau Teknovtion are producing consumer electrics.

The latter came at the unholy time of interrupting breakfast, but in order to find out just how the previous day’s PLM attributes of Product Point were actually benefitting small to medium enterprises I reluctantly put down my scrambled egg quesadillas to meet Teknovation’s president Kelly Bryant.

An all round PTC success story, last year he showed up to the User event to get some more information on the Product Point system and 12 months on is utilising it fully amongst its small team. But even at this small scale it gave the impression that organising what everyone was doing on a higher level than just shared folders on a network drive was much more productive (saving roughly 10 hours a week in locating part folders) and efficient (no more duplicate folders).

The Adidas keynote was a PLM story that managed to keep everyone interested for the duration despite drifting into the intricacies of the product plan. Having sports to fall back on always helps, I suppose, when trying to keep your powerpoint presentation entertaining.

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The speaker, CIO Emeritus Peter Burrows, gave an in depth look at a company worth more than $10 billion each year, and how a strong PLM system was key to its bringing new products to market, to the extent of making sure they had the right team names for the back of its World Cup jerseys, to bringing a new bum-toning trainer to market in 18 months, or being able to find the Pro/Engineer files for the component parts of the latest TaylorMade R9 SuperTri driver.

Having kept Pro/E relatively quiet for the entire weekend, and with all the CAD talk being based around the hush hush Project Lightning, it was somewhat refreshing for us to meet structual engineer Thiha Win from the BMW Oracle Americas Cup team, the man credited with designing “Winny’s System”: the ability to adjust the colossal wing sail at the centre of the 90 foot long Trimaran’s speed; a structure bigger than an Airbus A380’s wing.

As you’d expect, money was no object for what is not only the world’s oldest active sporting trophy in sport, but it is one of the most legally complicated and it’s ‘challenge’ system of ruling meant that boat specifications, plus the time and location of the race, were under wraps till the last minute, meaning that Thiha and the rest of the team were designing almost blind for one of the toughest challenges in sport.

Having found that their 90′ x 90′ Trimaran was going to be too slow they set about designing the wing sail as their ‘turbo boost’, and in the end became the first challengers to win a ‘Deed of Gift’ race in the trophy’s history. Stay tuned for more on the BMW Oracle team’s achievements later this month.

As we sailed off into the sunset it’s a fair reflection to say that PTC were using this year’s event to show its strengthened position in the world of PLM, and that other than a updated CoCreate release and the whisperings of Project Lightning it will be not until October that we hear of any further CAD developments from the new CEO.


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