What Siemens is Doing to Social Co-creation?

by on March 7th, 2015
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John talks about Siemens PLM’s Solid Edge Design1, an “easy-to-afford professional CAD software for design and engineering enthusiasts”, and how it can facilitate co-creation of products.

How do your PLM products help companies such as Local Motors excel in co-creation – that is engaging end customers in production?

Siemens PLM Software is launching a new product, Solid Edge Design1, that’s being introduced exclusively with Local Motors. With Design1, members of the Local Motors community – automotive design and engineering enthusiasts – will get access to powerful, professional-grade CAD at a very affordable price. We’ve also implemented a 3D viewer, which Local Motors will offer at no cost to members of their community. With the viewer, Local Motors community members will be able to easily view, analyze and comment on other designers’ 3D models, all from within the browser window. This will work on the most common browsers, and on both Windows and Mac.

So with Design1 and the viewer, we’re really helping Local Motors provide their customers with what they’re asking for – better tools for design and collaboration. Their customers will be more productive, and the experience on the Local Motors platform will be more interactive and fun.

What difference does your partnership make to the co-creation community of Local Motors? How are your PLM tools going to be accessed and used by the community?

True co-creation of the kind that’s being delivered by Local Motors requires that participants have access to real professional-grade CAD, which, until now, has been simply too expensive for Local Motors’ community of automotive enthusiasts. As a result, many are making due with free CAD tools that aren’t meeting their needs. For example, they can’t create precision solid models, they have limits to the model size, or they don’t read and write in the standard data formats.

Design1 fills this gap in the market and provides the level of functionality that the community has been asking for. In this way, Design1 will help further integrate the activities of the core design team at Local Motors and the extended members of their community. That’s a big part of the “co” in co-creation. Solid Edge Design1 is available to select members of the Local Motors community today on a free trial basis and can be purchased by the entire Local Motors community via their website beginning on January 1st, 2012.

What are the social technology features of your product?

It’s all about enabling members of the extended team to more easily develop and share concepts and designs. The new Local Motors platform, The Forge, certainly does that, and it becomes even better and more interactive with the 3D viewer. Solid Edge Design1 is one of the best CAD tools to operate in this environment. A big reason for that is its use of Siemens PLM’s synchronous technology. Synchronous technology makes it much easier to import and use models from other CAD systems. It also makes it easier to effectively edit and enhance models that someone else has developed. These benefits are important in any development organization but particularly in the design community formed by Local Motors. Projects and the team itself will be very dynamic, and there will naturally be multiple CAD systems involved.

What is your take on the market for co-creation platforms in the PLM space? We are seeing product configurators making big wave. Can we get to see PLM companies roll out tools to make co-creation integrated backwardly in product design, components design, and not just in configuration?

The co-creation model as envisioned by Local Motors is much deeper than simply configuring a product after it’s been developed. The Local Motor’s community is collaborating on concepts, and designing products, subassemblies and components. We’re excited to be an early PLM leader here, by providing tools that will enable this and help advance this new frontier of product development.

What do you think are the changing expectations of manufacturers of PLM vendors? What do they look for in terms of new product features or services?

Manufacturers don’t typically think in terms of software features, but rather in terms such as time-to-market, quality, costs and innovation. This has remained constant for quite some time. However, one thing that is changing is the expectation of having better, easier access to precise, up-to-the-minute information about their product and processes at any time and at any location, so that intelligent decision can be made quickly. At Siemens PLM Software, we are acutely aware of this and all of our software and services solutions are focused on fulfilling this expectation to help companies make smarter decisions that result in better products.

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