Embarking on a Digital Engineering Journey

Written By: Mark Taber
  • 5/8/2017

Welcome to the IoT era, where disruption is the norm. A new class of increasingly complex products, designed with a mix of hardware, software, and connectivity at their core, is reshaping industries, redefining competition, and upgrading products. IDC predicts that 70% of global discrete manufacturers will offer connected products by 2017 – meaning this disruption is unavoidable. With such complex products, the various stakeholders throughout the product lifecycle will need to improve collaboration to streamline processes and remain aligned. The redefined nature and pace of competition means that organizations must respond better and faster to customer feedback, while product cycles must be more frequent and evergreen – driven by real-time insights. 

From a product development perspective, teams have been moving to make their product designs digital to improve productivity and reduce cost. To do this, enterprise product development teams must center their work around a fully digital representation of the product throughout the product lifecycle. This would be maintained as a single “digital thread” – a seamless flow of data across the value chain that links every phase of the product lifecycle. In addition, model-based processes that will be used in providing the digital thread have been demonstrated to provide a 75% reduction in cycle time and to increase overall product quality. Best in class manufacturers who use model-based engineering hit their revenue, cost, launch date, and quality targets for 84% of more of their products. 

However, the Model-Based Enterprise movement has been hampered by limitations in standards to share product information, limited guidance on how engineers can best organize their work, and stakeholders who are hesitant to evolve from current methods and processes. 

PTC recently introduced its Journeys of Transformation: a playbook to competing and succeeding in the IoT era. Whether you are looking to transform the way your organization manufacturers, provides service, or engineers, PTC believes that succeeding in the IoT era takes three simple steps: 

  1. Understand your products, processes, and systems today by gathering data; 
  2. Advance activities and technologies to deliver new value for smart, connected products throughout their lifecycle; 
  3. Outperform by achieving unprecedented results through proactive decision-making and simulation based on real-time product usage and performance analytics. 

Although it may seem like your organization needs to completely transform itself overnight in order to stay competitive – it doesn’t need to. We at PTC believe that by transitioning into the IoT era in meaningful, measurable, and manageable steps, your company can begin realizing the benefits of IoT technology today. Whatever the current state of your products and systems: whether smart and connected, or less smart and not yet connected, you can take action to lower costs, gain insight into product performance and achieve greater customer satisfaction. PTC technologies combine best-practice knowledge of engineering data and processes with highly accessible and highly flexible IoT technologies to help your company realize the potential of the Internet of Things. 

Many of PTC’s customers are beginning to take these manageable steps towards their own Digital Engineering Journey of Transformation, including iRobot which moved from a drawing-centric to a part-centric approach to product development. Be sure to watch the webinar replay of the iRobot story, “The Transformation of Digital Engineering”. Also, visit our Digital Engineering Journey webpage to discover how your organization can transform the way it develops products. 


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  • Windchill
  • CAD
  • PLM
  • Electronics and High Tech
  • Digital Transformation

About the Author

Mark Taber

Mark Taber is Vice President of Marketing. In his current role, Mark is focused on helping manufacturers drive digital transformation, with a foundation of PLM and the digital thread, within the enterprise and across enterprises.

Mark has more than 30 years of experience working in the areas of process automation, application integration, cyber security, and development. Prior to PTC, Mark was CEO of Active Endpoints (acquired by Informatica), a process automation firm. A graduate of the Wharton School, Mark currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.