Kevin Parker, editorial director

Articles

PLM, Control Design June 1, 2008

Global corporations see advances in applying search to product data

Most software applications are model-based, and include the set of procedures required to, for example, build a schedule, design a product, or control a production process. Search is different. It's an interface. And yet search is more than a box in the upper right corner of a screen. Combined with a data model and appropriate infrastructure, search is the means to very powerful applications.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES June 1, 2008

Interop/Software 2008 addresses distributed performance challenges inherent to PLM

It's impossible to miss the fact that large global enterprises as well as midsize manufacturing companies have been centralizing their IT resources for several years now. They do so not only for the projected economies of scale, but to ease compliance management across multiple fronts. With systems scattered the world over, “Companies didn't know where their servers were, and they didn't ...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES May 7, 2008

Content connections: Interop/Software 2008 addresses distributed performance challenges inherent to PLM

Large global enterprises as well as midsize manufacturing companies have been centralizing their IT resources for several years now. They do so not only for the possible economies of scale, but to ease compliance management across multiple fronts. At this year’s Interop/Software 2008 conference and expo, it was clear that at least several IT infrastructure providers have “felt the pain” of manufacturers and are offering distributed computing options.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Diagnostics, Asset Management April 1, 2008

Autodesk to “democratize” industrial design as it has 3D product engineering

Autodesk, with annual revenues that will soon top $2 billion, is the largest computer-aided design (CAD) vendor in the world. The company believes some day manufacturers will create “virtual” product worlds with the same visualization technologies used by Sony Pictures Imageworks to generate special effects seen in big-budget movies like the Spiderman trilogy and Beowulf.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Workforce Development March 26, 2008

Visual nature: Fashionistas say they know as much about innovation—and outsourcing—as the others

The needs of the fashion industry, when it comes to product life-cycle management (PLM), are different from those of other discrete manufacturers. But as systems evolve for fashion life-cycle management, it may be that these fashionistas—obsessed as they are with visual images—have something to teach other kinds of goods makers.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics February 29, 2008

Clear signals: SaaS approach makes performance dashboards more accessible

A new company out of Lafayette, Colo., called myDIALS, introduced in February what it says is the first hosted software solution for template-based development of interactive displays to analyze operations, production, and business metrics. Tools maker Snap-on already is rolling out the solution to 4,000 users.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Project Management February 1, 2008

PTC unveils new version of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire, plans for CoCreate

Some might find it ironic that PTC, the originator of parametric modeling, now has its own “explicit” modeler. The new modeler comes with the $250-million acquisition of CoCreate that PTC announced in late November. “PTC built the very first parametric modeler,” says James Heppelmann, PTC EVP and chief product officer.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
DCS, SCADA, Controllers January 1, 2008

Kevin Parker: Digital manufacturing puts PLCs in contact with PLM

Continuing debacles at Airbus and Boeing demonstrate a looming chasm exists between today's advanced computerized design capabilities and shop-floor realities. The cure is called “digital manufacturing.” Two vendors, Siemens PLM Software and Dassault Systemes, recently made announcements or held events to further understanding of digital manufacturing.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Diagnostics, Asset Management January 1, 2008

S&OP encompassing broader financial and performance parameters

Say there's a software application that models some common business process or function. Over time, the solution's footprint traipses around like a veritable Pac-Man, swallowing up neighboring functional areas at a fearsome pace as vendors add features they believe will lead to greater using-management mindshare.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics December 17, 2007

The future of business applications: SAP takes two roads to SOA 

Henning Kagermann, chairman and CEO, SAP, says by moving users to service-oriented architecture in two ways, SAP is ensuring its continuing relevance within the software industry.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
PLCs, PACs December 11, 2007

Digital manufacturing alliance: Rockwell and Dassault teaming on virtual design and production solutions 

Industrial automation, controls, and plant information solution provider Rockwell Automation and CAD/PLM vendor Dassault Systemes announced a strategic alliance to drive convergence of virtual design and production.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES December 5, 2007

Sales-oriented support: SAP refreshes its CRM interface

SAP this week introduced the latest version of SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) 2007. New capabilities include multichannel customer service, real-time offer management, and optimized marketing and promotions spend. More important, the new version is said to embody the ease of use required by sales-oriented applications.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES November 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: Autodesk as the un-PLM company

Autodesk, the supplier of product design tools, does well what every ERP vendor on the planet wishes it did better: serve small and midsize manufacturers through indirect sales channels. Autodesk's ability in this regard has made it, with revenues of $1.84 billion in its most recent fiscal year, the largest computer-aided design (CAD) vendor in the world.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
HMI, OI October 1, 2007

Data historian’s role in plant performance expands in an energy-management era

Two men were walking into the opening session of the recently held OSIsoft user conference. One turned to the other and said, “He's supposed to spend his time solving problems, not building spreadsheets.” Inadvertently or not, these gentlemen had homed in on not just one of the conference's themes, but of OSIsoft's mission as vendor of the PI System data historian, which collects ...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Mobility October 1, 2007

Emerging 40 Vendors: Recognizing innovation in the global manufacturing enterprise

The U.S. manufacturing industries have seized upon the term “innovation” as epitomizing what it takes to survive and thrive in an era of free trade and rapid technological change. Through increased exports, the manufacturing industries today are contributing big time to the health of the U.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Manufacturing IT, MES October 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: “Google-like” capabilities impact enterprise system use

One of the challenges for small and midsize companies using enterprise resources planning (ERP) is the system's over-segmentation based on roles and functions common to large companies. This segmentation can make it difficult for users who work cross-function—i.e., those who “wear a lot of hats”—to navigate and interact with the system without a lot of wasted motion.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Diagnostics, Asset Management September 27, 2007

The power of search: “Google-like” capabilities impact enterprise system use

Enterprise vendor IFS says its approach to increasing the productivity of its system’s users is unique, and builds on the popularity of “search” as the means to obtaining needed information.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
HMI, OI September 20, 2007

A new perspective: Revised MESA model gives production execution systems strategic context

MESA's goal in releasing a new collaborative MES model is to help manufacturers deploy plant-to-enterprise solutions that will support strategic business initiatives such as Lean, new product introduction processes, or Total Quality programs.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
System Integrators September 10, 2007

Advanced platform: Wonderware turns its HMI into single interface for production applications

Wonderware has made the InTouch HMI software the universal client for its System Platform, which contains a broad range of production and performance management applications.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Diagnostics, Asset Management September 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: Current trends in supply chain management

The Sterling Commerce Customer Connection 2007 event was dedicated—at least unofficially—to the proposition that “you can't plan your way out of complexity.” This change in supply chain emphasis from planning to execution is an industry-wide phenomenon and not particular to Sterling, an AT&T company, which released its Sterling Commerce Sales and Fulfillment Suite at...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Virtualization, Cloud Analytics August 1, 2007

UGS PLM Software outlines its post-acquisition strategy for product- and production-management convergence

Automation giant Siemens' acquisition of what is now called UGS PLM Software is being seen as a potential landmark in the evolution of manufacturing systems. “When the dust settles, this whole Siemens/UGS deal will be seen as a real game changer,” says Dick Slansky, senior analyst, ARC Advisory Group.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Diagnostics, Asset Management August 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: Good reasons to get a grip on the details of plant operations frameworks

To hear Peter Martin say it, most process-industry production plants are rife with conflict: between the engineering and information technology functions and between maintenance and operations as well. While turf battles are as old as work itself, these tensions are exacerbated, says Martin, by emerging globalization and corporate governance trends that have placed new demands on manufacturing ...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
PLM, Control Design July 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: Siemens/UGS PLM combination shows why the Global 100 is important

The July issue of Manufacturing Business Technology is devoted in its entirety to covering the 2007 Global 100 listing of leading information technology (IT) and software providers in manufacturing and supply chain. Why is it important to know what these companies are up to, and how these markets are changing? It's because the work they do, both individually and collectively, is important.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
Energy, Power May 1, 2007

Kevin Parker: ERP and SOA at The Coca Cola Company

They said there were 15,000 people at SAP's Sapphire user conference this year, and that the exhibition floor was equal to eight-and-a-half football fields. There was every reason to believe them. The show was huge, and the keynote auditorium had grandstands to accommodate those who wished a view of what was perhaps the largest stage this editor has ever seen.

By Kevin Parker, editorial director
HMI, OI December 1, 2006

Emerging trends in plant operations management

Congratulated at Rockwell Automation Fair on a just-inked agreement to put OSIsoft's PI System into Rockwell's FactoryTalk suite, OSIsoft founder and CEO Pat Kennedy's immediate, characteristically gruff response was to say, "Now we have to make it work." With PI System, OSIsoft made the market for data historians, and Rockwell—especially since ex-GEer Kevin Roach's arrival as...

By Kevin Parker, editorial director