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The Opportunities and Challenges of an Integrated Approach to Engineering Systems
By Ron Watson, Director, Engineering Systems and Processes, Xylem Inc
At the same time, they have been capturing a growing mindshare from organizations outside of the traditional manufacturing companies such as the retail and insurance industries to name just a few. In addition, these new capabilities have gained wider interest and acceptance from departments within organizations such as sales, marketing, supply chain, service and compliance. In parallel to this, significant change has been taking place in the very “bones” that these key technology platforms rely on to run and communicate in the form of ultra-high speed networks, servers as well as paradigm shifts the cloud has promoted. These, as you would expect, have presented both opportunities and challenges.Today’s companies need to be more efficient, more global, more innovative, and more competitive than ever before in history. The customer’s needs are in focus like never before. Due to these pressures, organizations are looking for solutions that will help not only meet the needs but will provide competitive advantage. The products that the customers are demanding more of to meet the solutions for their problems are electro-mechanical and often interconnected. These challenges have and continue to lead product development groups away from traditional forms of design and engineering. Where many companies were primarily focused on mechanical design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and PDM to manage the products, they are now looking toward integrating electronics and software. Although not a new phenomenon, the needed functionality and flexibility of the products has significantly increased, while at the same time the packaging size requirements have been reduced. Form, not just function, are becoming more in demand. As a result, traditional engineering systems and processes are being stressed to the breaking point in many companies.
The products that the customers are demanding more of to meet the solutions for their problems are electro-mechanical and often interconnected