So it's afterlunch (new word I invented) now at Autodesk Media Summit 2012, and we've been split into industry groups, like M&E (media and entertainment), AEC (architecture, engineering, construction), and mech, which is where I've been slotted.
Each of the four groups is split further into four sessions, to create small groupings of journalists. I'm now in room Newton for the topic of Autodesk PLM 360 with guys like Josh Mings of SolidSmack.
Rob Cohee is giving us the "PLM for everyone" pitch. How "everyone"? Earlier, Buzz Kross said his legal team is using PLM 360. The original idea at Autodesk was to take Vault and stick it on the cloud, but then the idea expanded to be more general, because Vault is engineering-oriented. (Vault is PDF, product data management, which means it manages data used by engineers.)
[Over on Gmail, I see that Autodesk has unleashed its press releases announcing 2013 products.]
To see "how to set up PLM in 6 steps," register at autodeskplm360.com/try-it-now. We're now getting an overview from Mike Lieberman of how PLM works in the Autodesk way.
SMI does speciality interiors for boats in New Zealand, and is an enthusiastic new user of PLM. They do "remote builds," where the ship is being built elsewhere while they design the interior in NZ. They've since expanded to Boeing jets, and even prision cells. Initially, SMI is using PLM for sales, crm, project management, performance reporting, and tracking components through production -- globally.
The company ships the interiors in containers to where the boats are being built -- largely tracked by hand and on paper. So the next task for PLM is to track the individual pieces through bar coding.
There are two more user presentations, and in the Q&A following, we had time for one Q: "How much of your business processes have been converted to Autodesk PLM?" In all three cases, the firms first converted non-automated systems (paper and pencil ones) to PLM, for the most part. With these initial projects in place, they'll go back and start converting email/spreadsheet systems. Here, Microsoft seems to be the big loser.
Product Design Suite
While waiting for this session to start, the CAD blogger next to me expresses his frustration with his netbook failing to access the Internet. "I can't even send a tweet." His solution is, "I need to get an iPad!" he exclaims. "So you can buy a keyboard?" I ask.I then explain that my netbook running Linux isn't having Internet problems.
Now we're hearing about Product Design Suite strategy. The key points, we are told, is that it be comprehensive, effortless, and flexible. For 2013, the standard level (cheapest one) of Product Design Suite now include Inventor; premium level now includes hydraulics, and ultimate level now includes tooling.
We are now getting a demo of ForceEffect on iPad. Over a sketch of a bulldozer bucket (from Sketchbook Designer, but could also be a digital photograph taken by the iPad), he is drawing linkages and applying forces. A report is generated, and then the drawing is saved as DXF (!) to your 360 clouds storage account.
The demo jock moves the design to AutoCAD, and then moves the data around a variety of packages that are in Product Design Suite, like AutoCAD Electrical, Inventor, Mechanical, and so on.
Factory Design Suite
Shabita Bagchi is telling us about the third release of Factory Design Suite. The purpose is to create a digital model of factories before they are built, to detect problems eary. Software utilities are built on top of AutoCAD/Arch/Mech, Inventor, Navisworks, and 3DS Max/Showcase. For instance, they are using game technology (Project Factory Modz, still under development) to animate the digital factory.
Demo jock now shows us an 80,ooo sq ft factory floor. He pronounces DWG as "dwig." As he moves "assets" from a palette and snaps them into place in a 2D layout, I am reminded of Visio. A blue number in the corner of each asset (block) reports the number of variations available in the block (dynamic block). "Think of this as Lego Builder for factories," adds Mr Bagchi.
Point clouds are finally added to Inventor with 2013. New word for me: "share assets broadbandedly." All assets (factory blocks) are now on the cloud, but only if you are on subscription do you get updates throughout the year. Assets are stored on 360 in the new "Factory Asset Warehouse," with optional public sharing.
The unreleased Factory Modz has a physics engine to make factory animations more releastic, as well as how to walk around things.
[Deelip tells me he misses me not being on Twitter any more.]
And it's the last session of the day. There are three groups of simulation centered on three major product lines: mechanical (stiff stuff), CFD (liquid and air flows), and Moldflow (molten plastic oozing into steel molds). The problem is that simulation analysis is slow, so Autodesk is aiming for real-time results. Some simulations are 34x faster than last year.
The biggest thing in this release is adaptive meshing, adjusting meshing between simulations. Inventor can get the volume automatically, such as the volume inside a valve, which is then brought over to Simulation CFD.
Tomorrow morning 8:30am we get bused to Industrial Light and Magic theater for something or other that we'll learn about 2morrow. And that's my 2,000 words on Autodesk's Media Summit for 2012. Bye for now as we head off to dinner across the street.