GE and PTC Expand Their Alliance

PTC and GE Intelligent Platforms recently announced their accelerated joint effort to bring to market a solution that helps manufacturers close the loop between product design and production execution on the shop floor. Beginning immediately, GE will resell the PTC’s Manufacturing Process Management (MPM) software in combination with GE’s Proficy manufacturing execution system (MES) software. While manufacturing information can be passed directly from the PTC Windchill product lifecycle management (PLM) solution to the GE Proficy for manufacturing discrete products today, the companies expect to deliver an expanded closed-loop integrated solution in 2014.
PTC and GE claim to share a common vision of an “Industrial Internet” (a.k.a., “the Internet of Things”), where the future of manufacturing is transformed by the surge of smart and connected products with devices. The “Industrial Internet” rapidly increases the complexity of creating ever smarter, connected products. By closing the loop between early-stage engineering design activities, production processes on the plant floor, and the service organization, manufacturers can reduce errors, increase flexibility in how they manage late-stage engineering changes, reduce work-in-process, and, ultimately, accelerate new product introductions.
Manufacturers value their ability to introduce products faster, keep production costs low, and keep product quality high. Essential to meeting these goals is ensuring that products are built precisely as they were designed. As a result, the two companies ramped up a series of joint sales, marketing, services, support, and product development initiatives designed to collaboratively meet this fast-growing market demand.
The joint solution will manage a closed loop of product information among engineering, manufacturing production, and service. Product structures and 3D product representations defined by engineering become the basis for manufacturing routings and manufacturing bills of materials (mBOMs), which are then used to manage shop floor activity and coordinate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Shop floor information, such as the “as-built” BOM, can also be shared with PLM and ERP systems to complete the closed loop with engineering.
The complete view of a finished product can also be shared with a company’s service organization to optimize service delivery and performance. Customers of the integrated offering could achieve faster time to deployment and lower total cost of ownership. This move, which was likely accelerated after Dassault Systèmes acquisition of Apriso (once PTC’s MES partner), allows PTC to stay focused and counter the “broader footprint” offering of other large PLM vendors.
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