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IBM Expands PLM Express Portfolio to Help Mid-Sized Manufacturers Increase Customer Responsiveness and Maximize ROI


PARIS -- Oct 13, 2005 --

* “IBM Product Lifecycle Management Express for Business Integration” links ERP and PLM to optimize sharing of critical product and materials information
* “IBM Product Lifecycle Management Express for Machining” enables machining users to collaborate with product designers and manufacture higher quality and innovative products at a lower cost

IBM today announced that it has enhanced its Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Express portfolio, created specifically for mid-sized manufacturers, with two new offerings: Product Lifecycle Management Express for Business Integration and Product Lifecycle Management Express for Machining. These new, easy-to-implement and affordable solutions will provide mid-sized manufacturers with benefits only available to larger companies until now. This will help them start their On-Demand journey by increasing both horizontal integration -- between ERP and PLM processes, and vertical integration -- between design and manufacturing. Thus, they will be able to respond faster to changing customer requirements and to bring products to market quicker with improved quality and more innovation -- while maintaining profitability.

The overall IBM Express Portfolio now counts over 100 solutions designed, developed and priced for the mid-market, including new Express services offerings, new industry-specific solutions, the Business Partner program ’Built on IBM Express Portfolio,’ and new Express middleware, servers and high-powered IntelliStation workstations that provide infrastructure support for PLM Express solutions. The latest PLM Express offerings demonstrate IBM’s continued investment in the mid-market with solutions that address the security, reliability, cost and ease-of-use requirements of mid-sized businesses.

Product Lifecycle Management Express for Business Integration is designed to automate business processes and enhance the bottom line by bridging the divide between product development and production. Companies are realizing that they can obtain maximum benefits from their Product Lifecycle Management and ERP systems only by integrating them. The bridge is built with SMARTEAM Gateway, WebSphere® Business Integration Server Express Plus, and the Adapter Capacity Pack for WebSphere Business Integration Server Express. The efficient and effective integration of key enterprise applications will help improve decision making, product quality, revenue, profit margin and time-to-market. This IBM offering includes the hardware, software and services elements to accomplish this integration, run on IBM eServer® xSeries® servers.

“Being able to integrate PLM with other enterprise-wide processes is now seen as a critical factor for success by our customers. It can help them optimize the sharing of information and data related to product and material amongst all enterprise teams involved in product development,” says Chuck Stickles, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, Axiom Systems, an IBM PLM Business Partner. “PLM Express for Business Integration makes it easier for us to deliver those benefits to them quicker and at a lower cost.”

IBM Product Lifecycle Management Express for Machining enables midsize companies to accelerate their time to market and lower the cost of product development by improving the integration between initial concept design and manufacturing, ensuring the manufacturability of a product much earlier in the development process. PLM Express for Machining is tailored to the needs of the numerical control (NC) machining user who needs to prepare machine tools to “cut the parts” that have been designed usually by another company. It provides fast and secure data transfer between manufacturers and their customers and automated programming of machine tools based on design geometry. It also offers a secure database for centralized access to design and manufacturing documents and to previous projects. This improves productivity and significantly reduces the number of machining errors that cause scrap and re-work. This solution supports a wide array of machining operations with an integrated tool set. It is based on CATIA V5 NC Manufacturing and SMARTEAM TeamPDM, both IBM PLM applications developed by Dassault Systčmes.

“With CATIA V5 SMG we reduced the time to program an electrode from 8 hours to 30 minutes. The capability to reuse company knowledge gives us complete control of program quality,” says Chris Philpott, Systems Engineer at HBC Engineering Solutions, a leading component manufacturer and tool maker for mold and press tools, based in Sheerness, Kent, UK.

About PLM and PLM Express
Product Lifecycle Management is a strategic approach to creating and managing a company’s product-related intellectual capital, from its initial conception to retirement. IBM’s Express portfolio is comprised of hardware, software, services and financing and is the first in the industry to meet specific criteria for mid-sized businesses -- companies between 100 and 1000 employees that often have fewer IT skills and tighter budgets than larger enterprises -- in their transformation into On Demand businesses using IBM’s open standard-based technology. Sold and serviced through IBM and IBM’s extensive locally based PLM Business Partner network, the IBM PLM Express Portfolio consists of solutions integrated with CATIA Version 5, the leading collaborative product design software, and SMARTEAM for product data management, both developed by Dassault Systčmes. To learn more about PLM express, please visit

About IBM
IBM is the world’s largest technological company, providing leadership and innovation throughout the world for more than 80 years. IBM is the largest supplier of “hardware,” “software” and Information Technology services, and pioneered the development and implementation of On Demand solutions. IBM Sales & Distribution, which supports more than a dozen key industries worldwide, works with companies of all sizes around the world to deploy the full range of IBM technologies. The fastest way to get more information about IBM is through the IBM home page at

IBM Product Lifecycle Management Express for Business integration

This solution is:

* Able to exchange information between previously incompatible systems
* Scalable (grows to meet the organization’s needs)
* Adaptable in the face of organizational changes
* Able to rapidly integrate and automate business processes
* More then just data exchange
* Reduces application maintenance resources and expenses
* Increases business agility by allowing quick adaptability to business rules changes
* Offers a low TCO and leverages existing systems to deliver proven ROI

Many customers have implemented -- or are in the process of implementing -- enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. At the same time, they also are phasing in stages of product life-cycle management (Product Lifecycle Management) implementation starting with computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), computer aided engineering (CAE) and product development management (PDM) Customers are realizing that the maximum benefits of these two systems can be reached only by integrating them. This offering includes the hardware, software and services elements to accomplish this integration. The bridge between the Product Lifecycle Management and ERP systems is built from SMARTEAM, SMARTEAM Gateway, WebSphere® Business Integration Server Express Plus, and the Adapter Capacity Pack for WebSphere Business Integration Server Express. Plus, it is run on IBM xSeries® servers. IBM Business Partners provide the skills to install and implement the solution, which is:

* Capable of exchanging information between and across systems that were not designed to work together
* Robust, with transaction and rollback support built into the solution
* Scalable, to grow to meet an organization’s needs as it grows
* Adaptable, so that, as the solutions in the organization change, one solution can be substituted for another without a complete rewiring of the connections between the applications involved

IBM Product Lifecycle Management Express for Machining
Components of this solution include IBM Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) applications software developed by Dassault Systčmes:

* CATIA V5 3D Product Design software plus Numerical Control (NC) Manufacturing products for part programming
* SMARTEAM product data management (PDM) software for collaboration, workflow and drawing vaulting
* STEP and IGES for working with CAD data from other systems
* Plus an optional Manufacturing Profile Pack offering a selection of advanced NC products to enable customizing of each NC user’s configuration to his or her specific needs
* IBM Business Consulting Services or IBM PLM Business Partner services for training, onsite user support, customization and post processor generation

Additional components that would logically constitute a clothing or cross-brand opportunity include:

* Web-based learning solutions (WLS)
* IBM WebSphere® Application Server Express and IBM DB2® Express
* IBM Electronic Customer Support Representative (ECSR) enhanced support
* Hardware: IBM IntelliStation® PRO Series, ThinkPad® notebooks from Lenovo, IBM eServer(logo)® xSeries® or IBM BladeCenter® server
* Additional external network attached storage (NAS) or storage area network (SAN) storage for large data requirements
* ITS Services for extended warranty and installation services
* Proximity Services for hardware and software infrastructure installation and support -- from IBM or from IBM PLM Business Partner
* IBM Financing Advantage from IBM Global Services

The IBM offering is: A low-cost and an easy-to-implement solution with robust and industry-leading functionality that allows manufacturers to collaborate with their customers earlier in the design stage, reducing product development time and cost and speeding time to market, and is supported by the certified IBM network of over 200 PLM Business Partner firms backed by IBM.


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