Friday, 6 December 2013

iOS example app for PLM 360 to track GPS and upload photo's

Thought I'd share a few early details of an example of an iOS app that we are working on to show you how you can track GPS locations and upload photo's to PLM 360 using the REST API.  This can also be done for android but for this example I'm using the iOS version. There could be a number of uses for this like field inspections, tracking locations of your product install base or even a basic capture of the locations of your customers.

If you have PLM 360 Enterprise licences you have access to the PLM360 REST API. This will allow you to develop iOS or android apps that work with PLM 360. PLM 360 has a RESTful API. Like most client/server APIs, it consists of a collection of functions that a client application initiates. Structured data is passed back and forth during these function calls.

In the case of REST, a function is represented as a URL and structured data is passed in the body of the HTTP request and response. Basic knowledge of HTTP is helpful when using REST. Concepts like HTTP verbs, query strings, HTTP headers, and MIME types come up when using the API. In addition to the URL, the HTTP verb also indicates the operation to be performed. REST attempts to fit functions into a CRUD model, where operations are either Create, Read, Update, or Delete. The HTTP verb indicates which type of operation is being performed.

So lets take a look, first we click on the app Icon to get started. This app is installed using the Ad Hoc Distribution method. This allows you to try an application without the need to publish to the iTunes App Store. This is how we distribute iPhone applications to beta test.

Home Screen

Step 1.  Login with your Autodesk ID

Step 2. Add tenant name/workspace ID

Step 3. After logging in you will see a success message popup

Step 4. By clicking the search icon the app gets your current GPS location

Step 5. Next by clicking on the + the button we can capture the  photo and GPS location. The Autodesk Soho office xmas tree in this example!

Step 6. Once uploaded you will see a popup message to confirm your image has been uploaded to the PLM 360 tenant that you specified.

Step 7. By clicking on the book icon, this will download all the locations that have been captured and then plot these on the map.

Step 8. You can see on the map that there are 2 locations (red pins) the Autodesk Soho office and my home office.

Step 9.  By clicking on one of the red pins it will display the date and the user who uploaded it.

Step 10. If we then click on the information button this displays the eh!

If we now log into our PLM 360 tenant we can see the information that we just uploaded. In this example I've uploaded the photo to the field Service approvals workspace.

You can see that the workspace contains two records to match the two red location pins from the app. These items have stored the name of the person who uploaded it, the GPS location and embedded Google map.

When we click on the attachments tab, we can see that the photo taken in Step 5 on the iphone has been uploaded to the workspace including a timestamp.

Keep checking back as I'll be adding more examples of PLM 360 apps in the New Year and how you can add value to your existing tenants by adopting these best practice apps. Have a great Christmas !! 

Thanks for reading.....Mike

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Register now for Autodesk University 2013 (AU 2013) in Las Vegas

The Next Industrial Revolution is here. Are you part of it? 
Discover the future of manufacturing at Autodesk University. 
Register now for Autodesk University 2013 (AU 2013) in Las Vegas, an event that offers manufacturing training and events for a new era on December 3-5.

Join us for interactive workshops, product design classes, and keynote addresses by thought leaders and innovators on industry trends that are changing the way you do business. Learn why new technologies such as additive manufacturing, crowdsourcing, and advanced automation are transforming manufacturing. 

This year, we are also introducing I3D Summit, a summit for progressive thinkers, fellow designers, manufacturers and leaders. This not-to-be-missed innovative experience will feature the most creative and inspiring visionaries, investors, and media in business today. This two day event happens on 12/1-12/2 right before Autodesk University. It will inspire and ignite ideas. Then go beyond imagination and learn how to make your ideas come to life. 

This is definitely not a year to miss Autodesk University. Register now to save your spot at the early bird rate:

RSVP on Facebook:

Thanks for reading.....Mike

Monday, 2 September 2013

Autodesk and LEGO Partnership launch 3D Builder App

As I'm sure we can all agree for those of us who have kids, LEGO is BIG in most households. For me being a PLM fan I love the process of seeing the un-constructed box of parts and then seeing it through to the finished product. A perfect match for people and process !! but I'm not a fan nor do I get excited to pour over a 50 page booklet to begin building . To help you out, Autodesk and LEGO have collaborated in developing the newly released 3D Builder app, containing interactive 3D assembly instructions for the latest LEGO MINDSTORM robots.

These interactive instructions are forward thinking and have game changing potential for the industry.  See it in action!

Hear more about it from the Autodesk Publisher team.

Thanks for reading....Mike

Thursday, 20 June 2013

MFG Costing to Engineering App

This week I'm covering a new app in the PLM 360 App Store, the MFG Costing to Engineering app. The Costing to Engineering app helps with one of the most important phases of your product design. The costing, quote, order and engineering processes, use the app the track the progress at each stage and make sure that everyone is involved in the approval process.

This app consists of 5 workspaces:

Project Management: This is the top level project, all of the costing, quote, order and engineering process are managed and tracked via dynamic Gantt chart.

Stage 1: Costing Management: To track the initial product costs and review with the internal review team.

Stage 2: Quote Management: To produce the quote and submit to the customer, you can also create a bespoke print view to match your company standards and logo.

Stage 3: Order Management: Once the quote has been approved this will take you through the order entry process.

Stage 4: Engineering Management: This is the last stage and the management of the drawing process will start here.

Lets take a walk through and see how it works....

Costing Management:

1. Complete the description, customer, start date etc 

2. Based on customer spec and requirements, draft drawings and proposals are created and approved using the workflow approval process.

3. Internal costs for the new product based on the customer requests are entered in the costing tab.

4. The specification and costings need to be approved next and once this is complete a new quote management record is created automatically.
Quote Management

1. Now you need to prepare the quote for the customer, all the details have been carried over from the costing management  workspace, the project details, internal costs and also a link to the costing management record for reference. You can restrict view access to the admin section if you choose to.

2. Now you can add details to the quote grid and use the quotation workflow to approve these costs. You can even include the customer so they can approve the quote in PLM 360.

The quote is then approved by sales, project team and the customer 

You even have a print view that you can customise to match your company standards.

3. Once the quote is approved a new order management record is created automatically.

Order Management

1. As per the costing and quote processes, the description, customer and project details are carried over.  The quote value and automatically calculated profit are displayed, these can be used for the order entry process if needed. Again this view can be restricted to certain groups.

2. The order entry workflow process is then carried out and then the last stage, a new engineering management record is created automatically.

Engineering Management

1. As per the costing, quote and order processes, the description, customer and project details are carried over. The last approval process takes place and you can start to produce the component drawings and specs ready for production. You can also include the customer at this stage to make sure you have 100% approval of the design.

Project Management.

For each of the processes above you would have specified a start date. This start date is used to automatically create milestones for each process stage/approval. These can now be rolled up to the projects workspace for progress tracking.

Expanded view

Hope you get some value from this app, remember as with all the apps in the App Store you can edit, add or delete fields and configure the workflows to match you own business processes more closely if needed.

Thanks for reading.....Mike

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Autodesk Services Implementation Tracker PLM 360 App

This week I'm covering a new app in the PLM 360 App Store, the Autodesk Services Implementation Tracker PLM 360 App. I met with Ian Hadden from Autodesk Services to discuss the app and tell us all about it.

Mike: Hi Ian, thanks for taking the time to speak to me, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and what you do for Autodesk?

Ian: I sure can Mike, I am a Solution Architect with Autodesk PLM Services. My role is to help Autodesk’s PLM customers get the most out of their PLM deployments. That means understanding what they are looking to do with PLM, helping them find the right configuration of the system to achieve their goals and assisting in the development of that configuration. 

Mike: Sounds like you’re a busy man! Can you tell me about Autodesk Services and what are the main services you offer our customers?

Ian: Autodesk PLM Services has a menu of offerings designed for a variety of customer needs from packaged workflow solutions all the way down to essential training. For the customer, the choice really on depends on how much of the work they are willing to take on themselves. For customers that aren’t sure where to start we can also perform an RPM (Roadmap and Priority Matrix), through this process we identify the various pain points that PLM can help address and help prioritize these based on implementation ease and business impact. It’s a great way for customers to thoughtfully establish a comprehensive PLM strategy to ensure long term success.

Mike: Cool ! thanks for putting together the Autodesk Services Implementation Tracker can you explain what this is, and how our customers will use it to help manage their PLM 360 implementations? 

Ian: I started building this app to help people organize their PLM deployment. During the deployment there are key pieces of information that need to be tracked and shared with everyone involved in the project. PLM 360 is a great place to share that information. It’s made up of five major functions:

AC Implementation Management
This Workspace is for top level project management and progress tracking. Here you build out your Project Phases and Sprints. The Project management Tab in this workspace lets you link the sprints to the Phases and build dependencies between the various sprints. From here you can create the various tasks that need to be performed to complete each Phase or Sprint.

AC Implementation Tasks
This is the workspace where the Tasks that were created from the AC Implementation Management workspace are located. These tasks are assigned to individuals who are responsible for the timely completion of the task. The progress on the task is tracked through workflow and with Milestones. The Tasks can also be linked to other project elements such as requests for Scripts or Change Requests. 

AC Configuration Change Request
As its name suggests this workspace is where requests to make changes to the current or planned configuration and be made. Once a request is submitted it is reviewed by the application Owner (see Below AC Applications) who decides if the request should progress. The Application owner also determines if this request needs to go to the Software vendor, in this case Autodesk as an enhancement or bug. For changes that can be made in house, workflow changes, adding additional fields etc. the Application owner assigns the Change request to someone to complete. The change requests can also be linked to an Implementation Task so it can be tracked in the overall project. 
AC Script Log
The AC Script Log came about as a way to keep track of all the different scripts that we needed to create or had created for a deployment. As the need for a script is identified it is captured in the AC Script log workspaces. Once the requirements for the script have been reviewed and the need confirmed the script goes forward to be developed. The Script Files tab is used to upload the different version of the script as it is developed so that they can be referred back to. It is almost like using PLM 360 to be the source control system for its own development. The Script history tab is used to capture any notes and or reasons why the script has been changed.

AC Applications

This workspace is used to allow the end users to also use the workspaces in this app to manage the deployment of other software. Just add you additional applications and their respective owner and you will be able to pick them in the applications pick list of the other workspaces. 

Mike: Excellent I think this will be a great asset to the PLM 360 App Store! Can you share some other ideas that you might have for future apps?

Ian: Certainly, in Autodesk PLM Services we are always looking for ways to make our deployments faster and less costly for customers. The app store gives us a great opportunity to build based on best practices we refine in the field. We’re currently working on some really exciting things that we hope will continue to bring valuable solutions to real world customer problems. 

Mike: Thanks Ian, I'll look forward to catching up soon and publishing your future apps to the PLM 360 App Store!

Thanks for reading.....Mike

Friday, 17 May 2013

Using The New CE Marking App In PLM 360

This week I'm covering a new app in the PLM 360 App Store, the CE Marking App. The purpose of this app is to manage the approval stages needed for the affixing of the CE marking on your products. With this app you can also create the EC Declaration Of Conformity and get an automatically generated document ready to print and sign for the official bodies to approve.

Background to CE Marking..

CE marking does not indicate that a product was made in the EEA, but merely states that the product is assessed before being placed on the market and thus satisfies the legislative requirements (e.g. a harmonised level of safety) to be sold there. It means that the manufacturer has verified that the product complies with all relevant essential requirements (, health, environmental protection requirements) of the applicable directive(s) – or, if stipulated in the directive(s), has had it examined by a notified conformity assessment body.

Using the CE Marking App
A visual indicator will tell you if you have completed all the sections and your product is approved

Stage 1: Identify the applicable Directive(s)
Stage 1: Identify the applicable Directive(s)
The first step is to identify whether the product needs to bear CE marking or not. Not all products are required to bear CE marking, only the products that fall within the scope of at least one of the sectoral directives requiring CE marking. There are more than 20 sectoral product directives requiring CE marking covering, but not limited to, products such as electrical equipment, machines, medical devices, toys, pressure equipment, PPE, wireless devices and construction products.

Stage 2: Identify the applicable requirements of the Directive(s)
Stage 2: Identify the applicable requirements of the Directive(s)

Each Directive has slightly different methods of demonstrating conformity depending on the classification of the product and its intended use. Every Directive has a number of ‘essential requirements’ that the product has to meet before being placed on the market.

Stage 3: Identify an appropriate route to conformity
Stage 3: Identify an appropriate route to conformity

Although the process is always a self-declaration process, there are various routes to conformity depending on the directive and classification of the product. Some products (such as invasive medical devices, or fire alarm and extinguisher systems) may, to some extent, have a mandatory requirement for the involvement of an authorised third party or "notified body".

Stage 4: Assessment of the product's conformity
Stage 4: Assessment of the product's conformity
When all of the requirements have been established, the conformity of the product to the essential requirements of the Directive(s)needs to be assessed. This usually involves assessment and/or testing, and may include an evaluation of the conformity of the product to the harmonised standard(s) identified in step 2.

Stage 5: Compile the technical documentation
Stage 5: Compile the technical documentation

Technical documentation, usually referred to as the technical file, relating to the product or range of products needs to be compiled. This information should cover every aspect relating to conformity and is likely to include details of the design, development and manufacture of the product.

Technical documentation will usually include:

  • Technical description
  • Drawings, circuit diagrams and photos
  • Bill of materials
  • Specification and, where applicable, Declarations of Conformity for the critical components and materials used
  • Details of any design calculations
  • Test reports and/or assessments
  • Instructions
  • EC Declaration of Conformity

Technical documentation can be made available in any format (i.e. paper or electronic) and must be held for a period of up to 10 years after the manufacture of the last unit, and in most cases reside in the European Economic Area (EEA). Using this App you have a permanent record to keep.

Stage 6: Make a Declaration and affix the CE marking
Stage 6: Make a Declaration and affix the CE marking
When the you are satisfied that your product conforms to the applicable Directives, an EC Declaration of Conformity must be completed.

Declaration of Incorporation.
The requirements for the Declaration vary slightly, but will at least include:
  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • Details of the product (model, description and the serial number where applicable)
  • List of applicable sectoral Directives and standards that have been applied
  • A statement declaring that the product complies with all of the relevant requirements
  • Signature, name and position of the responsible person
  • The date that the Declaration was signed
  • Details of the authorised representative within the EEA (where applicable)
  • Additional Directive/standard specific requirements

Once completed you can approve the Declaration of Conformity using the workflow below:
Approval Proces for the Declaration of  Conformity

Using the Advanced Print views in PLM 360 your Declaration of Conformity will automatically be created for you
A PLM 360 Print view is automatically created 

The whole process is tracked using the CE approved 1 to 6 stage workflow process.
CE approved 1 to 6 stage workflow process.

Once a Declaration of Conformity has been completed, the final step is to affix the CE marking to the product. When this has been done, the CE marking requirements have been met.

I hope you find this CE Marking PLM 360 App useful,  I'd be interested to know what Innovative products have been managed  using this App!

Thanks for reading....Mike