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To better understand how bill of materials and business operations software can interact, we reached out to George Lewis, vice president of corporate strategy for Arena, a PTC Business.
Arena introduced the world’s first multi-tenant PLM software in 2000 as a service solution. Since that time, Arena has helped thousands of companies globally to introduce products to market faster. Arena’s software is cloud-based, and manages the entire product record, including the bill of materials (BOM), while connecting key products to improve quality management, regulatory compliance, training, requirements management, and more. Arena’s software is intended to keep internal product teams and external supply chain partners aligned so that they launch new products on time and under budget.
Nolan Johnson: Digital twin is a concept appearing in nearly every meaningful discussion of factory automation, and bill of materials (BOMs) are a central component to digital twins for design, manufacture, engineering, and tracking products in the field. How does Arena see your products advancing the digital twin as a smart factory schema?
George Lewis: The concepts of factory automation and digital twin begin with strong control of the BOM and associated product development processes. In this regard, product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions like Arena create the framework for this communication. A cloud-based solution provides unique advantages in those scenarios where supply chains are heavily leveraged, which is commonplace in many industries today through market forces like digital transformation. Arena is well-positioned to create connections from internal teams like engineering, quality, and operations to external supply chain partners’ manufacturing floors.
Johnson: In PCB manufacturing, most facilities are pre-existing; there aren’t that many greenfield site builds outside of Asia. What is your advice for an existing facility looking to become more digital, more “smart,” in manufacturing?
Lewis: Whether you are a new or existing manufacturer, the need to work smarter and avoid cost overruns, scrap, and delays is critical to your survival. The great thing about cloud solutions is that they don’t require the technical support or overhead to quickly adopt. Companies no longer have to install software or set up virtual private networks (VPNs) to protect their intellectual property (IP). Cloud solutions are designed with security and ease of use so that every member of the supply chain can access and collaborate with their partners.
To read this entire conversation, which appeared in the September 2021 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.