Skip to main content

IBM, Welsh Development Agency and Swansea University Establish New PLM Centre of Excellence

Centre to Offer Welsh Businesses Access to IBM PLM Expertise

SWANSEA, WALES - 20 Apr 2005: The UK's first Centre of Excellence in Product Lifecycle Management is to be established at Technium Auto, providing Welsh automotive sector SMEs with access to some of the most sophisticated software products in the world.

The announcement was made today by Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport, and follows an agreement between the Welsh Assembly Government, IBM, Swansea University and the Welsh Development Agency.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a set of capabilities that enables an enterprise to effectively and efficiently innovate and manage its products and related services throughout the entire business lifecycle, from conception through recycling or disposal.

The new centre will provide small and medium-sized Welsh businesses with an unparalleled opportunity to gain competitive edge by drawing on IBM's expertise in PLM to accelerate and improve product development and lifecycle management.

Under the agreement, IBM will provide advanced PLM software and IBM eServer systems, which will be used to sponsor demonstration facilities. In addition, IBM will offer education, research and training consultancy.

The agreement forms part of the £9m Technium Auto* project, which is currently under development at Dafen, Llanelli with support from Objective 1 funds. It is the latest addition to the pan-Wales network of Technium centres that are transforming the way that Wales attracts and creates high-quality employment and business opportunities.

Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport, described the investment as a superb opportunity for Welsh SMEs and an attractive magnet for inward investment:

"Whilst Wales has a strong automotive component sector, the automotive industry is highly competitive, with issues affecting car manufacturers having a direct impact on supply chain companies.

"The availability and use of this sophisticated software will not only help SMEs to maintain their vital contribution to the automotive supply chain, but also enable them to move quickly to manage change and maximise the opportunities of securing new work."

Mike Kuklenko, PLM Solutions Business Director, IBM North Region, said: "Our solutions are used by the world's leading companies to bring products to market faster; produce higher quality products and components; and, to reduce errors and costly product modifications. By helping establish this Centre of Excellence -- in collaboration with the WDA and Swansea University -- IBM will help bring this same expertise to small and medium-sized businesses in Wales, enabling them to reap the benefits of PLM."

In addition, as part of today's agreement, Swansea University will now host the first Centre of Advanced Studies in PLM. IBM will collaborate in this venture, providing PLM expertise to help design and implement coursework.

Prof. Richard B Davies, Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, described it as another highly significant development for the University: "Bringing together world-class research in the top-rated School of Engineering at Swansea and the commercial experience of a global company will enable the project to make a real difference to the economy of Wales."

Through these courses, students will be able to learn how PLM can help companies meet their business challenges and take this expertise into industry. Students will also be able to improve their skills on CATIA V5, SMARTEAM and ENOVIA, leading IBM PLM solutions, developed by Dassault Systèmes.

Prof Marc Clement, Senior Executive at the university, said the initiative would enable the University to develop advanced skills that would immediately add value to knowledge-based industry: "It directly supports the automotive, aerospace and healthcare industries which are so important to the Welsh economy."

This latest agreement follows on from IBM's collaboration with the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University, which will host a new European Deep Computing Visualisation Centre for Medical Applications and include a new IBM supercomputer.

* Technium Auto will support the performance engineering sector with a particular emphasis on automotive component design, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), modelling and simulation, electronics and telematics, as well as fatigue and durability performance of components and systems.

PLM: an increasing importance in the industry

IBM's PLM product portfolio
IBM's PLM portfolio provides the tools and processes that cover the entire product development cycle -- from concept right through to end of life -- enabling companies to operate in an on-demand environment, sharing data and information throughout the supply chain.

PLM enables industrial companies to foster engineering and manufacturing excellence, increase competitiveness and enhance innovation on a market that is now more and more global. PLM has become an essential discipline, at the heart of companies' business preoccupations.

The IBM PLM software portfolio of products includes:

CATIA Solutions -- the world's leading CAD/CAM/CAE software solution that
gives customers a broad range of dedicated solutions to cover all aspects
of product design and manufacture;

ENOVIA Portfolio -- a set of product lifecycle management solutions that
support e-businesses throughout the digital enterprise;

SMARTEAM Suite -- enable business and their supply chains to gain
improvements in turnaround, comply with industry standards and short time-
to-market

IBM PLM solutions and the industry

###

Contact(s) information

Joseph Hanley
IBM Media Relations
+44 (0)20 8844 6972
hanleyj@uk.ibm.com

Shan Ekin-Wood
Welsh development Agency
02920 828693
Shan.Ekin-Wood@wda.co.uk

Related XML feeds
Topics XML feeds
Business partners
Business partner information including strategic alliances
Software
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source