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

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PARIS - 13 Oct 2005:

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 Systèmes.

"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.

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