Team led by Joachim Lentes recognized for new product development platform
Nov 5, 2014
At the APMS 2014 International Conference, Joachim Lentes and his team at Fraunhofer IAO were awarded the Best Paper Award 2014 by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). This winning paper discusses their project to create an open platform for improving information flow during product development and production.
Initiated and led by Fraunhofer IAO, the EU’s Advanced Platform for Manufacturing Engineering and PLM (amePLM) project is designed to simplify the approach companies take to product development. In the project, an open engineering platform will be created to facilitate the exchange of information between product development partners. Project leader Joachim Lentes and his team received the IFIP’s Burbidge Award for their publication outlining the platform on September 24, 2014.
Developing new products usually involves many different parties, all of them working with different software tools and databases. Getting these various systems to talk to each other is extremely difficult and often not possible at all. As a result, data exchange is onerous and the flow of information is sluggish – which means the processes partners rely on are unnecessarily slow and complicated. By bringing these information flows onto a shared platform, amePLM makes all of the necessary information available for every stakeholder in the format that’s right for them. “In particular, this cuts down on the time it takes to find information, which greatly simplifies and speeds up product development,” Lentes says.
This platform is based on open-source software. “And our final product will for the most part be available as open source, too,” predicts Lentes. Once completed, the platform will be suitable for any size of company; either the project team or users themselves will be able to tailor it to a given company’s needs. “Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular stand to gain from this solution, because it’s simple to set up, easy to use and doesn’t require complicated maintenance,” he adds. Customization is no problem thanks to the platform’s modular architecture, and companies can even continue to use their existing software solutions and integrate them into the platform. The first amePLM products will come to market later this year.
Joachim Lentes studied mechanical engineering and has worked as a researcher at Fraunhofer IAO for over ten years, heading the Competence Team Digital Engineering there since 2009. His six-person team develops and researches innovative approaches and IT systems to increase the competitiveness of product creation and realization.