Year 2017 is coming to an end and we summon up our news in 2017
- Bluestar PLM – 20 Most Promising Microsoft Solution Providers – 2017 by CIOReview
- Case study – Hydratech
- Case Study: Rayloc
- New Job Opening
- Bluestar PLM at the D365UG/AXUG Summit in Nashville!
- Speaker at the D365UG/AXUG Summit 2017, Nashville
- CAD/ERP LINK for SOLIDWORKS
- Innovative Thinking – Breaking Boundaries
- Case study: Rotork & Bluestar
- PDM Technology Group Appoints Director of Business Development
- Case Study: “Mobile Technologies Inc. & Bluestar PLM”
Thank you for all your visits at this website!
Happy Holidays and best wishes for the new year!
From all of us at Bluestar
PLM and ERP: Enriched and Redefined
In the year 2000, a team of determined engineers embarked on a mission to revolutionize the collaboration between engineering and manufacturing. Using their expertise in ERP, CAD and engineering product data management, they sought to add the missing link between engineering and manufacturing by integrating product design, engineering, and ERP that at that time were siloed into one common solution. While industry experts were and still are skeptical about this endeavor, the team remained resolute and found a force in Microsoft Dynamics platform, which they leveraged to develop Bluestar PLM—a comprehensive product life cycle management (PLM) solution. The ground-breaking venture marked the inception of PDM technology—an independent software enterprise and a technology partner of Microsoft founded in the beginning of the 00’s—which effected a paradigm shift in the manufacturing ERP domain.
Bluestar PLM is seamlessly embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations and the Dynamics AX and offers end-to-end integration of 3D CAD, ERP, and PLM systems, which is unique. “Bluestar PLM represents a missing link that enables companies to seamlessly share ERP, PLM, and CAD data to all parties involved in product data, within a single system” says Jorgen Larsen, CEO, PDM technology–the company behind Bluestar PLM. Integrating product configuration tools with Bluestar PLM, the system generates 3D models based on defined configuration rules—besides providing visibility into the inventory levels or quality of component parts produced from a CAD workstation, without having to check the ERP modules. Bluestar PLM’s ability to reduce the number of systems to be supported has garnered immense appreciation from clients’ IT infrastructure support and management teams.
“Bluestar PLM represents a missing link that enables companies to seamlessly share ERP, PLM, and CAD data within a single system that can be used multiple times.”
The all-inclusive Bluestar PLM inside Dynamics 365 can be deployed faster than a multitude of separate solutions. Dan Fite, Business Development Director for North America, mentions that the company’s modus operandi is to understand clients’ ERP requirements and measure the performance that PLM can deliver. Clients’ ecosystems are “embedded” into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment, following which Bluestar PLM is integrated into the ERP system. “Our consultants work with clients to bring the data such as CAD drawing models into the Bluestar PLM system and secure it in a client’s environment,” states Fite. “With a single environment users of Bluestar are seeing great improvements. Rayloc’s Supply Chain Director has seen a 15 percent increase in efficiency and a reduction in BOM errors from 60 percent to below 10 percent.” The company extends the integration package to some of the earliest versions of Microsoft Dynamics to ensure that clients using older versions do not miss out on the benefits. A significant outcome of deploying Bluestar PLM is a drastic drop in the number of product detail errors as well as the hastening of engineering change order (ECO) process.
The impact of Bluestar PLM on ECO process proved to be a game-changer for Mobile Technologies Inc. (MTI)—a pioneer in mobile display technologies. Prior to deploying Bluestar PLM, MTI had to deal with numerous design iterations and the company’s ECO logs were performed manually in a spreadsheet, which was both time-consuming and cost-intensive. The manual operations resulted in erroneous entries and therefore seldom reflected all the part numbers under revision, which impacted the documentation process. To counter the problem, MTI engaged with PDM technology to unleash the power of Bluestar PLM. Along with features to optimize the workflow, Bluestar PLM enabled multi-site engineering collaboration by creating a central repository to store and manage engineering data. The loss of product information reduced significantly, improving the ECO time by nearly 80 percent, which impressed Microsoft as well.
Moving forward, PDM technology is expanding its support capabilities across Nashville, Atlanta, and Pilsen in the Czech Republic. Larsen mentions that the company is also working to automate the product design process using artificial intelligence and machine learning. “We will add new functions and features to our product with a focus on providing value to our customers’ business,” mentions Larsen.
CIOReview, Microsoft Special, December 07, 2017, page 16.
Download the 2 page pdf:
Jesper B. Thomsen is Project Manager in PDM Technology, which stands behind the product Bluestar PLM.
Bluestar PLM makes manufacturing systems communicate
Production processes show improvement at Hydratech Industries after implementing Bluestar PLM – the link between design and production.
At Hydratech Industries, it’s essential that drawings and data flow freely between the technical departments, where the design is developed – to production, where the plans are implemented.
The company previously used systems where users had to manually enter all data from the technical systems to production. The time-consuming manual process involved with populating product data from one system to the other resulted in production errors and longer waiting times. Following implementation of Bluestar PLM, which links communication between engineering and production, those problems have been resolved.
Jesper Bangsgaard is the Logistics Manager of Hydratech Industries, a company that supplies hydraulic equipment to wind turbine manufacturers, the maritime sector and the mining industry. According to Bangsgaard, Bluestar PLM was his company’s choice because it works so well with the company’s ERP system, Dynamics AX. “We were looking for a solution that could tie together the worlds of production and technology, so we could stop re-keying information. Too much extra work and time was wasted in that process,” Bangsgaard said.
“It was easy for us to decide that we wanted Bluestar PLM, as it’s a product that just makes the two worlds come together.”
Jesper Bangsgaard, Logistics Manager at Hydratech Industries
Hydratech Industries wanted direct access to drawings and information from technical departments; Bluestar PLM provided that access. “It was easy for us to decide that we wanted Bluestar PLM, as it’s a product that just makes the two worlds come together,” said Bangsgaard.
Works in any manufacturing environment
Jesper B. Thomsen is a project leader for PDM Technology, the company behind the product Bluestar PLM. Since 2001, PDM Technology has developed and delivered Bluestar PLM to the Microsoft Dynamics ERP platforms in Europe and North America.
According to Thomsen, a key factor that makes Bluestar PLM unique and extremely easy to use is that it is embedded within the ERP system, yet it also has contact with the CAD programs where the design takes place.
“Bluestar PLM allows data to flow freely between design and production, which improves accuracy and efficiency in any manufacturing environment,” Thomsen said, adding, “Design changes are handled easily, because the change is seamlessly cascaded through the system, without the risk of error. That’s hard to do when you work in two different systems, and that’s where Bluestar PLM makes a huge difference.”
A solution for global operations
Bluestar PLM includes Version Management; delivering complete control over which versions are released and when – and then information is immediately transferred to production.
“This allows Hydratech Industries to automatically send drawings when we make a purchase order, because the two systems are ‘talking’ together,” said Bangsgaard. “When an operator makes a production order and needs to double check something, he just enters the screen and retrieves the drawing. Our service engineers, who are located around the world and in different time zones, will quickly be able to find drawings without waiting for business hours at our Denmark headquarters.”
”This allows Hydratech Industries to automatically send drawings when we make a purchase order, because the two systems are ‘talking’ together.”
Jesper Bangsgaard, Logistics Manager at Hydratech Industries
Hydratech Industries has production facilities in both Denmark and China, where they had exactly the same issues. “Our department in China is now experiencing the same benefits, and we can easily support them and keep track of what’s going on. We are about to roll it out for the rest of the organization, so hopefully another Danish factory in Silkeborg will soon do exactly the same,”Bangsgaard said.
According to Bangsgaard, the implementation process was painless – especially on the Bluestar PLM side, where all the underlying system information was controlled. “There is good support from PDM Technology and it’s easy to use, so we feel we are in good hands. We heard good recommendations about Bluestar PLM from others in the industry who were very satisfied. That confirmed our feeling that we were choosing the best solution,” said Bangsgaard.
Source: Sponsored case study published in Jyllands Posten, Danish newspaper, October 26th, 2017.
The Autumn 2017 issue of The Record features a case study on Rayloc. The full-length article is as follows:
Making data available to everyone
By implementing technology from Bluestar PLM, engineering company Rayloc has made sure that the right data is now available to everyone in the company at the right time. This has led to fewer errors, improved efficiency and a faster time to market
Established in a small engineering workshop in Atlanta in the 1930s, Rayloc has grown to become one of the most widely known engineering, cataloguing, sourcing and distribution companies in the world.
Today it provides high quality, application-specific products such as brake pads, brake drums and bearings to the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) and its customers, using its wealth of expertise in global sourcing, engineering and distribution. This is supported by over 500 employees operating across Rayloc’s four distribution centres, multiple cross dock locations and its 750-piece private trucking fleet.
“Our remanufacturing roots created a technical core competency that enables us to engineer and source high-quality parts and programmes,” explains the company’s supply chain director Joe Stich.
“With an ISO-certified quality system and a culture for continuous improvement, we deliver real competitive advantage to NAPA in each of our product lines.”
But until recently, this competitive advantage was being marred by Rayloc’s disparate technology systems which were preventing it from meeting new expectations in terms of efficiency and visibility of data.
“Most of the challenges we faced as a company boiled down to us having multiple systems to manage different parts of the business,” Stich says. “Product design, engineering, quality documentation, procurement, production and finance were all separate and it was proving difficult to keep them in sync.”
With this in mind, the company turned to Bluestar PLM for help. “Bluestar PLM stood out with its seamless integration as an embedded module into Microsoft Dynamics AX,” Stich says. “Additionally, the integration into our 3D modelling software (Solidworks) and other Microsoft products such as the Office suite combined to make a very versatile tool.”
Following the implementation of the Bluestar PLM solution, Rayloc is benefiting from a raft of business benefits. “We have better data integrity, new visual aids for our production and quality departments, improved document retention which will help Rayloc through its ISO re-certification in 2017, improved revision history and future revision announcements that assist in product running changes,” Stich explains.
In fact, companywide data accessibility has improved significantly. “In the past, product data was shared manually using multiple different solutions,” Stich says. “Rayloc employees have quickly favoured Bluestar PLM because it acts as a one stop shop. All data – from development through to sales and marketing, customer service and quality assurance – can be found quickly and easily.”
And this is just the start. “Errors resulting from our bill of materials have reduced from 60% to below 10%,” Stich says. “The gap is closing every audit.”
“Errors resulting from our bill of materials have reduced from 60% to below 10%,” Stich says. “The gap is closing every audit.”
What’s more, production line efficiency has increased by 15%. “This is because equipment setup and other product attributes were not readily available before. Now it is easier to create different products.”
As a result, the company expects to shave months off its time to market. “Although we are still in the process of measuring the entire time to market, through the first 75% of our process we are seeing tasks completed 20% sooner, while also having the accountability of who is working on each task and gathering key information from other departments all within a single Bluestar workflow,” Stich says.
Rayloc also expects to experience cost savings by the end of the year when it is able to shut down two separate servers that will greatly reduce its IT maintenance. The company’s plans for the future don’t end here. “We want to get the quality management system module up and running and to allow our global team access to our information,” Stich says.
“We couldn’t have done any of this without Bluestar PLM.”
“Additionally, we would like to get our laboratory testing data into Bluestar PLM in such a way that we can ensure all test protocols have been completed and then to report on the best in class designs. Similarly for laboratory testing data, we are currently inputting our Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) documentation to make sure we have all the necessary info before placing orders.”
“Overall, now that we have access to great detailed information, we have identified many opportunities for improvement. This is guiding some of our key initiatives for the year ahead. We couldn’t have done any of this without Bluestar PLM.
The record, Issue : Autumn 2017, page 100-101.
Bluestar PLM is currently looking to fill some new positions. We are looking for the right candidates to fill the positions of Support Engineer and Implementation Consultant. If you have experience in the areas of ERP, CAD, PLM, Production in AX, or Engineering within a manufacturing company we should talk.
Please take a look at the job description here.
Come see Bluestar PLM at the D365UG/AXUG Summit
Bluestar PLM will show the exciting new features at D365UG/AXUG Summit 2017 in Nashville, TN from October 10th-13th at booth #350.
Bring Your Engineers on Board!
Are your engineers working in tools outside of Dynamics? This year we focus on how Bluestar PLM improves collaboration between engineering and manufacturing teams by bringing your engineers onto the Dynamics platform. Bluestar PLM is the product lifecycle management solution built in Dynamics with integration to several popular CAD packages. The solution ensures that data is visible across all CAD, PLM and ERP systems in real-time and is easy to deploy and maintain.
We specialize in the automation of engineering tasks to remove non-value-added tasks and insure data is entered once and accessible by all enterprise users.
- Integration to various 3D CAD and ECAD systems.
- Engineering Changes can be requested by anyone in the enterprise and are managed via Work Flow management
Bluestar PLM is being used successfully by manufacturing companies in the Engineer-to-Order and Configure-to-Order businesses with needs to improve:
- Engineering Change processes
- Product Lifecycle Management
- Product Variants (as built management)
- Multiple site Engineering collaboration
- Managing multiple CAD systems (with a single PLM system)
- Synchronizing data between CAD systems and Microsoft Dynamics
Meet the Bluestar PLM Experts at Booth #350
Wednesday, October 11, 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Thursday, October 12, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday, October 13, 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
AXUG Summit is hosted by the Dynamics AX User Group (AXUG). AXUG is an organization that strives to engage the Dynamics AX user community through events, like AXUG Summit, where users learn firsthand the best way to leverage Dynamics AX. Click here to learn more.
Book a meeting with our experts at the Summit (Before/After Show Hours)
How to Bring Your Engineers Onboard and Manage Product Changes with Dynamics AX 2009 and Beyond
Version: AX 2009; AX 2012; AX 2012 R2; AX 2012 R3; D365 for Finance and Operations
Director of Business Development North America
Bluestar PLM by PDM Technology
In this session, we will discuss how to bring an engineering department into our ERP system and give access to all of the engineering details to the complete organization. As well, we will show how to request a change to a product and then were able to track the information from Engineering and getting the information to the production floor. Lastly, we will show how to use Product Data Management and Product Life Cycle Management to ensure that you have the correct version/revision of data from Engineering to the complete organization.
- Have a new view on the Engineering Department involvement in ERP
- Understand how CAD can be linked to ERP and PLM
Bluestar PLM is an Exhibitor at this years D350UG/AXUG Summit in Nashville, TN. Come and visit us at booth #350.
When CAD and ERP users work independently in detached systems, they are forced to perform the time-consuming task of manually re-keying product data, ultimately resulting in costly errors and redundant product data. As a result, inaccurate data is likely to be used within the system, leading to costly errors and collaboration complications. Even if data inconsistencies between CAD and ERP are discovered in time, users will still need to allocate some of their valuable time to double-checking data and fixing such errors.
PDM technology is excited to introduce our latest product development: CAD/ERP LINK – a distinct product that enables CAD and ERP users to join forces by working together in a unified solution.
The functionalities of CAD/ERP LINK have been an important part of the core product, BLUESTAR PLM, for over a decade. We saw the need for a light-weight solution which is easy to implement and that eases the implementation and installation of BLUESTAR PLM later on, in line with company growth. CAD/ERP LINK is ready-to-go after a quick and easy installation, and features short and to-the point training sessions.
SOLIDWORKS CAD/ERP LINK is an easy-to-use data integration system available for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations & Dynamics AX (ERP) and the SOLIDWORKS CAD system.
SOLIDWORKS is a leading 3D CAD system with more than two million engineers and designers.
MICROSOFT DYNAMICS 365 FOR FINANCE AND OPERATIONS is a Microsoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for medium to large organisations. The software, part of the Dynamics 365 product line. (D365fO)
By providing a real-time link between users’ SOLIDWORKS and Microsoft Dynamics systems, CAD/ERP LINK virtually eliminates manual data entry. This mitigates errors and discrepancies in your data, thereby saving you time, reducing costs, and increasing productivity.
CAD/ERP LINK enables SOLIDWORKS users to seamlessly share their design documents and data with downstream ERP users who need it for purchasing, manufacturing, and other related activities. In return, SOLIDWORKS users are granted access to valuable transaction data from ERP, such as prices, on-hand quantities, and lead times. Through this access, logistical considerations, such as price, quality and operational experience, are easily incorporated into product designs.
This bi-directional exchange of information rids the organization of redundant data entry and fragmented data, while simultaneously strengthening data integrity. Integrating the design department with the rest of the organization improves collaboration, increases productivity, and accelerates the design to manufacturing process.Sign Up for a Live Demo
What makes CAD/ERP LINK Unique?
- One solution for the everyone (D365fO) Engineering & Operations
- Easy access to data for Engineering & Operations
- Developed for Dynamics 365 for Operations & AX based platform
- Embedded in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD native interface
- Seamless and bidirectional transfer of CAD & ERP data
Take a look at the Product sheet here.
The Summer 2017 issue of The Record features an article that highlights several important viewpoints from different representatives in the manufacturing business about Innovative Thinking. In this piece, Bluestar PLM’s Dan Fite contributes to this discussion.
Bluestar PLM’s Dan Fite explains why becoming an innovative company is vital in the modern market
Today, fast innovation is essential to all companies in the global economy. But the speed of innovation is dependent on having easy access to data and information. Companies must break down the boundaries between independent and disparate departmental systems. To have an efficient innovation process, it is essential to have easy access to reliable data and information across the organisation. Data is typically widespread across a company and located in many different systems, and comprises information about markets, engineering, manufacturing, quality and maintenance. Having a single solution which can deliver the required information on time is becoming a top priority. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform is proving to be a strong, reliable platform for this. Bluestar PLM on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology stack brings engineering into Dynamics 365. All the required data around 3D models, computer aided design integrations, virtual reality, product change management and engineering quality management is now easily accessible on the product lifecycle management (PLM) system and can be harnessed accordingly. Bluestar takes engineering data and allows it to be used across all departments within an organisation. From design to the retirement of a product, this offers a complete PLM system in a single solution.
Dan Fite is director of business development at Bluestar PLM by PDM technology.
Source: The Record, Issue 5: Summer 2017, page 76-80. (http://digital.tudor-rose.co.uk/therecord/issue05/#80)
The Spring 2017 issue of The Record features a case study on Rotork. The full-length article is as follows:
PLM inside Dynamics AX
Global pipeline control systems manufacturer Rotork is anticipating a wealth of new efficiencies thanks to the integration of Bluestar PLM within its Dynamics AX ERP system
Established in 1957, global manufacturing company Rotork operates in a wide variety of markets including oil and gas, water and sewerage and marine operations. Over the last decade, the company has experienced remarkable growth and today has over 4,000 employees spread across the globe.
“Historically our employees were located across a few major sites, with the engineering and operations teams co-located at the factories that manufactured the products they were working on,” explains Phil Wood, Rotork Group’s chief information officer. “With this structure in place it was easy to implement manual controls over engineering data as colleagues sat together and there was a lot of face-to-face communication. However, in the last six years we’ve made 16 acquisitions and our engineering teams are now spread across many sites. We also have an Engineering Centre of Excellence in India. The company has grown and this has resulted in many disparate teams and an engineering authority that needs better tools to control the data being created and maintained around our products.”
Wood recognised that it was necessary to implement a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. “First we turned to one of the bigger PLM providers, but we quickly realised that the offering did not effectively match our needs. What’s more, the vendor was not interested in meeting our needs,” he explains.
With this in mind, the company decided to take a different avenue. “We’d been using Microsoft Dynamics AX for over five years, and had planned implementations in all Rotork factories. We realised that we had a unique opportunity to implement ERP and PLM together to integrate the way we manage all of our product data. We would not get this chance again, and so we looked for a PLM solution that worked inside Dynamics AX.”
Microsoft independent software vendor Bluestar PLM was the only company that could deliver this capacity. ”Its PLM solution seamlessly integrates product data (such as drawings, bill of materials [BOMs] and 3D files from CAD systems), with manufacturing data, right inside Dynamics AX,” Wood says.
So far Rotork has designed and built its engineering control system inside the Dynamics AX template for all factories, as Wood explains: “At present BlueStar is in a limited live deployment stage – we’ve released it to a small number of our engineering teams who are using it on our new products to define product data, to create new items and for CAD document storage. We intend to deploy Bluestar PLM to our factories and engineering authorities worldwide over the months to come.”
Wood expects the solution to dramatically increase efficiencies, especially around the creation and management of BOMs. “Historically, engineering created product BOMs in a way that reflected how the product was designed. In most cases this did not align with how the product would be made in the factory,” he explains. “Clearly the factory either had to redefine the BOM that would fit with the assembly process, or simply use a BOM that was ‘wrong’. This clearly created problems with BOM accuracy, BOM version management, configurator management and in turn materials requirement planning accuracy and stock accuracy.
“These are very real problems for operations, and cause friction between the engineering and operations teams,” Wood continues. “The Bluestar PLM solution will change all this. Everyone will be working from the same system and there will be far greater accuracy and control of data. This will be very powerful for us, and will really bring engineering and operations together – it will change the way we work in our factories, and increase efficiency in engineering change and product data control companywide.”
And this is just the beginning. “It is likely that Bluestar PLM will be as beneficial to application engineers who work on customer solutions as it will be for product engineers,” Wood concludes. “I expect we will significantly expand the rollout beyond the current factory scope.”
Source: The Record, Issue 4: Spring 2017, page 90-91. (http://digital.tudor-rose.co.uk/therecord/issue04/#90)