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PROSTEP AG at the prostep ivip Symposium 2017

By Joachim Christ

"Digitalization for Products and Production" was the motto of the prostep ivip Symposium, which was held this year in Essen's Colosseum Theater. More than 600 visitors from 16 countries celebrated the 20th anniversary of the event in the former "VIII Mechanical Workshop" of Friederich Krupp AG in Essen. There is no other conference in the world of PLM that can look back on such a long and successful history.

The Symposium is often referred to as a "family gathering" of the PLM sector, which is a little misleading. Although most of the participants are almost part of the furniture, the rest of the family is getting younger all the time. And this year was no exception, with many new faces attending the event. And that is very good news.

The secret of the Symposium's success is that it brings together people from different fields: top IT managers from the automotive, aerospace and other industries, leading representatives of the PLM vendors and service providers, and renowned experts from the research and academic communities. And all of them took advantage of the opportunity to bring themselves up to date on current issues involving the digitalization of products and production, to make new contacts and to talk with colleagues from their own industry about their experiences. There was also ample opportunity for networking at the successful evening event in the Grand Hall of the Zeche Zollverein, which was accompanied by live music and top-class artistic acts.

In hosting the event, the prostep ivip Association was able to open up the Symposium to new topics such as the digital transformation, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things while at the same time ensuring that traditional PLM topics were not neglected. This is not always an easy balancing act, but it is an important factor in the success of the event. People trying to find out about current standardization efforts and visitors who are interested in how a digital twin can help them to optimize their production will all find what they are looking for.

PROSTEP AG's booth offered a very good reflection of the range of topics covered by the Symposium. On the one hand, we presented our tried-and-tested solutions for data exchange, PLM integration, PLM migration, collaboration, etc. On the other, we showcased innovative answers to the new challenges posed by digitalization, such as our solutions for the secure provision of 3D printing data and for configuration lifecycle management (CLM). OpenCLM makes it possible to link information from different IT systems using OSLC and to freeze this information at particular points in time. Known as baselining, this forms the foundation for building the digital master and the digital twin, the VIP of this year's Symposium.

Another thing that attracted considerable interest was the solution for the secure exchange of 3D printing data. This was developed as part of the collaborative project SAMPL, and as well as showcasing it on our booth, we also presented it in an address given by Martin Holland. The solution makes it possible, for example, to print spare parts in 3D without running the risk of the 3D printing data falling into the wrong hands, where it could be used to manufacture pirate copies. The key to security is the integration of Blockchain technology in our OpenDXM GlobalX data exchange solution.