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Deconstructing Products, Piece by Piece

by Andrea Haynes, Senior Editor, SAPinsider

March 22, 2012

By Andrea Haynes SAPexperts

Tired of using transaction codes? There’s another way to get data from your SAP system, and that is the use of what SAP calls visualization. That term may be the most frequently heard word at the PLM 2012 conference held this week in Orlando.

SAP is applying the assets gained from last year’s purchase of Right Hemisphere to its SAP PLM capabilities. It shipped its first business suite product that includes Right Hemisphere capabilities two weeks ago.

Building a motorcycle? You can now view it in three dimensions, and delve into its inner parts by highlighting whatever you want to look at in greater detail. For example, click the mud guard and you can see not only what lies behind it, but all the analytics that went into its production, such as the materials that were used, the cost, and where they came from. One SAP speaker this week likened that process to what happens when you use a transaction code.

Thomas Ohnemus, VP of Solution Marketing for SAP PLM, SAP Manufacturing, SAP EAM, SAP AG, and Graham Conlon, Global VP of SAP PLM Solution Management, teamed up in a special session on PLM this week at the conference to explain the latest enhancements coming for SAP PLM.

Thomas said there are three trends facing companies:
• The informed customer who now wants to know how a business created a product
• Global development and manufacturing, which is an opportunity but also comes with time-to-market pressure
• Dynamic product regulations

He said companies need to take these trends into consideration when they first begin defining a product in R&D. For example, don’t wait until the end of the product development process to integrate compliance issues. That will be too late.

The SAP PLM 7.x releases include authoring and integration enhancements as well as visualization capabilities that are intended to help companies deal with the three trends they outlined, Graham said. SAP PLM 7.02 will be in general availabity soon.



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