Agenda: Saturday, April 22, 2006

Morning Kickoff
Your hosts set the stage for the day’s activities. 
Keynote: Allan Behrens


Allan Behrens

Global Market Perspective

The concept of global manufacturing and operations is fraught with challenges. In addition to the obvious reasons, it also cuts close to home as I myself am the product of the global manufacturing and operational environment. That is to say that my design was in Germany, my manufacture in Africa and my in-service life is (mainly) in the UK. I’m sure that it would have been much more practical for my parents if my design-build-use location was constant. As within the constantly changing world of industry, life isn’t simple. Necessity and opportunity drive the final result. For modern businesses, necessity and opportunity provide us with direction but innovation is a vital ingredient in raising productivity, competitiveness and growth. It’s all about the introduction of new ideas, products and services. But how can we innovate in a rapidly evolving global environment? We will concentrate on providing insight on the macroeconomic environment and business drivers outside the US, to help shed light on trends, areas of opportunity and challenges.


Keynote: Mike Tanner
Mike Tanner

A Model for Applied Innovation

Engineering is applied innovation. But can innovation be a result of applied engineering?  Innovation isn’t just an “aha” moment might actually be learned. In fact, some innovations can be predicted, particularly at an industry level. Some innovations succeed in moving from concept through to production, and actually launch as products—while others seem to languish, die, or “escape” to muted market acceptance. Michael has developed a model to predict both what types of innovation will next happen, and their impact.


Discussions, Roundtables, and Appointments
We have set up rooms for meetings with a tight focus directed at specific groups of attendees. These 90-minute focused discussions surround a secluded poolside meeting place along with the vendors' Technology Suites.
Discussions and Roundtables   Vendor Appointments
Meeting rooms set up in suites around the pool, each with a different issue to discuss. Also, meetings among groups with a common interest.

Cyon Research investigates issues in engineering and design. That research forms the basis for the issue topics for these group discussions:

User Group Roundtable - Meeting among representatives of major user groups to discuss common issues and providing customer benefit. Representatives from boards of PLM World, PTC/USER, AUGI, etc. By invitation.

Relentless Innovation - The usual discussion of innovation -- even the "innovate button" - suggests that innovation is a quick and easy answer to all that ails manufacturing.   We know that innovation is hard work -- the idea of relentless innovation is that there are best practices in innovation. 

BIM: Moving the focus to Design – We’ve successfully moved the conversation from CAD to BIM. If we were to design a new AEC firm from scratch, what would it look like today? What role would BIM play? Would BIM allow this new firm to focus on design rather than the tools?  Given that most firms aren’t prepared to start over, what can existing firms do to transition towards this idealized case?

The Mainstreaming of Simulation – In the days of the analyst, it was called engineering analysis, or CAE. With the move to earlier in the design process, it has morphed into Simulation. Simulation is ultimately what we are trying to achieve – a working model for exploration at the front end of design. When analysis and simulation are moved to the schematic phase of design, there is an opportunity to affect the final product in a manner that isn't possible at later stages. What are the roadblocks to fulfilling that vision. What are the implications and constraints?

Protecting Intellectual Property - Intellectual property is protected in three ways: Patent, Copyright, and Trade Secret. The patent system is a mess. What is likely to happen? Will that have a change on the fundamental way we do business? …and on the way we innovate? Are EULAs pushing ahead to protect vendors with copyright rather than patent? What are the implications? And where do you draw the line to protect IP without stifling innovation?

Implications of Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton Christensen’s theory on the Innovator’s Dilemma has profound implications when applied to the design software industry. A recent Cyon Research white paper looked at the theory as it applies to the market for software components. The traditional high-end vendors are being squeezed from below by their mid-range competitors. Where are they to go? Recent acquisitions by the high-end vendors make it clear that they intend to solve bigger problems than design. What does that mean? Is it possible that the high-end will “evolve themselves out” of the CAD industry?  What’s happening at the other end of the spectrum?

Non-Nominal Data – The discussion of tolerancing raises an issue critical to PLM (and BIM for that matter) that folks in the design side have a tendency to ignore: What information is needed to manufacture (or construct) the thing that was designed. Non-nominal data includes materials, surfaces, and tolerances, some of which are accommodated by existing CAD systems. But it also includes manufacturing process information such as annealing, acid washing, surface treatments, etc that CAD systems currently don’t encapsulate. If PLM is to ever be complete, it will have to address this additional non-nominal data. Why hasn’t that happened already? What can be done about it?  

COFES2006 will set up appointments in the Technology Suites for attendees, based on the information you provide in the registration form, to match you with the suites that hold the technologies and companies that will interest you. Your schedule will be given to you when you arrive. There are a limited number of pre-assigned appointments. During the Thursday evening reception you will have the opportunity to expand your schedule.

The following vendors have Technology-Suites at COFES2006:

Appointment times:



Lunch will be served in the Technology Suites for the 12:30 appointments


Discussions and Roundtables

Similar to the morning sessions, with different topics:

Mechanical Engineering Software Association – An open meeting among parties interested in the founding of an industry association, along the lines of the EDA Consortium, to promote the health of the mechanical engineering software industry. This new Mechanical Engineering Software Association (MESA) is being formed to gather industry market statistics, engage in collective legal action to protect industry interests, encourage standardization, and promotes the overall visibility of the industry to customers and investors.

Interoperability - The one topic on the minds of all. What can we do about it?

Implications of Accelerating Change - Extrapolation is the only consistent mechanism we have for looking forward, and it is useful, as far as it goes; we can count on ten-fold computing performance/price increases every four years or so. What we can't predict is its impact. So what can we predict? How do we prepare for unforeseeable discontinuities?

Scaling for the Enterprise – Some things scale effortlessly. Most software doesn’t. Sometimes very trivial decisions made early in the software development process cause problems when the software is applied in a large enterprise environment. Simple things like file backup and undo levels can become stumbling blocks that prevent collaborative, distributed use of software. Granularity is also a key issue when dealing with teams. This roundtable is a forum for enterprise users to voice their common issues and for vendors to take note.

Resistance to the Move to 3D – Some say the market for 3D is not even 10% penetrated. Why haven’t the masses moved to 3D? What is behind the resistance? Drawing on a corollary from business, in a full economy, there is still a non-zero rate of unemployment (typically in the range of 4% to 5%). In a “full move to 3D” we can also expect a non-zero rate of 2D-only use. What is that number?  Who will never move? What can we do for those who will? What is the long-term path of transition?

Demographics: The hidden KM time bomb – The baby-boomer generation is turning 60 and retirement is on their minds. Their retirement poses a problem of the impending brain-drain. This is a knowledge management problem of the first magnitude. Today’s KM software, systems, and behaviors are not yet capable of solving the problem. What is missing? How do we get to a solution?

Evolution of DSSP - Remote data capture has turned into Digital Shape Sampling and Processing. DSSP is evolving to move into areas such as checking tolerances on manufacturing and may enable (in conjunction with rapid analysis), Functional tolerancing. What other intersections are out there and can we explore/predict some radical new functionality/niche/ change to come?

Second Congress: The Business of Design and Engineering
This working congress is an open forum for examining the issues surrounding technologies expected to have an impact on design and engineering before 2010. The purpose of these discussions is to form a consensus on the issues faced, consider approaches, and promote further dialog.

On Friday we explored what is on the horizon for engineering software and how it will affect us. Saturday's Congress brings the discussion back to the reality of the business issues that face us today and the preparations we need to make to be ready for an ever-changing future.

Mechanical and Manufacturing Congress   AEC Congress
  Moderated by

Brad Holtz
Cyon Research


Moderated by

Joel Orr
Cyon Research

Glimpses of the "Innovate Button"
A look at two technologies that take a stab at what we might want an "innovate button" to do. 

*Guests of COFES Attendees must be registered and have paid a supplemental registration fee in order to attend this event 

Dinner and Awards
Dinner and the closing session of COFES2006, and The CAD Society Industry Awards. *

*Guests of COFES Attendees must be registered and have paid a supplemental registration fee in order to attend this event