Live From ACE (Monday)

Live From ACE (Monday)

We hope you’re enjoying ACE 2021. Here is a recap of the presentations from some of our keynotes and other speakers on the 19th. I couldn’t cover them all, but if you are interested you can go back and watch most on demand. Here are some highlights:

Empowerment—The Missing Ingredient to Digital Transformation

Peter Schroer – Aras

The problem: external events taking businesses by surprise—Black Swan events. The solution: agility and resiliency. But how do businesses best utilize these? According to Peter, the discussion around resiliency must extend to the empowerment of your people. When they have attitude and aptitude to adapt quickly, the rest follows suit. Employees must understand the why, the goal, and the priorities, within a culture of continuous improvement and change.



The “Chess Master” role is no longer viable—today’s situations are too complex for that kind of strict, top-down approach. Instead, your leaders should act as gardeners, nurturing their people to act with autonomy—to adapt and pivot. Incremental momentum from all your teams keeps you moving forward. Enabling low-risk failure—such as in rapid prototyping of solutions—ensures that you expect and are ready to overcome setbacks. Competency in failure is key to maintaining velocity.

And of course, your people need the tools for rapid adaptation. The Aras SaaS approach is designed for constant and continuous change, enabling your teams with the power to drive forward.

Peter finished with the announcement that GI Partners is partnering with Aras. From this, we can expect more investment in innovation, expansion of Aras’ R&D, and enablement of acquisitions so that Aras can continue to bring aboard the best technology to support your Digital Transformations.

Empowering Digital Transformation Across The Digital Thread. The Challenges of People, Process, and…

Bill Halliden – Toyota Motor Europe

David Sherburne of David G. Sherburne Consulting interviewed Bill Halliden, Senior Manager of Technical Strategy Planning and Operations at Toyota Motor Europe. They spoke about Toyota Motor Europe’s Digital Transformation journey and broke it into three key pillars: People, Process, and Tools.



The "People" pillar is founded on the guiding principles of “Continuous Improvement” and “Respect for People.” These principles empower engineers with a supportive framework (culture) with which they can contribute to Toyota’s long-term digitalization vision.

“Process” is focused on eliminating waste, and thus making the product development process leaner. The focus must be on both vertical (silo) and horizontal processes (up/downstream stakeholders).

And lastly, “Tools” is about having the most adaptable tool to match the speed of your people and processes. When the first two foundational pillars are solid, it is much easier to focus on tool development and implementation.

As a digital transformation leader, Bill spends about 80% of his time on People and Process.

It was interesting to hear that Toyota Motor Europe releases new capabilities on the Aras Platform every 10-12 weeks.

Systems Thinking and Design of Complex Products

Tim Keer – Aras

In this session, Tim demonstrated—with the example of a MakerBot 3D printer—how the Aras Innovator Platform can use systems thinking to create full product lifecycle traceability, connecting data as well as people. He focused on the early stages of the lifecycle—setting requirements, design, and verification and validation using simulation and testing—showing that the digital thread visually connects multiple domains via the connective tissue of the systems model.

On Tuesday, Aras’ Gary Wilmot will present a digital thread demo entitled, Collaborate to Innovate Across the Digital Thread. There will be another demo on Wednesday by David McDonnell, entitled: Predict and Simulate the Future with Digital Twins.

Systems Thinking – Key to a Successful Digital Transformation

Denise Fitzgerald – MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Mike Vinarcik – SAIC
Ernesto Mottola – Toyota Motor Europe
Malcolm Panthaki – Host

What is the essential purpose of a digital transformation journey and how can you ensure long-term success? How does this journey affect people, data, tools, and processes? Where do you start and how can you balance the focus between today’s needs and tomorrow’s exploding technology and product complexities?

These were the questions prompting the discussion with our three industry experts. The panelists gave their views on practical approaches to systems thinking and the central roles played by the PLM platform and digital thread.

Digital Thread: The Key to Transforming Your Future

Peter Bilello – CIMdata

Fundamentally, a digital twin without a digital thread is an orphan—this was the key point in our presentation from Peter Bilello, President and CEO of CIMdata.

A digital twin without any thread is disconnected from the decisions and processes that impact it, so no matter what the physical product is, its virtual representation will struggle to be complete and up-to-date.

The specifics of digital twins and digital threads differ widely, but ultimately, they complement each other. When data that flows between digital twin and thread is synchronized and unimpeded, the benefits shared between the two are invaluable.

This is only achieved via a connected and sustainable platform that enables through-life configuration management. Peter touched on the importance of staying current and the results of CIMdata’s Upgrade Research, which showed that Aras subscribers stayed more current than other mindshare leader competitors.

There were many more customer presentations including: BNP on PLM in Banking, Anderson Windows on their change management, Grammar, ANSYS on their Minerva SPDM solution and the importance of simulation to the digital thread, SAiC, and Haulette, as well as Aras Product Management reviews of Aras Simulation Management / Process Engine and Aras’s Quality Management Solution.

There is a lot more to come. If you haven’t registered, please do so.

Mike Lindner