Five product trends to keep an eye for improvement of new or future iterations of products

You can always count on change as a constant in the Internet of Things (IoT). Here, David Grammer, PTC UK’s senior vice-president, describes five product trends we should keep an eye out for. The way that manufacturers manage information throughout the product lifecycle has changed significantly in the past few years.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has helped accelerate innovation in the design process, making it possible for manufacturers to receive information from products in the field that can be leveraged to improve new or future iterations of products. In order to succeed, organisations are going to need to embrace new technologies and capabilities available through enterprise system vendors.

Here are 5 trends in product design that engineers are going to be seeing and leveraging in the coming year:

Augmented Reality (AR) in design review

As teams become more globally distributed, it can sometimes be difficult to get everyone involved to review a product design in a timely manner, collect all the information needed for the review, and capture feedback for future action.

Using augmented reality (AR), team members are able to visualise, interact with, and provide feedback on product designs from anywhere in the world. AR makes it possible for stakeholders to interact with a 3D model of the product, such as walking around it and viewing different states of the model – including going inside the model itself. AR also enables users to get a third-party perspective from other teammates. This particularly comes in handy when deciphering notes from a colleague as it brings you to the point of view of the model they had when they made the comment.

IoT products transforming design practices

The market is clamoring for smart, connected products: whether it’s an Amazon Echo, a Nest Thermostat, or a Fitbit. In order to sufficiently meet the expectations of customers, manufacturers need to transform their product development process to understand and leverage data from products in the field. Noting product information on a CAD drawing is no longer going to cut it as products become more complex. Manufacturers will need to become more organised with their product development process.

Having a comprehensive PLM system provides a strong foundation to taking full advantage of IoT capabilities. By consolidating all product information into a single-view digital product definition, organisations can ensure that stakeholders are all accessing the most accurate, up-to-date product information. With a PLM system, all information is streamlined into a single easy-to-read Bill of Materials (BOM) list format.

Digitalisation

Product data is an organisation’s most valuable asset. With products gathering data from the field, this data is becoming more valuable every day. However, many organisations continue to keep it locked away with engineering and manufacturing. Product data can be leveraged throughout the enterprise: whether it is how the marketing team promotes the product or how the sales team sells it.

By digitising the product development process, stakeholders throughout the organisation will be able to easily access product information. For example, if a manufacturer just merged with or acquired another company, digitising the product development process and making […]

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