The New Manufacturing Lifecycle: An Interview With Jim Hepplemann

In 2012, the World Economic Forum, in conjunction with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Unlimited, published a report titled “The future of manufacturing. Opportunities to drive economic growth.” It posed the question, “Does Manufacturing Still Matter?”

The report provided the following statistics and information on the trend of the global manufacturing industry: “Manufacturing’s share of global value added has declined steadily over the past nearly 30 years as the global value added of services has grown. In 1985, manufacturing’s share of global value added was 35 percent. By 2008, it had declined to 27 percent. Services grew from 59 percent to 70 percent over the same period. This trend has largely been driven by developed country economies with typically higher wages.”

With these trends in mind, what is in store for the future of the manufacturing industry?

In order to gain further insight into how the manufacturing industry will evolve, I spoke with PTC’s President and CEO, Jim Heppelmann. His company works with more than 27,000 businesses in the global arena in order to help them both design and service products in manufacturing industries such as industrial equipment, automotive, high tech and electronics, aerospace and defense, retail, consumer, and medical devices. Some of its solutions include Computer Aided Design (CAD), Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), and Service Lifecycle Management (SLM).

Mr. Heppelmann spoke of the three industrial revolutions. He said, “The first industrial revolution occurred when Eli Whitney and others came up with the standardization of parts. People could specialize and produce higher quality products. The second was drawing. In this phase we had drawings that gave the critical dimensions that became the standards for the parts. The second industrial revolution was driven by Ford, and others, who created mass production and moving assembly lines. This was a more efficient way to produce in mass at low price points. The third industrial revolution is more recent. It’s the digitization of products.”

Read the full Forbes article.

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