How Has Collaboration in Product Development Evolved? A Panel Discussion with Nathan Hartman and Jim Zwica

The manufacturing landscape is experiencing major growing pains. Over the last few decades, our industry has juggled the explosion of digital concepts, growth of global supply chains, and increasing demand from consumers. Perhaps the biggest change for manufacturers—and the most challenging to manage—is adapting to rapidly changing collaboration requirements. If a company can manage and optimize collaboration across the supply chain, it will have an edge against the competition.

At Vertex Software, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most knowledgeable individuals in understanding both the importance of and best practices in collaboration within the manufacturing and product lifecycle management (PLM) space. My colleague Jim Zwica brings decades of experience in developing PLM tools and helping companies leverage their strategy. Professor Nathan Hartman at Purdue University has spent 15 years studying PLM and model-based approaches. This interesting cross between the research and practicing sides of the industry gives fascinating insight into how collaboration has changed and best practices for today.

I’ve invited Jim and Nathan to bring their two perspectives together for an interview about the evolution of collaboration and communication in product development. During this 60-minute panel discussion, I will ask Jim and Nathan to explore:

  • The differences between collaboration twenty years ago versus today
  • The impact of today’s digital concepts—like the digital twin and digital thread—on collaboration during product development
  • The rivalry between 2D and 3D

If you are feeling the growing pains of Industry 4.0 and are looking for ways to embrace today’s collaboration capabilities in product development, I invite you to attend this virtual panel discussion.

RSVP for this event here.

About Nathan Hartman

Nathan Hartman is the Dauch Family Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and Department Head of the Department of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University, and Director of the Purdue University Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Center. Dr. Hartman is also Co-Executive Director of the Indiana Next-Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC). Professor Hartman’s research areas include the process and methodology for creating model-based definitions; examining the use of the model-based definition in the product lifecycle; and developing the model-based enterprise. Professor Hartman’s industry research partners include Rolls Royce, Cummins, Boeing, GM, Rockwell Collins, Textron, Gulfstream, Procter and Gamble, GM, Honda, and others.

About Jim Zwica

Jim Zwica’s expertise with PLM resides in his strategic and consultative approach. Throughout his roles with Engineering Animation Incorporated, Siemens, and Caterpillar, Jim has served as a consultant in understanding how OEMs collaborate with their manufacturers. Jim has led teams that developed the back-end of an innovative tool enabling virtual design reviews in the PLM software; served as a liaison between the engineering tool and the end users to provide recommendations for technology upgrades, and; consulted OEMs and manufacturers on how to best leverage PLM. During Jim’s time with Caterpillar, he also supported multiple teams to best leverage their PLM business strategy. In his current role at Vertex Software, Jim supports product development and provides insight into the business challenges with heavy manufacturing product teams.

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