PTC LiveWorx 2019 – clients on the way to realizing the digital thread

I had the pleasure to attend PTC’s leadership event, LiveWorx. It took place in mid-June in Boston, which since the beginning of the year has also been the new home of PTC’s headquarters. The new headquarters - an impressive building with an outstanding view - is now just a stone’s throw from the location of the annual LiveWorx event, the Boston Convention Center. Here is a summary of the key topics discussed at the event:

Jim Heppelmann (CEO of PTC) introduced in his keynote the concept of the ‘digital thread’, which aims to digitally integrate all product-related datapoints throughout the whole product lifecycle. Basically, this concept complements the PLM concept (including CAD data) with IoT-related datapoints and AR for the visualization of product-related data to connected workers. Jim presented a full live demo of this concept during his keynote.

There were also many clients on stage during the event. Volvo talked about their journey to realize the digital thread, from real-time simulations in CAD (Creo) via product variability management in PLM Windchill to delivering AR-based operator work instructions through Vuforia. Howden talked about how they use Vuforia Studio to create AR content based on IoT data from ThingWorx and how they calculate business cases for AR. Lufthansa Technik talked about how important the integration of PLM Windchill with ThingWorx is for them, and how they master the connectivity to many different machines of different ages. BMW talked about Windchill and how important agility is for them as a prerequisite for digital transformation. Pfizer talked about their ThingWorx implementation and how they prioritize which IoT use cases will be realized first.

Besides the presence of many big system integrators, such as Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte Digital, and Infosys at the show, we particularly noticed that two strategic partners of PTC, Rockwell Automation and Microsoft, had a strong presence at LiveWorx this year. The collaboration between PTC and Microsoft around Azure Cloud, IoT, and AR/mixed reality seems to go extremely well, given that during the event they announced that PTC had won several Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards in 2019, including Manufacturing and Resources Partner of the Year (winner), Mixed Reality Partner of the Year (winner), and Internet of Things (IoT) Partner of the Year (finalist). Rockwell Automation had a big booth at LiveWorx this year to demonstrate, for example, the new FactoryTalk InnovationSuite. The integrated offering combines FactoryTalk, the MES solution from Rockwell, with ThingWorx, Kepware, and Vuforia from PTC. And Rockwell Automation wants to further intensify its presence at LiveWorks – they announced their intention to integrate the Rockwell Automation TechED event with the PTC LiveWorxs event in 2020.

Finally, PTC announced two interesting new investments during the show. PTC acquired TWNKLS (Netherlands), a specialized AR company that develops tailor-made AR applications and provides AR services. PTC has also invested in Matterport, a company that offers immersive 3-D technology and spatial capture solutions. The collaborative solution provides customers with an easy way to scan their facility and convert it into a usable 3-D mesh using a Matterport-compatible camera.

We are currently updating our PTC company profiles with all the new information from LiveWorxs. The updates will be available within the next few weeks on our SITSI® research platform.

You’ll find last year’s profiles here:

PTC - Vendor Profile – Worldwide

Internet of Things - PTC ThingWorx & Vuforia - Vendor Profile – Worldwide