Agenda: Saturday, April 16, 2005

Sponsored by CADCAMNet
Morning Kickoff
Your hosts set the stage for the day’s activities. 
Keynote: Peter Marks

Sponsored by CADALYST Magazine

Peter Marks
Design Insight

Engineering the Intangible

Engineering has long been associated with the creation of new products and structures. The question is: what is the future of engineering software in an economy where manufacturing is in decline and services are on the rise?

Peter Marks has been one of COFES’ favorite keynote speakers. Attendees at the first COFES heard him dismiss Y2K, but predict the bubble; explaining the customer buying reasons why, and more importantly how to use the Web for enduring success. This year he takes on the role of engineering software in economies increasingly dominated by services.

One conclusion is that the services vs. manufacturing debate is largely irrelevant. Services merely shift the focus and intensity of new product development and manufacturing from end users to service providers. Another conclusion is that a new breed of engineering software will emerge – one that better supports services. For software and hardware vendors this means a shift in both target customers and software offerings. For users, it means reevaluating what it means to innovate.

Keynote: Dave  Burdick
Sponsored by Open Design Alliance

Dave Burdick
Collaborative Visions
 Panel Discussion: Fueling the next Engineering Market Growth Cycle

The PLM/BIM industry has firmly established itself as a mainstream business/IT requirement for companies seeking to enhance product development competitiveness.  During the past several years, the perception of product development technologies has evolved from a tactical conundrum of productivity tools for engineers to its current exalted status as a strategic, enterprise-wide system affecting all aspects of the product lifecycle. 

Yet despite this important transition, the PLM/BIM market has remained relatively stagnant at approximately 5% annual growth during the past several years, and is still only 1/3rd the size of the strategically less important ERP/Back-Office applications market.  The most successful vendors in the PLM/BIM market are winning primarily by stealing/acquiring market share from weaker PLM/BIM companies or by refreshing their existing product lines with relatively minor technology updates. 

Where are the new disruptive PLM/BIM technologies?  What opportunities is the industry missing to reinvigorate growth?  Why must PLM/BIM always be the poor, abandoned stepchild to ERP when it comes to allocating IT resources?  What undiscovered startup company will be the next Autodesk, PTC, Revit, or SolidWorks? 


Buzz Kross

Dominique Florack
Dassault Systemes

Brian Shepherd

Raj Khoshoo


 Sponsored by The CAD Society
Discussions, Roundtables, and Appointments
We have set up rooms for meetings with a tight focus directed at specific groups of attendees. These 90-minute focused discussions surround a secluded poolside meeting place along with the vendors' Technology Suites.
Discussions and Roundtables   Vendor Appointments
Meeting rooms set up in suites around the pool, each with a different issue to discuss. Also, meetings among groups with a common interest.

Cyon Research is currently conducting research on user issues in engineering and design. That research forms the basis for the issue topics for these group discussions. Last years's topics included:

User Group Roundtable - Meeting among representatives of major user groups to discuss common issues and providing customer benefit. Representatives from boards of COE, PLM World, PTC/USER, AUGI, etc. By invitation.

Communicating with 3D - 2D drawings still remain the main form of communication between designers and producers (builders or manufacturing people), but the use of 3D in both manufacturing and AEC has increased dramatically, and continues to grow.  Adobe is bringing a semblance of 3D to the masses with U3D embedded into Acrobat. Autodesk and UGS have agreed to cooperate with JT and DWF but haven’t announced how the details are going to be worked out. Dassault has put its stamp on XVL as "3DXML" and has SolidWorks' eDrawings. CoCreate is now pushing both eDrawings and XVL as part of its lightweight format solution. Will eDrawings and 3DXML join the party and solve this user pain point? We agree that we can’t get rid of the preponderance of 3D communication formats, but there is hope on the horizon that we might mitigate the user’s pain points in dealing with this Babel-esque problem.

BIM's Dirty Little Secret - To really do BIM right, you either need to create one gargantuan model or you need a series of models that adapt and change as the nature of the work changes during a project. Are we (and our software) really up to the task?

Supporting multi-core/multiprocessor systems - With the exception of CAE, most CAD vendors have their head stuck in the sand when it comes to taking advantage of multi-core and multi-processor architectures: their software is not written to take advantage of multiple processors. The first real big wave of high-performance systems built on those architectures is going to hit the market this summer. Why aren’t the CAD vendors ready? What is it going to take to get them to make the transition? Where are the big pain points and major opportunities?

Web Services and PLM - Web services are making it possible to federate diverse applications and databases. They are freeing management and control of documents from the bonds of individual proprietary systems, and allowing them to participate in workflows that are defined outside the constraints of separate programs. Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) will give rise to a new class of middleware that will empower users to design workflows and capture knowledge without regard for the limitations of their particular BIM, ERP, PDM, or other systems. How will this impact BIM? PLM?

The idea economy - Outsourcing, off-shoring, globalization are some of the (unexpected?) consequences of the world moving to an idea economy. What are the implications for innovation? What other major shifts might we expect? If everybody moves to the idea economy, who will make the things we need? Perhaps nanotechnology and/or desktop manufacturing will someday reach the point where they fill that need, but in the intervening century, how do we balance the idea economy with the needs of the physical world? What issues need to be addressed in an idea economy? What are the implications for the software industry as the world’s knowledge workers become less centralized?

Advancing collaboration - How we work together depends in some measure on the shared environments we can easily create and participate in. With the certainty of increasing compute power and bandwidth, what can we see about the changing nature of collaboration for engineering and construction professionals? What will be the impact on innovation? On productivity? On design quality?

COFES2005 will set up appointments in the Technology Suites for attendees, based on the information you provide in the registration form, to match you with the suites that hold the technologies and companies that will interest you. Your schedule will be given to you when you arrive. There are a limited number of pre-assigned appointments. During the Thursday evening reception you will have the opportunity to expand your schedule.

The following vendors have Technology-Suites at COFES2005:

Appointment times:



Lunch will be served in the Technology Suites for the 12:30 appointments


 Sponsored by
Discussions and Roundtables

Similar to the morning sessions, with different topics.

Mechanical Engineering Software Association – An open meeting among parties interested in the founding of an industry association, along the lines of the EDA Consortium, to promote the health of the mechanical engineering software industry. This new Mechanical Engineering Software Association (MESA) is being formed to gather industry market statistics, engage in collective legal action to protect industry interests, encourage standardization, and promotes the overall visibility of the industry to customers and investors.  

3D point-clouds - The use of as-built data collected by 3D laser scanners is rapidly increasing. Most mainstream CAD vendors do an inadequate job of accommodating this point-cloud data. Should we be pressing for better accommodation? If we do, what are the implications?

Educating the next generation - Ask any architect or engineer—graduates of our current education system haven't a clue how the real world works. Schools teach theory, not reality. Add to that an accelerating pace of change—how can schools keep up? What's worse, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and other trades are not attracting our best and brightest students. What can we do about these problems? How do we make a difference?

Rapid Analysis and Validation of Design Alternatives – Large numbers of parts and assemblies in complex products and the number of possible configurations of products with many variants, present a big challenge when assessing the potential impact of a proposed change. It is a major bottleneck for lean manufacturing and rapid innovation. What is needed is the ability to quickly and easily explore the impact of any and all proposed changes and to be able to validate these changes across all possible configurations. Cyon Research calls this emerging area, “RAVDA” – rapid analysis and validation of design alternatives. What difference does it make? Why aren’t we there yet? What needs to be done?

Intellectual property - Finding the balance between protecting knowledge and sharing it is the key to innovation and success. Where/how do we draw the line between the right amount of control and stifling innovation? What are our software tools doing to support us in dealing with this?

Challenges of knowledge capture, management, and use - “Everybody talkin’ ‘bout heaven ain’t goin’ there,” said the song. And everyone talking about knowledge, its capture, refinement, validation, management, and re-use is not doing much about it, either. Why? What makes it so hard—especially when the potential payoff is so great?

Tablet PCs for design and engineering - The acceptance of tablet PCs seems to be following the model of pocket PCs: Early units were intriguing, but not quite there and, after an early blip, they died. It was only with a later generation that the Pocket PCs came back strong. What is it about the tablet that makes us believe that it will become pervasive in design and engineering? Why does it make such a difference and how will it change the way we work?

 Sponsored by Océ North America
Second Congress: The Business of Design and Engineering
This working congress is an open forum for examining the issues surrounding technologies expected to have an impact on design and engineering before 2010. The purpose of these discussions is to form a consensus on the issues faced, consider approaches, and promote further dialog.

On Friday we explored what is on the horizon for engineering software and how it will affect us. Saturday's Congress brings the discussion back to the reality of the business issues that face us today and the preparations we need to make to be ready for an ever-changing future.

Mechanical and Manufacturing Congress   AEC Congress
  Moderated by

Joel Orr
Cyon Research



  Moderated by

Brad Holtz
Cyon Research



Research from the Labs
A sneak preview of research from Microsoft's advanced projects lab. 
 Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard
Cyon Research Annual Report
 Your host, Cyon Research Corporation, will present its annual report on the engineering software industry.
7:00 -
Dinner and Awards
Dinner and the closing session of COFES2005, and The CAD Society Industry Awards. Music afterwards.