Siemens PLM Software (www.plm.automation.siemens.com) a Plano, Texas-based provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, announced on Oct. 6 the purchase of the software technology and brand assets of RuleStream Corp., Wakefield, Mass., a provider of engineer-to-order (ETO) software for streamlining the business processes associated with custom-built products. Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division, will offer the solution to its customers under the Rulestream brand name, and will assume full responsibility for ongoing software development and support. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“For more than eight years, Rulestream software has employed effective knowledge capture and reuse to help companies rapidly engineer products to customer specification. They have achieved greater engineering throughput, higher sales win rates, better margin security, shorter lead times and lower costs,” said Chuck Grindstaff, executive vice president of Products and chief technology officer of Siemens PLM Software. “The Rulestream technology’s ability to assist in simultaneously increasing revenues and lowering operating expenses makes it a compelling solution for the marketplace. As the newest member of our product family, it will serve as an ideal complement to our comprehensive suite of product development and lifecycle offerings.”
ETO business processes are employed by a large and growing number of manufacturing industry segments, including power generation, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fluid flow technologies, heavy equipment, machinery, and the automotive and aerospace supply base. The increasing demand for customized or customer-specific product configurations creates a common set of challenges for these companies. There is constant competitive pressure for ETO manufacturers to increase the number, accuracy and win rate of their bids, while reducing order engineering lead time and optimizing resource utilization in manufacturing.
Rulestream addresses the unique challenges faced by ETO manufacturers with a comprehensive solution designed to span sales, engineering and manufacturing. By capturing engineering knowledge and using it to automate key business processes across the enterprise, Rulestream streamlines the “inquiry to quote” and “order to release” processes for even the most complex products, so manufacturers can sell according to their engineering and manufacturing capabilities, according to the Siemens PLM Software announcement.
“We need to come close to a final design quickly to develop proposals and capture new business while estimating our costs accurately,” said Kip Alexander, senior technology manager, The Babcock and Wilcox Co. (www.babcock.com), Lynchburg, Va., a supplier of boilers and other power generation equipment. “With Rulestream, we are able to do this, reducing proposal development from weeks to days. It allows our engineers to address design constraints in an automated fashion and prepare final designs in one-tenth of the time.”
Through ongoing software enhancements and support, Siemens PLM Software said it will continue to build business value for both current and future Rulestream customers. The company also plans to tightly integrate Rulestream with NX software, its digital product development offering, and Teamcenter software, its digital lifecycle management portfolio. The addition of Rulestream to the Siemens PLM Software product line will reinforce and augment the investments made in Rules Based Design and Knowledge Based Engineering through the NX and Teamcenter application suites.
“Today’s announcement is good news for companies employing ETO business practices and/or building custom products.” said Ed Miller, president, CIMdata Inc. (www.cimdata.com), an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based consulting firm. “Siemens PLM Software’s high quality reputation for product development along with its open approach to doing business should help enhance the market status of Rulestream. The solution fits nicely into the Siemens PLM Software product mix and should enable a unique value proposition for its customers.”
The Babcock and Wilcox Co.
Siemens PLM Software