On April 2014, SAP announced a bold new vision of a platform for integrating authoring tools to SAP (press release). Through the unified platform for authoring tool approach, SAP outlined its intention provide a platform for companies to not only address the challenges as they embark on the journey of fourth industrial revolution but also support them with a scalable platform to grow!
This vision is already seeing its transformation into reality and has achieved its first major milestone. Yes! The SAP Engineering Control Center is here! Working with the strategic SAP PLM development partners (DSC, Cenit, Cideon and .riess) with whom SAP shares a long established relationship, SAP is introducing the new SAP Engineering Control Center and interfaces to CAD.
Rich with enhanced user experience and highly configurable interface, SAP intends to simplify the way engineers can seamlessly work between CAD environment and SAP.
Combining the design data coming in from CAD with the business data resident in SAP, the new SAP Engineering Control Center based interfaces ensures consistent and accurate product definition for the enterprise. The easier and controlled access to business data would free up more time for their creative pursuits.
While one could seamlessly launch the supported native CAD applications from SAP Engineering Control Center, one could also leverage the SAP 3D visualization to visually investigate the product models. The power of combining the 3D model coming from CAD with the business data, in real time, offers unique value for users. This powerful option, for instance, allows one to leverage color codes to examine the change and release statuses of different parts and sub-assemblies. The real time information of the statuses of objects maintained in SAP is directly available to the end-user when he is examining the model. One could visually select parts from assembly and instantly access all the associated key product information including meta data, classification, material part data and others. The data no longer needs to be searched and fetched, nor staged & replicated between systems there by removing any redundancies (and associated risks!) in the integration.
The SAP engineering Control Center is envisioned as a unified platform for integrating authoring tools to SAP. And this opens up tremendous opportunities for combining real time business information with not only mechanical design data but also potentially electronics and software. This would unleash the power of the entire enterprise accessing and working on a single product data definition that is current and consistent. With the potential to be the platform for integrating multiple authoring tools into SAP, SAP Engineering Control Center is a key step in enabling the adoption of a systems engineering approach for product development! The exciting journey has just begun!