Indiana State receives $9.7 million in-kind software grant for product lifecycle management

By: Austin Arceo, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
October 14, 2013

A $9.7 million software grant will enable Indiana State University students to collaborate, create and manage products the way international businesses do with partners around the globe.

Indiana State received the grant from Siemens PLM Software for the Teamcenter® portfolio, the world's most widely used digital lifecycle management software. Alister McLeod, assistant professor of applied engineering technology management, sought the grant for College of Technology students to use in several courses, including the simulated manufacturing company (SIMCO) class. Students in the class will use the Siemens software to design, create and market their products, as international companies do with partners and suppliers around the globe. The Siemens technology also can be used in other classes to teach both engineering and business students about international product development and global supply chain logistics.

"If students end up working for a large corporation, and they're working on a multifaceted product, they will have some exposure to a lot of the software systems that the company may use," McLeod said. "This software that Siemens has is part of a larger package of software that companies use to build really complicated products."The Siemens software will allow for McLeod to maintain a database of the SIMCO projects that are completed. In some instances, different groups of SIMCO students want to continue developing a product created during a preceding semester. The software allows teams to maintain information on the suppliers that have been used, the components that make up the project and what changes have been made over time.

"Siemens PLM Software is pleased to provide this software to Indiana State University so students can leverage the same technology used by leading multi-national manufactur¬ing companies," said Bill Boswell, senior director, partner strategy for Siemens PLM Software. "It allows them to gain the technical experience needed in a highly competitive job market that requires deep knowledge of advanced manufacturing technologies and processes."

Many companies create products using parts created by companies that are located in different countries around the world, which creates a need for all of that information to be properly maintained and updated in a central location, McLeod said. Business professionals use the Siemens portfolio, which will now help students from different fields learn about the interdependency that business management, supply chain logistics and manufacturing play in creating a product for consumers.

"The grant from Siemens PLM Software will allow our students to familiarize themselves with some of the same design and supply chain technology they will use as professionals working with colleagues in businesses around the world," Indiana State President Dan Bradley said. "This will provide the sort of hands-on experiential learning that our students and employers expect, and make our graduates ready to contribute from the moment they hit the ground."

The College of Technology is investing more in automation programs, which fits a growing need for many different kinds of businesses, said Robert English, interim dean of the College of Technology. The state of Indiana is strongly dependent on jobs in automation fields for its workforce.

"Automated processes and procedures are becoming more vital for businesses to be successful in the marketplace," English said. "We are investing strongly in areas that will prepare our students to be well-prepared to fulfill employers' needs while helping develop new opportunities for companies to be successful."

McLeod plans on developing a course that can more heavily use the different capabilities of the new software to teach College of Technology students more about the business considerations of product development.

"The advanced manufacturing program needs something like this to tie the disparate aspects of manufacturing development together," McLeod said. "If you're going to think about manufacturing, you also have to think about it from the perspective of a business, and how the business interacts with the outside world. This software platform will act as a skeletal frame for this business concept that I have had for some time now."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/SIMCO-Lab/i-7RBqPkh/0/L/041712SIMCO-0719-L.jpg (ISU/Tony Campbell)An Indiana State University student works on a project in the simulated manufacturing company (SIMCO) class. Indiana State received a $9.7 million software grant from Siemens PLM Software to be incorporated in several classes, including the SIMCO course, to teach students more about the international business and global supply chain aspects of manufacturing.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/ISUphotoservices/SIMCO-lab/i-wJB2DMp/0/L/SIMCO_lab-7489-L.jpg (ISU/Rachel Keyes) Indiana State University professor Alister McLeod, second from right, talks to several students in the simulated company (SIMCO) class. Students in the class create and market their creations as if in a business setting. The $9.7 million software grant from Siemens PLM Software will help teach the students in the SIMCO class, as well as other courses.

Contact: Alister McLeod, program coordinator and assistant professor, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-3455 or alister.mcleod@indstate.edu

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or austin.arceo-negrich@indstate.edu

Teamcenter is a registered trademark of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.