The Congress on the Future of Engineering Software has a new home in 2019. Just in time for its 20th anniversary, the even will move from Scottsdale, Ariz., to Menlo Park, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley.
The conference is think-tank event where those involved with engineering technology industry come together to discuss best practices, share ideas for managing change, and find strategies to achieve financial success. This year, the event takes place April 7 to 9.
It’s relocation is obviously no accident.
“With this move, we’re showing that engineering software is moving into the future of more high technology products,” said Jim Brown, president of engineering consulting firm Tech-Clarity and a member of the COFES Institute board of directors. The institute provides leadership for COFES.
The meeting this year includes subjects like CAD and PLM software, but also addresses new methods of engineering design as well as new technologies making their way into the engineering realm.
“There’s so much convergence of new technologies like artificial intelligence, IoT, connected products and 3D printing that are starting to come into the design world for things like generative design,” Brown said. “It’s kind of up to as the engineering software community to come together as users of the software and as the academics and industry thought leaders and software vendors to put our heads together to figure out how we can do more with these technologies.”
To illustrate the changes the engineering field has recently experienced, Brown pointed to the shift from products, like automobiles, that had previously been strictly mechanical in nature, to items that now commonly include mechanical, electrical, and even software systems.
“Now a car is trying to schedule your service appointments and soon as part of smart city initiatives it will be communicating with other cars and with traffic lights,” Brown said. “Our tools, our mindsets have to change. The engineering software community is excited for these changes, but we need to determine how to react to them and how to support them.”
For nearly two decades, COFES had been owned and run by Cyon Research. It recently moved to operating as a nonprofit.
Last week, conference leaders announced that Microsoft will deliver a keynote on the COFES 2019 theme of technology convergence—the pairing of two or more technologies in a single device–from a software perspective.
The trend of convergence creates new challenges and opportunities for any company developing software solutions for design and manufacturing.
Microsoft leaders will share their insights regarding the possibilities the cloud can bring to companies for competitive advantages when it comes to software solutions for design and manufacturing, said Diego Tamburini, Microsoft principal industry lead, cloud for engineering and manufacturing
The need to effectively design in this new reality will become increasingly more important, he said. While companies are dealing with convergence with brute force, the software tools do not exist yet to manage the expanded, evolving design process, he added.
Microsoft’s keynote is titled “What Does the Manufacturer of the Future Look Like? A Microsoft Perspective.”
Keeping up with the COFES theme of convergence, Microsoft will share thought leadership in the areas of connected products, connected services, factory of the future, intelligent supply chains, and the strategic trends that Microsoft is witnessing and their vision of a cloud-enabled marketplace of solutions enabling best-in-class solutions that work together, Tamburini said.