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Velocity Series: Ready to Step into the Limelight


(Left) Karsten Newbury, senior VP and general manager for Siemens PLM Software’s Velocity Series; (Right) Bill McClure, VP of development for Velocity Series Portfolio.

Last month, just as Siemens PLM Connection conference (May 2-5, Las Vegas, Nevada) drew to a close, Karsten Newbury, senior VP and general manager for Siemens PLM Software’s Velocity Series; Bill McClure, VP of development for Velocity Series Portfolio; and I sat down to talk about Solid Edge, the centerpiece of Velocity Series.

With NX often grabbing headlines, I asked McClure if he felt Solid Edge, NX’s younger cousin that serves the small and midsize markets, was missing out on the spotlight.

“Fair question, but not really,” replied McClure. “Each focuses on meeting its market demands and customers’ [needs] … Solid Edge is for [designing] out-of-the-box, shrink-wrapped products, whereas NX is focused on enterprise products, driven by large customers’ requirements … Some of the customer wins with NX — with Daimler, Chrysler, and so forth — those happened as a result of long-term, multi-year partnerships.” Solid Edge, by contrast, may be a solution “for thousands of small customers.”

But Siemens may be ready to turbocharge its Velocity Series-related initiatives. Newbury revealed, “We had a series of Productivity Summits at the regional level last year. In mid-June, we’ll have a global Productivity Summit.” The first global summit will coincide with Synchronous Technology 4’s launch. Set to take place in Huntsville, Alabama (where Solid Edge development team is based), the event will bring together “the people who use the software and the people who write the code,” according to Newbury.

Another move to engage with Solid Edge community comes in the form of a new appointment for Mark Burhop, a CAD blogger (who uses his Second Life avatar’s headshot as his blog identify). Burhop used to be Solid Edge Simulation manager, responsible for integrating Femap’s simulation and analysis functions into the CAD package. Burhop recently became programs director of technology ecosystem, Newbury explained.

“We have quite a few partners that develop apps on top of Solid Edge and other Velocity products,” said Newbury. “But we haven’t done too good a job of making those partners known to the community.” He acknowledged some of Siemens’ rivals had done a better job of fostering communities. “We’ve got some catching up to do there,” he said. Burhop will be responsible for taking the existing community “a step further.”

In the last couple of years, NX and Teamcenter have been thrust into the limelight by HD PLM, Siemens’ approach to use CAD models as the interface to query, retrieve, and edit PLM (product lifecycle management) data hosted in Teamcenter. So I asked McClure if Teamcenter Express, the version bundled with Velocity Series, is set to receive the same HD PLM facelift.

“Teamcenter Express is truly just a configuration of Teamcenter,” he said. “It’s basically the same technology, the same back-end software, and so forth. Technically, I don’t see any reason why HD PLM cannot be used with Teamcenter Express … As an example, the new version of Teamcenter Mobility (a client app designed for the iPad) works with Teamcenter Express. We just validated that. It can work as a client to use with Teamcenter or Teamcenter Express.”

McClure, however, didn’t reveal if Siemens has any plans to bring HD PLM to the Velocity Series.

For more, listen to the complete conversation below. (It was recorded in an isolated corner by the entrance of Rio Hotel and Casino. Hence, the ambiance noise.)

Podcast logo4

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About Kenneth

Kenneth Wong has been a regular contributor to the CAD industry press since 2000, first an an editor, later as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications. During his nine-year tenure, he has closely followed the migration from 2D to 3D, the growth of PLM (product lifecycle management), and the impact of globalization on manufacturing. His writings have appeared in Cadalyst, Computer Graphics World, and Manufacturing Business Technology, among others.


  1. Solid Edge is not as robust or even close to as well developed as NX. After all these years Solid Edge still doesn’t have any fully integrated CAM that runs inside of it which makes full use of what the Solid Edge user interface has to offer where as NX has offered fully integrated CAM since its inception.

    If you compare Solid Edge to SolidWorks for fully integrated CAM you will find at least 10 major CAM companies that offer fully integrated CAM programs for SolidWorks. After all these years there are zero fully integrated CAM products available for Solid Edge. The new management for Solid Edge has done absolutely nothing to address this glaring problem.

    Jon Banquer
    San Diego, CA

  2. Ken;
    you raised some good points in your discussion with the velocity series managers. I also thought your point about integrated machining in on target as well. Master cam,and gibbs cam,as well as surf cam can be used seamlessly with Solid Edge products,but there is no bidirectional updates or associativity from the cam environments back to the solid edge environment like there is in NX manufacturing to NX Design.
    Another good point would be to compare the precision of the systems. My sources have identified that Solid edge,solid works,inventor,and ptc are single precision (8 digits ),whereas NX is known as double precision (16 digits) after the decimal point. I do not use solid works,inventor,or ptc so I was wondering if you could confirm.

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