During the PTC/USER meeting in Florida, week before last, PTC announced a new Windchill application – Windchill RequirementsLink.
As one of my key interests is Systems Engineering, and the press info was a bit sketchy, I had a follow on interview with Michael Distler, Director, PTC Windchill Solutions Marketing.
Basically, this application uses a document or input to the requirements, typically a Word doc. A user interacts with the application to “slice up” the document into individual requirements. Each requirement become a separate requirement and then can be “connected to” the part, assembly, or BOM which acts in fulfilling that requirement, almost seeming like a requirements BOM. Interestingly, additional data can be input that provides verification specifications also.
Reports generated from RequirementsLink allow users to check for traceability (which parts or assemblies are related to a requirement), for satisfaction of that requirement and whether any related verification tests have been performed and approved.
My reaction: This is a terrific capability for all engineers, one that is sorely needed by designers, managers, and quality personnel for sharing and collaborating on how requirements are met. Similar capabilities are also available with Siemens PLM Teamcenter and Dassault Systemes SmarTeam (soon to be part of Enovia). RequirementsLink provides a free viewer; the authoring version costs about $2000 per named user. PDMLink is a prerequisite.
None of the mentioned requirements software are yet technologically advanced enough to actually connect requirements to specification driven design. Nor can any actually examine the connected part automatically to determine whether the requirement has been satisfied. This may be a distant goal for future CAD systems.