We spoke with Hexagon following a recent event launching their Nexus platform. Hexagon already offers a wide range of solutions supporting the product lifecycle, including design and engineering; production; and metrology and inspection portfolios from its Manufacturing Intelligence division and others including the newly acquired Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and quality management (QMS, ETQ) solutions. This release gives Hexagon a platform to connect across their solutions, and solutions from others, to execute and automate workflows that cross application boundaries.
They’re taking a data-centric approach to connecting heterogeneous solutions, providing contextual data to streamline across steps in the process and create a common digital thread. Hexagon is calling Nexus a “digital reality platform.” They compare it with a digital twin. They say it’s different, though, because it is connected in near-real-time with products and machines to integrate information support automation in addition to user-driven tasks. In their words, Nexus “connects applications, hardware, and anything creating data in a democratized manner.”
An example we explored during our call was an electronics designer changing a printed circuit board in their PCB design tool that would share the relevant change with a mechanical designer in the CAD tool. In addition, they pointed out it could autonomously run a simulation in the cloud to validate the resulting change, for example heat exchange. The example helped me grasp the fact that Nexus is intended to share data directly between different applications and tools, not just pass the information to the next user in a traditional workflow. That level of data integration is highly valuable.
The platform provides central services like visualization and analytics and will be offered as Nexus Platform Services. In addition, they’re busy developing Nexus Applications on the platform, including several announced in the launch event and a roadmap of solutions in development. They will also provide partners with the ability to develop applications for Nexus and plan to create an active ecosystem of applications and services offered through Nexus. In the future, they intend to open application development to customers so they can create their own connected workflows.
Hexagon has a wealth of solutions for manufacturers, and now has a platform and strategy that will allow customers to get the most out of them in a connected, data-centric, cloud-based platform. Thank you Stephen Graham and Robin Wolstenholme for taking the time to provide more detail and answer our questions, Michelle Boucher, Julie Fraser, and I appreciated and enjoyed it.