A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

By John_W

The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” is generally attributed to a newspaper editor, Arthur Brisbane, who first used it in a 1911 article about journalism.  At the time, photography was relatively new and Brisbane was conveying the notion that images (i.e. visualization) make it easy to communicate complex subjects compared to text. It was true then and it remains true today.

Visualization in the PLM domain is extremely beneficial because it increases clarity and understanding of complex products and processes. It leads to faster decision makingand increases productivity. Siemens PLM is a leader in PLM visualization with viewers that take advantage of the ISO standard JT format for visualization. Our portfolio of viewers includes sophisticated Product Mockup tools (Teamcenter Visualization Mockup), free viewers (JT2GO), and everything in-between including embedded viewers ( Teamcenter Lifecycle Viewer) and a software development toolkit (PLM Vis).

In fact, there are so many viewers that I’d like to take this opportunity to give you a “picture” (well, ok, it’s a table) of all of our viewers so you can pick the one(s) that meets your needs.


Most of these products are self-explanatory, with the exception of PLM Vis, so I’ll elaborate a bit. The basic explanation is that PLM Vis enables our customers to enhance and create custom applications that include visualization based on our commercial technology and the JT standard.

Of course, some development effort is required, but our customers think it’s worth it because “a picture is worth a thousand words”…..

By enhancing existing applications, customers are able to continue to work using their existing processes while improving productivity through the addition of graphics; for example:

  • An automotive company developed an in-house Issues Tracking application that referenced JT files. The company embedded PLM Vis into this application so that the 3D models are visible alongside the issue description.  This increased clarity and improved the solution time.

    LG enhances workflow with visualization
    LG enhances workflow with visualization

  • A consumer electronics company enhanced their in-house workflow application by using PLM Vis to visualize 2D and 3D data. This greatly enhanced the approval process by eliminating the need for a separate viewing application. Stakeholders benefited from greater clarity throughout the process.


Customers also use PLM Vis to create new sophisticated applications that include visualization using the same robust commercial technology we use in our own products. These custom applications increase productivity because they are company and data specific and have a focused, streamlined Ux. They may also enable sophisticated capabilities that are not available in “out of the box” solutions. For example:

  • An aerospace company embedded controls in their drawing files to launch a 3D model view of the corresponding location.  This reduced the time required to understand a complex drawing, identify potential problem areas and make modifications if required.


Hopefully, you now have a better “picture” of what can be done with PLM Vis. PLM Vis provides our customers with the ability to enhance or create custom visualization applications using the same technology that is the foundation for our entire visualization portfolio. It’s an important part of the Siemens PLM visualization portfolio and offers the ultimate in flexibility with respect to Ux and non Teamcenter data integration.  PLM Vis based applications are robust, tailored to a company’s specific needs and enable faster, smarter decision making.

For more information, contact John Whetstone


1 Real Time Data Visualization, Aberdeen Group, August 2013

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at