Carl Fink of Lockheed Martin at PLM Connection

By Dora Smith

Last week I met Carl Fink, senior manager of PDM Tools for Lockheed Martin‘s Airframe and Installation Design group. Carl attended my Social Media in PLM presentation because he is interested in leveraging social communication tools to expand their design capability. They’ve used live meetings, experimented with wikis and leverage some of the built-in capabilities of Teamcenter.

Below is a video interview with Carl. It’s interesting to get an attendee’s perspective on HD-PLM. Some prefer demos to show the technology is real. But Carl said he wanted more explanation on the concept. You can understand why when you see what he faces in his organization in the slides below.

Carl presented on- Leveraging the Integrated Teamcenter Toolset to Extend the PLM Value Stream. His slides and summary are below.

Note the High Definition Manufacturing Plan on slide 8 and Managing the PLM Process on slide 14. It’s interesting to consider how PLM tools  are often brought in to address a functional area like managing product design but that they then bring out issues in processes throughout an organization. Lockheed Martin is looking at a PLM Value Stream manager (slide 17) to better lead the development and communication of product data strategic direction.

Lockheed Martin – Carl Fink – Leveraging Teamcenter to Extend PLM Value

View more presentations from Siemens PLM Software.

From Carl:

My presentation was like a few others that I attended in the Management track – what do you need to do / what should you do when moving to a new, highly integrated toolset?  We recognized this over a year ago, as we began the development of our Teamcenter Unified and Manufacturing deployment for the F-35 program (first release is still a year away, with full capability three years away).  We’ve been using Teamcenter Enterprise for over a dozen years on that program, so we had a lot of experience with the lifecycles to manage our design processes and the worldwide data management capabilities of the tool.  That said, we wanted to evaluate our processes to see what we could improve upon or to see what needed to change as a result of the new tools and their capabilities.  The end result was a set of requirements to hand off to the development team and a construct of a management approach to facilitate these more enterprise-wide tools.

The latter turned out to be a significant finding as these tools become an integrating activity across the various functional departments.  Traditionally, the tools have tended to be very functional, so they were optimized for that particular area.  With a tool that operates across the enterprise, we have to be cognizant of defining what works best for the enterprise, rather than for a specific functional area.

One other area that the presentation touched on briefly was business process management.  Without an over-arching team, we can find ourselves repeating the same process mapping activities over and over again – each time a different team wants to look at nearly the same thing, they end up re-creating something that another team may have done before.  We found that out a year ago when we had developed an ARIS model of our current process, and someone who wasn’t on the team commented that we had borrowed the process model that his team had recently developed.  It turns out that they were very similar process modeling activities of the same process.  If we had this over-arching team, they would be the keeper of the keys, so to speak, of the process models – a single source rather than everyone creating their own.

Carl told me they are ramping up production on the F-35 to go from one per month to one per day over the next few years. Thus the need to manage complexity as efficiently as possible.

Let me know if you have any questions for Carl or face similar issues in managing product and process data in your organization. FYI, if you are interested in more on Lockheed Martin, see these previous blog posts: Chuck Artymovich on their PPLM Strategy, F-35 AvWeek Award, Lessons in developing the JSF.


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