2024 Signature Sponsor – Anark

We are excited to announce Anark as a Signature Sponsor of 3D CIC.

The Anark technical publishing platform combines the convenience of file-sharing apps with the simplicity of communication apps in a system that understands technical product data.  As a result, information becomes accessible, actionable, and synchronized with a version-controlled systems such as PLM or other authoritative systems that could well be part of a Digital Thread within your organization.

For 20 years, Anark has been automating the process of finding, packaging, and sharing all required technical data, access rights, metadata, legacy files, drawings plus more.  This information becomes available in 3D PDF, on-premises or SaaS hosted environments.  Consumers of this information within your organization or external suppliers can effortlessly and securely access, mark up, and discuss product data in fully traced discussions. When everyone can communicate and collaborate without compromise, better, faster decisions are made, companies can innovate rapidly, costly errors are reduced and time to market is improved.  By extending PLM and the digital thread to members that are not traditionally part of it, everyone benefits.

How do you envision “The Digital Future”? How is your company advancing the industry toward this future?

The concepts of a single source of truth via PLM or closed loop digital threads that have all systems and stakeholders linked via information systems integrated together is close to reality for many complex manufacturers. The problems start when these organizations need to work with people outside of these tight environments, internally or external suppliers.  Anark has been discussing a PLM collaboration gap we fill where PLM is extended to consumers of PLM information that normally do not have access.  Anark also can provide controlled access to digital threads, to make them more effective and practical for small to medium manufacturers. In short, we link the aggressive digital transformation initiatives that large organizations have with the partners that need to collaborate in a form that is more easily digestible.  This enables more stakeholders in a manufacturing process to be part of a robust Digital Future.

What’s the biggest challenge your customers come to you with? Tell us a story about how you solved it for a particular customer.

Customers are using information coming from PLM systems, CAD models, screen snags, emails, shared folders, office documents, images and more all marked up in a messy stream of communication and collaboration that is not working effectively for them.  They talk about miscommunications and errors that are introduced due to legacy ways of working together. In more recent times, they assumed all the new collaborative tools like Teams, Slack and more would address communication issues.  We help them streamline publication, control, and collaboration with authoritative technical information to make sure that all communications were done based on the approved data.  This ensured that decisions were understood and traced by everyone in an easier to use platform vs. forcing people to work in many different communication environments, some of them modern but still creating communication chaos and the related costs. A 4% reduction in manufacturing scrap costs on products valued in the millions of dollars is exactly the type of benefit GE Gas Power is accomplishing.

One of the challenges we often hear is how to engage the entire organization in this digital future, not just product design or engineering. Where do you think the value of your products lie? Which parts of the organization will benefit from their use and how?

This is exactly what Anark does with our ability to bridge PLM or Digital Thread gaps.  We never disparage the value that PLM provides since PLM is a very important foundation of product design and engineering.  The problem is, many other people must get information stored within systems they do not understand at all.  Anark makes it easier and more effective for non-engineering contributors to quickly get the technical data they need and use it to collaborate without needing to be experts in engineering or design systems.  Anybody who needs some level of access and collaboration with technical data and documentation could benefit.

If you were to give people one piece of advice about preparing for and embracing the digital future, besides ‘buy my product’, what would it be?

Do not try and accomplish too much too fast!  If you currently need to provide technical data via a document, that’s okay and just do it in a way that is standardized that makes it simple for people to receive and understand like 3D PDF with STEP AP242e2, QIF and other standard files attached for example.  Next try and get past the stigma of cloud stored information that enables web accessed technical data collaboration since this is the future.  Even very security conscience aerospace and defense organizations have become comfortable with this concept.  Understand exactly who needs to get the information, and how it should be provided for them to optimize their ability to work with you.  The mentality of throwing a hairball of information and files at a partner and clarifying it with emails and other disconnected information, then expecting them to be productive is an outdated concept. We never expect any maturity level of Technical Data Collaboration and anyone can get started from any level, it just takes a commitment to make controlled changes going forward.

What excites your company the most about 3D CIC?

Anark has been a part of the 3D CIC event for many years in our Colorado backyard.  We love having our partners and customers out for an event in the cozy town of Golden where we hang out all day and night learning and having fun at the same time.  It is likely one of the most diverse, smart, and experienced groups of people involved in manufacturing digital transformation.  Jim Martin from Anark, along with the founder of CIC David Prawel brought CIC to Denver in 2008 for the first time held at the Denver Athletic Club.  It grew from there and 16 years later, Curtis Brown is back once again!  

IF YOUR PRODUCT WERE A SUPERHERO, WHO WOULD IT BE?

Spider-Man/Miles Morales/Spider Gwen across the Spider-Verse: A superhero that needs no real introduction, appreciates teamwork the most, and has served on multiple super-teams. He/she/they have been part of the Avengers for a good while now, he’s had a stint on the Fantastic Four on more than one occasion and he regularly works with other street-level heroes.

During Spider-Verse, Peter had to work with a team full of Spider-Men and -Women from across the multiverse, including Otto Octavius! Managing to co-exist with Superior Spider-Man, after a brief confrontation, showed his ability to put the greater good before personal vendettas.

IF YOUR PRODUCT WERE A THEME SONG, WHO WOULD IT BE?

Cheers: Where Everybody Knows Your Name. Where Everybody comes together. Where everybody shares stories, drinks, and food. Where everybody exchanges the knowledge and data they need to be better together. “Norm!”

It doesn’t seem fair, does it, Norm? That I should have so much knowledge when there are people in the world that must go to bed stupid every night?

Cliff Clavin