Definition of product life cycle management
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a business discipline for managing the data and processes involved in a product lifecycle, from start-up to engineering, design, manufacturing, sales and support, up to removal and withdrawal.
PLM brings together people, data, processes, and business systems to help an organization develop, market, and support its products. It was born to American Motors Corporation (AMC) to accelerate the company’s product development process, particularly around the development of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As part of the process, AMC resorted to computer-aided design (CAD) and implemented a product data management scheme in which all drawings and documents were stored in a central database. AMC also added a new communication system to allow for better collaboration and reduce the number of engineering changes needed. After acquiring AMC, Chrysler implemented PLM throughout its enterprise, resulting in development costs that were half the industry average.
Modern PLM is critical to the creation of a digital thread, which the software and services company PTC defines as a closed loop between the digital and the physical world, following a single set of related data as it intertwines. and exits business processes and functions to enable continuity. and accessibility.
PLM systems and processes
Data management company Active Sensing says PLM should be thought of as a repository of all information that affects a product and a process of communication between product stakeholders, including marketing, engineering, manufacturing and field service. As such, PLM as a discipline refers to both the processes involved in managing the life cycle of a product and the technology and data involved in doing so.
To organize the information and processes involved in a product lifecycle, most organizations adopt a PLM solution to do the following:
- Manage design and processing documents
- Build and control material list records
- Store documents in an electronic file repository
- Organize and track the metadata of embedded and custom parts and documents
- Identify material contents for environmental compliance
- Allows you to assign articles-focused tasks
- Enable workflow and process management to approve changes
- Control secure access for multiple users, including electronic signatures
- Export data to later ERP systems
Benefits of PLM
PLM helps organizations get products to market faster, create better quality products, improve product security, increase sales opportunities, and reduce errors and waste.
Investopedia says the benefits of PLM include:
- Improving product quality and reliability
- Reduced prototyping costs
- More accurate and timely budget requests (RFQs)
- Quick identification of sales opportunities and revenue contributions
- Savings by reusing original data
- A framework for product optimization
- Waste reduction
- Improved ability to manage seasonal fluctuation
- Improved forecasting to reduce material costs
- Maximized collaboration in the supply chain
By simplifying, organizing, and integrating data, PLM provides manufacturers with a detailed view of each product. PLM solution provider Propel says the methodology and solutions can help manufacturers maximize efficiency and profitability in many areas:
- Design and manufacturing integration: Production processes use a number of software applications for design and manufacturing. PLM can optimize the production process in real time.
- Product marketing: PLM provides data governance, document and process management, creating unified and collaborative workflows across the entire organization.
- Virtual environments that support global operations: A central product data management repository (PDM) integrates the entire global process from concept to customer.
- Accessible data: All product information is available for each department, improving efficiency.
Product life cycle management phases
Although product development can be described in many ways, SAP says that the typical product development cycle consists of five phases.
Concept and design: This is the ideation phase in which the product is considered. The requirements of a product are defined in this phase, based on factors such as the analysis of competition, market gaps or customer needs.
To develop: In this phase the detailed design of the product takes place, including the necessary tool designs. It includes the validation and analysis of the planned product, as well as the development and piloting of prototypes. This process generates feedback on the necessary additional refinements.
Production and release: This phase takes the pilot’s feedback to create a market-ready version of the product. It includes scaling production, launching and distributing to the market.
Service and support: This phase begins after product launch and includes all customer service and support efforts.
Retirement: This phase occurs at the end.
PLM software helps organizations manage information and processes for a product or service across the entire supply chain, including data for parts, parts, products, documents, requirements, engineering change orders, and supply flows. quality work. It also allows teams to collaborate with partners and customers. Siemens defines PLM software as an information management system that integrates data, processes, business systems, and people into an extended enterprise. Here are some of the top PLM providers today, according to Software Testing Help:
Arena’s cloud-based business platform focuses on unified products and quality processes. Its features include ERP integration, materials list management (BOM), vendor collaboration, compliance management, and more.
Autodesk Upchain and Fusion 360 Manage
Autodesk Upchain is a cloud-based product data and product lifecycle management software for small and medium-sized businesses with integrated workflow management and dashboards. It is designed to overlay existing legacy technology, such as CAD.
Autodesk also offers Fusion 360 Manage, aimed at three industries: machinery and industrial products, consumer electronics and high technology, and automotive suppliers and components. Provides real-time access to product data and represents it graphically.
Oracle Fusion Cloud PLM
Oracle’s Fusion Cloud PLM platform leverages analytics, IoT, AI, and ML to deliver digital thread capabilities and digital twins.
Propel is a cloud-based PLM system designed to be easy to customize and use. It has the functions of quality management, change management, requirements management, BOM management and project management.
PTC Windchill offers a portfolio of advanced PDM and PLM applications. It has an open architecture to facilitate integration with other business systems, including IoT.
The SAP PLM application is part of the SAP Business Suite. It is best known for its ease of BOM creation and integration with ERP.
Siemen’s Teamcenter software is aimed at organizations of all sizes and is known for its change management features and CAD integration.