What is PLM?

0 comments, 28/07/2009, by , in PLM, Tutorial

What is PLM?

Article covers basic information on PLM.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is the process by which manufacturing companies manage the entire lifecycle of a product from its conception, through design, manufacture, to service and disposal. PLM integrates people, data, processes, business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies. PLM process begins at the earliest phases of design and development and continues throughout the entire life of the product, which includes production launch, volume production, and finally disposal.

PLM is not single software product but a collection of software tools and working methods integrated together to address either single stage of the lifecycle or connect different tasks or manage the whole process.

PLM do work, like what ERP and CRM use to do in early 90s, ERP unified finance, HR, manufacturing and warehouse systems. A decade later, CRM brought call center automation and sales force automation together. Now, CAD, CAM, PDM and manufacturing process are converging through PLM. Yet PLM is unique from other enterprise software because it focuses on driving top-line revenue from repeatable processes. Through PLM, your products are a path to innovation, industry leadership and top-line growth. Implementation of PLM helps engineers to make critical design decisions that determine the quality and cost of product over its lifetime.

PLM software implementation helps companies to manage their products throughout their lifecycle in part by serving as a single central source of product information that can be systematically shared across an extended enterprise and accessed by other systems.

Areas under PLM

  1. Manufacturing Process Management (MPM) – is a collection of technologies and methods used to define how products are to be manufactured
  2. Product Design – developing product idea, concept to 2D/3D models using CAD software.
  3. Systems Engineering (SE) – is focused on meeting all requirements, primary meeting customer needs, and coordinating the Systems Design process by involving all relevant disciplines
  4. Product Data Management (PDM) – is focused on capturing and maintaining information on products and services through their development and useful life
  5. Product and Portfolio Management (PPM) – is focused on managing resource allocation, tracking progress vs. plan for projects in the new product development projects that are in process. Marketing activities

Stages in PLM

  • The first stage is to define requirement based on customer, company, market, resources, etc. And initial concept design work is carried out in parallel
  • In second stage detail design and development of product starts. Tools used are CAD, CAE software.
  • In third stage manufacturing process is defined, including tool design, CNC machining, analysis, testing process. Parallel to mfg process sales and marketing system comes in action
  • Next stage involves managing service information, supporting customers, maintenance, dispose

All stages of PLM run hand-in-hand. A major part of PLM is the co-ordination and management of product definition data involved in every stage.

Benefits of PLM

  • Time to market reduced
  • Product quality is improved
  • Reduced prototyping costs
  • Re-using data – reference for future
  • A framework for product optimization
  • Reduced waste
  • Complete integration of engineering workflows

Major PLM Software providers

  • Dassault System – ENOVIA
  • Siemens PLM – Teamcenter
  • PTC – Windchill
  • Oracle Agile PLM
  • Think3 PLM


Sachin Nalawade

Editor – DailyCADCAM

created on: 07/28/09


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