plm-faq

Frequently Asked Questions

PLM & Digital Transformation FAQ's

What is PLM?

PLM is both a process and a system to efficiently manage product from birth to retirement. PLM manages and integrates product data, processes, systems, and people so that you make maximum use of resources, produce highest quality at minimum cost. PLM 2.0 makes use of digital transformation technologies to leverage your PLM.

How does PLM help in Digital Transformation?

Quality data is a basic requirement for implementing Digital Transformation components like Big data and AI. PLM provides a single organized source/truth for this foundational data. Moreover data gathered from IOT can be utilized to better and faster product development by making it available on context to designers. It is much easier to succeed with Digital Transformation if PLM is already in place. Journey to DT begins with Digitization and is incomplete without Digitalization.

CAD, CAM +++  – Digitization tools
PLM, ERP, CRM +++ – Digitalization tools
AI,ML, IOT, AR/VR +++ – Digital Transformation tools

Why your company needs PLM when your company is still doing good with sales?

It’s good to invest your profits in PLM not only because it will give good returns on investment but also it will save your business from extinction. Next generation customers will not buy your products if they do not get more variety and unique experience. New generation of customer is extremely impatient, have short attention span and have more choices. It means you will have to launch new models, products and varieties at a much faster pace and produce them leaner and it cannot be achieved without PLM. PLM can increase product variety without increasing staff leading to higher sales. PLM can reduce cost of your products by efficiently utilizing resources and avoiding rework. Businesses who were doing great but did not adopt technology for betterment faced extinction.

What is the use of PLM?

PLM has many benefits or usages. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Increase efficiency in product development by reducing time taken for data retrieval, search, storage.
  • Reduce costs by increasing part usage, reducing rework by giving accurate single source of up to date information.
  • Providing a system to manage complex processes and ensure compliance to it by providing tools like notifications, worklist, workflows etc.
  • Increase sales by making it possible to provide product configuration capabilities and reducing lead times and reducing cost of development.
  • Reducing costs by effective change management.
  • Make it possible to manage complex products and processes.

What does PLM stand for?

PLM stands for Product lifecycle Management

What are the components of PLM?

Components or modules in PLM are as follows:
Part management
BOM management
Document management
Release or change management
Access or Organization management
Product Configuration
Service Lifecycle management
Integration with MCAD, ECAD , ERP and other business systems

Which is the best PLM software?

The answer to this question is relative. You can ask which PLM software is best suited for me as there is not much difference in top 3 providers Siemens Teamcenter, PTC Windchill and Dassault System’s 3DX (enovia) platform. Aras is getting popular in small companies due to its Free community version. Which software is best for you depends on factors like which CAD software you use, how many users do you have, What particular modules are important for you, what budget you have, what requirements you have. Generally after assessing these factors we can tell you which software is best for you.

What is PLM strategy?

PLM is always a unique journey with lot of learning and adjustment over years because each company has different product, different culture, different organization and working methods. A well defined PLM strategy is necessary to be on a defined path otherwise it is very easy to get lost in software complexities and ad-hoc changes. Strategy should comprise of high level preferences like customization vs configuration, inhouse competency building vs outsourcing, single site or multi site hosting, long term and short terms goals or functionalities to achieve, what business problems to prioritize etc. PLM software and resources are costly, so company must keep a tab on the benefits. If not benefits are achieved then the return on investment is zero.

How do you manage the product life cycle?

You must first define all the processes like new product development, production (forecast to stock), procurement (requirement to stock), finance, service etc. Then define the sub-processes in detail. After that map those processes inside software tools like PLM, ERP, CRM, etc. There could be some overlaps or interfaces which are important. Principles like single source of data should be followed throughout.

What is open PLM?

Some PLM software are open source and can be tailor made to requirements easily. Degree of openness varies depending on vendors. Aras is perceived to be fairly open PLM.

What is CAD integration in PLM?

One of the core functionality of PLM software is to store and manages CAD data like 3D models and 2D Drawings generated in modern day CAD platforms like NX (Unigraphics) , CREO (ProE), Catia, Solidedge, Solidworks, AutoCAD, Inventor etc. This functionality is called CAD integration which provides check-in, ckeck-out., version control and many functionalities. Often you can search a part in PLM software or in CAD software directly and work with it. Degree of integration varies between pair of CAD & PLM due to vendors. For example Teamcenter PLM and NX CAD are from same vendor Siemens and provide excellent integration. Similarly Windchil CREO from PTC, 3DExperience (Enovia) Catia from Dassault Systems are examples of highly integrated platforms. From few years there is also trend for PLM vendors to be CAD independent and they support multiple CAD systems at the same time. ARAS do not have their CAD software hence is vendor neutral.

How does a PLM software looks like?

PLM software can be accessed in different forms. You can install it as a client software and access it by logging in using user ID and password provided by administrator. This is called rich client which gives you full fledge functionalities. Now a days all PLM vendors are moving towards web based access where you can open PLM software in a web browser. There are also other methods like a light weight client and  web client which are nothing but variations of first two methods. Software has different menus, icons, buttons to perform different operations like creating part, master data , BOM or searching etc. It also has workflows which can be used for approvals.

What are different integrations in PLM?

PLM software can be integrated with almost all business systems like ERP, Microsoft Office, MCAD, ECAD, Simulation and Other tools. Basic purpose of these integrations is to have a single source of truth (data) which often originates in PLM systems in the for of parts, bill of materials, data like part number, material, etc, and how to make instructions. PLM is pretty much recipe for the business product. Once recipe is final then the end product can be made in mass scale in ERP system.

What is PLM Software?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) System is a system or software that manages and integrates all the product data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise. PLM connected with ERP and other business systems makes it possible to follow the lifecycle of each component and product itself from its birth to retirement. This can be used for smarter decisions, finding root cause of problems, improving efficiencies, faster product development, increasing sales and reducing costs.

What's the difference between PLM and PDM?

In human body, heart is well developed from the beginning for physical functioning of body, but brain grows gradually as we gain knowledge.

Similarly, in any company Product Lifecycle Management system (PLM) develops over time as intellectual data grows.

This intellectual data is in the form of designs, drawings, Bill of Materials (BOM), how to make instructions etc., anything that defines your product – how it should be.

ERP system uses this definition data for transactions like procurement, production, assembly, sales, finance, shipping etc.

If this definition (recipe) is wrong, then the product fails or is delayed.

Like brain, PLM system also has basic functions in early stages starting with just Part data, 2D, 3D vaulting and revision control. These basic functionalities are often called Product Data Management (PDM).

As more and more functionalities are added like change management, business workflows, document management, more and more departments (people) and processes are integrated, and PLM system is fully utilized.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) System is a system or software that manages and integrates all the product data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise. PDM is a component of PLM which makes basic data management possible.

What is a PLM system?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) System is a system or software that manages and integrates all the product data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise. PLM connected with ERP and other business systems makes it possible to follow the lifecycle of each component and product itself from its birth to retirement. This can be used for smarter decisions, finding root cause of problems, improving efficiencies, faster product development, increasing sales and reducing costs.

How can data science help the PLM industry?

IOT data collected by the products on field can be huge and needs big data analysis or data science to filter out unwanted data and get useful insights back to design engineers, manufacturing engineers, purchasers, service engineers who design, manufacture, procure and service the product. This will save lot of costs for the company in many ways as follows.

Factor of safety can be accurately determined to save materials.

Fatigue or life can be accurately known to improve quality and predict guarantee.

Design problems can be identified early without major failures and corrected in service or maintenance.

Designers can experiment more as they can get live results from fields early. Suppliers can know early about new suppliers if quality is good.

Service engineers can predict failures and offer maintenance plans.

Possibilities are endless depending on what problems do you want to solve. This is what is called Digital Transformation.

It can be IOT, Big Data, AI,ML or other technologies used to radically improve the product quality and performance.

Sounds interesting?

email: info@plmnordic.com or call +47 48 240 598