Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

In industry, product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products.  PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.

PLM According to Industry Leaders

Source:  CIMdata

"PLM is a strategic business approach that applies a consistent set of business solutions in support of the collaborative creation, management, dissemination, and use of product definition information across the extended enterprise, and spanning from product concept to end of life-integrating people, processes, business systems, and information. PLM forms the product information backbone for a company and its extended enterprise." 

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Engineering Content Management

Engineering Content Management

What is Engineering Content Management?

An Engineering Content Management solution helps manages documents and CAD drawings, metadata and much more. Moreover, engineering content management solutions must support the intenral collaboration central to engineering content creation.  This includes managing revisions for stockholders across numerous deigns phases so that accurate data is available to the right person at the right time.

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Engineering Change Notice (ECN)

Engineering Change Notice (ECN)

An engineering change notice (ECN), or change notice, is a document which records and authorizes a change to a drawing or design.  ECNs is an integral part of engineering best practices and provide the controls and documentation necessary to ensure that changes are recorded and can be found by the right person at the right time. 

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Bi-directional Publish

Submitting or publishing the data from one business system to another. Bi-directional publishing allows information to be sent back to the original or master business system that sent the data. An example is an engineering change number (ECN). Updated part details in the Item Master sent from a PDM system to an ERP system, and then a new ECN generated by ERP gets sent back to the PDM system.

Revision Control System

The Revision Control System (RCS) is a software implementation of revision control that automates the storing, retrieval, logging, identification, and merging of revisions. RCS is useful for text that is revised frequently, for example programs, documentation, procedural graphics, papers, and form letters. RCS is also capable of handling binary files, though with reduced efficiency. Revisions are stored with the aid of the diff utility.



Supplier Portal

Portals were one of the innovative new technologies introduced during the dot com era.  But unlike marketplaces, exchanges and other failed concepts, portals successfully gained widespread adoption.  In fact, portals have been both a disruptive and transformative force in the supply chain.  As we look back on the past ten years of evolution I think it is interesting to discuss both the positive and negative impacts portals have had on the supply chain.




Requirements Management

Requirements management is the process of documenting, analyzing, tracing, prioritizing and agreeing on requirements and then controlling change and communicating to relevant stakeholders. It is a continuous process throughout a project. A requirement is a capability to which a project outcome (product or service) should conform.

New Product Introduction (NPI)

Launching a new product into the market involves a number of difficult and complex tasks, each  linked to the one before it. All too often great product ideas fall far short of expectations or fail altogether because one or more tasks does not receive the necessary level of attention. This is especially true if the product concept is not fully validated during testing or worse yet, a validated product has not been optimized for cost-effective production and assembly.

Manufacturing Process Planning

Manufacturing Process Planning delivers essential process planning capabilities for all manufacturing industries. Using Manufacturing Process Planning, process planners can efficiently create and validate the initial process plan using the product structure from product engineering, modify the plan to specific requirements, and link products and resources to the steps of the plan. Planners can also perform standard time studies and balance the workload between resources. These plans can then be leveraged by downstream stakeholders, minimizing rework as they enrich the plan from concept to execution.

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Document Management

Document management, often referred to as Document Management Systems (DMS), is the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper based information captured through the use of a document scanner. - See more at:


Configuration Management

CM, when applied over the life cycle of a system, provides visibility and control of its performance, functional and physical attributes. CM verifies that a system performs as intended, and is identified and documented in sufficient detail to support its projected life cycle. The CM process facilitates orderly management of system information and system changes for such beneficial purposes as to revise capability; improve performance, reliability, or maintainability; extend life; reduce cost; reduce risk and liability; or correct defects. The relatively minimal cost of implementing CM is returned many fold in cost avoidance. The lack of CM, or its ineffectual implementation, can be very expensive and sometimes can have such catastrophic consequences such as failure of equipment or loss of life.

CM emphasizes the functional relation between parts, subsystems, and systems for effectively controlling system change. It helps to verify that proposed changes are systematically considered to minimize adverse effects. Changes to the system are proposed, evaluated, and implemented using a standardized, systematic approach that ensures consistency, and proposed changes are evaluated in terms of their anticipated impact on the entire system. CM verifies that changes are carried out as prescribed and that documentation of items and systems reflects their true configuration. A complete CM program includes provisions for the storing, tracking, and updating of all system information on a component, subsystem, and system basis.

A structured CM program ensures that documentation (e.g., requirements, design, test, and acceptance documentation) for items is accurate and consistent with the actual physical design of the item. In many cases, without CM, the documentation exists but is not consistent with the item itself. For this reason, engineers, contractors, and management are frequently forced to develop documentation reflecting the actual status of the item before they can proceed with a change. This reverse engineering process is wasteful in terms of human and other resources and can be minimized or eliminated using CM.

Component Engineering

Component engineering is an engineering discipline primarily used to ensure the availability of suitable components required to manufacture a larger product.

The term combines two ideas:

  • component—a smaller, self-contained part of a larger entity
  • Engineering—the discipline and profession of applying science to implement some functional design

Those who practice this discipline are called component engineers. Component engineers typically select, qualify, approve, document, and manage purchased components and direct material required to produce an end product.[1] Component engineers typically analyze and qualify interchangeable parts from sources (vendors) outside their organization. Because of the high number of components used in electronic assemblies, component engineering is closely associated with design and manufacture.

Component engineering can also refer to the manufacturer of selected equipment used in theatrical motion picture projection. This equipment falls into two categories: units that automatically control the presentation and those that comprise part of the sound system.

Component engineering also involves product lifecycle management, that is to know when a component is going to be obsolete or to analyse the form–fit–functionality changes in the component.