What is PLM?
PLM is Product Lifecycle Management, in its purest form this entails managing the processes required to take a product from its initial inception, all the way through to retirement and disposal.
A PLM Platform or Solution is used to manage all a product’s Requirements, Specifications, Bill of Materials (BoM), Engineering Processes, Manufacturing Workflows and Certifications, as well as more complex product information.
Most companies that produce a product – and by that, I mean design and manufacture a product for sale, will have some processes and workflows in place that it follows to develop a product. These days it is important for an organisation to go beyond these old-fashioned methods, and adopt a single PLM Platform, bringing processes and workflows inline to a central location.
By adopting a PLM Platform an organisation can connect people, processes and data throughout the business to a ‘single source of truth’ for a product’s entire lifecycle. This enables the organisation to be aligned as a whole, ensuring that everyone from mechanical engineers through to the marketing executive are all working from latest product information.
Common Benefits of PLM
1) Reduced Development Cycle
By creating that ‘single source of truth’ for the product data, it’s easier for design teams to collaborate through the development stage. Along with adopting other PLM and Manufacturing technologies, a product can be virtually designed, reviewed, analysed and produced. All this combined means that the time taken to develop a product can be significantly reduced.
2) Reduced Development Costs
With the adoption of a PLM Platform companies create a central repository of all their design and engineering data. This means when it comes to developing a new product, part of the work may already be done, and any lessons learnt from previous projects can be carried across to ensure that no costly mistakes are made.
3) Drive Innovation
With every member of the organisation working on a single PLM Platform, users are able to share and evaluate feedback from various departments that interact with the products, from customer support through to the sales team. This means the engineering and design teams can take this feedback and enhance and improve product development and innovation.
4) Reduce Compliance Risks
Ensuring that a product meets all the latest compliance standards, requirements and regulations is a role that can quickly become uncontrollable. By managing all the documentation and processes related to ensure your products are meeting the relevant standards, requirements and regulations in a single PLM Platform, organisations can quickly and easily audit what has already been achieved and what needs to be completed.