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Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Definition
CIMdata defines PLM as:

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A strategic business approach that applies a consistent set of business solutions that support the collaborative creation, management, dissemination, and use of product definition information Supporting the extended enterprise (customers, design and supply partners, etc.) Spanning from concept to end of life of a product or plant Integrating people, processes, business systems, and information

It is important to note that PLM is not a definition of a piece, or pieces, of technology. It is a definition of a business approach to solving the problem of managing the complete set of product definition information—creating that information, managing it through its life, and disseminating and using it throughout the lifecycle of the product. PLM is not just a technology, but is an approach in which processes are as important, or more important than data. It is critical to note that PLM is as concerned with “how a business works” as with “what is being created.” Three core or fundamental concepts of PLM are: 1. Universal, secure, managed access and use of product definition information 2. Maintaining the integrity of that product definition and related information throughout the life of the product or plant 3. Managing and maintaining business processes used to create, manage, disseminate, share and use the information. While information includes all media (electronic and hardcopy), PLM is primarily about managing the digital representation of that information. Based on user experience over the years, PLM solutions can support a broad range of “products.” Examples of “products” include manufactured products, such as automobiles, computers, refrigerators, mobile phones, toys, and airplanes. Many products today also contain software, firmware, and electronic components whose data must be managed. Some organizations have long-lived assets that need to be managed such as utility distribution networks, e.g., power, telecommunications, water, gas, and cable TV, or facilities like plants, drilling rigs, buildings, airports, harbors, railway systems, and logistics warehouses. Other “products” include bridges, highways, and other civil engineering projects. Organizations across many industrial sectors have successfully used PLM solutions to manage product information across the lifecycle for all of these “products.” In the 1990’s, this lifecycle view expanded from managing primarily the mechanical elements of a product’s definition to include the electronics and software elements that have become a greater portion of many products. That expansion continued to push the perception of what “design” encompassed. PLM includes management of all product-related information from requirements, through design, manufacturing, and deployment. This information ranges from marketing requirements, product specifications, and test instructions and data, to the as-

maintained configuration data from the field. The PLM solution links information from many different authoring tools and other systems to the evolving product configuration. At the same time, the lifecycle began to include production-focused attributes and information. Today, PLM encompasses significant areas of process. It’s not just program and project management processes. It is also the processes required to manufacture the product or plant, operate it in the field, and dispose or decommission it at the end of its useful life. PLM solutions help define, execute, measure, and manage key product-related business processes. Manufacturing and operational process plans are also now viewed as an inherent part of PLM. Processes, and the workflow engines that control them, ensure complete digital feedback to both users and other business systems throughout each lifecycle stage. Also download our Product Lifecycle Mangement (PLM) Definition from our Complimentary Reports.

PDm – The Key to Harnessing Innovation in an E-Business World

collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) enables enterprises to bring innovative and profitable products to market more effectively, especially in the evolving e-business environment. cPDm enables enterprises to harness their innovation process through effective management of the full product definition lifecycle in their extended enterprise. It is provided through a combination of best-practices processes and technologies such as product data management, collaboration, visualization, collaborative product commerce, enterprise applications integration, components supplier management, etc. cPDm is rapidly transitioning from a competitive advantage to a competitive necessity, and is an essential element for companies to successfully compete in the evolving new world of e-business.

Collaborative management of the product definition lifecycle throughout the extended enterprise (i.e., enterprise wide and throughout the supply chain) is the next step in enterprise computing for industrial organizations seeking to improve their competitiveness. Manufacturers know full well the tremendous power of delivering innovative products to market more quickly and efficiently. So forward-thinking firms are scrambling to make the right investments to improve management of their product definition lifecycle and their innovation process: aspects of their businesses that typically have received little support in the past. It is clear that recent advances in technologies and approaches have vastly improved the ability of companies to achieve this vision, and thus the ability to improve their competitive position in the evolving new world of ebusiness. -Top-

The need to manage product definition and associated processes is growing even more acute because of their increasing complexity across an extended enterprise. The globalization of companies has dispersed employees, products, services, and partners around the world. Additionally, product content can take on a variety of forms that take much more effort to manage than their predecessors. On top of this, Internet and Web-based technologies are making information from both inside and outside of the organizations quickly available to widely dispersed operations. Managing product definition has become not only increasingly complex, but absolutely vital to success in a global market. As a background on this issue, it is important to clarify the scope of product definition. Within any industrial enterprise, their overall product lifecycle is comprised of three primary and tightly intertwined processes. The first of these is the product definition lifecycle. As with the overall product lifecycle, this lifecycle begins at the earliest point of customer requirements and product concept, and extends until the product is obsolete and field support has ceased. It includes the complete product, from mechanical and electronic components, to software and documentation. It includes the entire set of information that defines how the product is designed, manufactured, and serviced. Product definition is an intellectual property of a business — an intellectual asset; to be captured, maintained, and leveraged. And it resides not just within an individual company, but across the entire enterprise, including the full product definition supply chain. The second major process is the product production lifecycle. This lifecycle includes all activities that are associated with production and distribution of the product. Product production focuses on the deliverable product — typically a physical asset. The third major process is the operations support lifecycle. This focuses on facilities, people, finances, and resources required to support the enterprise. For an enterprise to succeed, there must be close coordination and communication among all three lifecycles. A close and collaborative effort is required to create the seamless product lifecycle needed to provide innovative products to market effectively.

product lifecycle — comprised of three primary and intertwined processes -TopManagement of the product definition lifecycle and its close integration with other major lifecycles is not a new concept. In fact, this concept has been around for many years. Recently however, industry’s ability to achieve this concept has improved dramatically with the availability of a wide range of new technologies and approaches that facilitate collaborative work efforts across wide networks and between enterprise systems. Historically, Product Data Management (PDM) was a philosophy at the core of this movement. Its roots are based in design

engineering, but its vision has been to establish an enterprise-wide infrastructure to support management of the product definition. Originally in the mid-1980’s, PDM was focused on solving the problems of CAD file management by providing a good vaulting function, and was typically limited in scope to an engineering department or group. This technology was based upon some critical foundation technologies to handle data and communications requirements. Additional functions were quickly added to this base, providing the core set of capabilities for PDM systems. As the industry evolved, the scope expanded beyond engineering departments, and by the early and mid-1990’s the requirements of industry dictated development of more sophisticated applications to address issues such as change control, configuration management, and others. A host of related technologies, such as visualization, began to appear and were quickly used to enhance the capabilities and value of PDM implementations. The PC became the primary platform. -TopBy the end of the 1990’s, industry has gained additional experience with these systems, best practice methods have been developed, and these have been combined with available technologies to provide full solutions focused on specific industry problems. The advent and widespread adoption of the Internet and Web-based tools has had a tremendous impact on development and utilization of PDM and related systems, and promises an even greater impact in the future. In addition, the new collaboration and e-commerce technologies greatly facilitate real-time, synchronous collaborative work efforts involving teams of people widely dispersed across networked organizations. This is enabling the implementation of technologies and processes that can deliver on the promise of “extended enterprise” product definition management. This broadened scope does not represent a completely new market. Rather, it is an expansion and the next evolutionary step in the market’s ability to deliver capabilities that have already been envisioned. This newly expanded market is called “collaborative Product Definition management” (cPDm), recognizing the extended nature of newer solutions beyond traditional PDM to include many technologies that facilitate collaborative work processes, collaborative product commerce, supplier integration, enterprise application integration, and a host of additional web-based and non-Web-based approaches. It also recognizes that full management of the product definition lifecycle throughout the extended enterprise is an attainable solution rather than a future promise. -TopcPDm is not just a set of application and technology solutions. cPDm is a strategic business approach; applying a consistent set of business solutions to collaboratively manage the product definition lifecycle across the extended enterprise. cPDm includes “best practices” methods along with the right suite of technologies. It addresses the extended enterprise, including the full

product definition supply chain of OEM’s, sub-contractors, suppliers, partners, and customers. cPDm is an approach that enables businesses to exploit the potential and promise of both today’s and tomorrow’s technologies and methods. It is an approach that can deliver value quickly. The opportunity to improve the competitiveness of companies in a global market by harnessing their abilities to bring innovative and profitable products to market quickly has never been greater. And it is the ability to capture and manage an enterprise’s intellectual assets throughout the product definition lifecycle that greatly differentiates cPDm solutions from other approaches, and contributes to their growing importance and adoption in industry. cPDm is transitioning quickly and inevitably from a competitive advantage to a competitive necessity. Imaginative and knowledgeable companies are leading the charge to implement these new solutions and leverage them for success. Clearly, these emerging cPDm business solutions and approaches are not another set of buzzwords or marketing hype. Rather, cPDm provides an approach that is an essential element for companies to successfully compete in the evolving new world of e-business.

Application Programming Interface (API) A mechanism by which an external application can interact with a system through predefined hooks to the system’s user interface, technical functions, and data model. Application Integration An interface from an external application that provides access to the functional capabilities and database of the PDM system. The interface is usually built from a library of routines (the API) that may be embedded within other applications or programs to call PDM functions and to access or update the PDM database. See Encapsulation See Integration See Interface

Bill of Material (BOM) An ordered list of the parts, sub-assemblies, assemblies, and raw materials that define a product. Normally created and maintained within the Project Structure Management function, it defines the type, number, quantity, and relationships of parts and assemblies.

Client Refers to both the hardware and software used in a distributed, client-server architecture where the server provides clients with data and information on a demand basis. Typically the trend is to use non-proprietary Web browser software on the client hardware to access cPDm managed data and services.

Collaboration Working as a team to execute some process such as design or engineering change approval. Asynchronous collaboration allows a team to work serially on something such as an approval, where the data being worked on is sent from one person to the next until the process is complete. Synchronous collaboration allows a team to work simultaneously on a process, seeing each other’s data and Collaborative Commerce c-Commerce is a form of electronic business (e-Business); conducting business on the Internet, not only buying and selling but also servicing customers and collaborating with business partners. Collaborative Commerce is conducted via inter-enterprise Internet connections and enables multiple enterprises to work interactively online to find ways to save and make money and to solve business problems. Collaborative Product Commerce (CPC) Enterprise capable Web-based solutions that use the Internet to allow employees, customers, and suppliers to collaboratively develop, build, manage, sell, and support products throughout their lifecycle. These solutions are enablers for c-Commerce. collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) cPDm is a strategic business approach; applying a consistent set of business solutions that collaboratively manage the product or plant definition lifecycle across the extended enterprise. Compliance Management Compliance management includes definition, tracking and reporting of all product-related information and activities required to confirm that a product meets certain regulatory compliance metrics, e.g., REACH, WEEE and RoHS.

Component Supplier Management (CSM) Systems that support the classification and retrieval of standard and common parts, components, and assemblies that are used in product designs. These systems may also support monitoring and ranking suppliers. CSM systems use hierarchical classification schemes to facilitate finding components. Concurrence The occurrence of two or more activities within the same period of time, achieved either by interleaving the activities or by simultaneously executing the activities.

Concurrent Engineering (CE) Defined by IDA Report R-338 as a “systematic approach to the integrated, concurrent design of products and their related processes, including manufacture and support. This approach is intended to cause the developer, from the outset, to consider all elements of the product life cycle from conception through disposal, including quality, cost, schedule and user requirements.” Concurrent Engineering Environment The collection of services and the culture necessary to support concurrent engineering. The four CE environment factors are: organization, communication infrastructure, requirements, and product development. Configuration Management (CM) An engineering discipline that provides direction and monitoring of configuration items including processes for defining and controlling product structure (configuration) and its related documentation. CM includes maintaining revision control and history information about all changes to a document or product. CM responsibilities include activities to identify, document, and control changes to functional and physical characteristics; to document change processing and implementation status; and to verify compliance with specified requirements (configuration identification, configuration control, configuration status accounting, configuration audit). Consumer A class of PLM user who accesses and uses information to perform their assigned work tasks but who is not a primary data creator

Change A modification to a part, component, configuration, or document from currently defined and approved status. Changes cause version or revision levels of affected items to be updated. Change Control The process and procedures that manage how changes are proposed, reviewed, and approved, and then incorporated into a product and its associated documentation. Change Control is a part of overall configuration management and uses review and release processes to enforce compliance with company change policies. Change Package A group of documents defined by an ECO that must be modified as a group to effect a change. Check-In The process of placing new or returning modified product data or information under PDM control. If a new revision is being created this procedure usually initiates a review/approval process controlled by the PDM system. Check-Out The process of accessing PDM-managed product data or information under PDM controlled procedures. This access may be for viewing, reference and use in another design or manufacturing task, or for making a design change. The PDM system prevents multiple, simultaneous change activities in order to maintain product data integrity.

Design Capture The process of preparing a design in an electronic environment, as when a person uses a computer-aided tool to draw a solid model, schematic, or other drawing. Design Release Management The process of controlling design data. Components include check-in, check-out, release level maintenance, access security, and promotion authorization.

Design Element Explicitly identifiable portion of a design that can be described and modeled as an entity. Design elements may be primitives, interconnections of primitives, or interconnections of larger elements.

Encapsulation The simplest form of application integration. Encapsulated applications can be launched by the PDM system, and a data file can be passed to the application, but data does not dynamically flow between the PDM system and the application. Engineering Bill Of Material (EBOM) Engineering Bill Of Material defines the configuration of a product as it was designed. Enterprise A portion of a company that is related by a common interest in a product or group of products. An enterprise may also logically include a network of subcontractors involved in the common product. PDM systems are often applied across an enterprise. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems that help organizations plan their manufacturing processes and control how products are created. ERP systems typically allow companies to control all aspects of manufacturing including inventory, purchasing, process planning, warehousing and delivery, human resources, finance, configurations, effectivities, etc. Extended Enterprise An enterprise that logically includes a network of contractors, suppliers, business partners, and customers involved in creating, defining, producing, operating, or supporting a common product. A supply chain is considered part of an extended enterprise. Geometric Model A mathematical, graphical, or logical representation of the shape of real or conceived physical objects. The shape may be described in 2-dimensions (as in an engineering drawing) or 3-dimensions (as in a surface or solid model). Geometric models include wireframe, surface, and solid models.

Instance This term is used differently in product design systems, in PDM product structure functions, and in image management systems. An instance, as used in product design, is a reference to a geometric object that allows the same geometry to be located at several places in a geometric model assembly without actually copying the geometry. When the original geometry is modified the modifications automatically appear at every instance location. Similarly, in product structures, an instance is a reference to a Part. It allows the same Part to be used in several assemblies without copying all part information into the assembly. In image management, an instance is an occurrence of an image in some format. An image management system may maintain multiple instances of the same image in distributed locations to improve access performance. Interoperability The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged. For example, interoperable tools have access to and use the original data, not translated data or copies of the data. Lifecycle The description of the distinct phases through which each product passes during its product life. This includes phases such as requirements definition, concept design, production, et cetera. Markup To put comments and annotations on overlays of a graphic or textual object without changing or modifying the original. Generally, markup refers to annotating images for use in change processes. Multiple overlays and colors are used to allow many persons to input their annotations, comments, and proposed changes. A user requests the original and the overlays in order to review all comments. Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) A methodology and system used to plan and manage manufacturing operations. The BOM for products released to manufacturing and the product routing definition are key parts of the MRP system’s database. Metadata Information about the data controlled by the PDM system. For example, drawing number is metadata about a drawing. This definition differs from that used by information systems professionals as a definition of a database’s underlying schema.

Object-Oriented Database Management System (OODBMS) A DBMS in which data objects are encapsulated by classes that have pre-defined characteristics. Objects added to the database automatically acquire (inherit) the characteristics of their class. These data are accessible only through messages which they recognize.

Part A discreet item that is included in a design, such as a mechanical, electrical, or software item. Parts combine into sub-assemblies and assemblies to define products. Parts are often assigned unique identifying numbers, often called part numbers. Part Classification Mechanisms to classify parts and other elements of a product by their function or by the processes used to manufacture them. Part classification is used to find PDM-managed components to use in a product design or PDM-managed processes to use in the design of similar processes. Part Master A set of data (information) about a part that serves as the control definition of the part. This might include information such as part number, date created, currently active revision level, department responsible for design changes, et cetera. The Part Master will have relationships to other information that describes the part’s use in assemblies. Part Referencing Instancing of a virtual image of data from one file into another without copying the original. CAD systems that utilize standard parts are examples of part referencing applications. Product Data Management (PDM) Solutions and methodologies used within an enterprise to: 1) organize, access, and control data related to its products, and 2) manage the lifecycle of those products. A single PDM solution may work with CAD, CAM, CAE, other software applications, and with traditional non-computer systems that generate or use product data (such as paper documents). It also provides access and security controls, maintains relationships among product data items, enforce rules that describe and control data flows and processes, and provides notification and messaging facilities. PDM systems are used by managers, administrators, and end-users.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) 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. Product Structure Embodies the organization of all of the design and production data for a product. It includes hierarchical relationships of the assemblies and other parts that comprise a product. It may also include references to associated items such as documents, files, processes, etc. Product Structure View A specific way of interpreting product configuration information. Product structure views may be quite different for different disciplines such as design assembly, manufacturing assembly, purchasing, documentation, maintenance, etc. Parts can have different representations in two views, for instance a weldment may be treated as a single part in the design assembly and as several parts in the manufacturing assembly. Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) Database management systems that maintain data records and indices in tables. Relationships may be created and maintained across and among the data and tables. Role Describes responsibilities associated with a specific job type. Examples include project manager, designer, and reviewer. In cPDm solutions, a role is used to assign authorization and access restrictions. Users are assigned to roles to inherit the authorizations and access restrictions required to perform the assigned work of that role. Revision A modification of an item during the process of developing a product. Many organizations use some form of code in the item number to indicate which revision of the item is being examined. Item revisions may also produce a variant item, that is one that is different for some specified reason. See Variant See Version

Revision Level The current authorized and documented level of a component, configuration or document. Revision Levels are defined and updated according to configuration management change control rules including review and approval of the changes to affected items. Total Quality Management (TQM) A broad approach to quality including product quality but extending well beyond to virtually everything done by an organization for external as well as “internal” customers (what marketing does for manufacturing for example) that encourages an enterprise-wide emphasis on quality and doing the job right the first time. Continuous improvement is sought toward measurable, ever-more-difficult quality targets. Top-Down Design A design method that combines the use of divide-and-conquer techniques with one of adding increasing detail as the design processes. Top-down is typically used at the beginning of the design process. Bottom-Up Design A structured approach to organizing design data where the lowest level primitive elements are defined first, and then the higher level functions are built using these elements. As the hierarchical definition process concludes, the overall design structure is expressed in terms of high level functional blocks and their interconnections. Trigger A mechanism that detects some activity, or change in state of some object in the PDM system and as a result, can initiate some subsequent action. Version A variation of an approved and controlled item. Multiple versions of the same Revision Level may be created. Versions allow variations of components, configurations, and documents to be developed and used without requiring formal changes to the Revision or Baseline of an item. Variant Synonym of version.

Viewer Application used to display graphical objects, generally in raster format. Viewer applications allow users to zoom, pan, and otherwise modify the display of the object. See Markup See Redline

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