What is 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.
Challenges of PLM
Besides the opportunity for standardisation, PLM also adds considerable additional costs due to the implementation of a new IT system. Additional cost arises because there is no single system that can perfectly meet all requirements. For example:
PLM tools may not offer the necessary functionality or suitable architecture in the organisation structure. Sometimes companies may already have purchased licenses that can not be used in a PLM project. Moreover, many companies have a large investment in IT that it is not possible to change the basic infrastructure or to use the bought licenses in another way.
- Product Structures
Products are usually designed at varying levels of complexity. To enable PLM, product designs are mapped to different levels of complexity. The product at its highest level is referred to as the product structure. A product structure is usually made up of many individual parts. In a concrete example of a product structure, companies need to consider, part, shape, geometry, material and main assembly.
- Product Family
Product family refers to all the products that are related from a conceptual perspective. For example, if the company sells cars, it needs to create a concept car in its PLM system and then create the range of cars around the concept car. For each of the cars, it needs to add the appropriate specifications and parts to make them unique to the other cars in the product family.
- Product Manufacture
All products have one or more phases of manufacture, from raw materials and other consumables to final product assembly and packaging. Product manufacturing spans the full life of a product from start to finish. Product information is probably critical in this phase as it gives a clear picture of all the steps for completing a part or final product.
- Sourcing, Configuration Management, Procurement
PLM also allows companies to manage their suppliers and their products. Product lifecycle management systems allow companies to understand the requirements of suppliers better and give them the ability to change and add ancillary products to a product and even buy products from suppliers and move them into the product lifecycle management system.
- Facility, Equipment, Technology and Plant Planning
Facility refers to the production plant of a company. A company mentions the facilities in the lifecycle management system so that its employees and other members of the organisation can easily access this information. Equipment and technology refers to the machinery that a company uses for manufacturing products and plant planning (or master scheduling) refers to the production planning of the company.
- Engineering Change Management
As mentioned earlier, the product design may need to be changed. During the lifecycle of a product, as it grows, newer technologies are introduced and this may mean that the old design needs to be changed. Engineering change management is made easier by product lifecycle management because all the changes or proposed changes are listed in a single place and will not be overlooked. This may result in a better design and increased consumer satisfaction.
Benefits of PLM
- Better Control of Supply Chain
A PLM will improve the management of the supply chain. A company can control the supply chain through engineering change, procurement and the sourcing of the supply chain. By correctly controlling the supply chain, a company can almost eliminate the chances of a product having quality-related issues.
- New Product Development is Made Faster, Cheaper and Simpler
PLM will capture all of the details pertaining to a product and its components. This increases the probability of making a new product idea into a finished product. As the development of a new product is made easier, the development cost is also lowered. This also eliminates the possibility of making errors in the development of a product.
- Increased Revenues
Organisations that put in place the required investments and effort can dramatically increase their revenues. Sales of products are made simpler by setting up a more streamlined process for the sale of the product. This will appeal to the consumer as they find it easier to purchase products. This can also reduce the amount of time wasted in locating a product, checking the availability of the product and then purchasing the product.
- Improved Product Engagement
Product engagement is made easier by PLM. Product engagement is defined as the process of knowing the details of a product. With more information about the product available through a PLM, companies can more easily engage with their consumers about a product and the lifestyle associated with it.
- Improved Cost Control
With increased control of supply chain and better management of products and the related costs, a company can more easily plan its costs and thus reduce cost overruns.
- A More Timely Response to the Needs and Wants of Customers
PLM will create more awareness and familiarity about the products. It may also lead to a better understanding of what the customers want and where the company should be looking to develop more products. This will lead to the creation of more products that will suit what the customer wants.
PLM is fully compliant with the law :
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
A PLM enables a company to hold and manage personal information in a more convenient manner. This is particularly beneficial to customers when the company can gain access to product-related information.
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26262
PLM software are verified against a global standard. Part of this is to ensure that the company’s CAD data can be retrieved and managed in a safe manner.
- International Protection Marking
The software is compliant with the law and is recognised by the European Commission.
- Data Protection Act 1998
The use of the PLM software allows a company to store product-related data. It allows the company to comply with the law by ensuring that the data is stored in a safe manner.
- Market-Related Security Requirements
A PLM software can be linked to market-related security control systems to ensure that the company is able to comply with security-related market requirements.
Integrating PLM software for apparel business
Specific challenges of Product Lifecycle Management for the apparel industry . Information and Communication Technology has become central to most businesses.
The aim of PLM software to manage their product data and create interactive and informative business processes, therefore the use of PLM software leads to a more efficient product life cycle.
A PLM consist of two main components; the core system and software, a user interface and a database, the database contains product data.
A PLM can help the company in different ways to manage their product data and create business processes. The design process is carried out faster, collaborative design work is improved and delays to production are reduced. Also, the company is able to control the process better with a well-organized product workflow. Faster time to market, less mistakes, improved quality and increased customer service is an expected result from the efficient use of PLM software.
From the moment an idea for a new product or design is conceived, product lifecycle management facilitates every step along the way from concept to launch; from receiving client requirements to design and development, to production and the marketing of the finished product.
PLM manages the product data from the moment a new design or part is conceived, through drafting and development to final delivering and even renting or selling the finished product. This kind of comprehensive management can save a considerable amount of time and money in a business.
PLM software offers a flexible and adaptable way of managing data and product development. The tools in the software support product design, the process of making, assembly, and deployment. PLM software can be used to facilitate the transfer of ideas from one department to another, without problems that can occur with paper products.
The initial drafting of a design can be the most challenging part of the process. With PLM software, designers will have the opportunity to collaborate more effectively. Product development can be done more efficiently with the PLM system.
The lifecycle begins with drafting the product design and this is where designers will run into the most trouble. Designers traditionally use paper and material in order to do their work and this makes it difficult for everybody to see what the final product is going to look like. Having to share files can be quite challenging. With the PLM system, this is easy to do.
A second major problem is the difficulty of creating new shapes and patterns. An individual product shape may require users to make a very long thread of product data, which is time-consuming and laborious.
Almost everything related to a product goes into the PLM database. There, each product is assigned its own unique identification number. In addition to a product’s shape and design, a PLM system can include photographs, sales data, detailed specifications, sales information, marketing campaigns, and other vital product or business related information.
The three principles of PLM software
Harmony, control, and development.
Harmony is when all in the organization have the same view of their business and of the products they are dealing with. In this way, there are fewer problems and conflicts.
Development of new products and the way the company deals with their current product market has both cost and hurdle benefits.
Control of product information projects allows the organization to keep a tight hold on a new product, from start to finish. This may mean the difference between success and failure of a product. This is because you can have all the information you need to know where you are and where your product is, in order to make changes or respond when there is a change or need for something.
PLM aims to integrate CAD data into the single system. It also helps to move CAD design data and converts them into 3D models and virtual prototypes.
CAD data integration in PLM is crucial because it allows design and manufacturing teams to quickly and easily locate, share, and reuse product components used in various models and products.
It is helpful because it provides a common language and framework for communication across a company’s entire supply chain. The ability to work in a common language enables each company to pursue their objectives in a consistent manner. It also eliminates the need for manufacturers to spend on costly systems that handle the data.
CAD Data Integration in PLM provides a common language, thus making it possible to communicate with different software systems, and between departments. In response to market requirements, it also allows companies to quickly and easily create new features within the PLM software to optimize their design and production processes and to meet future market needs. With the ability to handle requirements for change, companies can to more effectively predict variations in the pace or direction of business development.
Organizations that want to be successful in the industry must use PLM software to help them meet the changing needs and demands that customers are expecting. Having a system like this saves the effort, time and money that may otherwise be spent without these systems in PLM. Although it is an investment, it can be a very worthwhile investment because it can be difficult to manage and respond to changing demands in the industry without PLM.
If an organization is having problems with their existing PLM software and if they are looking for a new system, they should consider using a system called the Windch ABL.
Cost benefits and cost savings are one of the leading reasons for using PLM software. It is capable of bringing down the costs of the completion of a product while enhancing the quality of the product that is being delivered. There is a high level of savings in time and cost when an organization is using the PLM. This is because the product development is largely reduced. Also, there is great improvement in the quality of the product that is being delivered. This is a big benefit to companies since customers are willing to pay for quality.
PLM software has the ability to provide the users with real-time access to data and information from all over the organization. This can be vital business knowledge to all users right at the point where it is needed. PLM can also help provide access to real-time decision support. Decision support is vital to help companies decide and take action to solve problems or to respond to what the company is facing. This is because it is hard to manage a situation without enough information and knowledge no matter how much money the company has on hand.
PLM software has the ability to provide traceability throughout the product lifecycle. This helps to trace the information and data of the product from initial concept to final delivery of the product. This system helps to bring better control of the information in the system and to bring a higher peak of organization and control. This way, there is better communication in the organization and everyone is on the same page as to what is being done and what is still in need of being done. The data will help to bring more control, better organization and even faster response to the changing demands in the market. All of this gives a great competitive edge to the company.
PLM drives the level of business model maturity. The software aims to minimize development wastes, automate design and manufacturing activities, and enhance sales forecasting and product planning.
PLM aims to provide better integration of product development process activities. This will give the company a greater level of control which will give them a competitive edge. This will enable the company to respond faster to the market, and to meet the demands of the market.
It will help to drive a competitive edge. Companies that do not have PLM software will have a hard time trying to compete with companies that have the software.
Using PLM software will allow companies to change the way they manage, design, manufacture and service their products. This is helpful in that it helps the company to bring out new products to the market faster and better. It will be more economical because there is the improvement in the quality of the product and the efficiency of the product development process. This helps the company to compete better and to deliver a stronger product to the market.
When an organization has a vision on the direction in which their business is headed, they can start to implement the PLM software. Also, the company must have a comprehensive plan on how to reach the vision. The plan should include the management, sales, research, and technical leadership.
The organization should have a group of leaders that will be the true lights of the organization. They will take charge of the operations of the PLM. They should be the ones who think outside the box to help develop the strategy of the organization.
After the company has addressed these, they decide on the hardware that is necessary for the PLM software. They must also systemize the design and the manufacturing designers to make sure that they are on the same page and are working effectively.
In order to deliver your vision, you will need to establish a clear understanding of your industry. You must have a good knowledge of the market that is expected to embrace your product and the trends that it is expected to support. It is also necessary to identify or put up a group of specialists that will lead in the direction of the company. They should lead the team in achieving the goals and the mission of the company, and making sure that they are on the same page.
It should also have the group of specialists that will help to identify the features that will be needed in the product. This is to ensure that they have the features that will make their product stand out from the other products in the market.
The organization should strive in making sure that they come up with something that would make them get a competitive edge in the market. They should be constantly updated with the technological expertise and other developments in the industry, with the changing demands of the market, the knowledge necessary to keep them going, with the changing demand of the market.
They should speak in the same language and communicate amicably to help improve themselves as a company. They should also be able to adapt to the technology that is being used.
It is necessary to have high levels of knowledge and not to leave any possibility to the market. Not any information that is necessary must be doubted, and the management must be able to compete with any and all situations that they will be faced with. The management must have a strong belief on the vision of the company and work to accomplish it. The organization should also be led by the experts and the management should have a strong influence with the moral of the company. All decisions must be fair and consistently follow through.
The entire management should be on the same page. This is to ensure that everyone is on the same page as to what is being done and what is still in need of being done.
The organization must have the ability to think in a larger picture. It must have the ability to judge the customers desires and needs. It must also have the ability to compete better than any other organization.