Actually, corporation operate over several countries : product may be designed in one country, manufactured in onther one, and assemblied in a third one.Furthermore the quantity of information that is passed from one application to another has increased.There is also an in-creasing demand for outstanding functions of products at a low price.To manage this diversity and complexity, companies in automotive and aerospace industries followed by machinery industry are using -amongst others-PLM tools ( Project or Product Life cycle Management).
What’s the purpose beyond a PLM approach?
PLM, Project/product Lifecycle Management approach is defined as a business strategy that manage product relevant information through its lifecycle.It This approche integrates all the information produced throughout all phases of a product’s life cycle to everyone in an organization at every managerial and technical level, along with key suppliers and customers.
PLM approach can not be applied succesfully in all kind of companies, in fact it depends on the company level of maturity.
- Level1: Processes are unpredictable, poorly controlled and organization is reactive
- Level 2 : Processes are characterized for specific projects and organization is often reactive.
- Level 3: Processes are documented, standardized, and integrated in a quality system.Organization is proactive.
- Level 4:Processes are measured and controlled
- Level 5: Continuous process improvement is enabled by quantitative feedback from the process and from piloting innovative ideas and technologies.
Level of maturity is important before going towards implementing PLM tools, PLM approche can be only applied starting from Level 3 of maturity.
PLM approach aims to Schedule and track all aspects of product development processes and deliverables in real time as work is completed, and optimize staffing by monitoring utilization and available organizational skills
PLM approach may allow to reduce manufacturing costs by enabling reuse of parts, to manage product configuration and change by embedding processes in configuration and change management such as : Change Notification, Engineering Change Request, Engineering Change Order,Manufacture Change Order, Problem Report ,etc,. ( See explanation of this concepts at Vocabulary)to exchange real data in a real time as example : M-BOM ( manufacturing Bill of Material) and E-BOM ( Engineering Bill of Material)and to facilite outsourcing,etc..
PLM approach is used also for:
- Provide real-time access to project pipelines for rapid analysis and decision making.
- Expose resource bottlenecks in real-time with enhanced management visibility.
- Increase resource utilization and reduce conflicts between project managers and functional group managers.
- Drive phased-based decision making processes using best-in-class process templates, with predefined phases, gates and milestones.
- Improve execution and oversight of complex product development activities by decomposing projects into smaller manageable projects with visibility to sub-project dependencies.
Benefits for CAD users
PLM tools may provide benefits for users CAD such as:
- Manage work-in-progress CAD data for design teams located throughout the world
- Create private and public workspaces for organizing and sharing designs
- Visually collaborate around design information or other information related to design
- Immersive user interface allowing designers to get benefits without modifying business processes
- Manage content created with any MCAD/ECAD applications
Benefits for manufacturers
PLM Tools facilite manufacturing operating over differents countries:
- Enables cross-domain, cross-geography, and cross-organization multi-disciplinary design collaboration
- Heterogeneous design data management, leveraging all enterprise data and context regardless of authoring environment and location
- Enhanced decision support through a global portal and 3D Dashboard
- Immersive user experience from within CAD tools to improve design productivity and innovation
Benefits for designers
Same as the manufacturers operating over differents countries, PLM tools may provide for them some benefits such as:
- Enable multi-discipline design engineers to collaborate with each other and with their cross discipline counterparts.
- The structured design data must be aggregated and linked to the enterprise business data, resulting in a complete top to bottom Virtual Product definition.
- The resultant Virtual Product structure evolves and is under formal change control insuring that the single, global, “best so far” Virtual Product definition is updated and always available to the enterprise.
How PLM tools intervene?
In a concurrent engineering ,the PLM tools are used at the early stage of design, and still used through manufacturing phases till recycling, in order to allow the governance of data during these differents phases; from product point of view there are 6 principals phases( see more about product lifecycle at : how product goes from craddle to grave)
- As Required
- As conceived
- As designed
- As planned
- As manufactured
- As built
Mastering data over those phases is a main purpose of using PLM tools.
- Part Specifications are technical documents that are associated to parts and are under formal change control.
- These documents can be automatically created and associated from CAD or Multi-CAD integrations or manually associated to parts
- Automatic association through BOM Synchronization commands available from the BOM for CAD and Multi CAD
- Reference Documents are any kind of document associated to a part as a reference and not under formal change control
- Document actions include “checkout” for update, Download, subscribe
PLM tools sychronize BOMs with ERP ( Enterprise ressource planning)
- Throughout the design process, user can synchronize the EBOM to physical product structure.
- The Engineering Bill of Materials (E-BOM) can be explored directly from the associated physical product, which keeps a consistent and updated view between engineering and enterprises disciplines
As conceived, As designed, As planned, As manufactured
In order to master Data over those phases, PLM tools may allow to:
- Define Manufacturing BOM structures for multiple manufacturing sites based off of a common Engineering Bill Of Material provided by Product Engineer (PDE) role.
- Align Engineering, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain by defining manufacturing intent and deriving manufacturing views of the product definition from a common product structure
- Provide flexibility to make manufacturing location specific changes such as make or buy or use of location specific material parts without impacting design engineering
- Collaborate among functions and locations using a common automated changes process which automatically propagates engineering changes to the affected manufacturing locations
Teamcenter offers free PDM ( Product data Management) , here are some useful vocabulary used in Teamcenter PDM ;
•Business Objects (Server):
–Business Objects are the things you actually create and work with in Teamcenter; they represent the business data.
–Items and item revisions are the fundamental data objects used to manage information in Teamcenter.
–Items are structures that are generally used to represent a product, part, or component. Items can contain other data objects including other items and folders.
–Item revisions are data objects used to manage revisions to items.
–Each item revision has one or more associated sequence IDs.
see other vocabulary via system architecture vocabulary
Finally PLM tools must be choosed and developped according to the company needs!
Autodesk PLM 360 offers the following modules:
- New project introduction
- BOM management
- configuration Management
- Product data management
- Quality management
- Supplier Management
*CAM: Computer Aided Manufacturing *CAD:Computer Aided Design *CAE: Comptuter Aided Engineering*BOM: Bill of Material