The Functionality of the Different Types of PLM Software
Companies require and use product lifecycle management software in a variety of ways. Research and development (R&D) teams now need to be more innovative and efficient than ever while collaborating with an increasing number of resources. High tech, food and beverage, industrial equipment and automotive manufacturers, to name a few, leverage different types of PLM software in different ways.
Whether you are collaborating with the market to create a new cookie flavor, communicating across international time zones to create a prototype, streamlining maintenance on a piece of equipment to analyze the end-of-life data in an engine, PLM products are impactful tools when selected, implemented and used properly.
In process manufacturing industries like food, beverage, and chemicals we often see Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) replace Product Lifecycle Management Software (PLM) as the chemist or lab technician information system.
Most PLM processes start with a request for research and design (R&D), and then progress through system tracks collaboration, design phases, engineering change control, prototyping, release, production, and use & maintenance through end-of-life.
Enterprise project management and project accounting are critical aspects of Product Lifecycle Management software. Teams need to set realistic timeframes and milestones throughout the project, and information from the project needs to flow directly into the financial side to understand costs and set margins.
Internal and external collaboration, such as getting employees, departments and locations all on the same page, enhances efficiency and takes productivity to the next level by bringing suppliers and customers into the collaboration efforts.
The right type of PLM software will provide interfaces to Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) drawings/data and documentation control or vaulting.