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Author Vadim
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Product Lifecycle Management

PLM systems represent application software, through which the lifecycle management of products displayed on a fundamentally different level of quality.

In the modern world, a growing number of business leaders are inclined to think that the main tool in the fight for the success of the company is an implementation of innovative technologies. Innovation is the force that enables your enterprise to occupy larger market share.The power that allows your products to generate the maximum profit. Innovations reduce the cost of governance and increase its efficiency. Most leading companies use innovative approaches in all stages of the production and life cycle of products.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), this system provides management of all the information about the product and related processes throughout its life cycle, from the beginning of design to removing from production. Information about the object contained in the PLM system is a digital model of the object. 

Each year, the enterprises have hundreds of new ideas designed to speed up production, improve consumer properties of products, reduce production costs.  So much informational data is produced - documents, versions, amendments, changes... To deal with this manually even in a small company may not be under the power of an average person.

The use of the PLM system allows you to create a controlled environment for the dissemination of information, where you can store all the ideas and documents that will later be available on demand to a strictly defined circle of peoples. Using PLM system allows you to get rid of unnecessary duplicated information.

The introduction in the PLM system, information about earlier developments, at first glance, may not seem worthwhile practice. However, this approach allows you to reuse ideas that have been successfully proven in previous projects. Instead of wasting time to re-inventing the wheel, better to get it from the archive of the PLM system.

Today, doing business involves constant communication not only internally but also with partners, suppliers and even customers, located in different parts of the country, or around the globe. There could be many reasons for that. And if you talk about technical support, the provision of the interactions between geographically distant participants, in the life cycle of the product, becomes an indispensable condition with which to successfully cope PLM system.

Manufacturing processes and support of products often are the same repetitive actions. Without an automated system controlling these processes, their progress can't go so fast. The PLM system allows to describe the rules of the business process, and then performs the automatic control of its execution. The performer receives accurate instructions how to do something, and gets the necessary documents for this. Most importantly - he doesn't need to think where to pass the process on - PLM system will select the right person, once guided by established rules. But even in that case, if the process for some reason has stalled - PLM system will tell you that at some stage there is a delay and give the opportunity to respond quickly. As a result - the reduction of time passage of the process, increase the productivity of the enterprise.

Another strong point of the PLM system are reports. Often making a report manually takes a lot of time to collect and analyze information from different files and types of data. PLM system takes on this task. Specialized modules independently find the necessary data according to the specified parameters and produce the report in the form that is needed. In addition to the current situation, based on available data, the PLM system can show what can happen when making a decision, significantly reduces the risk.

All this makes the PLM system the most significant innovation, the introduction of which is able to revolutionise your business and bring only positive changes.

What does PLM system consist of?

PLM system is a complex software system consisting of several interrelated components. 

The heart of the PLM system is the metadata server, which provides the logic of all system. It collects, store, and process data files, products, users, etc.

Separately, there are file servers, which store electronic versions of the documents in PLM system. If some kind of document is placed in the PLM system, it gets on a file server, and the information about it goes to the metadata server. In the future, when you request the document, the metadata server checks whether it is possible to issue the document to the requesting person and if he has sufficient rights. After that, a copy of the document will be sent to this user from the file server. It should be noted that the file server stores all versions of documents placed in the PLM system, and search of an archive copy of a document is straightforward. Moreover, the search system of metadata server will make it easier to find the desired version of the document, limiting the search by individual attributes.

In addition to the server, the client part of the PLM system exists. As a rule, it's a set of modules that perform a particular task on the user's computer. Most often these modules are integrating of the PLM system with the various applications (CAD, office packages, etc). Such modules allow you to use a familiar software and directly interact with the PLM system in an intuitive manner, with comfort. To take from the PLM-system data and documents to edit and put the modified documents back. While the PLM system takes care of notifying other participants of the process that the document is taken for editing by another user, and offer them an updated version of the document when such appear.

The PLM system can't work properly without the business processes management module. Describing business processes in the enterprise can be assigned to the PLM system to track when, to whom and what document or data needs to be delivered for the successful accomplishment of the task. The PLM system will keep track of the delay in the execution of certain tasks and notify about it the manager, that will allow him to analyze and eliminate bottlenecks in processes. Because the description of a business process, in fact, is a document, its version is also stored in the PLM system, allowing you to easily view previous versions of the business processes descriptions, analyze them and make the right decision about how, in case of problems, to rebuild description of the business process.

Report generator. According to the data stored in the PLM system on the metadata server, they generate all kinds of regulated type reports on standard forms. When you upgrade the product structure, a new report can be automatically generated. Again, because the report is a document, all versions of it can be found in the PLM system.

Digital model - a set of electronic documents that describe products, their creation and maintenance. Contains electronic drawings or the three-dimensional model of the products and their components, various attribution information (item-specific options etc.), technical requirements, policy documents, technical, operational, and other documentation.

PLM system has the software development kit (SDK), that allows developers of such programs to organize the interaction of their systems with PLM system on various rules.

Using modern management tools, product lifecycle displays your production and financial indicators at a different level of quality, enhances the competitiveness in the market and strengthens customer loyalty.