Progress and Development

In reality, PLM has many fathers: Since companies have been using computer programs for design, they have felt the need to be able to more easily find and reuse their technical product data. This also inspired software houses in Germany to develop electronic management systems. Although PDM claimed from the beginning to support not only data management, but also the processes of data creation and provision, this term was soon perceived as too narrow. After a period of terminological competition, software manufacturers and consulting companies found a new common denominator in the term PLM

Evolution of PLM in companies

From drawing management to digital engineering

Drawing management in the design and manufacturing environment has undergone an impressive metamorphosis since the beginnings of pure CAD data management. While it was initially just about storing and retrieving CAD data, drawings, documents and parts lists were soon linked together and related to information from ERP systems – the step from drawing management to CAD data management to product data management (PDM system) was done.

At the same time, electronic archive and document management systems (DMS) have been on the rise in the commercial environment since the 1990s. If these are also able to map technical structures, they are referred to as DMS tec . In order to enable cross-departmental, consistent work with product-relevant data and documents, a bridge to the product data management (PDM) system is required. Once completed, companies have a uniform product data backbone that includes both commercial and technical documents. The evolutionary path continues to process control of product data and information flows. This is then referred to as a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system.

The task of a PLM solution is to create consistency. This means providing everyone involved along the process chain in the company – from requirements to design and production to sales and service – with controlled access to a uniform, common product database – the Product Data Backbone . Collaborative PLM extends these processes beyond company boundaries up to the highest level of evolution, digital engineering and thus the digitalization of the entire process chain. Collaborative PLM enables internally and externally networked real-time process coordination across the entire product life cycle. Partners, customers and suppliers are integrated into company processes in a controlled manner. The organic development of the various evolutionary stages – from drawing management to the complete digitalization of product development and product management – is presented in detail in this knowledge portal.