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Product lifecycle management (PLM)

Improve the quality of manufactured products; actively manage their cost efficiency starting from early stages of the lifecycle

Question

The system allows to effectively solve problems

Management, control and analysis of execution of products development or modification projects

Multi-variant design of new products, configurations and designs management

Management of resources of the products development or modification project

Management of digital mockup for each serial number or lot of products over the whole lifecycle

Logging and registration of all changes on different stages of product’s lifecycle

Implementation of flow-through business-processes at all stages of product’s lifecycle

Ensuring interaction between geo-distributed product lifecycle participants

Product cost management at all stages of its lifecycle

The 4th Industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) fundamentally changes the production processes. You must be ready for those changes. Customization of products is one of the main trends. Production of unique customized products prevails over the similar mass-manufactured products, which previously used to provide costs reduction of each production unit.

Manufacturing customized products requires permanent changes in design-engineering documents or issuing new design-engineering documents. The database of intellectual data is constantly growing. It becomes complicated to control each separate product, especially a complex one. Another one important point is to ensure the shortest possible time to meet the client’s demand, so that the company is able to retain at the market.

PL (Product Lifecycle) is the complex of procedures to be executed since the need in specific products is identified till it is satisfied and the product is disposed. Different sources identify different PL stages, which usually include the following:

  • Marketing or marketing research
  • Design
  • Production preparation
  • Production
  • Testing and quality control
  • Sales and supplies
  • Operation
  • Disposal

PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) is the business strategy, providing the need to manage all procedures at all stages of the product lifecycle.

At this stage of technological development, the machine building and other enterprises neglecting PLM strategy, lose their competitive capacity, because they cannot improve the quality of their products and meet the permanently growing clients’ needs. The IT-Enterprise.PLM solution allows monitoring each product at all stages of its lifecycle: statement of requirements to the product, all stages of development of technical documents, manufacture, dispatch, operation and, finally, disposal. The information related to any stage may be archived if required.

There are the following variants of PLM concept realization:

  • PLM-system used instead of ERP-system
  • PLM-system used together with ERP-system
  • PLM-strategy implemented within ERP

The third variant is the most efficient, because:

  • PLM related tasks of all services of the enterprise shall be solved
  • unified information space shall be created
  • common workflow for all services shall be performed (Workflow)
  • online process tracking becomes possible
  • cooperation of all services shall be established

Different types of product structure, as well as their support over the whole lifecycle shall be supported for order-based production:

  • "pre-contractual/contractual" product structure
  • design product structure
  • engineering product structure
  • product documents structure
  • process product structure
  • actual product structure
  • operational product structure

For managing all PLM-concept related processes, the following tools included by IT-Enterprise-system shall be used:

  • IT-Enterprise.PDM (product data management)
  • IT-Enterprise.TDM (technical document flow management)
  • IT-Enterprise.ProjectManager (projects management)
  • IT-Enterprise.SmartManager (online tasks management)

Product pricing or cost management

Integration of an ERP-system and a CAD-system in a unified information space allows sufficiently speeding up the process of designing new products, taking a lead and bringing them to the market within the shortest possible period.

The IT-Enterprise.PLM solution allows monitoring each product at all stages of its lifecycle, including development of design documents and production preparation. As the PLM-strategy is implemented inside the ERP system, there is a possibility to estimate the prime cost of a new product prior to the production preparation, which may become very expensive. This allows refusing from economically unprofitable projects at the earliest stages of PL and to save considerable funds and work hours. For projects that have been considered profitable after the primary assessment, further calculation allows optimizing the prime cost and increase the profitability of new products.

Solving the “reverse problem” is possible as well. Having estimated the rational prime cost, it is possible to estimate, which expensive materials and accessories may be substituted by less expensive ones (without compromising the product quality) in order to reach the pre-determined prime cost.

It is possible to fulfill the following while managing the product cost:

  • Quickly calculate the prime cost of complex assemblies of the product and modifications thereof
  • Estimate the expected cost of product manufacture and modifications thereof based on the analysis of specifications and process routes
  • Estimate the expenses for materials and accessories, borrowed assemblies and indirect production costs
  • Simulate various scenarios of manufacturing a new product by various technological procedures and using different equipment, analyze expenses and the ways to keep them down
  • Estimate the profitability of new products and perform comparative economic analysis with the products already manufactured by the enterprise (investment profitability, sales return etc.)

Analyze the influence of changes in the product structure onto its cost; identify components, which essentially influence the cost of the product, as well as to substitute them at early PL stages.

Digital mockup is the package of electronic documents that describe the product, manufacture and maintenance thereof. It contains electronic blueprints and/or 3-D models of the product and its components, blueprints and/or models of rigging required to produce the product components, various attributive information on the components (nomenclature, weight, lengths, specific parameters), technical requirements, regulatory documents, technical, operational and other documents.

Creation and processing of a digital mockup for each serial number or a lot of products is provided by creating and collection of the following data:

  • 3-D model is a package of files in one or several CAD-systems that demonstrate solid models of product parts and units
  • Light 3-D model is the model received via facet approximation of the model from source CAD-system. It is used to preview and analyze the model of the product using documents management system without applying a CAD-system. It also requires less computer resources for demonstration, as it is smaller and simpler. The following are the most used formats of a light 3-D representation: T, CGR, 3DXML, 3DPDF, STEP, etc.
  • Attributive data are data that describe the components of a digital mockup. For example, the following shall be the attributive data for a product developed at a certain enterprise: developer’s name and department, material, weight, set and values of parameters to be controlled. For standard products: GOST, unit size. For bought-in products: supplier’s name, supplier’s nomenclature, list of alternatives
  • Process data are the data containing required manufacturing instructions: technological procedures, equipment, materials, control tools, programs for CNC machines etc.
  • Production data are the production engineering data: design and fabrication of rigging, technological procedures, libraries of operations and handovers. Certificates of approval for materials and accessories used in production
  • Documents are all possible documents somehow related to the product. For example, regulatory documents changing the stages of elements of the digital mockup lifecycle. Operation and repair documents related to both, the product and its separate parts and assemblies
Advantages

Advantages
of our system

Unified information space for solving engineering, production, operational tasks at all levels of the enterprise – from the management to shop workers

Possibility to control products’ cost efficiency at early stages of the life cycle

Analysis and control over the influence of design and technology changes onto the cost parameters of the products

Single workflow for building flow-through business processes, which combine different divisions of the enterprise or holding

Availability of visual comparison tools for versions and variants of products development and modification projects

Design and development cost saving by means of product data reuse and modification

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