PLM where product meets process: what PDM is to product, PLM is to process. Here's what the buzz is all about. (Engineer).While computer-aided design computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), form of automation that helps designers prepare drawings, specifications, parts lists, and other design-related elements using special graphics- and calculations-intensive (CAD) systems are expert in design and design analysis, and product data management (PDM (1) (Product Data Management) An information system used to manage the data for a product as it passes from engineering to manufacturing. The data includes plans, geometric models, CAD drawings, images, NC programs as well as all related project data, notes and ) systems are excellent at managing all the bits and pieces of geometric definitions and data that go into that design. None of that data helps make the product or, later on, service it. The problem is that PDM has no way of storing in detail the processes involved in making the stuff described in the drawings that PDM does store. That is, PDM was not really designed for manufacturing process management Manufacturing Process Management (MPM) is a collection of technology and methods used in the manufacture of products. It incorporates such technologies as computer-aided production engineering (CAPE), Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) , computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and, thus, it has no way of storing process data or, for that matter, resource data.
Over time, explains Vynce Paradise, Director of Marketing for Digital Manufacturing for EDS (Electronic Data Systems, Plano, TX, www.eds.com) Founded in 1962 by H. Ross Perot (independent candidate for the President of the U.S. in 1992), EDS is the largest outsourcing and data processing services organization in the country. (Cypress, CA), PDM developers began thinking product, product, product-to the exclusion of managing data about processes, plant design, and resources, plus the associated relationships and intelligence that goes along with those data.
For example, the product structure to create BOMs in a PDM became the bill of materials The list of components that make up a system. For example, a bill of materials for a house would include the cement block, lumber, shingles, doors, windows, plumbing, electric, heating and so on. . The behavior and semantics of solids models focused solely on product design; process elements were handled elsewhere. PDM core competency A core competency is something that a firm can do well and that meets the following three conditions specified by Hamel and Prahalad (1990):
(2) See supply chain management. and PLM (Product Life cycle Management) A comprehensive information system that coordinates all aspects of a product from initial concept to its eventual retirement. Sometimes called the "digital backbone" of a product, it includes the requirements phase, analysis and design for SAP Americas (Detroit, MI).
That was okay until users began realizing that manufacturing is more than product design. In fact, it's a great big, integrated, collaborative world out there. "That has been the gotcha (jargon, programming) gotcha - A misfeature of a system, especially a programming language or environment, that tends to breed bugs or mistakes because it both enticingly easy to invoke and completely unexpected and/or unreasonable in its outcome. ," says Mekjian. Which has led to PLM--Product Lifecycle Management. For example, in managing numerical control numerical control: see computer-aided manufacturing.
Control of a system or device by direct input of data in the form of numbers, letters, symbols, words, or a combination of these forms. data with part designs, users and PDM vendors often had to jump through hoops; they either created a partition or folder in the database, or they somehow appended the process data to individual product items in the PDM. Some of the semantic relationships, such as process sequencing, didn't quite work right or they were limited.
THE BIG E
PLM is managing what CIMdata (Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, city (1990 pop. 109,592), seat of Washtenaw co., S Mich., on the Huron River; inc. 1851. It is a research and educational center, with a large number of government and industrial research and development firms, many in high-technology fields such as , MI) calls the "product definition lifecycle"--from product creation to its obsolescence ob·so·les·cent
1. Being in the process of passing out of use or usefulness; becoming obsolete.
2. Biology Gradually disappearing; imperfectly or only slightly developed. . PLM, explains Peter Bilello, a CIMdata Senior Consultant (Automotive), manages the "Big E"--not just product engineering, but also manufacturing engineering Manufacturing engineering
Engineering activities involved in the creation and operation of the technical and economic processes that convert raw materials, energy, and purchased items into components for sale to other manufacturers or into end products for . This is consistent to Mekjian's PLM definition: a management system that "bridges the gap between engineering, manufacturing, procurement, and the back office financial and human resource systems." Unfortunately, Bilello continues, many organizations don't have the Big E. Their idea of manufacturing engineering is someone on the other side of the wall who will catch product engineering. Plus, there's the other problem of product definition: the whole dynamic nature of product creation, production, logistics, and what CIMdata calls the intellectual assets, which includes the people in finance, human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. , and so on.
To be fair, notes Bilello, users and vendors have had this holistic vision of what data and systems were needed and how, maybe, to put it all together. Unfortunately, the technology did not support that vision. Companies typically started with PDM because they had to; there were simply too many CAD files to deal with.
"I see this as an evolution, not a revolution," says Bilello. "And there's always been an integration issue at the heart of it." Plus, by incorporating creation tools with data management, that line between data creation and data management has become blurred over the last couple of years. This, continues Bilello, has done two things. First, people now recognize that product definition is much broader than once thought. Second, it has shown why PDM and broader-based data management systems are important.
At the heart of a PLM system is a data model that lets product, process, plant, and resource data entities and their inter-relationships be managed. "Overall, the platform provides a managed, web-accessible, collaborative manufacturing environment," says Paradise. PLM capabilities include product and process configuration, change control and effectivity, process creation, workflow, access management, digital mockup Digital MockUp or DMU is a technology that allows product design engineers to replace physical prototypes with virtual ones, using 3D computer graphics techniques. It is also frequently referred to as Digital Prototyping or Virtual Prototyping. and visualization, as well as vaulting, storage, security, and other data administration capabilities. All of these capabilities are integrated.
How would you use it? In taking about his company's PLM product, Mekjian says SAP's integrated Product and Process Engineering (iPPE) capability lets you "document, track, and manage information on your product at each stage in the development process." You first define the functional structures that represent the basic components of your product. Then you add more detail, completing the product documentation by including design drawings, specifications, and part numbers. While the product is still in development, you can use iPPE to define and work separately on products based on partial product definitions. (For example, you can create parts for special orders, perform development studies, and build prototypes.)
Here's the kicker: Mekjian points out, "As you define your product structure and its variants, you can simultaneously begin to model manufacturing processes and factory layouts. This means you can simultaneously construct the details of your product, manufacturing processes, and factory production/ For each of these three functions. iPPE lets you define the basic structures first, then refine them later."
You can't do that with off-the-shelf PDM or, for that matter, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) An integrated information system that serves all departments within an enterprise. Evolving out of the manufacturing industry, ERP implies the use of packaged software rather than proprietary software written by or for one customer. , which contains both BOMs and routings.
What's s more, you can model a vehicle or any configurable product in a logical fashion using English or whatever natural language you wish--without having to wait for a part number or even CAD drawings. Says Mekjian, "I can model my car as a logical construct. All I need to know is that this car will have chassis, wheels, and an axle." Moving downstream, manufacturing engineers don't need to know that parts A, B, and C, and parts X, Y, and Z have to go together in a particular set sequence. All they need to know is that there will be an axle and a wheel will be put on it. The same holds true for factory layout. Production engineers don't need to know material numbers. All they need to know is where this wheel and axle wheel and axle, simple machine consisting of a wheel mounted rigidly upon an axle or drum of smaller diameter, the wheel and the axle having the same axis. It is fundamentally a form of lever, the center common to both the wheel and the axle corresponding to the will be put together and how many of these have to be put together in a day. From that, they can work on line balancing.
Heck, they can work on building the entire plant and laying out equipment long before they have the CAD drawings and materials numbers for a new vehicle.
Suppose a car design has been released to manufacturing. Entering a car model into the PLM system will lead to all the manufacturing processes, resources, and plants associated with making that car. Entering a facility number, even a production line ID, will lead to what products are being produced there. Likewise, entering a resource descriptor (1) A word or phrase that identifies a document in an indexed information retrieval system.
(2) A category name used to identify data.
(operating system) descriptor will show what product and processes are being produced.
Both design and manufacturing engineers can check what processes and tools are assigned to what parts and assemblies, thereby quickly identifying what could be affected and who can resolve any associated issues in the case of the classic--and typical--late design change. "That's a simple example," says Paradise, "but it's the kind of example that costs tens of thousands of dollars to fix if it isn't properly identified beforehand."
In a nutshell, PLM makes possible all those promises about "collaboration," "simultaneous engineering," "silo busting," and "leveraging" information so that the left hand of an enterprise knows what the right hand is doing, and vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. . PLM, says Paradise, "is extending our ability and the technologies we have in product development, moving them downstream into pre-production planning, right up to the start of production.
RELATED ARTICLE: MINIMUM PLM FUNCTIONALITY
* Document management. data vaulting.
* Part classification/group technology for searching and attribute management.
* Product structure [BOM) and configuration management.
* Workflow for getting people interacting with the information.
* Program management, which is not just workflow, but involves managing the product creation, production, and data dissemination process itself.
* Data authoring tools, including computer development tools such as computer-aided software engineering See CASE. and enterprise application integration], mechanical CAD, and similar tools applicable to the user organization.
* Support tools for collaboration, visualization, and system administration. These will be more information technology components, such as kernels for data modeling.
* Business applications, such as BOM compare applications, engineering change notification, configuration management, or applications specific to an industry [such as managing electronic signatures for FDA FDA
Food and Drug Administration
n.pr See Food and Drug Administration.
n.pr the abbreviation for the Food and Drug Administration. submissions].
[Source: CIMdata Inc. [Ann Arbor MI]]