True Product Lifecycle Management Begins When Design Ends
During the Production and Aftermarket Support phases of a product's lifecycle, systems for managing Process Engineering and Planning, Process Execution, Process Quality, and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul ensure that product designs are properly implemented according to design specifications and procedures, and that all required production information is captured in the process.
Consider that the end-to-end lifecycle of a product begins with the first spark of innovation and ends when the product is dismantled, recycled, consumed, or disposed of. Managing the “product lifecycle” demands more than managing the product's design, introduction to manufacturing, and associated documentation. It also requires managing all the processes involved during various production operations, as well as managing the warranty, service, maintenance, and repair processes and in some cases the recycling/disposal processes. A manufacturer's business model and strategy may dictate involvement in all or just a few of the lifecycle stages - but obviously most manufacturers are involved in areas in and around the actual production and need to manage these critical phases of the product lifecycle.
Product Lifecycle Phases Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is conventionally viewed as being focused on product design, but a significant portion of the product's lifecy- cle occurs downstream from the design process. How do leading manufacturers manage this product lifecycle today? What roles do informa- tion systems play during the various stages of production and when a customer submits a product for repair or overhaul?
Product Innovation, Design, and Engineering The lifecycle of a product begins with a customer need or in Marketing with a concept. It is turned by Product Engineering into a product design, which is captured into 3D models using CAD software tools. The product struc- ture information and product specifications can be found in the CAD models and in Product Data Management (PDM) tools. These PDM tools have added features to facilitate online change and approval processes for CAD models, where several groups can collaborate online on a product de- sign. The industry has come to use the term “Product Lifecycle