It was only a decade or so ago that sensors and embedded software were mere supporting characters in product development, mostly associated with highly engineered products like aircraft and automobiles. Today, these technologies take center stage in products of all types, raising the bar for product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms and calling into question whether existing systems have the staying power to meet the requirements of tomorrow’s engineering practices.
The fast emerging Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing wholesale changes to how products are conceived, architected and built. In a world where intelligent, connected devices will be the norm, even a simple household appliance like a blender becomes an intricate exercise in design complexity involving onboard electronics and communications technologies. Creating these connected products is pushing PLM beyond its traditional role of managing CAD files and orchestrating mechanical design processes.
Enterprise PLM systems put in place to tackle yesterday’s product development and innovation challenges may not have the chops to handle this growing complexity, nor the flexibility to adjust quickly in a volatile business climate. It takes a certain class of PLM to be able to keep step with fast changing business requirements while re-calibrating to support modern technology advances.
Your product lifecycle management (PLM) must be scalable, flexible, and upgradable to handle increasingly complex product design.
Is your current PLM system up to the task?
Is your organization planning to do any of the following in the next 10 years? If so, your product lifecycle management system might hit a wall if it lacks resilience.
- Add or modify hardware to support end-user growth?
- Change or modify vault file storage?
- Add more sites to the network?
- Add new functionality, departments and workflows to an existing PLM system?
- Go through an acquisition or merger?
- Change or add an enterprise resource planning system, CAD program, or another major tool set?
Disruptive changes to product design require a resilient approach to product lifecycle management.