Find out more about Product Lifecycle Management Software
- What Is Product Lifecycle Management Software?
- Best Product Lifecycle Management Software Products
- How To Choose The Best Product Lifecycle Management Software?
- All Product Lifecycle Management Software Reviews
- Types of Product Lifecycle Management Software
- Examples of Product Lifecycle Management Software
What is Product Lifecycle Management Software?
Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a solution that offers a systematic approach to managing the sequence of changes a product undergoes, from its design and creation to its ultimate disposal or retirement.
PLM is linked to manufacturing, but the management structure can also be utilized for service provision and software development. PLM can be categorized into the following stages:
Beginning of life (BOL) - includes new product design and development processes.
Middle of life (MOL) - includes collaboration with suppliers, warranty management, and product information management (PIM).
End of life (EOL) - includes plans for how the products will be discontinued or recycled.
A PLM software solution can help companies to manage their product's lifecycle by offering a data warehouse for all the information that impacts the product. The software can be utilized to automate the handling of product-related data and to integrate the data with other processes such as manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). The aim of PLM software is to minimize waste and boost efficiency. PLM is regarded as a vital component of the lean production model.
Most Popular Product Lifecycle Management Software
Best Product Lifecycle Management Software
How To Choose The Best Product Lifecycle Management Software
As the name indicates, product lifecycle management (PLM) software helps companies to manage their product’s lifecycle from design and development to disposal at the end. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose the best product lifecycle management software for your organization’s needs. However, this can be a tough task given the surfeit of PLM apps in the market. To help you, we have created this buyer’s guide which details the things to look for and evaluate in your search for the best product lifecyle management software.
Get to know each product with free trial
A great way to start your search is to register for the free trials of leading PLM apps. This will enable you to try out each solution’s features free of cost and understand if the system is what you are looking for. You can start by visiting the websites of the following top PLM solutions to find out if they offer a free trial: Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle, Arena PLM, Omnify Empower PLM, and Oracle Agile PLM.
PLM software can be used by companies in a host of industries including the following:
- High Tech
- Life Sciences
- Consumer Electronics
- Consumer Products
- Clean Tech
Examples of Product Lifecycle Management Software
- Autodesk Vault: Data management and collaboration software. Vault data management software assists designers and engineers to organize design data, handle documentation, and monitor revisions and other development processes.
- Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle: Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle (formerly PLM 360) is a cloud-based platform that is a next-generation alternative to conventional product lifecycle management. It is an affordable, easy-to-use PLM system that makes the benefits of product lifecycle management available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
- Arena PLM: Arena PLM enables high tech companies to go fast. Engineering and manufacturing teams can use the software to drive ideation, innovation, launch, and manufacturing in quick time.
- Omnify Empower PLM: Omnify Empower PLM is a business-ready system that is fast to implement, easy to use, and provides an environment that can be easily configured to meet an organization’s specific needs and enable a smooth transition from legacy practices.
- Oracle Agile PLM: Comprehensive enterprise PLM solution for managing your product value chain. Oracle’s Agile PLM solution helps you innovate profitably, efficiently centralize product data, and streamline processes.
Types of Product Lifecycle Management Software
You can select and purchase from the following general types of PLM solutions:
- PLM software from an ERP vendor: Most ERP systems offer PLM feature with their suites. Example vendors are: Infor, Oracle, and SAP.
- Best-of-breed application: This is offered by PLM-specific vendors who provide a suite of modules to manage all stages of the product lifecycle. Example vendors are: Dassault Systemes, PTC, and Siemens.
- Stand-alone PLM modules: You can also buy CAD, CAE and other modules as stand-alone solutions. Example vendors include: CAMWorks, MasterCAM, and Autodesk.
Key Features of Product Lifecycle Management Software
- Computer-aided design (CAD) – CAD apps create two-dimensional and three-dimensional models of components. You can use CAD software to produce designs quickly and accurately. Plus, you can update and reuse designs as needed.
- Computer-aided engineering (CAE) – CAE is used to simulate products, identify weaknesses, and develop preliminary designs to make safer and more sound assets. Common CAE features are fluid dynamics analysis, mechanical event simulation, finite element analysis, and performance simulators.
- Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) – CAM is used by manufacturers to create products precisely according to design specification. CAM apps communicate with machinery to make items exactly as designed and create documentation needed to trace manufacturing trends at future dates.
- Manufacturing process management (MPM) – MPM software automates and manages all the processes that are needed to make products.
- Product data management (PDM) – PDM creates a central storehouse for all information related to product design and processes. PDM modules can be accessed from any device and provide data security features to secure production information.
- Reporting and analytics – You can use analytics to find where lead times are going out of control which can make your project overshoot cost estimates. Many solutions offer pre-built reports, as well as ad hoc reporting that you can customize for your needs.
Benefits of Product Lifecycle Management Software
- Quicker production – You can use CAD software to create designs more quickly and easily at lower costs. Plus, you can use CAM functionality to handle machining processes and create products quickly.
- Accurate production – You can use PLM software to ensure products do not deviate from design specs during machining. Plus, you can also simulate and test designs before production to ensure the finished products are of good quality and dependable.
- Efficient production – You can communicate with your team members and share designs, production forecasts and other information. PLM software helps you to create definitive, automatic processes for product design, creation, and disposal.
Need for greater integration
Smartphones are revolutionizing the PLM industry and are making the products more complex. Designers and engineers need to handle complex issues related to combining electronic, mechanical, and software elements. Manufacturing companies will not be able to keep software, electronics, and mechanical teams in silos as there is great demand for integration of software, electronics, and mechanical elements of product data.
Internet of Things data overwhelms engineers
PLM software vendors are trying to figure out the benefits the Internet of Things can offer to their products and businesses. PLM solutions are becoming more complex as its designers are adding software and electronic components. Plus, online social interactions are bringing more data to the table. To sum up, the Internet of Things is set to create a wave of data that may overwhelm PLM software makers.
The future of manufacturing technology disruption
What does the future hold for manufacturing technology disruption? We can expect smarter software as well as full connectivity involving a range of data-capturing features and sensors that will be integrated into products. Plus, PLM software vendors can be expected to use agile, lean methodologies to make their products better. Existing development environments are likely to be disrupted by multidisciplinary interconnected data sets because of the complexity of products.
The following challenges can affect the effective use of PLM software:
Lack of integration between a bill of materials (BOM) and CAD
If you do not use a good quality CAD system, it may not automatically generate a BOM list. The solution is to use PLM software which automatically creates a BOM list and updates it if designs get revised. This ensures there is no gap between design and manufacturing.
Multiple revisions may be created during the design and review processes. This increases the chances of sending an older version of the design for manufacturing. This error can be expensive in terms of resources, time, and cost. With PLM software, you can synchronize data between teams, business units, and locations.
Misplaced or lost documents
A number of documents are generated during the design and manufacturing process. These include CAD drawing and parts lists, text documents, pictures, spreadsheets and more. It is easy for these documents to become disorganized and littered. Use a quality PLM software to securely store all important product documents in one place and make them easily accessible to all team members and business units.
List of Product Lifecycle Management Software Companies
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Our platform employs our special SmartScore™ mode to examine all the solutions in the Product Lifecycle Management Software category in orded to help you get the best possible software. It analyzes the following elements: individual features, collaboration features, customization, integration, intuitiveness, help & support, how secure a software is, mobility, scores in other media. At the moment, SAP PLM is the leader in this category and is recommended by our experts. Following thorough examination it got the best results among its competitors and our reviewers strongly suggest that you include it as one of the options for your business.
A summary of overall user satisfaction with the software in our Product Lifecycle Management Software category based on our unique algorythm that gathers user reviews, comments and opinions across a wide set of social media platforms in order to help you make an informed purchase choice.
Every vendor in the Product Lifecycle Management Software category will provide a different group of pricing packages for its service and every plan will include a different set of features. Below we list the overal pricing for the most affordable package available for each product. Please note that advanced features may cost extra.
An overview of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by these B2B solutions in the Product Lifecycle Management Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Find out which languages and countries are supported by the top B2B apps in the Product Lifecycle Management Software category, including services aimed at international markets and prepared for multi-cultural teams of employees.
Learn which pricing plans are provided by the vendors in the Product Lifecycle Management Software category to check which one matches your business preferences and budget best. Note that specific solutions can support free or freemium accounts for you to test first.
An analysis of which groups of customers a selected B2B software in the Product Lifecycle Management Software category provides for, from small businesses and non-profits to large enterprises.
An overview of what kinds of service deployement are supported by every B2B vendor in the Product Lifecycle Management Software category. Although almost all modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based some services may offer an on-site deployment model as well.