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PLM Implementation Best Practices & Pitfalls

PLM Implementation Best Practices & Pitfalls

In order for a PLM implementation to succeed, it’s important to consider all applicable best practices. In this article, we’ll explore 3 best practices and 3 pitfalls to help keep your PLM implementation simple.

3 Best Practices in PLM Implementation

1. Use Simple Numbering

Keep it numerical. Between 5 and 7 digit labelling allows for the unique numbering of up to 10 million articles. This numbering can be easily generated by PLM systems, guaranteeing uniqueness. To keep things simple, searching should be refined through description, classification or information recorded in other attributes.

2. Think in Products

A company’s value is generated through the products it designs and manufactures. By focusing on this, it’s clear to see why PLM should be used to optimize product management. Ultimately, product drawing can be thought of as a secondary priority. You should be ensuring that the relevant product data is communicated to the right people at the right time, so that value is added with the throughout each process, with minimal added effort. Model Based Definition (MBD) is a good example of this.

3. Apply Out-Of-The-Box Processes to Existing Business Processes

Leading PLM systems included out-of-the-box processes based on industry standards and best practices. It’s often possible to apply these to existing business processes without the need for extensive customization. With the right configuration, you can achieve powerful results.

But, if this isn’t possible for your business, you’ll need to dig into your existing processes to understand any necessary changes before they’re planned and executed. This makes it possible to deal flexibly with organizational changes, and facilitate smooth system upgrades.

3 Biggest Pitfalls In PLM Implementation

1. Numbering with Meaning

Traditionally, numbering systems for compositions, individual parts and drawings have been used in which the number has meaning. For example, to indicate a machine, product line or model year.

In the “paper” era this had advantages. The numbering system managed the drawings; meaningful numbers are easier to remember; compositions and individual parts can be recognized by a song, and so on. Over a long period of time, however, these types of systems tend to fail.

For example, when series’ are too restrictive, so that two separate sequences are needed for the same category. Or two digits are needed where a single digit was originally provided. As a result, the encryption is no longer correct. Organizational changes can also destroy a meaningful numbering system.

2. Thinking in Drawings

Drawings were the means of communicating engineering information. Even the application of 3D CAD has been used for the past 30 years to produce 2D drawings. Drawings were seen as the most important documents – inside and outside the organization. However, it doesn’t make much sense to cling to this. More and more, the design specification can be used directly to manufacture and produce. In addition to Product Data Management systems, PLM systems are also communication systems. And so, take over the most important function of drawing.

3. Adapt Out-Of-The-Box Processes

It’s often assumed that existing business processes must be incorporated into the system on a one-to-one basis. To achieve this, extensive configuration and customization is required. In case of changes in business processes, but also in the case of system upgrades, renewed effort is required to keep your processes up-to-date.

In Our Experience…

Applying these best practices helps any PLM implementation succeed, by opting for a consistent, “Keep-It-Simple” approach. Take advantage of the capabilities of your system and only make efforts that help add value.

In other words, make sure the solution is flexible and easy to adapt to a changing situation.

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