What Is PLM?

PLM Turns Ideas
Into Products

WHAT IS PRODUCT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT?

PLM helps manufacturers and their supply chains manage the entire product design and release process from concept through end-of-life. PLM streamlines product development, drives continuous improvement, and reduces costs—enabling teams to deliver high-quality products to market.

WHAT IS PLM SOFTWARE?

PLM Software Diagram

PLM software brings the complete mechanical, electrical, and software design together. By eliminating engineering, quality, and manufacturing silos, dispersed teams can collaborate in real-time throughout the new product development (NPD) and new product introduction (NPI) process.

Product lifecycle management software started with client-server solutions that required firewall protection and heavy infrastructure resource investments. Cloud-based PLM software eliminates infrastructure expenses and large up-front software purchases with a pay-as-you-go subscription. 

Single Source of Truth

HOW PLM HELPS

PLM bridges the gap between engineering and manufacturing to ensure the finished product works as designed. Ensuring design interoperability is easy when the electrical, mechanical, and software designs are brought together into a single system and passed to downstream systems upon release.

How PLM Helps Diagram

WHY PLM IS BETTER THAN PDM

Many companies think that product data management (PDM) can substitute for PLM. However, these solutions are designed to solve different problems and are complementary as teams move from NPD through testing, procurement, and production during NPI.  

PDM vs PLM Diagram

PDM tools help individual engineering workgroups to work together on CAD design iteration and version management.

PLM systems bring the entire design together enabling quality, procurement, manufacturing, and supply chain teams to review, approve, and release the finished product.​

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PLM

PLM systems bridge engineering and manufacturing processes to ensure the right product is built at the right time and for the right cost. Product lifecycle management solutions track past, present, and future designs with a transparent audit trail of all product changes. Click on each benefit to see how PLM helps drive results.

SPEEDS REVIEWS TO RELEASE PRODUCTS FASTER

  • Facilitates design reviews with electrical, software, and mechanical teams to ensure interoperability
  • Automates engineering change reviews to speed new product development (NPD)

ENABLES RAMP-UP TO VOLUME PRODUCTION

  • Enables real-time collaboration between internal teams and supply chain to ensure design for manufacturability
  • Eliminates design and latest-build confusion to reduce costly scrap and rework or production delays

ENSURES REGULATORY
COMPLIANCE

  • Simplifies environmental regulatory compliance to keep products safe and marketable
  • Safeguards U.S. national security interests with compliance to ITAR/EAR export regulations

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PLM

When considering PLM software solutions, it’s critical to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO)—not just the cost for the software. Depending on the type of PLM solution, you may be dealing with an easy-to-configure cloud solution or a more difficult to code toolkit. Here are the key questions and considerations when evaluating what it takes to implement PLM successfully. ​

SOFTWARE

  • Determine the cost of software and consider going with extended subscription periods to save costs.

IMPLEMENTATION AND TRAINING

  • What is the training approach and cost? Is it live or recorded? ​
  • How many resources are needed by the vendor and by your team to implement the software? ​
  • How much time is necessary to configure and test before you can go live?​
  • Does the vendor offer implementation best practices?​
  • Is there an ongoing customer experience plan to take you beyond implementation?

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

  • Cloud software offerings normally include technical support in the cost of the software subscription, but confirm how support is handled by the vendor. If the software is not cloud-based or SaaS, find out what additional annual maintenance fees and upgrade services may cost.

WHAT ARE PLM CAPABILITIES?​

PLM helps high-tech, consumer electronics, and other complex manufacturing industries gain a competitive advantage. Cloud PLM manages parts, assemblies (bills of materials or BOMs), drawings, design files, specifications, policies, procedures and everything you need to create a high-quality product. To learn about specific capabilities, select each solution area below.​

Learn more about Arena PLM solution benefits.

YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN 4 STEPS

See how Arena PLM takes you beyond implementation to ensure successful adoption and scalability.

HOW CLOUD SOLUTIONS ACCELERATE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

Dollar In Circle

CFOs and executives want to reduce long-term capital expenses and lengthy software implementations. Arena’s Cloud PLM provides a pay-as-you-go subscription model and best practices methodology to improve change efficiency, speed supply chain collaboration, and reduce costs.

Read our white paper to explore the benefits of cloud software systems aimed to help companies design, produce, and deliver high-quality products in this global environment.

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