There is a gap between engineering design tools with PDM vaults and the complete product record for all aspects of the design with associated documents, specifications, and drawings. Design systems are not created to enable non-engineering teams and supply chain partners to access information in a way that can be controlled and reviewed easily. When left unaddressed, this gap impedes the process of turning innovative designs into marketable products due to the following issues:
Mechanical engineers have to spend more time looking for and compiling the right design data and product information for the downstream supply chain activities including sourcing, planning, manufacturing, and ensuring environmental and regulatory compliance. This reduces their ability to focus on pure innovative designs. Without a single, shared source of truth (PLM system) to collaborate, engineers have to address many questions.
Inability to share with external partners
Much of the product information resides, and is only accessible, inside the firewall. Suppliers are not able to directly access the latest product and assembly information, making it difficult for them to stay aligned with evolving designs.
Lack of visibility early in the design process
Similarly, without direct access to product information, contract manufacturers lack the necessary visibility required to provide valuable feedback on the manufacturability of a design early in the process. As a result, more costly design changes are made further into the development phase.
Building to the wrong revision
Without a single system for the entire product record and associated ECOs, CMs are not able to source and build the latest revision of the product. This drives up the cost of goods and results in more scrap and rework or field service issues when the wrong revision of products ship to customers.
Meeting ever-evolving regulatory compliance standards and laws increases the need for greater collaboration between engineering, purchasing, and manufacturing teams. Without the ability to track and ensure compliance, companies take more risks that can result in penalties, fines, lawsuits, and even harm to customers