PDM technology and software products in PLM Era

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PDM technology and software products in the "PLM era"

by discussing the phenomenon of "information island", this paper shows that PLM is not so much a new technology or new software product as the idea of developing existing technology and software products and promoting them to "island free integrated application". It is considered that the expansion of PDM technology and software products is the key to realize PLM

1 background

in the past two or three years, "product life cycle management (PLM)" has rapidly developed from the concept vigorously publicized by a few foreign CAX software manufacturers (such as UGS, PTC, Dassault and IBM) that "high but still need to ensure that the oil pipe can not be damaged in normal use" to the object pursued by domestic media, experts and software developers, including some people with unclear attitude in PLM market. Meanwhile, some domestic manufacturing enterprises also began to be attracted by the concept of PLM. It seems that PLM is the key to solve the problem of their core competitiveness. The trend of manufacturing informatization has entered the "PLM era" almost overnight

at the same time, PDM (Product Data Management), a concept that is only one word short of "PLM", is in a very interesting situation. Firstly, more and more domestic manufacturing enterprises clearly put forward the need to adopt PDM technology and software system in their information construction plan; On the other hand, the so-called mainstream PDM developers abroad in the past (most of them are also the developers of "high-end" CAX software) seem to suddenly take PDM as a "shame" and change the name of their software products called PDM in the past, or do not change their name. They simply stop calling them PDM and directly call them PLM or PLM management platform. Domestic PDM developers often have vague flags and different reflections. Of course, some domestic manufacturers seem to have blown out a "PLM balloon" with a flick of their fingers, and software products named PLM have been released one after another

in fact, although PLM is a "new concept", it is based on PDM. It is the inevitable development result of the integrated application of PDM, CAD/CAE/CAM/CAPP/EDA and even ERP/SCM/CRM to solve the problems of product data management and effective flow within and between manufacturing enterprises. Without PDM, there would be no PLM

here, it is very necessary for us to discuss the relationship between PLM and PDM, as well as the existence value and development trend of PDM in the so-called "PLM era"

2 is it abandoning PDM and PLM, or PLM based on PDM

first of all, we can see an interesting phenomenon. Almost all foreign software manufacturers that first proposed and pursued the concept of PLM are traditional "high-end CAX" manufacturers. Therefore, users must not think that the more they buy, the better. These manufacturers have their own PDM software products without exception. While some foreign manufacturers, which traditionally focus on developing CAD software products, sometimes talk about PLM solutions and sometimes question PLM respected by "high-end CAX" manufacturers after finally having software products that can manage product data to some extent. As for some traditional ERP manufacturers, when they begin to pursue the concept of PLM, they often enter the field by purchasing PDM software products and technologies

from this phenomenon, we can see that there seems to be a relationship between PLM and PDM, which is "choppy and unwilling". But it is certain that without PDM technology and software products, PLM is lack of foundation

3 essence of PLM

3.1 the phenomenon of information island has become an unbearable problem for manufacturing enterprises in information construction

now, there are countless explanations for the concept of PLM, and each school has its own set of statements. For fear of being completely identical with others, it will appear that its level is not enough. As a result, the speaker is covered by clouds and the listener is more confused. Here, we don't want to invent a definition of PLM, but just want to explain one fact: PLM is actually a "information integration idea" that will inevitably appear after the information construction of a large number of manufacturing enterprises has developed to a certain stage and began to appear a large number of "information islands", resulting in the inability of information technology to realize the expected benefits of customers and making it difficult for customers to accept. PLM is not so much a new technology or new software product as the idea of developing and promoting the existing technology and software products to "island free integrated application"

here, we can take the most common mechanical product manufacturing industry as an example to briefly illustrate the phenomenon of "information island" commonly existing in manufacturing enterprises. A mechanical product manufacturer needs to design and manufacture products. In the information age, it will certainly use CAD software for design. In the past, it used to focus on two-dimensional design, but now it is more and more transformed into three-dimensional design. In the process of product design, the following situations will occur:

one of the isolated islands of 3.1.1

first, not all parts in the product are designed by itself, generally 20% to 70% are purchased parts, These purchased parts are the products of upstream suppliers. In the hands of upstream suppliers, there are almost certainly CAD design drawings or even three-dimensional models. However, traditionally, suppliers only provide brief drawings and physical objects of products, and will not provide CAD design drawings or three-dimensional models. Even if they want to provide them, they always lack safe and effective means. Therefore, manufacturers generally need to re draw purchased parts in their own CAD system in order to complete product design, Even rebuild the three-dimensional model of purchased parts in order to build the three-dimensional digital prototype of their own products. In the above process, we can see that the information of purchased parts has undergone the conversion process from "electronic data -> paper media data -> electronic data" between suppliers and manufacturers, which is time-consuming, laborious and may make mistakes

3.1.2 Island II

let's look at the interior of the product manufacturer. When the product parts design is completed with CAD software, in an enterprise with strict design quality control specifications, it cannot be used as the basis for production and processing immediately, but must go through the verification and approval process. In most current manufacturing enterprises, the completion method of this process is to print the product design drawings from electronic data into paper media first, Then the paper drawings are checked and approved, and the reviewers put forward their opinions, and then let the designers modify the electronic data in the CAD software. Then it is converted to paper media again, and so on until it is approved. In this circular process, there are a large number of conversion processes of "electronic data -> paper media data -> electronic data". This is another process that consumes resources and time, and will lead to data divergence and poor security

3.1.3 Island III

in addition, in the above product design process, if the product electronic data management tool is not used, the disordered storage, version confusion and query difficulty of electronic data are almost inevitable. Especially after using 3D CAD software, the disordered storage of documents is almost fatal (because it is very likely to lead to the incomplete and unusable 3D model of the product), This is in sharp contrast to the situation that paper media product data is properly classified and versioned by the data management department. In fact, once the electronic data is printed and converted into paper media data, it is almost impossible to ensure the consistency between the two. Therefore, the paper media data used in the production site is often inconsistent with the data that the design department thinks it is used in the production site

3.1.4 Island IV

after the product design is completed, in order to carry out process design and production organization, designers also need to summarize and count the product details and summary tables according to the product design structure. These tables all describe the attribute information of the product itself, as well as the component attributes and assembly relationship information in the product. In fact, these information is originally contained in the CAD design drawings and three-dimensional models of the product. Now it needs to manually complete the conversion process of "electronic data -> paper media data". All those who have been engaged in manual statistics of product summary and detailed tables know how hard and thankless this process is

after the product design is completed, the process design is generally carried out. You will immediately think of the CAPP system. The CAPP system can indeed help the process personnel speed up the process design process, but the product process design is based on the product structure design (based on the product design bill of materials), Now, it is often that the process designer must re-enter the product information, part attribute information and part assembly relationship information to the CAPP system according to the product details and summary table provided by the designer and the design drawing in paper medium format, and then start the process design. In this process, the BOM of product design has experienced the conversion process of "electronic data -> paper media data -> electronic data". This is another repetitive work, which is not only time-consuming and laborious, but also very error prone

3.1.5 Island V

when it comes to process design, as more and more manufacturing enterprises adopt NC machining equipment, they also begin to face two new problems: first, many enterprises adopt CAD or even 3D CAD software, but are not equipped with CAM software. Therefore, the operators of NC machining equipment often need to manually write NC machining codes according to the two-dimensional paper medium drawings provided by the designers, This is actually another process of manually completing the conversion of "electronic data -> paper media data -> electronic data". Secondly, even if enterprises adopt cam system to directly receive models from CAD system and generate NC machining codes, they also find that the purchased CAPP system can only define and manage non NC machining processes and can not effectively manage NC machining data, and many machining processes are actually mixed NC and non NC machining processes. As a result, since the electronic data generated by CAPP and cam systems are isolated from each other and can not be unified, we can only rely on manual means to describe the relationship between them

3.1.6 Island VI

when the process design is completed and the organization produces, you will immediately think of the ERP system. Many ERP systems say in the publicity that the production scheduling plan can be formulated in "a few minutes", but generally do not tell the customer that the original data based on which the several minute plan is completed often needs to be manually entered in weeks, and its correctness cannot be verified, Most of these data are precisely the product design and manufacturing materials and material change process information. These information originally exists in the product CAD design data and CAPP process data, but now the users of ERP system need to input it again according to the paper product design and process statistics summary report provided by the design and process department. In this process, the BOM of product design and manufacturing is again transformed from "electronic data -> paper media data -> electronic data", which is once again aimed at the repeated work of product data, its large workload, high error probability and unverifiable, which can almost make the users of enterprise ERP system "crazy"

in fact, it is not just ERP system. Other information systems that may be used in the production process of enterprises, such as quality management system and manufacturing execution system, actually need to work based on product design and process information. These information was originally included in the electronic data of design and process, but now it still needs to experience the process of "electronic data -> paper media data -> electronic data" again广州西地那非每天都能服用吗

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