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“PLM: State of the Technology” by Peter Bilello, President of CIMdata

Product lifecycle management (PLM) has tremendous potential now and in the future as companies contend with brutally competitive markets and unforgiving economic turmoil. Indeed, considering the far-reaching business impact of PLM, the approach is now regarded as a “do-or-die” competitive necessity in an expanding range of industries. Companies leveraging this comprehensive and strategic approach will most likely be among the top performers in the coming years as they implement PLM using today’s best practices and proven approaches, as well as pioneer new directions.

In the coming years, companies will continue to face new sets of challenges and opportunities including more strict and increasingly complex regulations and consumer expectations for ecofriendly “green” products. And in meeting these issues, the broad range of PLM technologies will continue to expand to include emerging areas such as social media, cloud computing, open source platforms, and yet-unheard-of new approaches.

The Evolution of PLM

Today’s PLM solutions and tomorrow’s emerging new directions build on the foundation laid in the 1980s with product data management (PDM) systems used in engineering departments to manage design drawings, CAD models, and related technical information. Over time, custom implementations evolved into toolkits and generic applications that automated some typical engineering-related functions. As solution suppliers of the time such as Sherpa and Computervision gained experience implementing these tools in different industries, their offerings evolved to delivering focused business applications with standard data models, predefined workflow templates, and other functions to solve engineering-related business problems.

Today PDM is certainly an important part of PLM, which focuses on complete business solutions involving collaboration, information exchange, workflow, and processes that address top-line revenue growth as well as bottom-line cost savings issues. The PLM footprint has expanded far beyond engineering to include testing, inspection, quality, production, shipping, field service, and operations. Although these are different groups, they collaboratively share information and work processes. The range of industries has also broadened from discrete manufacturing to process industries, utilities, pharmaceuticals, footwear and apparel, retail, and many others.

PLM provides an enterprise with a digital highway for intellectual assets that ensures the right product information is available at the right time, to the right people, in the right context. PLM provides the information backbone upon which a company creates and delivers innovative products and services. The bottom line: PLM is a product-focused approach to developing and managing superior products faster and at a lower cost through their entire lifecycle.

PLM is a strategic business approach that applies a consistent set of business solutions in support of the collaborative creation, management, dissemination, and use of product definition information across the extended enterprise, and spanning from product concept to end of life. It integrates people, processes, business systems, and information. PLM forms the product information backbone for a company and its extended enterprise. It is composed of multiple elements including: foundation technologies and standards (e.g., XML, visualization, collaboration, enterprise application integration), information authoring and analysis tools (e.g., mechanical design, electronics design, software engineering, technical publishing, simulation and analysis), core functions (e.g., data vaults, document and content management, workflow, structure management, project and program management), functional applications (e.g., configuration management, engineering change control), and business solutions (e.g., new product introduction, supply chain collaboration) that incorporate best practices and methods.

Market Segments and Perspectives

CIMdata uses the term “product” in a broad context that includes discrete products—automobiles, toys, medical devices, and airplanes—as well as large-scale plants and facilities such as oilrigs, petrochemical facilities, and factories. The term “product” can also refer to a definition of services, e.g., a configured document that defines a statement of work or even a health insurance policy. Other examples of “products” to which PLM can be applied include airports, roadways, telecommunication grids, and other infrastructure entities. CIMdata partitions the PLM market into three primary segments:

Tools. Applications used to create, analyze and simulate products and plants and associated documentation including mechanical design automation (MDA), simulation and analysis (S&A), electronic design automation (EDA), architectural, engineering and construction (AEC), and other tools such as computer-aided software engineering (CASE).
cPDm (collaborative Product Definition management). Addresses managing the complete product or plant definition lifecycle, including all of the mechanical, electronic, software, and documentation components and the processes used during the lifecycle including in-service operation and maintenance. It includes Comprehensive Technology Suppliers, and Focused Application Suppliers (e.g., visualization and collaboration, content and document management).
Digital Manufacturing. Systems that support definition of the processes used to produce a product, including supporting simulation and analysis of those processes and the manufacturing environments used to produce the product including production equipment and lines.

Tools are focused on fundamental intellectual property (IP) creation and cPDm is focused on IP management including collaboration, visualization, vaulting, and sharing of product related information. Digital manufacturing is focused on solutions that support effective collaborative manufacturing process planning between engineering disciplines, such as design and manufacturing.

Current State of the Industry

Although PLM technologies and methods can be applied to a wide range of industries, including many industries within which PLM has not been well established (e.g., financial services, insurance, health care), this analysis is focused on PLM investment and use in industrial markets, PLM’s current primary focus (i.e., engineering and manufacturing enterprises). CIMdata’s PLM market analysis provides two different perspectives on PLM:


• Comprehensive PLM covers the full product definition over the entire product lifecycle and across all industries. This includes mechanical, electronic, and software components, as well as both discrete and process industries. This is the perspective that CIMdata has consistently used in PLM analyses.


• Mainstream PLM covers a subset of Comprehensive PLM, but includes the subsectors that have traditionally been addressed by the major PLM suppliers (i.e., drivers) of the PLM market.


Due to the global economic slump, financial uncertainty, and generally a difficult business climate, PLM investments declined in 2009 for the first time in the more than 20 years CIMdata has measured the market. The Comprehensive PLM market experienced a 9.6% decline in 2009 with all sectors showing decreases. The decrease was higher than initial forecasts due to the extensive impact of the global economic decline. However, in the second half of the year (and particularly the fourth quarter) the market returned to growth. CIMdata expects the market to show growth in 2010 unless the overall economy drops in the second half of 2010. Coming out of the decline a wide range of companies are investing in PLM to achieve short-term benefits as well as long-term strategic value. Some of the late 2009 growth was due to companies releasing funding for projects that had been approved but had been delayed.


A widening range of industries are utilizing PLM, including both traditional industries such as automotive, high-tech electronics, and aerospace and defense, as well as companies that have not historically been major PLM investors, such as food and beverage, retail and apparel, financial and investment services, and government. Additionally, a renewed focus on PLM is taking place in areas including utilities, petrochemical, construction, and infrastructure. This expanding industry use of PLM will help drive growth and also buffer the market in downturns as investments in infrastructure, energy, and health and life sciences are generally sustained during economic downturns.


The Comprehensive PLM market was down to $23.5-billion overall (a decline of 9.6%). Of that, approximately 63% ($14.8-billion) was invested in Tools while 34% ($7.9-billion) was invested in cPDm, and 2% ($438-million) was invested in Digital Manufacturing. Tools and cPDm investments decreased 12.5% and 3.6% respectively over 2008. Additionally, there was approximately $300-million in PLM consulting services that were not allocated to the other three categories.


In the first half of 2010, even though we saw a return to growth in many areas, the investments in PLM were still impacted. CIMdata forecasts for PLM market growth are based on results through the first quarter of 2010. Currently, CIMdata forecasts the cPDm market to grow 5.7% in 2010 to approximately $8.4-billion. The Tools segment of PLM is forecasted to grow 5.3% in 2010 to $15.6 billion, and Digital Manufacturing is forecasted to grow 5% to $460 million. The Comprehensive PLM market is forecasted to grow 5.4% in 2010.


Looking toward 2014, the Comprehensive PLM market as a whole is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 8% to $34.5-billion. CIMdata forecasts that cPDm will be the fastest-growing segment of the PLM market with an 8.7% CAGR to exceed $12-billion in 2014. The Tools segment is fore-
casted to grow at a slower 7.6% CAGR over the next five years to $21.3-billion in 2014. Digital Manufacturing is forecasted to grow at a rate of 8% over the next five years to reach $640-million in 2014.

Hoofdcategorie: Nieuws