"J.A.R.V.I.S., are you up?"
"For you sir, always." - Source- Iron Man (movie)
Iron Man, otherwise known as Tony Stark, relies on his artificial intelligence based computer system, named J.A.R.V.I.S. to help the armored superhero defeat his enemies all across the world. While manufacturers don't battle with villains, they do face numerous challenges across various stages in their product development value chain, which can be overcome by making informed decisions through assistance of PLM systems.
The current global manufacturing ecosystem is an intricate maze of complex processes that are difficult to manage and keep track of, but highly critical to oversee. Dealing with multiple stakeholders, global sites, round-the-clock operations, a variety of standards and regulations, ad hoc contingencies, and business continuity issues are part of our daily lives now. As a result, collaboration is one of the key aspects of businesses today.
We have often discussed how collaboration is essential for globalization needs. In this article, we will discuss why PLM is the cornerstone for engineering collaboration. We would have come across these definitions a million times. But, just to set the context right, here is a small recap of about PLM.
PLM is a strategic business approach that integrates all data, processes, business systems pertaining to the entire life of a product; through a centralized information system. While it may seem like another hyped costly technological investment, it is much more than being just a software platform. If implemented and utilized effectively, it facilitates the following:
- Optimized processes
- Accelerated time to market
- Improved collaboration
- Increased productivity
- Reduced costs
- Enhanced visibility
- Secured data sharing
Let’s understand how PLM is key to engineering collaboration.
- Improved traceability: Automated tracking, analyzing and reporting of real time data enables better visibility into the system and minimizes errors from the otherwise complicated, tedious and mistake-prone manual process.
- Collaboration of disparate processes, improves data accessibility and secured storage of critical data: A virtual platform that encapsulates the entire product ecosystem enables easy sharing and retrieval of product data. The system secures back-ups of all product data and prevents loss of information in case of any emergency.
- Seamless information flow and reduced redundancy through multi-site integration: A common repository of real time product data helps overcome multi-site barriers like language, standards and time zones. It enables effective coordination and drives accountability in the system. It builds a robust and optimized product development process with improved productivity and efficiency.
- Concurrent global product development and reduced time to market: Integration of workflows and real time data enables tracking of updates and utilization of existing valuable design information. This improves standardization and reduces errors, which in turn, accelerates the product development process.
- Improved quality and compliance : Improved visibility expedites easy identification and reporting of incidents of non-conformance, as it occurs. The centralized information system facilitates effective evaluation and addressing of these incidents in time.
Like Tony Stark and his artificial intelligence system J.A.R.V.I.S., engineering teams can rely on their PLM systems to manage and utilize their entire product data across global locations and also ensure seamless flow of information through integration with enterprise systems like ERP.
Watch out this space to learn more about how manuafcturers have benefited from PLM systems in real time.