Top 5 PLM Trends for 2015

Lionel Grealou PLM 3 minutes

The rise of cloud-enabled PLM solutions

  • Global PLM platform accessibility is – and will become more and more – critical to enable concurrent product development, Engineering and Manufacturing, while efficiently managing data security and access, allowing ‘live search’ and ‘live dash-boarding’.
  • Web-based and ‘light clients’ are to provide accessibility and mobility downstream of Product Development (PD) & Engineering and down to the shop floor.
  • OEM and suppliers cannot afford long lead time and time-consuming PLM implementations as PD outsourcing decisions are made with more agility from one program to another.
  • No downtime or the cost of such as the cloud-based system is hosted over multiple data-centres, with guaranteed service level agreement that can be provided.
  • Cloud-based solutions will be of interest for both small and large OEM and suppliers.
  • Multi-site data exchange solutions might soon become old-fashioned (…).

More agility and flexibility required for extended enterprise and supply chain collaboration

  • ‘On-demand PLM’ enabled by cloud-based solutions and adequate licensing models can become a reality; this will mostly benefit Tier ‘n’ suppliers who might gain in flexibility and realize economies of scale and scope (pending PLM vendors will be willing to play the game with their licensing models).
  • This will also align with the ‘single source of the truth’ PLM mantra, across the extended enterprise and the end-to-end New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI).

Beyond Digital Engineering and Digital Manufacturing: the challenge of PLM integration

  • Data integration and migration ability remains “Achilles’ heel” of PLM.
  • PLM solutions with limited multi-CAD or co-existence capability will be challenged.
  • Point-to-point interfaces will not be scalable and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) solutions will make more sense – as a uniform, long-term, cost effective and sustainable Enterprise Integration Framework, enabling interoperability between heterogeneous systems, and promoting re-use in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

The rise of the product and business analytics, ‘ apps’ and mobility

  • Both product and business analytics are critical to NPDI, Engineering and Manufacturing; data typically flows from PLM, to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) – and back in various execution and feedback loops.
  • Traceability and early diagnostics can be of great value and enable timely decision making.
  • The ‘power’ of PLM includes data analysis and product visualization overlay with information (from part / BoM attribute, to cost, weight, issues, milestones, etc.).
  • PLM apps and mobile data access and visualization shall become more and more available (for consumption on the shop floor, in a design review or in the board room).
  • It is not question yet to ‘create or update’ product data on a tablet, but ‘simply’ to access existing data.

Increased demand for Building Information Management (BIM) and Project Engineering

  • PLM is very mature in the Product Development and Manufacturing domains, though the demand for Digital BIM is growing: virtual design and construction methodologies, in a collaborative way, considering operation, maintenance and future evolution potential of a building or factory.
  • Project Engineering bridges the boundaries between engineering and project management.
  • Project Engineering includes Plant Design, Engineering and Customization, with the need to simulate projects, plan, infrastructure design, concept study, build and manage on-time, on-budget, to-planned-quality delivery of complex building projects.
  • The industry is under pressure to reduce waste, increase productivity, flexibility and align to green legislation.
  • BIM is not just a tool but a process that supports Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) methodologies, pulling all stakeholders together throughout the entire design and construction process and beyond to the operations and maintenance of the building.
  • BIM is an integrated part of PLM, better planning, more traceability, better construction outcome, better stakeholder engagement, more efficient execution (e.g. waste reduction).

What are your thoughts?

This post was originally published on LinkedIn on 23 February 2015.

About the Author

Lionel Grealou


Lionel Grealou, a.k.a. Lio, helps original equipment manufacturers transform, develop, and implement their digital transformation strategies—driving organizational change, data continuity and process improvement, managing the lifecycle of things across enterprise platforms, from PDM to PLM, ERP, MES, PIM, CRM, or BIM. Beyond consulting roles, Lio held leadership positions across industries, with both established OEMs and start-ups, covering the extended innovation lifecycle scope, from research and development, to engineering, discrete and process manufacturing, procurement, finance, supply chain, operations, program management, quality, compliance, marketing, etc.

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