PLM in New Product Development

Bringing a new offering to market can be an extensive process. Many times, it would seem finding the right mix of features and price comes down to managing budgets and specifications more than it does inspiration. That means managing data effectively. If the product is complex enough, spreadsheets won’t cut it. Companies need purpose-built software – PLM.

PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) systems, like Aligni PLM play a critical role in preparing new products for manufacturing by providing a framework for managing all product-related information and processes. This includes everything from design data and specifications to bills of materials (BOMs), testing data, and production workflows. PLM does this better than spreadsheet systems because it was designed to perform the task from the start and incorporates decades of best practices established over decades of experience. 

Built on a database to manage the variety of specifications, parts lists, decision making, and tracking that goes into product development, PLM software excels over two dimensional spreadsheets which may crumble under more and more data. This advantage again shows itself when the need arises to share data across functional groups. Beyond the software’s inherent design, product lifecycle management software brings several more benefits to the product development process. We’ve outlined a few below.

Greater data accuracy

One of the key benefits of using PLM software in preparing new products for manufacturing is that it helps ensure all product data is accurate and up-to-date. This is important as manufacturing teams need accurate product information to create the tools, fixtures, and processes required to build the product. PLM can help ensure that all data is properly documented, organized, and version-controlled, reducing the risk of errors and inconsistencies that can lead to quality issues or production delays.

Increasing data availability

Product lifecycle management software makes data easily accessible for a variety of groups within the organization. These systems have been built with specialized user interfaces that make sense for each group using the system. Because the data is housed within an item master database rather than an individual file, the information is easily shared across an organization. That means everyone is working off of the same revision level.

Streamlining workflows and approvals

PLM software can also help streamline the manufacturing process by providing automated workflows and approval processes. For example, it can automate the creation of BOMs, routing and instructions, and quality control checklists. This functionality can help reduce the time required to set up production, get materials in on time,  and ensure that all steps are completed correctly.

Reducing costs

In addition to streamlining manufacturing processes, PLM can also help reduce costs by optimizing product designs for manufacturability. This can include identifying opportunities for standardization, reducing the number of components required, reducing the need to source new parts, and designing for ease of assembly and maintenance.

Easier integration with other systems

Product lifecycle management systems are typically designed to be interoperable with other systems in an organization. For many companies, PLM systems act as a bridge between product development teams and the other departments that help produce the product, like purchasing, production and quality control. PLM does this by interconnecting with other business systems like Product Data Management (PDM) systems and Materials Resource Planning (MRP) systems to make sure information is shared with as little errors and lag as possible. 

The list above are only a few of the many advantages users of product lifecycle management software, like Aligni PLM find when they adopt these systems. Savvy manufacturers and product developers know PLM plays a critical role in preparing new products for manufacturing. It ensures all product-related data is accurate, accessible, and easily managed. They also know that having the right software for the job can streamline production processes and optimize designs for manufacturability.

Looking to smooth out your product development process and get things to production faster and with less issues? Time to sign up for Aligni PLM!

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