Fostering Innovation with PLM and Beyond: A Platform-Based Approach

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment, innovation and operational excellence are critical to success. With new entrants to the market and growing consumer pressures to deliver increasingly complex products at faster rates make it essential for all companies to adopt technology such as robotics, factory automation, IoT, Ai, and extensive data analysis.  

To address this complexity, leaders and innovators are adopting product lifecycle management (PLM) to manage their product engineering processes and remove silos across their businesses. However, PLM alone can only optimize your product development and manufacturing processes so far. Industry trailblazers need to be connecting their PLM processes to non-engineering activities in one data model on a single platform to each stakeholder, department and link in the supply chain in sync, from concept to take-off. 

The Role of PLM in Addressing Product Development Challenges 

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a systematic approach to managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, engineering design, manufacturing, service, and product end-of-life. PLM comprises an integrated set of software tools for managing critical information generated by product development, connecting data with associated engineering and business teams, and streamlining everyday processes such as design management, project management, engineering change and configuration management, and bill of materials (BOM) management. 

While many companies have reaped significant productivity, quality, and time-to-market gains from successful PLM implementations, they also need additional capabilities to manage rising complexity and support other business processes such as portfolio and program management, data management, and security, quality management, customer relationship management, supplier collaboration, and manufacturing execution. In this context, PLM should be part of an overall strategy for sustainable growth and competitive differentiation. 

Accelerating the Innovation Process 

Manufacturers must constantly integrate new technologies to accelerate innovation, lower costs, and increase manufacturing agility. Companies benefit from virtual environments with digital continuity and simulation, enabling optimal cross-discipline collaboration across teams. However, some PLM solutions, initially developed to support the mechanical design process, do not encompass all disciplines, leading to silos of information in multiple file formats. 

Sharing basic design information can be challenging for companies with multiple sites or global partners and suppliers. Centralized product design around a single, consolidated, real-time view of the latest product definition fosters collaboration and better decision-making and eliminates time-consuming, error-prone data synchronization. 

Going Beyond PLM: The Platform-Based Approach 

The next step in the evolution of PLM is shifting to an all-digital model and processes approach, replacing manual storing and copying electronic files. Digital technology allows every stakeholder to access and leverage the latest data whenever needed, speeding up collaboration, improving team efficiency, and creating more time for innovation. 

A platform-based approach connects the entire value network, managing a single, holistic representation of the product. This allows instant communication, real-time collaboration, and real-time data updates, helping teams develop and refine new product ideas faster. 

The Benefit: Structure and Flexibility for Innovation 

More companies are adopting a business platform as a critical component of their move to digital equipping them with a single system that connects all stakeholders, allows focus on innovation and product development. A platform-based approach provides the design and flexibility to link stakeholders 24/7/365 from diverse locations, capturing and sharing knowledge and expertise while managing and securing data, intellectual assets, and processes throughout a product lifecycle. 

Pioneering Innovation with The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform 

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a comprehensive solution that digitally connects an enterprise through data-driven apps working from a single and complete product definition. It supports product modeling, value network collaboration, manufacturing excellence, simulation technology, and real-time information intelligence, offering access to a part supply marketplace and providing comprehensive PLM Collaboration Services. 

Conclusion 

Product Lifecycle Management alone is no longer enough to address the increasing complexity of aerospace and defense product development. Companies can foster innovation and collaboration and streamline product development processes by moving beyond traditional PLM and embracing a platform-based approach. 

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a prime example of a solution beyond PLM, offering a single source of truth for all product data and integrating all the tools necessary for product development, manufacturing, and supply chain management. This platform-based approach enables real-time stakeholder collaboration, improving decision-making and faster time-to-market. 

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