Total Integration and the Future of PLM

Total Integration and the Future of PLM

I’m still cleaning my post-vacation backlog of feeds and messages. One of the articles by UK Eureca Magazine caught my attention, since it was named exactly as my blog – Beyond PLM. This article is an interview with managing director PLM Software, Robin Hancock about the company’s vision for the future of PLM.

One of the main topics discussed in the article was a topic of “integration” or so-called “total integration”. Here, my favorite passage:

Charting the development of PLM, Hancock says, “In the old days it was all about product design. Now, while you’re designing and developing the product and getting people to collaborate around it, you’re also designing and developing your plant and your manufacturing capability concurrently. Because the pressure is to get more competitive, more highly configured products to market at a lower price and higher quality, more quickly, doing those things concurrently is the next big value proposition for manufacturing and engineering companies. But change is difficult and the last thing you want is some ‘big bang’.

Siemens PLM is planning their future HD PLM approach to help realize the potential of the total integration. Here is a visionary video Siemens PLM released a year ago:

The discussion about “the total integration” and “big bang” approach made me think about the following 3 trends I can see in a modern PLM technological and application development: Multiple System Approach, Vertical Integration and Continuous Implementation.

Multiple System Approach

The reality of manufacturing companies is simple – people stopped believing in a single system that solves all problems. Businesses understood that they need to have a blend of systems representing their unique approach of running product development. I can see multiple reasons why it happened. Among the most important ones I can see system complexity, implementation cost and high demand for fast ROI.

Vertical Integration

Customers have a strong demand for vertical integration. The days were systems could work disintegrated finally over. The question of integration between design,manufacturing, supply, execution and other elements of the overall system chain is obvious and businesses are ready to spend a lot of resources to make it work.

Continuous Implementation

This trend related to the potential implementation cost. The demand of users is to drive this cost down as much as possible. Opposite to a ‘big bang’ approach, this one is focusing on how to implement multiple small projects into a sequence of successful deployments.Each has their own cost, ROI value proposition. All of them together allows to decrease the overall implementation cost and project risks.

What is my conclusion? It seems to me, the understanding of the “integration value” is important to successfully implement PLM systems. This is not a short term project, but a long journey. I think, in the past “integration” was a “step child” in PLM product family. PLM companies focused on their own product lines and dismissed integration opportunity. However, future is integrated. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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