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PLM - Product Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle Management describes a strategic concept, that considers all phases from the invention and development, via the production up to the services. Thus, PLM is not a software solution, but rather an economical concept.

At the same time, software plays an important role for the practical application of a PLM strategy. Nowadays, special software - e.g. CAD applications - are ued for the developement of a product. In the following, PPC and ERP systems are important. An important function is also attributed to Document Management Systems that archive all documents related to one product. DMS / ECM are also of significance in the generation of documents, since they offer a foundation for common work on product documents - with the help of Version Control functions, status changes and definabe document processes (workflows) - in accordance with quality standards, as required by the DIN EN ISO 9001 norm family for many companies.

In this context, electronic Document Managment can, for instance, store and manage these documents:

  • technical sketches
  • product specifications
  • handbooks
  • requirements and functional specifications
  • test and work schedules
  • construction sheets
  • production parameters
  • spare parts catalogues
  • acceptance testing protocols
  • customer inquiries
  • complaints
  • expert assessments
  • norms
  • guidelines
  • forms
  • pre-printed forms

The Document Management System ensures the structured storage of all documents and offers direct access to currently required documents and information with its search and filter functions. Access to knowledge from past projects and product developments is also easy with a DMS. Because of the common and database-assisted information and document basis, cross-departmental cooperation is easier than before. Naturally, access can be restricted by an access rights management system for certain users or user groups.

The forming of relationships amongst documents can be realised with Enterprise Document Management Systems such as bitfarm-Archiv. This turns Document Management into knowledge management.

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