PLM Interoperability For Connected Manufacturing: The Future Of Social PLM

Product digitization in IoT enterprises


For today’s enterprises, the pace of business is accelerating at an astonishing rate. Product complexity is increasing. Nearly all competitive product characteristics are determined during the design stage. Generally, 80% of the product’s final cost is committed during the conceptual design phases. Customer facing enterprises are actively trying to drive more responsibility for engineering analysis down to suppliers. And low-cost hardware coupled with powerful new software is making investment in digital prototyping and simulation (CAE) more attractive to suppliers. This necessitates the development and use of product configurators has been highlighted as one of the more important IT enabled technologies to facilitate the realization of mass customization.

OEMs, SIs and Connected World manufacturers are building Global Innovation Networks with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) to improve productivity, increase quality, leverage global opportunities and ultimately drive more innovation into their products and processes.


Managing, integrating and synchronizing domain and product information, as well as globally distributed development team and supply chain, can be overwhelming for companies using traditional tools and processes. We can call this new area of enterprise software Configuration Lifecycle Management (CLM), that involves the rationalization of structure and content to facilitate enterprise integration of PLM and ERP.

As a consequence of the mass-production of individualized products, intense competition, the networking of numerous partners, and globally distributed development and production sites, experiential productization today is differentiated with intelligent features that integrate mechanical functions with electronic controls driven by software and connected by physical wiring. Today, these embedded software systems are called the Connected Manufacturing, and innovations segmented in PLM will pave the way for the Internet of Things. 

A PLM solution converting linear value chains into periodic networking enables customers, manufacturers and suppliers - including dealers and garages as well as other partners and service providers - to be linked closely with one another. The aim is the manufacture of improved and market-driven products while optimizing costs and time. By applying Engineering Analytics (EA) across the business, manufacturers can re-imagine how they design, produce and deliver new products and services that resonate with customer needs and preferences.

The Need for Social PLM in Manufacturing

Social PLM is a socio-channelized interactive product development approach where customer aspirations and market trends are analyzed and converted into inter-aspirational goals (i.e., what business aspires to be and what end-users’ aspirations are) with the help of a controlled social interaction platform.

And, therefore, 'socially capable' PLM systems derive following business goals for connected manufacturers:

- Collate and consolidate user feedback and information from diverse sources.

- Analyze, structure, and substantiate unstructured information.

- Mine and summarize information from a large data pool that has been acquired by ethical Web crawling.

- Logically map the requirements against the bill of materials/items/subsystems.

- Quickly build templates/questionnaires for large user base broadcasting.

Obtain diagnostic and usage information from the product itself using Internet of Things (IoT) platforms (e.g., sensors and other ambient forms of data collection).

The Future of ‘Going Social’

A strong 'Machine 2 Machine (M2M)' theme is emerging on the productization front, where smart sensors and data logging systems provide plenty of diagnostic information, and the enterprises are partnering with each other for Connected Manufacturing. An increasing number of solutions are providing Product-to-Infrastructure communication (P2I) which are services that allow products to continuously exchange information with the environment through which they pass.

This has necessitated / is necessitating an On-Demand PLM Infrastructure Framework for the future.

Information exchange, synchronization and interoperability for the product design – wherein you are obliged to use your customer’s design solution and connect your design data into the customer’s data management and release systems with a solution portfolio.

Thus enabling a broad spectrum of potential customer interaction models.

Evolving interoperability solutions that facilitate OEM-to-supplier design collaboration at many levels. The blending of Bill of Material (BOM) management with data management facilitates robust design collaboration.

Solutions that foster true design interoperability between heterogeneous design and data management systems allow the manufacturers to move from simple information exchange and synchronization to comprehensive design interoperability.

Interoperable design success rests at commonization and re-usability factor and for that you must be able to re-use components regardless of where the geometry was created.

Interoperable design enables you to select, modify or design a component to meet multiple requirements and conditions regardless of the component’s originating system.

Process and information integration delivers having all product lifecycle information integrated in a single PLM system. This benefits your product teams at large by enabling them to understand – and manage – the relationships between all of the requirements, components, products, manufacturing processes and service knowledge.

 Value Differentiation: Process and Design Optimization | Data Management Simulation
 Business Transformation: Enterprise Collaboration and Innovation | Enterprise Digitization

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