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Product data management software

2021/05/24

Product information management is essential in all companies.

The data, in fact, constitutes the main archive (master data) in which the management information of components, groups or machines and all other procedures and applications, such as bill of materials, work cycles, production orders, etc. are contained.
For the management of product data, there are generally two systems most widely used in companies: the PDM and the PLM.
What are the differences between the two and which one can be more useful to my company?

If we break down the acronyms, the difference is already noticeable:

PDM = Product Data Management

PLM = Product Lifecycle Management

In detail, a PDM system is the tool that supports the product development phases, primarily those that relate to design and management of technical data, drawings, and related documentation. It integrates with the company's CAD to optimize the functions of design, creation of master codes, and BOM management. A PDM system streamlines certain phases of the project management process and improves data traceability.

A PLM system, on the other hand, provides functionality that ensures seamless management of the entire product lifecycle, supporting all departments involved in project management. It contains Process Management and Project Management capabilities to have control over business operations in real time and usually includes the functionality of a PDM system.

What is the functionality of a PDM
The PDM is the ideal solution for all the document storage, management, classification, identification, traceability, security needs of the engineering department.

In particular, the PDM allows:

  • the aggregation of all the documents related to a project, independently from the program with which they have been developed and from the format in which they have been saved;
  • to assign a unique code to a document, thanks to which it can be quickly traced and consulted;
  • to search the document also through its metadata;
  • the historicization of the data in order to be able to verify the evolution in the different phases of design;
  • the visualization in light format of the archived documents.

What are the functionalities of a PLM
The PLM serves to govern the entire process, from the conception of a new product and its design to production and maintenance. In this process every company figure, external collaborators, suppliers are involved. 

In particular, PLM allows:

  • the elimination of data exchange based on files, documents, verbal communications, emails;
  • the classification and protection of intellectual property;
  • product and program planning by simulating and tracking processes in real time:
  • the management of quality and compliance with the regulations in force in the country of production and in the country of destination;
  • continuous improvement due to the collection of feedback from customers, business partners or maintenance technicians.

Is a PDM or a PLM better?

PDM offers definite advantages for small and medium-sized companies, while PLM systems meet the needs of larger companies with many complexities to manage. It's easy to see how the cost and time of implementation are also different.

If a company does not have any data management system (it seems impossible, but in 2021 there will still be such realities) it is preferable to start with a well-configured PDM and an initial direct integration to the ERP. It will always be possible to extend towards a PLM system, if needs require it.


If you would like more advice and to learn more about our Product Data Management software, please download the brochure or contact us directly.

For companies in the Food & Beverage sector we have developed 4Pack, a vertical, modular and scalable solution that allows you to approach product data management in multiple steps, depending on the size of your company.

eTEAM helps companies in every industry manage media assets and product data and integrate them into their own multi-channel communication
 
Do you want to find out more?
 
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