But the next push will be to integrate factory automation systems, such as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), into PLM, according to a recent Manufacturing Business Technology article.
This migration of PLM onto the factory floor will:
1. Assist the flow of production-related issues back into the design process.
2. Allow manufacturing information to be incorporated into product development at an earlier stage.
3. Most importantly, facilitate integration between PLM and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
ERP delivers a single database that contains all data for various software modules, including supply chain management, financials, project management, human resources and customer relationship management. These comprehensive systems provide a top-down view of an enterprise, eliminating information silos.
At the next level, integrating product lifecycle management into ERP systems will enable:
- Improved collaboration between customer/sales and engineering in the quotation process
- Shortened time to market through a more integrated process from engineering to delivery
- Reduced cycle time and errors due to manual transfer of data between the PLM and ERP systems
- Improved communication and reduced misunderstandings between engineering and manufacturing, purchasing, sales and field service
As we move into 2010 and beyond, the key differentiator between manufacturers who thrive and those who struggle will be total integration of people, processes and systems for enterprise-wide communication.
Learn more about the benefits of integrated product lifecycle management and enterprise resource planning. Request the free whitepaper, “Design Through Execution Process Enablement: Integrating PDM/PLM with ERP,” by completing the form to the right.