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11/01/05 07:36 AM
It’s Time to Demand Immediate Results from PLM! new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

It’s Time to Demand Immediate Results from PLM!

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11/01/05 08:13 PM
Whoa!! Careful there!! Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

implementing standards and using CAD functionality to enforce them is nice sound advice, but it's a far cry from PLM. In addition, there are two MAJOR warnings that need to go here. 1) Bottom-up change is a nice idea, a grass roots campaign to change the world, but in the vast majority of cases it can't work. There are two main reasons why large initiatives like PLM fail., leadership and leadership. Leadership because any severe change, like implementing PLM, has to be seen as the most important thing that the company is doing, or it's just going to be the fad of the week and nobody will bother. It has to be backed up by incentives (if PLM is to reduce errors and people get payed by the number of parts they produce, why would they work more carefully?), and the company vision and all decisions need to back that up. And Leadership because people inherently resist change. If the leader is not there showing how important this is, and backing it up with actions to show the consequences of standing in the way, again, people will see it as a fad and not bother. 2) The improvements that you've made here are significant, certainly, but they are NOT systemic process changes, they are localized task improvements in the engineering square of the flowchart. PLM is a radical departure from the way that you are working now. You're focused on what Engineering can do to make Engineering's life easier and make Engineering's output more accurate. If your part of the process takes four days, and you cut that in HALF, that's a 50% improvement, right? Wrong, if the process takes four months and you shaved two days off of that, from a process view, that's a 2% improvement. Looking at it in dollar amounts helps, but again, some perspective is needed. Don't get me wrong, every dollar counts and these are pretty significant numbers. There are many examples where localized optimizations have actually DECREASED overall system performance. Imagine if you will an engineering group that switches to 3D models, creating new, more beautiful and efficient drawings or does away with 2D drawings already.They saved plenty of time in drafting/detailing, maybe even reassigned some engineers, but now Manufacturing has to redraw the part from scratch, or has to spend hours fixing each converted drawing so that it works in their CAM system where it worked flawlessly before. Unless a good, high-level view of the process is fully understood, you can't know what effects your localized changes are going to have. Again, corporate standards are great, and using your existing tools are a great idea to enforce them, but as they used to say on Hill Street Blues, "Hey!...Let's be careful out there."

11/11/05 07:28 AM
What's PLM Anyway? new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

PLM? What does the abreviation stand for and why on earth would you want to complicate your cad system any more than it is alread? It appears to me that everyone wants to pack all the work and blame on the engineering groups. The real blame is the upper management being greedy and having little or no knowledge of how to run a business to start with. so it is a try this or try that to see if it will work. Everyone needs to get bet back to the basic of using simple processes and good common sense with a little solid knowledge on how to run a company. Whether the company is large or small the rule still applies!

Manoj Sawant
10/04/06 04:26 AM
Re: What's PLM Anyway? new [re: Jack]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I am sorry sir , I kindof disagree with you. Every new invention is out of need. So PLM was need of the industry and hence it came into existence.
I agree with you on upper managements need to have solid business fundamentals. They should be the one to drive PLM implementation and monitor the productivity and returns.
Old processes done in the old way is always going to give old results and that is lower efficienct, no control over losses long lead time for desing , slower product introduction to Market etc etc

Kindly comment on your views.

Consultant Joe
10/06/06 11:36 AM
Lets Define Our Terms new [re: Sherpa]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I think we need to define our terms. Developing Best Practices in Engineering is NOT PLM, its not even PDM. Good CAD best practices, managed by a good Product Data Management (PDM) system, can go along way to cleaning up the product development process. But that's a small part of the pie. A good Product Lifecycle System (PLM) manages the entire product record, including design, source, build, sell, service and dispose. A PLM is an enterprise tool, not an engineering dept tool. It integrates Manufacturing, Quality, Product Portfolio Management, Environmental Compliance, Supply Chain/Cost Management, etc.

10/11/06 07:58 AM
Re: Whoa!! Careful there!! new [re: Sherpa]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Not sure which to reply to but got to jump in here. Product Lifecycle Management is a huge undertaking when incorporating technology to help with it. The fact is that PLM has always existed just as collaboration has existed. (Somehow Collaboration became a new word/tool) I agree the biggest issue in implementing PLM technology is leadership or the lack there of. Again, culture is the key issue. I have seen persons in charge of and participate in PLM implementation teams that could barley create a folder in windows much less manage huge amounts of data in various process flows. As for top down, this is needed for the funding and support. But the Top down should let the Bottom up have a major role (not the sole role) in the INITIAL implementation of PLM. That is because the Lifecycles START at the bottom. It is as simple as that. PLM implementations implemented from the TOP down often struggle (they will never tell you they failed, they are still working on it) because building a roof before the foundation simply doesn't work.
As for immediate benefit, the management of CAD data is a major part to get right, including how all the tools within the CAD might be used. (Like 3D Annotation - Had to get that in there.) Why? Because it is the legal product definition. It is the design! It is where it all starts. There are no test cases, quality control plans, tooling, ERP, etc. without the CAD data. Drawings or no drawings. (No drawings is easier to manage by the way.)
However, CAD data is the start and there are additional cross functional areas that can be included in the "foundational" implementation. This is normally called the "low hanging fruit." All said and done, the most successfull team work will come from the TOP and Bottom working together without power plays or politics being involved.

11/15/06 08:52 AM
Re: It’s Time to Demand Immediate Results from PLM! new [re: ]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

DOes PLM help business? It can, just look at those who've successfully implemented such. However, it's not a panicia. Just like its cousin ERP you can really mess up what was working for your company.

There are a lot of companies the worse for it that jumped onto the SAP bandwagon. Had they either taken the money invested in ERP and put it in a CD or the stock market the company would have been ahead or had they invested more time looking at what implementing ERP really means. Unfortunately in most corporations today implementation really means installation and customization of the S/W not looking at the whole picture of determining if, how, when, what and where these technologies should be implemented.

PLM is no different. If you have a simpler lifecycle than the model that you're S/W supports you're going to waste a lot of Engineering time just operating the S/W for next to no real benefit to the corporation.

The next issue is does your Engineering Department really employ PLM methodologies and practices. Several years ago I did a process audit on a engineering department that was touting to their management that they used "System Engineering" methodologies to ensure delivery of high quality products. Their customer had asked for the audit. What was found was a serious disconnect between what management, engineering and customer thought were best of breed "System Engineering" practices. If I was to give them a CMMI level rating it would have been a Negative 1.

While they had all the nice S/W, policies and practices documented no one was trained on using them, people where using all sorts of work arounds to avoid using or by-pass the controls in the S/W that structured the process.

When I have looked into various shops putting in PLM I'm seeing the same issues arise. S/W installed, customizations put in place to by-pass the process. In other words you might as well put in a file server and get better results.

If you're going to demand results from PLM --ha-- you mean results from the organinzation implementing PLM, you'd better look to see if the PLM process is going to help or complicate issues and then really work on creating a real implementation plan beyond calling in the I.T. department to install the S/W and a one day briefing to end users that amounts to how to log on and file stuff away.

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