Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

17.5.1 PLM and EDM — Product Life Cycle Management and Engineering Data Management

Intended learning outcomes: Describe the concept of engineering data management (EDM). Identify the CAx technologies. Present the tasks of Engineering Data Management (EDM).



Product life cycle management (PLM)) is the process of facilitating the development, use, and support of products that customers want and need. PLM helps professionals envision the creation and preservation of product information, both to the customer and along the reverse-logistics portion of the supply chain ([APIC16]).

Engineering data management (EDM) is an earlier concept that focused more on a company’s procedures to be integrated — all across the company. Product data management (PDM) is a synonymously used term.

A product database, or engineering database, is a database for commonly
used information that can communicate with all information systems in the various areas.

CIM (computer-integrated manufacturing) is understood as a concept for information technology support of integrated business processes, based on the integration of the total manufacturing organization through information technology (IT).

Figure 17.5.1.1 shows the concept of engineering data management (EDM).

Fig. 17.5.1.1          The concept of engineering data management (EDM).

The following technologies are used in the CIM areas related to design and product:

  • CAE (computer-aided engineering): Computer tools to generate and test specifications, used in the product design phase.
  • CAD (computer-aided design): Computer tools to design and draw.
  • CAP (computer-aided process design): Computer assistance in defining production processes/routing sheets as well as in programming numerically controlled machines, facilities, and robots.
  • CAM (computer-aided manufacturing): The use of computers to program, direct, and control manufacturing through numerically controlled machines, robots, or entire flexible work cells.
  • CAQ (computer-aided quality assurance): Computer-aided quality assurance of the manufacturing process.

In production-related areas of CIM, there exist the following technologies:

  • Computer-based planning & control systems, often called in shorthand ERP or SCM software, refer to Chapter 9.
  • Computer-aided costing

To integrate the various IT-supported technologies the product database must contain all the information that is used by various IT-supported technologies or has to be transported from one to another, for example, the master data and technical product descriptions. EDM can also be associated with general office communicat­ions. This enables information and proposed action to be passed on to other areas, particularly to the company management and the planning and administration departments.

Figure 17.5.1.2 shows a possible structure of the tasks of EDM.

Fig. 17.5.1.2       Tasks of Engineering Data Management (EDM). (See [EiHi91]).

For a detailed EDM model, the basic idea behind the integration also means that the technical and commercial areas of the company must agree on a common functional and data model to represent the company’s products. For example, if the design department requires a certain functionality, then it must be comprehensible to planning & control, and vice versa. Viewed pragmatically, EDM, computerized planning & control, and CAD must ultimately be adapted to one another (see also Figure 5.4.3.2). This will often already apply since, ultimately, the same products are represented and handled in each case.




Course section 17.5: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes