Product lifecycle management (PLM) is an information management system that can integrate data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise.
PLM software allows you to manage this information throughout the entire lifecycle of a product efficiently and cost-effectively from ideation, design and manufacture through service and disposal.
The primary goal of PLM is to coordinate the information, processes and people associated with the lifecycle of a product. Doing so entails many benefits such as fewer production errors, fewer cycle iterations and, ultimately, increased speed to market.
At this moment, for me there are 3 big PLM platforms in the market, PTC (Winchill), Dassault Systems, Siemens PLM. But today, I would like to introduce a free open PLM platform that could help with some features your business. The difference between ARAS and others PLM is the approach, with ARAShttps://www.aras.com you can download their software for free and access to a limited business capabilities.
ARAS has open capabilities that you can get for free (and maybe is enough for your business) and some of them are under subscription. ARAS has no licences fee in opposite to their concurrence but you’ll have to pay for maintenance upgrades and support.
What can you do with the Aras PLM Platform?
The Aras PLM Platform is open, flexible, scalable, and upgradeable and adapts to your unique business processes now and in the future.
As a PLM solution Aras Innovator cover most of the product life cycle, including product development, global manufacturing, supply chain operations, quality compliance etc.
Innovator has modules for all the basics like CAD file (multi-CAD), document, engineering changes, PDM (Product Data Management) , PLM, and BOM (Bill of materials) management, as well as environmental compliance, manufacturing process planning, part traceability, new product introduction, maintenance and calibration, and more.
Typical problems about how to track documents, part list and BOMs, process changes and change management or configuration management could be solve with this tool.
Pros; A free downloadable software that provide free PLM features. No license fees to pay. PLM based on the cloud that could be in-house developed with appropriate knowledge.
Cons; Training, maintenance, upgrade and integrators subscriptions package could become as expensive of others PLM systems.
Choice a PLM is a difficult choice because change it, it’s also very difficult, so I recommend to focus on your needs, not the supplier’s capabilities, be careful with PLM promises and understand what kind of integrator is needed for your business. Surprisingly, for smaller companies, CAD and ERP integrations are often “nice to have”, not essential. Why? Because biggest ROI is in just data and file management, bill of materials construction, automated change control, and workflow/email notification.
In smaller companies, integrating PLM with CAD/ERP could be more expensive that the cost needed to implement. Quick PLM implementations rely on simple data exports for loading the ERP BOM tables; your CAD and ERP processes will be no worse than they are now, and you’ll see the PLM benefits much sooner. Only after you’ve extracted all other PLM benefits should you then examine system integrations and if this is the case, ARAS is a perfect solution for you.
Inigo Mayoral, Founder of Insbuildrive