Terms connected to PLM.
The enterprise business information technology (IT) domains include four main management approaches [1, 2]:
PLM is a business strategy for managing the entire life cycle of products. This strategy includes the management of conception, design, design validation and simulation, prototyping, manufacturing, quality control, use, maintenance, and disposal of products, having integrated people, methods, CAx (computer-aided technologies) tools, processes, documentation, and data management solutions. PLM is a digital paradigm, products being managed with digital computers, digital information, and digital communication . The main benefits of a PLM system implementation in companies are faster time to market, improved productivity and collaboration, better product quality, decreased cost of new product introduction, reduced prototyping costs, improved design review and approval processes, identify potential sale opportunities and revenue contributions, maximize supply chain collaboration, and reduce environmental impacts at the end of product life.
2. Products diversity
Standard living increase of the population has led to the development of new materials and unique services. Those services were hard to be guessed in the past. The diversity of the products is different from one domain to another. All this requires a rigorous planning on waste and resource management in order to obtain some products or to recycle them after end life. The arising problems caused by technological development have begun to affect the life of our planet. This fact has led to the emergence of management measures and decision-making on emerging issues related to the use of this kind of materials, resources, environmental pollutions, and recycling of end-life products.
The world’s increasing production has led to the use of special materials [5, 6] as composite materials and smart materials. These have been created and adopted to solve a number of industry production problems, to replace the traditional materials used for manufacturing process of the products. These were created to improve physical and mechanical properties and were developed to solve the production industry problems.
There are different kinds of products on the market. There are different approaches in the word regarding the classification of the products in the world. An approach can be made following their complexity. We can say that there are simple products, or complex ones, which are assembled by another product. From the point of view of materials which is embedded in products, we can say that some products are from a single material, from two, or from many constituents. From the recycling point of view, at the end of the products’ life, the products which are made by a single material are easier to be managed. Unfortunately, these products represent a small percentage of the diversity of existing products. Today the materials’ constituents are very vast, and the constituents of the products are composed of many chemical substances. These are combined in order to achieve, at the end, a material with custom properties for certain products.
Another type of the products is represented by a large used, a
Another type of the products is represented by
Nowadays, the life of the products has been getting shorter. This is due to technological progress and the requirements of today’s demanding market. The life of the products decreases because new products appeared and those have replaced the old ones quickly.
Passing on to the
The diversity of industrial products is a very vast domain and includes embedded materials, the products themselves, the equipment that led to their fabrication, the resources used, the auxiliary substances, and materials that contributed to the technological process.
3. Product life cycle
The product life cycle includes three main stages:
BOL is the most complex phase of the product life cycle including conceive, design, prototyping, testing, development, production process elaboration, and manufacturing of the product.
In the second phase of the product life cycle, MOL comprises distribution/sales, product use of the final customer, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of the product.
End of product life is the last stages of the product life cycle. This stage includes retire, disposal, and recycle of the product.
4. Product lifecycle management
According to the CIMdata Inc. , “Product Lifecycle Management is a strategic business approach that applies a consistent set of business solutions that support the collaborative creation, management, dissemination, and use of product definition information” . Integrating people, processes, business systems, and information, PLM supports the extended enterprise . The extended enterprise is a wider entity that includes the customers, the employees, the suppliers, the distributors, etc., who collaborate in the design, development, manufacturing, and delivery of a product to the end user. The PLM concept is focused on six important concepts, as follows: strategic business approach, phases of product life cycle, collaboration within the extended enterprise, unique and timed product data source and consistency, traceability, and long-term archiving .
The evolution of the concepts related to PLM is shown in Figure 1. PLM concept was developed based on product data management (PDM).
The fundamental terms about PLM are shown in Figure 2. Processes, technologies, methods, software tools, and data managed by people are the main fundamentals of PLM that are involved in the lifecycle stages of the product.
Generally, the methods can be classified as follows :
Methods supporting designers and engineers in the product development stage (e.g., theory for inventing problem-solving (TRIZ, design in context, bottom-up design, top-down design))
Methods based on past experiences (e.g., design for X) used in BOL, MOL, and EOL
Evaluation methods of the product responsiveness to needs coming from diverse phases (e.g., risk analysis and failure mode effects analysis (FMEA), fishbone/Ishikawa diagram)
Management approaches supporting continuous improvement of the enterprise (e.g., just in time, lean manufacturing, six sigma, total quality management, and total productive maintenance)
CAx  is a generic term that includes all computer-aided technologies used to process the information and knowledge regarding the product data along the PLM stages. A CAx system is focused on a “X” task, and it contains the following main components: hardware component consisting in computer and interactive devices, software packages, data, knowledge, and human’s activities . The “X” task can be product design (computer-aided design) [13, 14, 15, 16, 17]; product manufacturing (computer-aided manufacturing) [13, 14, 15, 16, 17]; product simulation, analysis, and optimization (computer-aided engineering); product process planning (computer-aided process planning, CAPP) [11, 14, 15, 16, 17]; product quality assurance (computer-aided quality, CAQ); etc. CAE tools are available for a wide range of analyses: finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), kinematics and dynamic analysis of the mechanisms, etc. The numerical control (NC) of the machine tools and programming of industrial robots that perform tasks as assembly, welding, etc., are the most known applications of CAM.
The main terminology connected to PLM is presented in the Table 1.
|PLM||Product lifecycle management|
|ERP||Enterprise resource planning|
|CRM||Customer relationship management|
|SCM||Supply chain management|
|EDM||Electronic document management, enterprise data management, or engineering data management|
|PDM||Product data management|
|CPC||Collaborative product commerce|
|PPLM||Product and process lifecycle management|
|SRM||Supplier relationship management is analogous to customer relationship management|
|MPM||Manufacturing process management|
|CPD||Collaborative product development|
|DFMA||Design for manufacture and assembly|
|DFSS||Design for six sigma is a business process management method related to traditional six sigma, based on the use of statistical tools|
|NPD||New product development|
|Standards of PLM||STEP, DXF, IGES, XML, UML|
|Virtual enterprise (VE)||Virtual enterprise consists in “a group of people who work together on a project, communicating mainly by phone, email, and the internet, rather than regularly going to a central office to work providing operations as competitive as those in a traditional enterprise” [4, 21]|
|Digital mock-up (DMU)||Digital mock-up is a concept that allows the description of a product, usually in 3D, for its entire life cycle |
|Digital manufacturing (DM)||DM links digital product development, digital production planning, and digital facility planning . DM is a manufacturing process in a virtual environment working with digital features (tooling, machining, assembly lines, resources, ergonomics, and factory layout)|
|Digital factory (DF)||Digital factory consists in a digital mock-up of the factory|
Digital factory is the foundation of the factory of the future, “a comprehensive approach of network of digital models, methods, and tools—including modeling, simulation, and 3D/virtual reality visualization—integrated by a continuous data management” 
New opportunities and future trends for PLM (Table 2) have appeared in areas such as
|Factory of the future/smart factory||Factory of the future [4, 24] is the combination of “virtual” and “real“ that “can self-optimize performance, self-adapt to and learn from new conditions in real or near-real time, and autonomously run entire production processes” |
|Industry 4.0||Industry 4.0 [26, 27] supposes the introduction of the Internet of things and services into the manufacturing environment |
|Cloud computing||Cloud computing store, manage, and process data, rather than a local computer by using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet |
|CMfg (cloud manufacturing)||Cloud manufacturing  uses cloud computing, the Internet of things, service-oriented technologies, and high-performance computing for solving manufacturing applications|
|Industrial Internet||The industrial Internet “is the integration and linking of big data, analytical tools and wireless networks with physical and industrial equipment, or otherwise applying meta-level networking functions, to distributed systems” |
|IoT (Internet of things)||The Internet of things comprises of an intelligent interactivity, via the Internet, sensors and actuators, etc., between human and things to exchange information and knowledge|
|Big data in PLM||“Big data represents the information assets characterized by such a high volume, velocity and variety to require specific technology and analytical methods for its transformation into value.”. Big data challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating, information privacy, and data source|
|IoT PLM||Big data and the IoT work in conjunction. Data extracted from IoT devices provides a mapping of device interconnectivity|
|PLM for digital factory (PLM 4.0)||PLM system within the Industry 4.0|
|Cloud PLM||The applications of cloud computing in PLM|
|Smart PLM||PLM system for a smart factory|
5. PLM software
On the market today, there are several software solutions for PLM implementation. The most known solutions are offered by dominant players such as
PLM systems can manage information across the life cycle of a broad range of products such as manufactured products (airplanes, automobiles, computers, mobile phones, toys, etc.), software product, utility distribution networks (telecommunications), facilities (airports, harbors, and railway systems), and other products (bridges and highways). In the future, every industrial product will be smart like smartphones. These integrated a series of requirements and needs that, besides the basic solution of the product to meet certain needs, will also have a number of facilities which are not strictly necessary but contribute to the comfort of the beneficiary. All this products’ facilities not only make it more attractive but also increase its complexity. Requirements and products are increasingly diversified, all contributing to consumer welfare, as time passes.