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John Stark Associates                                                                                                                              March 27, 2017 - Vol18 #24

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PLM - Making It Pay [2]: Facing the Truth
by Roger Tempest
You need to provide hard financial figures that show a good NPV or IRR for your next PLM project. You have raised your horizons (2PLM March 13) and now genuinely believe: "We should implement PLM because it is going to make (or save) the company an enormous amount of money. Millions. Everyone in the organisation will be financially better off because of what PLM is doing for the business."

So you might think that all you have to do is to look at the PLM Metrics Algorithm and get started.

But it's too soon to do that. All you would be doing would be to generate numbers that ignore the shortcomings of your current PLM environment. In order to reach the full potential of PLM, you have to face the truth about the weak points of PLM in your company's actual operating environment, and to make these work for you.

If you ignore the weak points, and raise a proposal for funding that hides them, then they become pitfalls that will derail the project and cause it to fail. But if you analyse them, and provide written evidence of them, then they become "war stories" that will reinforce the need for improvement.

In fact it is well worth investigating as many factual examples of inefficiency and quality failures as possible. You should then go on to produce a Gap and Impact Analysis that is endorsed by the people in your organisation most affected by the problems. The PLM Self-Assessment Toolkit is a very useful tool for this.

Internal political constraints may mean that you will not be able to use some of these stories, but if your collection is large enough then the remainder will provide the ammunition you need. Once you have that in place, the next thing to do is to do the sums. How to do that will be the subject of the next article.


Roger Tempest is co-founder of the PLMIG. Comments are welcome via


PLM Citations
According to Google Scholar, as of March 24, 2017 Product Lifecycle Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation, the most popular PLM publication, had been cited 792 times in journal articles, technical reports, books and theses.

Volume 2, Product Lifecycle Management: The Devil is in the Details, had been cited 17 times.

Citing publications referenced since the previous issue of 2PLM include:

  • P. Timofeev, A. Jagopolsky (Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Moscow, Russian Federation); The Role and Significance of PDM Systems in the Development of Manufacturing Equipment Details
  • R. Udroiu (Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania); Integration of Computer-Aided Technologies in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Human Lifecycle Management (HUM) Details


  • F. Tao, J. Cheng, Q. Qi, M. Zhang, H. Zhang, F. Sui (Beihang University, Beijing, China); Digital twin-driven product design, manufacturing and service with big data Details
  • A. Walton, M. Grieves, D. Sandall, M. Breault (Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL, USA); Developing a Unified Product Lifecycle Management Value Model Details
  • L. Plo (Groupe POULT, Montauban, France), V. Robin, P. Girard (Université de Bordeaux, France); Understanding PLM System Concepts to Facilitate Its Implementation in SME: The Real Case Study of POULT Details
  • B. Guérineau, M. Bricogne, A. Durupt (Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France), L. Rivest (Ecole de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal, Canada); Agile and Project-Planned Methods in Multidisciplinary Product Design Details


Types of PLM Engineering Change Control Processes for Engineering Industries
by Ilayaraja Muthalagu
An Engineering Change Management (ECM) business process meeting the requirements for engineering industries and energy devices can include the following sub-processes: ECR/ECO Process; Lite Process; Log Only Change Process. The business process can be implemented in a PLM system.

1.1. ECR/ECO Process
An ECR/ECO change is a formal, global release process with workflow used to release objects that have a significant business impact, a requirement for wide cross-functional participation and review, and may involve multiple facilities. The process may be initiated by anyone with access to request an engineering change and is managed by an Engineering Change Coordinator from start to finish. The process is characterized by elements that include:

  1. Process management by an Engineering Change Coordinator.
  2. Formal management (review and approval) of change requests.
  3. A description of changes.
  4. Reason for change (quality, improvement, product enhancement, etc.) and impact of change (scrap, rework, inventory, etc).
  5. Management of effectivity.
  6. Multiple objects with individual status.
  7. Multiple workflow steps with multiple participants.
  8. Detailed information on versions, changes, dates, participants, and comments.

1.2. Lite Process
This mid-level change is used for product data that require some review, but do not require the formal process controls of ECR/ECO. The process is initiated by creation of an Engineering Change (EC) by the originator and utilizes workflow for review and release. All the changes will be effective on the validity date of the EC. The full change history of the object is kept in the PLM system. The EC records the reason for change and description of change.
Examples of product and non-product controlled through this process include: Specification documents; Tooling changes; Material Changes; Prototype BOMs. The steps of the Lite Process include: Creation of Request (General Notification); Creation of EC; Review and Approval of EC; Change Objects with EC.

1.3. Log-only Change Process
This is an informal change process without history. It is used for objects that do not require review and approval prior to release. These changes can be done by anyone who has Change access to Materials, BOMs or Documents.

The PLM system logs the change with information on who made the change and when the changes are done. Examples of product data controlled through this process include: Change Material description without EC; Change Development BOM without EC; and Change Document without EC.

Material can be changed with or without EC at any time. The Change Coordinator decides which change level process to use based on the change criteria. The status of the BOM during development allows the changes without EC. Once the EC is used for a BOM change, any future change has to be done with an EC.


About the Author: I. Muthalagu researched and published several articles in the area of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) in engineering industries, ranging from theory to design to implementation. In recent years, he has focused on better architectures, techniques, processes for expressing, analyzing, and implementing PLM applications in engineering industries. He has collaborated actively with researchers and implementation groups in several other disciplines of PLM, particularly engineering change management, engineering documents, CAD integration at the engineering industries including energy devices and engineering devices. Ilayaraja Muthalagu can be contacted at


PLM - What about the Cloud?
by Scott Cleveland
One of the bigger technology buzzwords today is the 'cloud'. The question is not whether to take advantage of the cloud or not, but why make that choice.

While preparing your requirements document for managing a product's lifecycle, ask questions that will help you determine the best choice. Your decision whether to cloud or not should be supported by your requirements.

Peeling back the onion, the cloud is just a computer [or bank of computers] that is not anywhere on your site. This solution has some pro's and con's ....

Deploying in the cloud moves a lot of IT responsibilities from your company to the hosting company. They will ensure maximum uptime for your applications. They will provide security for your applications. They will provide the backups and restore needed files. They will provide a certain amount of troubleshooting and so on. 

There is a contingent of people that are not confident about the security of the cloud. There are others that want the data on their computers inside their '4 walls'. After all, this product information is their 'intellectual property'.

My thoughts on security start with the fact that Amazon runs their business in the cloud.

Let the requirements answer the question
The data gathered in your requirements should provide the answers you need to make the right choice.

Need some help building your requirements document?



Scott Cleveland can be contacted on +1 408-464-6387

PLM Requirements Gathering
by Scott Cleveland
When you think about the ideal PLM solution for your company, you should be looking at alternatives that are able to solve your problems rather than what technology sounds cool. Start with an open mind. A specific technology should not be driving the decision.

Your Objective
Your company has some problem(s) that it is attempting to solve. These problems are either costing your company money or are causing some significant disruptions. The first order of business is to find a solution to these problems/issues.

Obvious Solution Criteria
Beyond solving the problems you have identified, there are some other attributes that are important for the solution:

  • It must be user-friendly enough that your users will want to use it
  • It must fit your budget requirements
  • You will be working with this vendor for years, you must be confident that they will take care of your company

  • You must be confident that your solution provider will be around in the future
  • You may need to integrate this software with others in the future; you should feel comfortable that this is possible
  • You may want the software to provide you with some reports
  • You may want the solution to work in a mobile environment

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list; it is just intended to get you thinking about all of your needs.

Need some help building your requirements document?  


Scott Cleveland can be contacted on +1 408-464-6387 


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PLM News

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Rand Worldwide announced acquisition of PacifiCAD. Details 


ESI Group announced full-year 2016 sales of M€ 140.6. Details

Oracle Corp. announced fiscal 2017 Q3 results. Total Revenues were $9.2 billion. Details



IMS Software announced David McCarthy was appointed COO. Details 


Actify announced that its Enterprise CAD Viewing and Data Discovery solutions were selected by CERN. Details

Aras announced that Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd selected Aras Innovator. Details

Centric Software, Inc. announced that Redbubble selected Centric SMB. Details

Centric Software, Inc. announced that IMAX selected Centric Software to provide its product lifecycle management (PLM) solution. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. adopted its "My Collection" industry solution experience. Details 


Aras announced the latest version of Aras Innovator. Details

Autodesk Inc. announced AutoCAD 2018. Details

Autodesk announced Inventor 2018. Details

CCE announced enhancements of its ODX libraries. Details

CONTACT Software announced CIM DATABASE PLM 11.1, Project Office 4.1 and CONTACT Elements 15.1. Details

Gerber Technology announced OMEGA 6.5. Details

Lattice Technology, Inc. announced Lattice3D Studio version 15. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced MSC Adams Real Time. Details

Siemens PLM announced Parasolid v29.1. Details

Sigmetrix announced version 9.1 of CETOL 6σ. Details

Theorem Solutions announced V19.4 of Creo to 3D PDF from the Publish 3D range. Details

Theorem Solutions announced NX to 3D PDF V19.4. Details

Vero Software announced Javelin 2017 R1. Details



Elysium announced a partnership with LEMMA. Details

Elysium announced a partnership with Transvalor. Details

International TechneGroup Incorporated (ITI) and Anark Corp. announced a partnership. Details

PTC and OSIsoft announced collaboration. Details

Virtalis and Enzen announced a partnership. Details



casim GmbH & Co. KG announced use of simTOL by Stanley Black & Decker. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that DS Automobiles is using the "Virtual Garage" industry solution experience. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Bernardaud is using the "My Product Portfolio" industry solution experience. Details

ESI Group announced that Adam Opel AG used ESI PAM-STAMP. Details

JETCAM announced CrossTrack MTL. Details

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced ISO 26262 compliance of Mentor's Software Tool Qualification Report. Details

ModuleWorks announced that it has been awarded the title "Great Place to Work 2017" in three different categories. Details

MSC Software Corp. announced that Marc was selected as product of the year by readers of NASA Tech Briefs. Details

Omnify Software announced that it has been ranked as a top three PLM software. Details

Onshape Inc. announced that Coca-Cola uses Onshape. Details

A 2014 study estimated 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons in the oceans. Details

ProSTEP announced that GfSE (Gesellschaft für Systems Engineering), the German chapter of INCOSE, and ProSTEP iViP have ratified a Memorandum of Understanding regarding SysML. Details

Spatial Corp announced incorporation of 3D mesh technology from Distene S.A.S. into its 3D modeling SDKs. Details

TraceParts announced that 17 million designers have access to TraceParts' CAD content. Details

TraceParts announced that Würth Elektronik decided to publish its catalog of around 500 products on the TraceParts CAD platform. Details



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