Friday, 29 September 2017

What is Product Data Management?

Product data management (PDM) is the use of software tools to track and control data related to a particular product. The data tracked usually involves the technical specifications of the product, specifications for manufacture and development, and the types of materials that will be required to produce the good.


PDM was an offshoot of the engineering design activities that created product drawings, schematics and specification using CAD tools and paper drawings/documents.

The need to control documentation evolved into key capabilities including the following core requirements.

(1) version control:

the ability to clearly distinguish changes as engineer’s progress through the design.

(2) Access control:

The ability to lock down components, assemblies, documents based on rights and rules defined by management. For example, component libraries should be maintained by the administrator or component librarian to ensure that standards are maintained.

(3) Collaboration:

The ability to have multiple users work on the same product structure. Most PDM systems have check-in / check-out capability which locks the objects to prevent loss of work and inadvertent over-writes.

(4) Product Structure

The product structure provides a hierarchical classification of the items which form a product. With the product structure, the understanding of the components which compose a product as well as their attributes, can be represented. The product structure shows the material, component parts sub assemblies and other items in a hierarchical structure that represents the grouping of items on an assembly drawing or the grouping of items that come together at a stage in the manufacturing process.

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