Product Lifecycle Management and Product Lifecycle Management ( PLM) is a concept for the seamless integration of all the information generated during the life cycle of a product. The concept is based on matching methods, processes and organizational structures, and usually uses IT systems for the recording and management of data. PLM emerged from the more narrowly defined product data management ( PDM), and developed in the early 21st century, the dominant paradigm in product development. Companies saw the PLM improved control over the various processes that are required in each part of a life cycle, and thus transparent income and expenses. The systems involved in the concept and so design (CAD) and calculation (CAE ) and production planning ( equipment and technology ) and PPS to sales planning, sales, distribution, logistics, end -of-life management, including service and recycling issues.

Therefore, PLM is a business concept that needs to be implemented through operations through appropriate technical and organizational measures.

The software industry has to realize such goals develops products that enable companies to integrate the diverse information needs and to satisfy. These are sold as a category of business software and offer different function and scope of services. The currently most of their revenue and the number of their installed worldwide jobs providers are in alphabetical order Dassault Systèmes (Product: Enovia ), Oracle (Product: Oracle Agile PLM), Parametric Technology Corporation (Product: Windchill ), SAP (Product: SAP PLM ) and Siemens PLM Software (Product: Teamcenter ). In addition, numerous vendors market their PDM solutions, today also as PLM solutions. In Germany, these include contact software (Product: CIM Database ), keytech Software GmbH (Product: keytech & PLM DMS), Procad (Product: Pro.File ).

Most so called PLM systems have their origin in the administration of mechanical product data. However, the term PLM is now well established product data for the management of electronic and electrical (E / E) on the side of the provider of e- CAD. Often the larger PLM solutions today offer the possibility to manage the E / E data. Mostly, however, only the data fully developed and released for production are then administered. The version and process management remains the E / E systems Author reserved.

In recent years, the subject-specific orientation of merchantability PLM solutions for the industry utilizing has increasingly proven to be a limitation. To simulate the enormous increase in the proportion of the software to today's products and the necessity to develop multidisciplinary systems throughout its function (digital prototyping) to validate and manufacture, provides all PLM vendors face the challenge in addition to the management of the mechanical, electronic and electrotechnical components to integrate the management of the software controls and general embedded software.

Another major challenge arises from the expansion of digitization on the entire value chain. The hitherto conventional separation into application areas: - PLM ( product development to production release ) - digital factory ( production planning and simulation of production) - MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems for the control and monitoring of production lines and machines ) - ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning for control of production) prevented the efficient use of digitization in terms of higher productivity. Here all manufacturers are required to enable the opening of the mostly monolithic systems further integration.

The trade is already spoken of PLM software if the application design decisions and the procurement process support. Again, the management of product master data plays an important role, but also by product photos and other media data. Mobile use, for example at trade shows or the manufacturer, is of importance. The further life cycle to the dealer, especially the logistical processes, quality assurance, marketing, sales and price maintenance to product are, however, generally supported by other applications. The life cycle of the dealer ends rather unspectacular from the total sales of a product does not re-ordered. Due to the variety of products and their sometimes only short life cycles, make demands here is different than, for example for a manufacturer of high quality industrial goods.

Potential benefits

The potential benefits are difficult to quantify, partly because they are composed of direct and indirect effects, and secondly, because only a few companies analyze before PLM introduction the actual state exactly cost-effectiveness perspective. However, relevant studies demonstrate a close interaction between PLM maturity and economic success of the company.


The EDM term was even before he was able to establish itself properly in Germany, through the concept of product data management (PDM ) replaced, which should make it clear that it is a concept for the management and delivery of all defining the product and representing information. Although PDM from the beginning rose to claim to support not only data management, but also the processes of data generation and provision, even this term was soon found to be too narrow. After a period of terminological contest found software vendors and consulting companies in the PLM concept of a new common denominator. After hiesigem understanding PLM is a concept and not a self-contained IT solution. PDM is one of the key components for the implementation of this concept, which also includes the data -generating applications such as CAD, CAE, CAM, virtual reality ( VR), etc., and the interfaces to other application areas such as Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP) or supply chain management ( SCM) belong.

PLM market

About the volume of the German PLM market are hardly any reliable figures. The relationship, if information is published, they are essentially based on self-reporting by the manufacturer or estimates by analysts. The data from market research firm CIMdata, according to the American global PLM market reached a volume of 25.8 billion U.S. dollars or the equivalent of 18.3 billion euros in 2010. In these figures include CAD, CAM, CAE, ECAD EDA ( Electronic Design Automation) and AEC sales (Architecture, Engineering, Construction), as well as the sales of digital manufacturing solutions are included. Considering only the market segment cPDm ( collaborative Product Definition management), which mainly comprises the sales of software and services for product data and process management, the market volume of 8.73 billion U.S. dollars yields ( 6.2 billion euros ). Of this amount, 1.37 billion euros or the equivalent of 970 million euros in Central Europe, that is essentially the DACH region. The average software component in cPDM business is just under 40 percent, which would correspond to central Europe based 385 million euros. More recent figures are not currently available.