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Series of columns: Learning from advanced PLM use cases - PLM Strategy for improvement of business capability and Digital Transformation (DX)

The manufacturing industry is now facing a difficult phase, including drastic changes in the supply chain due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and soaring energy and material prices due to unexpected conflicts such as Ukraine issue.

In order to survive in such a drastic change that is difficult to predict, it is important for the manufacturing industry to enhance "dynamic capability" to detect changes and respond them quickly and flexibly. In addition, it is now an important theme to have a bird's-eye view and visualize the entire supply chain, strengthen resilience and strengthen the supply chain so that necessary measures can be taken against various risks.

In this new series of column, we will explain about the benefits of PLM utilization through the advanced use case in several industries which support these challenges.

PLM use case vol2:PLM strategy for industrial goods manufacturers for promoting Digital Transformation

In the previous column, we introduced and explained about the importance of PLM that connects product design with manufacturing, use case of industrial equipment manufacturers and the relationship between BOM and BOP which becomes standard information for manufacturing.

This time, we will introduce the measures to strengthen the dynamic capability of manufacturing industry in order to respond to the changes in the social and market environment, utilize PLM effectively to execute these measures, and the use cases for implementing PLM in process type manufacturing industry where implementation of PLM has been expanded recently.

Growing importance of “Dynamic Capability” and strategies for strengthening design capability

It is important to strengthen the design capability through digitization in order to enhance the dynamic capability of the manufacturing industry. In addition, the following three points are the key points as the strategy for strengthening design capability.

(1) Implementation of front-loading approach
Almost 80% of product quality and cost are determined in the design phase. In response to the unexpected changing situations, it is necessary to strengthen the collaboration between departments in the highly flexible design phase and design the products considering the points of how the product can be easily manufactured and how its high-quality level can be achieved.

(2) Strengthening of engineering chain
Link Engineering BOM (E-BOM), Manufacturing BOM (M-BOM) and Bill of process (BOP) with each other and share them with each department such as product design, manufacturing, production engineering, etc. This facilitates the smooth data linkage between various departments and enables the user to respond efficiently to design changes, reduce quality defects, execute highly accurate cost simulation in the design phase, and start alternative production quickly in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

(3) Utilization of virtual engineering
This is mainly for the discrete manufacturing industry. In such industry, lead time for designing the product can be reduced and process design capability can be improved by promoting 3D design.

PLM that aggregates information and strengthens dynamic capability

PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) is the measure that should be taken to strengthen design capability.
As explained in the previous column, PLM comprehensively manages design information, strengthens the chain of information from product planning, inquiries to design, production preparation, manufacturing, maintenance and engineering chain. It is a mechanism to support front-loading, manufacturing of a wide variety of products in small quantities, quality improvement and cost reduction.
In addition, PLM aggregates the information generated in the entire manufacturing process including the supply chain from procurement to logistics, sales and utilize it in corporate strategy to strengthen the dynamic capability.

PLM also plays an important role as digital transformation in the manufacturing industry. As shown in the below figure, PLM manages manufacturing standard information centered on BOM and BOP, and seamlessly links this manufacturing standard information with SCM and MES system which will lead to communicate quickly and accurately with manufacturing sites and improve the operation quality of equipment in manufacturing plant. Furthermore, quality defects and losses can also be reduced.

In addition, improvement cycle can be rotated by collecting and analyzing manufacturing performance information of manufacturing plant and giving feedback to the design standard information on PLM. Furthermore, the manufacturing system that is resistant to change can be built by maximizing manufacturing performance and ensuring quality.