Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a concept that clearly maps the entire lifecycle of a product – from development, manufacture, and service through to end-of-life product disposal. Product Lifecycle Management comprises all processes, systems, documents, and data associated with the product, which are usually managed in a compatible IT system. This can be the change history in design drawings, the material list, information on spare parts and maintenance, the operating instructions or customer feedback.
PLM should help manufacturing companies to optimize all process steps in order to save resources, time, and costs, satisfy customers and ensure competitiveness. PLM systems also guarantee that the various partners involved in the product lifecycle can work together efficiently.
The Product Lifecycle Management, together with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), is one of the core elements of manufacturing IT in production.