Product Data Management (PDM)

Product data management (PDM) is the use of software to manage product data and process-related information in a single, central system. This information includes computer-aided design (CAD) data, models, parts information, manufacturing instructions, requirements, notes and documents.

The ideal PDM system is accessible by multiple applications and multiple teams across an organization, and supports business-specific needs. Choosing the right PDM software can provide a company in any industry with a solid foundation that can be easily expanded into a full PLM platform.

At its core, a PDM system provides solutions for secure data management, process enablement, and configuration management.

Secure Data Management

Capture, manage and deliver product information

PDM systems capture and manage product information, ensuring that information is delivered to users throughout the product lifecycle in the correct context.

File ownership, version control (check-in and check-out of files), revision management, and release status are all managed by the PDM system.

Security and administrative functionality protects intellectual property rights through role management, project-based security and associated access privileges.

Process Enablement

Enable key stakeholders to participate in the product lifecycle

Workflow and process capabilities enable both internal product teams and external partners to participate in the product lifecycle.

A PDM system can help you establish, manage and execute automated workflow-driven processes that reflect company-specific best practices for change planning (what-if analysis), change incorporation (execution), and change verification and communication.

A PDM system can also support other established processes, including phase-gate standards.

Configuration Management

Align and synchronize BOM data and lifecycle information

PDM systems provide the visibility necessary for managing and presenting a complete bill of materials (BOM). It facilitates the alignment and synchronization of all sources of BOM data, as well as all lifecycle phases, including the as-designed, as-planned, as-built and as-maintained states. 

PDM systems provide change management capabilities that allow you to see the BOM before and after changes are made.

Lifecycle visualization provides sharing and on-demand representations of the product and its underlying assemblies and parts, without the need for a CAD authoring tool or special technical knowledge. Digital mockup capabilities can reduce the need for costly physical prototyping.

Benefits of PDM

Project managers, engineers, sales people, buyers and quality assurance teams all benefit from the knowledge management and reporting capabilities of PDM systems. They allow companies to:
  • Find the correct data quickly

  • Improve productivity and reduce cycle times

  • Reduce development errors and costs

  • Improve value chain orchestration

  • Meet business and regulatory requirements

  • Optimize operational resources

  • Facilitate collaboration between global teams

  • Provide visibility for better business decision-making