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Product Design Integrity from design conceptualization to end use customer operation
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I have not been able to follow this project the way I intended to when I first signed up so I may be asking questions that appear redundant or grossly uninformed about what this endeavor is all about. If so, I apologize in advance.

This project interested me initially because of my many years of industry experience in engineering and manufacturing of products.

I was involved in several PDM and ERP transitions and implementations with different brands of PDM and ERP software and I saw companies spend many millions of dollars dealing with these implementations and the high priced maintenance costs associated with the continued use of these systems.

My question is:

Does this effort encompass ERP functions as well PDM or PLM functions?

The end use customer has a right to be confident that the engineering design of the product he is using was scientifically valid and the implementation of that design in the subsequent manufacturing and delivery of the product to him was provably conformant to the released engineering design. For this to be true there have to be verifiable controls and records of everything that happens from design release to customer end use.

This is most critical in medical device products, but it applies to any type of product, such as automotive ignition switches and air bags.

I attempted to initiate an effort to help develop an integrated PDM-ERP database system with some attorneys and top notch software guys who had created and sold off their own software companies, but they balked at the idea once they learned the system would have to include the accounting functions related to manufacturing that are usually included in comprehensive ERP systems.

Even though PDM and ERP systems in a company may be operated separately to some extent, that separation has to be bridged, especially in the production of medical devices to legally comply with regulatory requirements and protect against product liability lawsuits. That usually involves a lot of paperwork and procedures external or on top of the PDM and ERP systems and or custom coded software bridges between the systems.

I wrote two ebooks about these concerns titled:

Process Integrity in Engineering and Manufacturing

and

True Product and Process Excellence Versus Fake Quality and Gimmicks

It was my hope that those of you involved in this effort shared my concerns in this area.

I have tried to switch as much of my software use to open source software as I could and if I got involved with a start up company I would try to use only open source software in as many company operations as practical.

I hope your effort is addressing the complete spectrum of activity from design to customer operation of the product. I know this is normally regarded as impossible, but I am a dreamer.

Thanks to anyone patient enough to read this entire post.

  • Message #234

    Hi,

    I was involved in several PDM and ERP transitions and implementations with different brands of PDM and ERP software and I saw companies spend many millions of dollars dealing with these implementations and the high priced maintenance costs associated with the continued use of these systems.

    Let me talk about my own experience.

    In the years 2004-2008, I was involved in some PDM/PLM projects too. I agree these projects (including software, specific development, maintenance and project management) were/are extremely expensive.

    In 2008, with the crises, we tried to negociate some discount for all maintenance costs but it was rejected.

    Once Companies have adopted proprietary PLM systems for their daily activities, once all staff work on them 7/7 days and 24/24 hours, migration to another system is very difficult and very expensive. Companies are tied up forever with their proprietary PLM solution.

    I though this risk was too big for companies and they would have looked for some open source solutions. This was my initial idea when I started developing OpenPLM.

    Does this effort encompass ERP functions as well PDM or PLM functions?

    During the following years, I contacted several companies in different industries. I can make 2 conclusions :

    1. While it's quite easy to evaluate some Return Of Investment for ERP projects, it's more difficult to evaluate ROI for PLM projects. This is the reason why big, medium and small companies have implemented ERP projects and stay glued in PLM projects.
    2. In fact, only big companies (with several designers, engineers, technicians, ... at different locations) realize they have lot of losses during development process. They realize they must implement a PLM project (at all cost) if they want to stay in the global competition. I said "at all cost" because it's related to their intellectual assets and these assets are priceless. "At all cost" and therefore companies will not select the cheapest solution, nor the best technical solution but a well-known and weel-established editor (most of the time their CAD/ECAD/CAX software editor). For the moment, despite numerous advantages PLM solutions have, most of small and medium companies are happy with their development process or think benefits from PLM solutions don't worth the price.

    Even though PDM and ERP systems in a company may be operated separately to some extent, that separation has to be bridged

    The competition involves ERP solution editors and PLM solutions editors. Each one try to extend its functional perimeter and try to prevent others in doing business. If you are already in the place, one way is to provide a closed software and push your customers using your functionalities (rather than buying another editor' solution which will not communicate with yours).

    I have tried to switch as much of my software use to open source software as I could and if I got involved with a start up company I would try to use only open source software in as many company operations as practical.

    For me, because it respects standards and is open, the open source has the advantage to make bridges easier between PLM and ERP (and other solutions : CAD, Office, ...).

    For example, here is a video of a Proof Of Concept for OpenPLM / OpenERP bridge :

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HAR-LQfiRQ

    I hope your effort is addressing the complete spectrum of activity from design to customer operation of the product. I know this is normally regarded as impossible, but I am a dreamer.

    Now, our community needs feedback from industry to suggest new ideas, to issue new specifications, to test, to implement, to validate, to testify.

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