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PLM + MES + ERP = Closed-Loop Product Lifecycle

Without integrating PLM-MES-ERP, and build up an uninterrupted digital flow, data sharing in the company will be done manually, introducing all kinds of errors, bottlenecks and delays, while making it harder to analyze and achieve complete visibility into core business processes.

With a close-loop lifecycle integrated, it will enable manufacturers to be more responsive and agile:

  • The system automatically populates the ERP with bill of materials (BOM) information directly from PLM, ensures the two to stay in sync and doesn't introduce the errors commonly associated with manual processes. Thus, a direct integration can cut weeks, even months, off a production cycle by eliminating many inefficient handoffs between product design and the shop floor.

  • Furthermore, when you learn something in one part of the process, it’s available to the other parts so the next time you do something, you have the most complete and accurate information, ready to re-use quickly.

  • Even furthermore, MES-PLM-ERP integration is crucial to the notion of a digital enterprise, where the real-world environment—from concept design to physical production of a product through customer usage in the field—is connected and simulated in a virtual world. By weaving a digital thread throughout all phases of a product’s lifecycle and by connecting core systems, manufacturers can gain insights to help optimize the product and key processes to achieve higher levels of productivity.

Integration problems

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Despite the huge upside, integration between these core enterprise systems is relatively difficult for a very simple reason: the legacy complexity. Closed systems coupled with proprietary networks and communication protocols have been huge technical hurdles preventing data from flowing easily between core enterprise platforms to create a closed-loop system. One master data from a system might mean something different than another system master data, and this lack of a common definition of what fields mean or what data means has been a big issue for integration. A typical integration problem we use to work on, is the EBOM (Engineering Bill-Of-Material) -MBOM (Manufacturing Bill-Of-Material) connectivity: 

EBOM-MBOM "tug war"

The question of who owns the BOM data in a company is just one of the many cultural and people-related issues hampering widespread integration efforts. Historically, IT, engineering and operations have had their own BOM data and systems to manage "their BOM" all defined as "their version of truth".

Our connected PLM system, will help customers to connect seamlessly the data from CAD-BOM (product structure created in CAD software) to EBOM ("as-design" BOM set up for engineering purposes), to MBOM ("as-manufacture" BOM set up for production purposes, as well as other BOMs used by operations.

For more information, please, contact us by leaving a message to us!