Speak to people about PLM and they will tell you about CAD design, BOMs, processes, ECOs, collaboration and other similar topics. I want to change it and speak about “lifecycle” part of PLM. The core function of the lifecycle is the ability of PLM system to maintain changes and manage snapshots of product design and organization in a specific period of time. Some of products have very short period of time. However, many of products such as airplanes, powerplants and even cars have very long lifecycle. The information about a specific aircraft can easily live for 50-60 years and more.
Few years ago, I discussed the problem of long term product data retention problem. Navigate here to refresh your memory. The main part of that conversation was about how to create logical model and physical data storage for data to be preserved for a long period of time.
Earlier today, I was watching a very interesting video created by BBC. Take a look below. Here is what they did.
Sixty years ago, the BBC filmed a train journey from London to Brighton, squeezed into just four minutes. Thirty years ago, we did it again. Now we are bringing it up to date, to see how much has changed – and how much is still the same. Here’s all three journeys side by side
Here is the challenge I can see in front of design, simulation and PLM systems. How we can store and play with design and other information about products that can help us to recreate a product virtually in a different periods of time. How I can create a product experience of “a specific version of a car” company designed ten, twenty or even more years ago? How we can store all information about product environment to recreate what we had on the street and in the city 50 years ago. Some information is available in GIS and other mapping services. Some of this information is available in PDM/PLM product designs and other data sources. To combine all these data sources together can be an interesting and real challenge for PLM system.
What is my conclusion? I think PLM industry is underestimating the value of lifecycle data and the ability of this data to influence the analytic and decision process. The ability to ‘recreate’ product experience in a different stages of lifecycle and period of time can provide a tremendous changes in the way we design, manufacture and support products in the future. Just my thoughts…