My Trip In The PLM Time Machine 1987

May 7, 2010

You can find this post as something unusual. I decided to jump in my PLM Think Tank Time Machine in… 1987 and see what people were thinking about PLM 25 years ago. In order to accomplish this trip, I took the following book: How To Integrate CAD/CAM Systems by William D Engelke at General Motors and EDS Corporation.

Well, in 1987 Product Lifecycle Management has a different name. ICC (Integrated CAD/CAM)… I’m not sure, this is the only name used 25 years ago. However, in my view it reflected lots of the terms and ideas we are discussing today during our PLM strategy’s talks.

Databases Types
The problem of different databases (or how we call it now – data repositories or silos) are explained very clear. Geometric library /databases, Attribute Database, Released Design, Manufacturing Design. If you can see the association with today’s systems is very clear, in my view. CAD, PDM, ERP fits into this space. The biggest PLM discussion about EBOM vs. MBOM sees to me straightforward. It is just different databases. The importance of the access to multiple type of the product, engineering and manufacturing data stated very clear already on the front page:

Change Cost Implication

This problem is one of the most important we are discussing these days. The early change will cost less in production. Therefore, early availability of manufacturing BOM as well as parallel design and manufacturing work are simply ‘must do’ for the efficient process management and overall cost control.

Turnkey Systems

I found a very interesting summary related to Turnkey Systems (in my view, this is what we call today – Out-of-the-box solutions). It seems to me the position was very clear back in 1987: “Nobody runs shop quite the same way you do, and it would be unreasonable in most cases, to expect your company to change its design sequence, communication flows, design release methods, and so forth, to conform to the requirements of a turnkey system“. I found this statement very interesting, and I think, creators of Best Practices, Industry Solutions and Out-of-the box systems need to complete their homework before rushing market with a next wave of ready-to-go solutions.

What is my conclusion after the trip in PLM time machine? I found 1987 years ICC (Integrated CAD CAD) as a very decent PLM. Lots of core PLM ideas such as design to manufacturing, early cost evaluation, integration of product design and manufacturing information flow, lead time impact and analyzes are sounds like completely up to date. Marketing did a great job adding lots of bells and whistles during last years, so I found PLM Time Machine learning very interesting and remarkable.

If you don’t want to buy old book, you can take a deeper look on PLM model 1987 using Google Books. It gives you an access to almost 1/3 of the book content.

Best, Oleg

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