PLM Process Automation
PLM Process Automation is automation of complex PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) business processes, enabled by technology.
It can reduce Time-To-Market, enable the Digital Thread/Digital Twin and improve data quality by means of simple rules or machine learning.
This can be achieved by a combination of Robot Process Automation (RPA) and customisations inside PLM or ERP systems.
Benefits of Automated PLM Processes
Automating administrative processes using Robotics Process Automation (RPA) in especially finance is a leading trend.
The potential for automating Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is just as high and the benefits are many.
The Road to PLM Process Automation
Detailed workflows improve the process flow, enable transparency and reduce unstructured information flow in emails.
Create multiple small workflows instead of one big that covers everything.
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) usually have workflow tools.
Classification of Artefacts like parts and documents enables you to setup rules like “all pumps must be traceable and sourced by John Doe”.
Integration and Interfaces
Some of the most obvious tasks to automate are the transfer of information from one system to another, e.g. the transfer of Material Information from the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
However, interfaces comes with a cost and requires specialised IT competencies.
Robot Process Automation
Robot Process Automation (RPA) tools like UiPath are great for working across multiple desktop applications without huge investments. However, they are slower and less robust than interfaces between the system, so it is a balance when to use and when not to.
Machine learning will be an important technology also in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), but we are still to see the actual implementations.
Challenges and Barriers
The technologies for automating processes are available, but when it comes to implementing RPA a number of challenges can occur:
- Missing overview of the actual as-is processes.
- Defragmented processes and way of processing PLM data
- No or inconsistent categorisation (classification) of PLM objects like parts, models, documents.
- Misused of existing PLM software features.
- Intensive use of Excel, mail and tacit knowledge.
- Difficulties identifying reachable opportunities
How can BoostPLM help You?
Understanding the PLM processes and systems in detail and seeing the opportunities and prerequisites are essential for automating PLM processes.
BoostPLM has a long experience for automating PLM processes. We have automated many processes in SAP and Windchill including the creation and maintenance of material master, BOM and routings on plants, automated translation of material names.
We use a combination of customisations and RPA tools.
Please reach out to us if you would like to understand opportunities for automating your PLM processes.
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