Product Lifecycle Management – PLM, PDM and MBE Consulting and Staffing

Product Lifecycle Management

Product lifecycle management refers to managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacturing, implementation/service, and disposal of manufactured products.  This process allows businesses to evaluate and change elements of a design at multiple stages throughout the product’s lifecycle as new problems arise–requiring new solutions.

PLM Software

Product lifecycle management software options are information management systems that helps integrate data with people and other business systems and processes, which enables efficient management of the information throughout the entire lifecycle of a product.  These software solutions allow companies to grant inter-department access to everyone working on a project throughout the entire lifecycle of the product.


Teamcenter product lifecycle management softwareTeamcenter is a product lifecycle management software that aids in every aspect of the PLM process by enabling the exchange of product data between OEMs and suppliers for better cost management and more efficient product development.


ES Novia product lifecycle management softwareDassault Enovia is another sophisticated tool used as product lifecycle mangement digital manufacturing software.


Windchill software for product lifecycle management

Windchill is product lifecycle management software, offered by PTC, that aids in the lifecycle management process


Aras corp product lifecycle management software

The company behind ARAS Innovator, now provides a software application that is used for PLM.

Model Based Enterprise

Model based enterprise, or MBE, is an engineering strategy that aims to clarify design intent during the manufacturing process by using 3D model-based definition that includes all of the product and manufacturing information associated with manufacturing a product.

This strategy allows team members/clients to not have to look at multiple sets of files or drawings to find the information they are seeking, which allows greater ability for collaboration among partners or departments.

Model Based Definition

Model based definition, or MBD, is the practice of using 3D models within CAD software to define individual components and product assemblies.  This process eliminates the need for a 2D drawing to accompany a model to define the components and product information because the information is already on the 3D model that was created.

Process Development

Process development is the core value proposition of the product lifecycle management process, as it develops a system of defined steps and tasks such as strategy, organization, concept generation, marketing plan creation, evaluation, and commercialization of a new product. A cycle by means of which an innovative firm routinely converts ideas into commercially viable goods or services.

Eliminates the guesswork that goes into bringing a new product to the market. By having clearly defined steps it allows the process to not get ahead of itself and stay on course for timely product launches.


The process that goes into putting a decision or a plan into effect.  Brings accountability to the table when talking about putting a decision into effect.

Vendor Management Tools

Tools used to aid in utilizing vendor management systems, often web-based applications that act as a mechanism for business to manage and procure staffing services as well as outside contract or contingent labor.

Allows businesses the ability to keep track and manage their staffing needs as well as any outsourced work they may have.

Collaboration Tools

A term used for different types of software and online services that allow people to work together on common projects, regardless of their physical location.

This allows for cross collaboration from departments and associates who may not be able to physically come to the location of the project.

System Architecture

A conceptual model that defines the structure, behavior, and more view of a system.

Allows those working on a project the ability to see the intent of design as well as more views of a project being worked on.

Engineering Collaboration

The interactive process of engineering collaboration, whereby multiple interested stakeholders resolve conflicts, bargain for individual or collective advantages, agree upon courses of action, and/or attempt to craft joint outcomes which serve their mutual interests.

Brings together all of those involved in a project and allows them to bargain, discuss, or agree on certain aspects that need to be done


Within PLM systems, workflow defines the set of activities representing the template for a business process.  Having templates helps to ensure that all process steps are completed, in the correct order, and in a repeatable fashion across the business.  Workflow allows processes to flow more smoothly across departments while also allowing management the ability to check progress at any time throughout the products lifecycle.

PLM Training

Very simply put, PLM training  refers to the education process required to allow someone to competently perform tasks on the sophisticated softwares used for PLM processes. There are multiple phases and stages that are incorporated within the software.

PLM Consulting

PLM consulting happens when an unbiased, third-party consultant is asked to come into a company that is interested in leveraging the PLM process and shows them the benefits and areas where PLM could be utilized.

Some companies may already be using PLM software and just need a consultatn to come in and show them how to better implement the software or recommend another sophisticated tool that might better suit their needs.

The consulting process is beneficial because it allows companies, both new to and already utilizing PLM, to consult with an expert in the field–which allows them access to knowledge and perspectives they might not have access to with their current staffing.

PLM Staffing

Product life management staffing helps businesses on a project or as needed basis.  The idea is to facilitate the companies PLM needs for short term projects, but can eventually provide full-time associates.  This allows companies the flexibility of acquiring local, American based, quality help for the same price or less as they would spend to outsource their project overseas.


Engineering is a branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of machines and structures.  It is within mechanical engineering that PLM processes take place.

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

A system for defining engineering tolerances using symbolic language on 2D drawings and 3D based models that describe nominal geometry and its allowable variation.

Beneficial to clients because the dimensions and tolerance allowed for a part are contained directly on the drawing/model so it is available to whomever looks at it.

Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI)

Conveys non-geometric attributes in 3D computer-aided design and collaborative product development systems necessary for manufacturing product components and assemblies.

Beneficial to clients because non-geometric attributes are contained directly within the 3D CAD files. This means product manufacturing information such as build materials, weights, and intent of use can be included directly on the model.

Model Based Enterprise (MBE)

An engineering strategy that aims to clarify design intent during the manufacturing process by using 3D model-based definition that includes all the product and manufacturing information associated with manufacturing a product.

This allows team members/clients to not have to look at multiple sets of files or drawings to find the information they are seeking, which allows greater ability for collaboration among partners or departments.


Drafting refers to the design of blueprints needed to bring new concepts and products to life.  This is the starting point where any new concept/idea must begin, because it brings tangible attributes to an idea and sets the groundwork for further product development.

3D Modeling

3D modeling is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any surface of an object in three dimensions using specialized software.  3D modeling is important to businesses because it allows multiple departments/team members to work on a project and see the intent.

2D Modeling

A 2D drawing is one that sits in only the X and Y axis, covering length and width, but no depth or thickness. It contains no shade or shadow and therefore little realism.  2D drawings used to be the way that all ideas were brought to life, but they are becoming more antiquated as 3D modeling is gaining popularity. 2D drawings are limited in the information that they contain and do not allow for intent of design to be transferred to someone looking at their drawing on their own.


CAD is the software used by those in the engineering, drafting, architecture, and other fields to create precision drawings or technical illustrations in either 2D or 3D.  CAD allows drawings and illustrations to be more technical and precise than one could achieve by simply “free handing” the work, making it an essential tool in the product lifecycle management or PLM process.

Auto CAD

AutoCAD is a specific CAD program that was developed by Autodesk Inc allowing 2D and 3D models of mesh and solid surfaces to be created. AutoCAD was one of the first CAD programs that could be run on a personal computer.

The design aggregation and documentation tools built into AutoCAD will maximize productivity while streamlining your design and documentation workflows. 3D models can be imported directly into AutoCAD from a variety of applications, including SolidWorks, CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER, Rhinoceros, and NX products and services allowing you to easily create intelligent 2D views.


NX is an integrated product design, engineering and manufacturing solution that helps you deliver better products faster and more efficiently. Similar to SolidWorks, Catia, and Creo.  It is the only solution to employ synchronous technology for flexible design in an open environment, integrate multi-discipline simulation into development processes, and offer a full array of advanced part manufacturing applications.


An acronym of Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application, is a platform software suite for computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, computer-aided engineering, PLM, and 3D. It was developed by Dassault Systems and is commonly referred to as a 3D Product Lifecycle Management software. Similar to SolidWorks, NX, and Creo.  Using CATIA facilitates collaborative effort amongst different disciplines working on a project.


A suite of design software supporting product design for discrete manufacturers, developed by PTC. The suite consists of apps that deliver a distinct set of capabilities for a user role within product development. Similar to SolidWorks, NX, and Catia.  Creo is optimizied for MBE, can increase engineer productivity and capabilities, enable concept design, increase manufacturing capabilities, all of which would allow a user to be more streamlined and efficient; thus, increasing the effectiveness of the product lifecycle management process.

Product Design

Product design is a broad concept, essentially the efficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products.  The stage of product design is necessary for any project to get up and going. It is the foundation work for bringing a new product to market.

Mechanical Engineering

Essential in all aspects of designing, building, operating, and maintaining a mechanical system., mechanical engineering is a branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery. It applies engineering, physics, and materials science principles to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems.

Industrial Design

Industrial design is a process that is applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production. Think of industrial design as the intersection of art and engineering. It typically takes into account aesthetics and ergonomics in the design of products.

Potentially helpful because design is separated from manufacture. Once all the design work has been completed, manufacturing can begin, which often consist of repeated, automated replication.

Design Technology

The study, design, development, application, implementation, support and management of computer and non-computer based technologies for the express purpose of communicating product design intent and constructibility.

All of the information that is needed to manage products through their entire product lifecycle management process, from ideation to completion.

Outsourced Solutions

When it comes to the product lifecycle management process, it can be hard to even wrap one’s head around what is really going on.  In basic terms, the idea is to make companies more efficient, saving more money, and getting products to market quicker–making businesses more profitable at multiple stages of development.  If you are in need of product lifecycle management services and you simply don’t know where to turn, the good people at The Center of Excellence have a team of design engineers that can help you leverage the power of outsourced labor that saves you money, but also provides a real-life opportunity to recent grads (under the supervision of trained professionals).