Success Through Structure
The process covers the different phases of the development and defines the important core processes. Only then is it possible to produce a product on time, cost-effectively and in high quality. Above all, quality is a major challenge in the product development process, because here various safety standards also ensure that the products comply with the legal standards.
To ensure that these standards are met, suitable PLM software (Product Lifecycle Management Software) is now used, which has become indispensable, especially for large quantities.
Safety standards and norms
Which properties or which safety standards a product must meet is partly regulated in legal standards. For almost every industry there are ISO or DIN standards which must be observed in the development or production of a product. What these standards regulate varies from industry to industry. In automotive manufacturing, for example, there is functional safety, which regulates safety-relevant aspects of electronic systems in motor vehicles. The ISO standard then also specifies the safety requirements that individual elements or the entire product must meet. The aim of these standards is to provide the consumer with a product that meets common safety standards.
However, since these standards are constantly changing, for example due to improved materials or optimized production processes, it is often a challenge to be up to date. This is where the advantage of PLM software becomes apparent, because good PLM vendors also make sure that they regularly update their software for the product development process.
Mandatory and voluntary standards
There are innumerable ISO and DIN standards that regulate the most diverse production and work areas. With regard to the standards, a distinction must be made between whether they are legally prescribed standards or optional standards that companies can comply with voluntarily. Whether the legal norms are adhered to, e.g. also in the work process in production, is regularly checked by control bodies.
If companies voluntarily impose higher standards on themselves, they must independently ensure that these are also checked and approved by official control bodies. If the standards are met, they also receive certification. These additional certifications are often also relevant to the product development process, as they often guarantee higher safety and quality standards.
Product development process in industrial manufacturing
The product development process is mainly used in industrial production in large quantities. Exactly there it has become essential to have a suitable PLM provider for PLM software. The safety standard could only be increased significantly by using PLM software. Defective pieces can be sorted out by software recognition and do not have to be found in the quality control. Particularly in the production of large quantities, continuous control in the production process is essential, as numerous customers would quickly be affected by defective products. However, the costs of recalling defective products can be avoided if the product creation process with the software is planned and monitored by a PLM provider.
Use process models
Software for PLM also enables the development process to be carried out using specific process models. The process models have the advantage that they are proven models that focus on high quality with cost and time efficiency. Not only do they support those responsible in the company in the development of high-quality products, but every employee benefits from PLM software, because the tools also often point out when something does not conform to the standard. This enables rapid intervention and minimizes production losses.
A major advantage of integrated process models in software from PLM vendors is that it is also clear who has what responsibility in the development process. This means that there are no unnecessarily long communication channels for questions and problems, which would again increase the susceptibility to errors. PLM software contributes to a large extent to security in the product development process.
An important factor in the product development process is risk management. Despite good planning, problems and failures can occur again and again in a production cycle. Although not all risks in the development process can be minimized, for example, because there are always uncertainty factors that are difficult to calculate, good risk management makes it much easier to intercept problems. With suitable software, for example, early detection indicators can be defined. As soon as the software registers one of the indicators in the product development process, it sounds the alarm. This allows a timely response, which may even prevent the worst case scenario from happening. With good risk management, financial losses are also significantly lower. By evaluating risks and their possible occurrence, for example, capital can be built up if a problem occurs.
Advantages of PLM Software
The biggest advantage of software in the product development process is its clarity. All steps in the development process can be managed with the software. This starts with the planning of a product and ends with the discontinuation of production. With the software all documents can be managed and made available to different employees.
A pleasant side-effect of the software is that knowledge databases can also be built up, which can be used in the development of future products. PLM providers often have modular systems that can be expanded as required. As a result, they also adapt very well to the development of companies.
The software also has a major advantage when it comes to modifying products. Instead of restructuring the entire process, changes can often be made with just a few clicks using the software. Often it is precisely the small variations in the product development process, such as color changes, that make the product range more attractive for the customer.
An increasingly important part of the creation process is the maintenance and servicing of products. Software can also be used to determine suitable maintenance intervals and to automatically notify customers when maintenance is due, for example.
Benefit from the advantages
Software in the product development process offers many advantages that large companies no longer want to do without. Suitable software should therefore be integrated into the development process as early as possible. Due to the modular structure of many tools, the software can be continuously expanded and can thus grow with the size of the company. In addition, there are adapted solutions from PLM providers for various industries, where the focus is already on security-relevant aspects of the products, for example.