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PDM - Product Data Management

PDM - Product Data Management

Product data management (PDM) is a system for managing design data and engineering processes in one central location. Engineering teams use PDM software to organize product-related information, track revisions, collaborate, manage change orders, generate Bills of Materials (BOMs), and more. With a single source for project data, engineers save time and avoid mistakes.

The product means, as a rule, some kind of high-tech products (automobiles, ships, airplanes, etc.) in the design, production, operation and utilization of which it is necessary to process and control large volumes of engineering and technical data.

PDM system uses several technologies:

  • EDM (engineering data management).
  • PIM (product information management).
  • TDM (technical data management).
  • TIM (technical information management).
  • Managing images and documents, manipulating information related to the product.

PDM systems provide the data necessary for the correct operation of MRP (material requirements planning) and CRP systems (capacity requirements planning). Unlike traditional databases, product data management system can accumulate data of any format and type: text documents, geometric models, the data needed for automatic production lines, CNC machines, etc. There can be so much data that it can be used as a "digital layout" of the product.

The PDM integration with existing CAD systems at the enterprise can significantly increase the efficiency of their use. This happens due to the fact that after integration, it becomes possible to organize work on the project in multi-user mode, to exchange information between developers (possibly in different places) in real time. At the same time, in order to avoid unauthorized modification of documents, different access modes are provided to different users.

Enterprise PDM software can help you create better designs, reduce errors, and build a more efficient development cycle with features including:

  • CAD file management. Take control of your valuable design files with PDM. Direct CAD-integration keeps your data in sync in real time.
  • Revision control. Automatically capture the revision history on documents as you work. Never lose track of changes.
  • Business system integration. Integrate design data with systems like MRPs and ERPs.
  • Access control. Strengthen data security by controlling access with permissions for version control and retrieval.
  • Engineering change orders. Easily manage engineering change orders (ECOs) with a workflows that help automate the process.
  • External collaboration. Share 2D or 3D views of your work with others and get comments and feedback directly inside your product.



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F.A.Q about PDM - Product Data Management

What is PDM or PLM software?

PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management. It’s a tool that guides products through the product development lifecycle. And as products and supply chains get more complex, a way to manage the development process becomes more and more important. PLMs usually give organizations:

  • Workflows
  • Milestones or stage gates
  • CAD/BOM syncing
  • Change management processes.

PDM stands for Product Data Management. Product data management tools manage data as it moves through the product lifecycle. Specifically, product data management solutions keep CAD files organized and version controlled. This is usually achieved with a check-in/check-out file structure and a centralized storage solution, either in an on-premise server, a privately managed network or, increasingly, a cloud server.

In a nutshell, PLM is responsible for the process and the system that product development happens in. PDM is responsible for managing the actual digital product files that move through that PLM process.

Data management system software is focused on capturing and maintaining information on products and/or services through its development and useful life. Typical information managed in the PDM module include:

  • Brand name;
  • Part number;
  • Part description;
  • Supplier/vendor;
  • Vendor part number and description;
  • Unit of measure;
  • Cost/price;
  • Schematic or CAD drawing;
  • Material data-sheets.

Why you need a PDM

The problem is that engineering data is clunky and complex. Engineering teams manage enormous assemblies that can only be manipulated by specific programs. Maintaining consistency across versions, especially for companies with global design offices, is difficult. PDM data management software makes this easier by:

  • Ensuring there’s a single version of every file
  • Tracking each change as new versions come in
  • Creating unique part numbers for every individual part/file that make up the overall assembly
  • Check-in/check-out file formats.