Supercharge manufacturing operations

Master modern work for manufacturing with smarter information

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems hold the definitive version of the truth for released product design and development information. Manufacturing operations across high-tech, industrial and automotive sectors use PLM systems to define, create and store product-related information, such as 3D models, drawings, documents and specifications.

However, PLM systems don’t easily integrate with other tools and applications used throughout the value chain, resulting in manufacturers relying on manual processes such as paper, email, or third-party file management systems to share product information. This leads to reduced productivity and uncontrolled, unsecured copies that hinder quality management and put intellectual property at risk.

Modern manufacturing must be digital, agile, frictionless and connected. Integrating PLM systems with enterprise content management (ECM) systems can help manufacturers modernize information management to securely connect data with business processes.

Here are some of the benefits of integrating PLM and ECM systems.

1. Break down PLM silos within manufacturing operations

Manufacturers produce vast amounts of product-related information, which is typically stored in PLM systems that don’t integrate easily with tools such as ERP, MES and maintenance and services applications. PLM systems also don’t scale easily, and scaling can be extremely expensive.

When critical information is trapped in siloed PLM applications or distributed manually, users struggle to find what they need, and productivity slows.

OpenText™ Digital Thread for PLM helps businesses build a digital thread that breaks down silos and speeds the delivery of timely and relevant information across the organization. This ensures users get the right information, when and where they need it, boosts productivity and collaboration, simplifies processes and improves decision making. 

2. Power digital threads to boost productivity

Knowledge-based employees in manufacturing spend up to 25% of their time searching for relevant information and content. Housing information in disparate systems can lead to employees keeping local copies of product information to speed access, which are not automatically updated when changes are made. This means that employees may be using outdated information, which not only results in poor quality management, but can also cause mistakes in manufactured goods, leading to expensive rework.

The use of digital thread technology can close the loop necessary to effectively harness data across the manufacturing value chain. Providing a single source of truth for released product data, available to all downstream employees, means employees don’t have to spend time searching through siloed systems. This allows employees to focus on value-added tasks and improves productivity.

Digital thread technology can also increase productivity and efficiency across the production process. By connecting the various stages of production, manufacturers can quickly identify bottlenecks and take corrective action to improve overall performance. Additionally, the automation capabilities of digital thread technology eliminate manual labor, which further increases efficiency and decreases costs associated with labor.

OpenText solutions provide employees with easy, secure access to the most up-to-date information, whether they’re in the field, in the office or online, allowing them to focus on more value-added tasks.  

3. Secure product information while maintaining ease of access 

As manufacturing organizations leverage solutions that ensure easy access to content, securing that information is more critical than ever.

Sharing information by email, paper or file shares is inherently risky and leaves organizations open to data loss, uncontrolled access and even industrial espionage. Providing a centralized and managed platform for product data enables effective and secure sharing of data inside and outside the host organization, while maintaining ease of access.

OpenText is a trusted ECM partner, delivering solutions that provide easy access to information while automatically securing and governing that information throughout its lifecycle and across multiple repositories, applications and processes. By ensuring the highest level of security, OpenText helps teams master modern work without the worry of information falling into the wrong hands.

OpenText Digital Thread for PLM for manufacturing operations

The OpenText™ Digital Thread for PLM solution helps organizations build a digital thread across the value chain, integrating with primary systems such as SAP, Maximo and Microsoft 365 to make up-to-date product content and data available when and where it’s needed. With this ecosystem of smarter information, manufacturing organizations can maximize quality and operational excellence while building a future-ready information system. 

With Digital Thread for PLM, manufacturers can:

  • Export engineering drawings and related content from PLM systems to a structure that maintains connectivity and intelligence, enabling scalable distribution to service large and geographically dispersed workforces.
  • Overcome version control challenges by allowing change control procedures to be initiated from the field, while ensuring updated product models are relayed to the field in real-time.
  • Easily add data to product definitions that are created or managed outside the PLM for a full, 360-degree view of all data related to a product or Bill of Materials.

Ready to optimize your product information and manufacturing operations?
Get the Top BOM Practices for Building Digital Threads in Discrete Manufacturing Industries report.

Martin Richards

Martin Richards is a Senior Director for Industry Solutions at OpenText. For over twenty years, he has worked with ECM technology, running professional services and driving solutions across multiple industries.

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