At 4D Systems, we’ve delivered and maintained best-in-class product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions for Fortune 500 companies across the world. We partner with Siemens and Dassault to integrate their PLM solutions into our client’s workflows. What are PLM systems in the first place and why do we focus on these two solutions? How do the Siemens and Dassault solutions compare to other PLM suites available on the market. The following conversation will explore all of this data and more.
When it comes to enterprise solutions, PLM is one of those rare instances where the acronym is a good self-descriptor all by itself. PLM solutions help manufacturers manage product flows across the entire lifecycle, from ideation to simulations, production, and beyond.
Discrete product manufacturers tend to be heavily vertically integrated. This has significant potential advantages, in terms of cost, design flexibility, and turnaround time. But it requires that you’re able to manage the product and see it through, every step of the way. PLM solutions, like the Dassault and Siemens solutions 4D Systems implements, can help you do this.
There are a number of PLM solutions currently out on the market. At 4D Systems, we focus on Siemens and Dassault PLM because they offer enterprise clients the best value in terms of feature sets and scalability. Let’s take a look at why this is the case. When you’re making a decision about what PLM solution to leverage, there are three core areas you’ll want to consider:
By definition, PLM solutions are comprehensive in nature. This means that a top-tier PLM solution should be able to guide your manufacturing process end to end. With this in mind, here are a few of the key features you’ll want to look out for:
Discrete products are made out of a number of parts, each with its own price implications. The BOM management module in Siemens Teamcenter and Dassault Enovia help you go beyond order quantities and unit costs, factoring in different sub assemblies and a range of BOM hierarchies. This lets you discover and rationalize cost centers with a high level of granularity.
While Aras Innovator, Arena Solutions, and Oracle PLM do feature built-in, hierarchical BOM management, their capabilities are not as comprehensive. Siemens and Dassault shine through in terms of cross domain BOM management. Both of these solutions let you break down costs in terms of different functional domains. This means you can monitor just engineering costs, or just sub-assembly costs, giving you finer grained control.
Change is a given across the product lifecycle. Products evolve at every stage, and it’s important that key changes are reflected across the board for consistency. Change management software can help you keep track of change at every step of the lifecycle. The Siemens and Dassault PLM suites feature exceptionally complete change management modules.
Siemens Teamcenter, for instance, lets you configure change hierarchies: simple changes can be implemented by the process owner, but the system lets you flag significant changes that then need vetting by decision makers. Teamcenter’s closed-loop change management process gives decision makers feedback about the impact of a given change, helping you to optimize and iterate. For example, if you’re a car manufacturer and you’re tracking the impact of engineering changes to comply with new safety standards, Siemens Teamcenter’s closed-loop system will notify you about updated safety characteristics after the change.
Arena Solutions and Aras also feature change management capabilities. However, Arena’s CM module focuses on Engineering and Aras places greater emphasis on collaborative change, which might not be useful if you have approval processes and channels in place. Relative to Enovia and Teamcenter, change management capabilities are a bit more niche and less feature-complete.
The product life cycle is increasingly data-driven. From multiple CAD models to requirement specifications to manufacture instructions, there’s a large range of data, per product, that needs to be tracked and managed. Both Teamcenter and Enovia feature mature product data management capabilities. Both Enovia Smarteam and Teamcenter PDM prioritize security and process enablement. Administrative functions and version checks ensure that your IP is in the right hands at all times.
By tightly integrating with your process flow, change management, and BOM management capabilities, both these PDM solutions ensure that process owners at every step of the life cycle have access to the right product data and the ability to update the changes they make.
You are likely using a wide range of software solutions at different stages of the product life cycle. This makes integration capabilities a critical factor when deciding on the right PLM solution.
Both Siemens Teamcenter and Dassault Enovia are tightly integrated with a range of tools across the product life cycle, from CAD/CAM at the ideation stage to OLP solutions for manufacturing to your accounting and ERP. As market leaders, Enovia and Teamcenter have broader compatibilities than their competitors and it is why 4D Systems deploys these solutions to their customers. Simply put, Teamcenter and Enovia solutions are more likely to work right out of the box with your existing process flow as compared to other available solutions.
As enterprise solutions, all the PLMs we have discussed require thoughtful consideration from a financial investment standpoint. While setup costs may be slightly more, we’ve found Enovia and Teamcenter to be more cost-effective for businesses of all sizes, relative to Arena and Aras, with enhanced cost scaling at 250-500+ seats. And because 4D Systems handles implementation and support, your TCO comes down further as well. As you scale up, Enovia and Teamcenter can offer a 2-3x cost advantage as you scale up.
At the end of the day, finding the right PLM is about identifying the capabilities, integrations, and pricing that best align with your business needs. 4D Systems has over a decade of experience with enterprise-scale PLM integration. We’ve seen a wide range of use cases, across the globe and across many industries. We offer Teamcenter and Enovia because we’ve found that these two solutions offer consistent, cost-effective results across the widest range of use cases.
If you’re thinking about integrating PLM solutions into your manufacturing workflow, please contact 4D Systems at (800) 380-9165 or email us at [email protected]. Our team would love the opportunity to speak with you about how Siemens Teamcenter and Dassault Enovia can improve accountability, save costs, and reduce your time to market.