Product Data Management Software (PDM) Information

Product data management software (PDM) is used to manage the entire life cycle of a product, or the development, operation and maintenance of a product. Product data management software usually tracks and controls data pertaining to a particular product.


The data tracked by the PDM software generally involves the technical specifications of the product, specifications for manufacture and development, and the types of materials that will be required to produce the goods. PDM software assists businesses with managing the creation, changing, and archiving of all information related to a product, including computer aided design (CAD) models, drawings, specifications and bills of materials (BOM).


Product data management software serves as a central knowledge data storehouse for process and product history. It promotes integration and data exchange among all business users who interact with products including project managers, engineers, sales people, buyers, and quality assurance teams. Information managed by the PDM software includes part numbers, part descriptions, suppliers/vendors, vendor part numbers and descriptions, units of measure, cost/prices, schematics or CAD drawings, and material data sheets. Product data management software improves communication and cooperation among diverse groups, and forms the basis for organizations to revamp their product-development processes and institute initiatives such as concurrent engineering and joint product development.


Some common capabilities of product data management software (PDM) are access control, which assigns each element in the product definition data base to the specific group. For example, read-only access can be given to personnel not directly involved with the design, development, and planning process. Creation and maintenance access can be given to individuals responsible for product and process design. Product data management software can also restrict system access to a specific group.


PDM software is also utilized for component or material classification to allocate components and materials, organize them, and assign features. This supports standardization by identifying similar components or materials, casting out redundancy, and establishing a preferred parts list. Product data management software has the ability to hold not just the physical relationships between parts in an assembly, but also other types of structures. PDM software makes it possible for specialist team members to see the product organized from their point of view.


Product data management software supports process management by defining process steps related to the development, distribution, and use of the product data. Within a project, charges are defined for the process steps of who needs to approve the data or work on the data before it moves to the next release or promotion level. In addition to the above capabilities, product data management software (PDM) also offers a user friendly storage and retrieval of product information, product structure modeling and management, project tracking, and resource planning.

Special Features

Some special features of product data management software (PDM) include tracking and management of all changes to product related data, acceleration of a return on an investment with easy setup, reducing time spent organizing and tracking design data, improving productivity through reuse of product design data, and enhancing collaboration. Product data management software (PDM) can exclusively manage the entire life cycle of a product.


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