3. Change Management (CM)
This function is concerned with defining and
administering the change process. In essence, it is the automation
of what the manual process should be. It specifies how an
Engineering Change Notice is defined, approved, released, and
Change processes usually involve specific
sequences and approvals by different individuals or departments.
There may be single documents or whole groups of information. The
review procedure may be sequential, parallel, or combinations.
Therefore, Change Management must:
• Provide flexibility in defining the
process for each individual company.
• Make it easy to automate the process.
• Define the change processes based on
global release levels and user lists that are known to the
• Ensure that changes occur according to defined procedures.
• Provide electronic distribution and signoff of change
• Supply audit trails of all changes.
Classification functions are concerned with
similarities between different parts and how they may be
identified. Manufacturing has traditionally used Group Technology
for process planning and cell layout based on function and shape
classification. In a broader context, this function must include
the ability to search the data on user-defined search criteria.
5. Program Management (PM)
Program Management is concerned with the
ability to define project-oriented structures, tasks, and
associated resources such as funding and staffing. Many PM
capabilities are now provided by stand-alone PM packages. However,
a key to this technology is relating it to the product structure
and other managed objects. As a standard function, therefore, PM
must be linked to product definition and be updated automatically
as products are defined, released and changed.
Project managers—the typical users—require
that tasks be related through Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
since they need access to the status for all tasks. One of the
most significant capabilities to be provided by the PM function is
the ability to create and maintain the WBS while associating it to
PDM elementsor bill structures.
PM functions within a PDM system offer
technical advantages unavailable from nonintegrated project
management tools or the application of MRP II scheduling
techniques. PM capabilities are not included in many PDM systems
yet, but several are integrated with third-party PM systems—a
trend that is expected to continue.
The five utility functions are:
6. Communication and Notification
7. Data Transport
8. Data Translation
9. Image Services
10. System Administration
The CIMdata definition of PDM systems is not
hardware-dependent. To offer some perspective, here's what a
typical system might include:
• Engineering workstations for CAD on
platforms such as Sun, HP, DEC and IBM RISC/6000s.
• Central computer hardware, such as DEC
VAX or HP, perhaps linked to an IBM mainframe computer running
MRP II applications.
• PCs in office areas.
• Terminals—any of dozens—on the
manufacturing floor, including those capable of displaying
graphic data, a requirement for paperless systems.
To be Continued
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