Modern PLM solutions are complex multicomponent software packages. Wikipedia defines PLM as “product lifecycle management technology. Organizational and technical system that provides management of all information about the product and related processes throughout its life cycle, from design and production to decommissioning. At the same time, various complex technical objects (ships and cars, airplanes and rockets, computer networks, etc.) can be considered as products. The object information contained in the PLM system is a digital layout of this object. ”
Since aviation the technique is very complex, the process of its design consists of a very large number of successive approximations to the goal. Computer-aided design systems can significantly reduce the time from the project to the finished product. The design documentation becomes the original not a drawing, but an electronic layout that allows you to make the necessary calculations and create a program for numerically controlled machines, as well as generate drawings if necessary.
The life cycle of aircraft, especially civilian, is very long, with almost every instance - is unique. Therefore, maintenance, logistics and maintenance of aircraft are tasks that are significantly more complex and complex than, for example, in the automotive industry. For decades, it is necessary to track in detail the actual composition of each product, taking into account the repairs carried out, replacements, and the used life of the units. It is very difficult, and to cope with such tasks is possible only with the availability of advanced technology and advanced PLM-tools.
The whole world is actively using these technologies. In recent years, they have been actively introduced in Russia. The high efficiency of the electronic layout technology is noted not only by the developers of the aviation, helicopter technology, but also by its customers, military representatives and serial manufacturers. The organization of a widespread use of electronic layout technology, the acceptance and use of electronic documentation has become a priority for leading Russian enterprises.
However, domestic engineering companies that decide to acquire a product lifecycle management system often make a series of mistakes that can lead to a failure of a PLM implementation project. For example, customers, before making a decision, often do not define the purpose of introducing digital technologies. Wanting to save on implementation, optimize the individual links of the production chain, and not the whole process. Does not take into account the fact that during the implementation of the system there is a significant redistribution of labor between the various stages of product creation. The redistribution of the load naturally meets with the resistance of employees who do not want to change their usual, but not effective, methods of work. The absence of a manager in the top management responsible for PLM implementation makes it difficult or even impossible to stop the implementation of the system. Negative impact on the project and the desire instead of an electronic layout to leave the original design documentation of its paper version.
Let us consider in more detail the errors that cause the greatest difficulties.
For successful implementation of PLM, the management of the customer company needs to clearly understand what business objectives it is intended to achieve and how these goals relate to the company's development strategy. It is the strategy that determines the priority of the implementation areas and the necessary means for this. When goals are defined, you can form an implementation concept and determine the level of the PLM solution. It is important to understand that if financial opportunities do not allow PLM to be implemented at the required level, then it is better to postpone the project in order to avoid inefficient investments.
It is obvious that the functionality of the software must correspond to the complexity of the products created by the enterprise, as well as to ensure the implementation of the tasks set: for example, to ensure the entire cycle of product creation in a single space.
In addition, if an enterprise invests in a fully functional PLM system, then management should invest in special employee training, because limited use of a highly functional system is not economically justified.
Proper goal setting allows management to make a clear plan for the implementation of the PLM system. After all, quite often companies in the later stages of PLM implementation expect that the system will have a certain set of capabilities, and in order to receive them, it is necessary to build up the potential at the initial stages.
It is better for management to plan in advance the load of designers, technologists and other services taking into account the forthcoming redistribution of specific labor input during the whole cycle of product creation.
This, among other things, determines the requirement for participation in the project management of PLM implementation of a person with sufficient authority, administrative resources, objectively interested in the successful completion of the process and responsible for the result. This manager should know the production well in order to optimize the whole process, and not its individual links. Ideally, this is the first face of the company, since the range of issues that require an operational solution in the implementation of PLM is extremely wide. These are optimization of the organizational structure at the enterprise, rethinking and restructuring of the entire chain of development, technological preparation and production of the product, ensuring the introduction and implementation of new regulations and principles of work, solving personnel issues, forming an ideology for developing PLM at the enterprise, financing projects, etc.
Another mistake in the implementation of PLM is to entrust the formation of ideology and project management to the head of IT services. It is important to understand that a PLM project is not an IT project. This is a project related to the main activity of the enterprise, and IT specialists in most cases cannot correctly highlight the emphasis and give priority to ensuring the exchange of information to the detriment of the organization of the production process.
And finally, that fundamentally changes the approach to work when introducing digital technologies in complex engineering - the form of the original design documentation is changing. A common case: product development is carried out using digital technology in 3D, and then a drawing is produced on the 3D model, which becomes the original of the design documentation. As a result, some time after the release of the drawing, the electronic model loses its relevance, since all subsequent changes are recorded only on paper, and the 3D model becomes an auxiliary tool for private tasks. As a result, the same part is modeled on the plant two or three times. There is a gap in the chain of the life cycle, the efficiency is sharply reduced.
A rigorous approach to determining the goals and objectives of the PLM-system implementation will help to avoid mistakes. Successful examples of implementations are the Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant named after ML Mil, the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, the Kazan Helicopter Plant and the Rostvertol Company.