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The Utilization Of A Product Lifecycle Management System Within A Team Design Project

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Shifting Trends of Course and Curricula in IET and IT

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1279.1 - 13.1279.6



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Paper Authors

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David Kelley Central Michigan University

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Adam Schmidke Central Michigan University

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Lauren Griffin Central Michigan University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Utilization of a Product Lifecycle Management System within a Team Design Project


This paper describes the utilization of a product Lifecycle management system within an engineering design course. This course is required for engineering, engineering technology and industrial technology management students at Central Michigan University. This course teaches the fundamentals of engineering design, design sketching, computer-aided design, and engineering graphics. A major component of the course is a team design project. This paper describes the course in general and the design project in detail. Emphasized within the description of the team project is the utilization of a collaborative product data management application to improve data sharing efforts between team members.


The management of design data is critical for manufacturing enterprises. The wealth of knowledge that goes into the design of a product can be overwhelming and difficult to manage, especially when attempting to leverage geographically dispersed resources. But competition in a global economy demands that a product is designed efficiently, effectively, and quickly. Due to this, design data needs to be current, rapidly available, flexible, and complete. Design information also needs to be of high quality while at the same time cost effective.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an approach to managing design data that is currently being utilized by most high profile original equipment manufacturers. The Boeings, Fords, GMs, and Toyotas of the world are fine tuning their approaches to product design with a particular emphasis on the utilization of PLM strategies. But what is PLM? According to CIMdata, a leading consulting firm, PLM is “a strategic business approach that applies a consistent set of business solutions that support the collaborative creation, management, dissemination, and use of product definition information.”[1] While often looked at as software technologies, PLM is intended to be a philosophical or strategic approach to design.

Within CIMdata’s definition the “collaborative creation” phrase is critical to the success of PLM implementations. Collaborative product development is an important design enabler for companies dealing with increased competition, globalization of commerce, outsourcing, and roles of first tier suppliers. It involves the seamless integration of tier suppliers into the design lifecycle of a product. This component of PLM will continue to grow in popularity as enterprises “recognize the need to improve their management of intellectual assets and more clearly recognize their need to become better integrated with customers and suppliers to address cost, quality, and delivery.”[2]

Due to the growing importance of collaborative design strategies, the author of this paper developed an engineering design course with a PLM system as an important product information backbone. This course, Engineering Design Graphics” (IET 154), is required for engineering, engineering technology and industrial technology management students. This course teaches the

Kelley, D., & Schmidke, A., & Griffin, L. (2008, June), The Utilization Of A Product Lifecycle Management System Within A Team Design Project Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3387

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