The PLM State TBT: Peace - Love - Recycle

Welcome to this week’s PLM TBT blog. I selected this blog since “Spring is in the air” and because it’s a good reminder of why owning a Product Lifecycle Management system is so critical to new product development.

peaceIf you Googled something on Sunday, you might have noticed the tribute to Earth Day. The flower children of the 1970’s were onto something. There is a lot to be said for re-use and recycling. When resources are wasted, Mother Earth is a lesser place. This concept is certainly true for natural resources, and it's true for intellectual capital as well. Re-cycling and re-using the information developed by those that came before us is fundamental to the advancement of civilization. Sure, the wheel and the ability to make fire were important. But, nothing compares to the ability to pass along information, as evidenced by the development of verbal language, writing, printing, and the internet. In new product development processes, the ability to re-use and re-cycle intellectual property gives a special opportunity for organizations to rapidly improve designs. And this is where Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) comes into play.Most new product development activity starts out with existing designs and improves upon them. If it were possible, we could ask the guy that didn't actually invent the light bulb, but rather, improved it and commercialized it – Thomas Edison – the secret to his success. While he’s not around anymore, his company, General Electric, certainly is. GE will tell you that design re-use is the cornerstone of technology commercialization. In today's world, we are enjoying a renaissance of tools to support design leverage, with incredible strides in 3-D modeling, simulation, and finite element analysis. But it would be a shame if all those design building-blocks were locked away in obscure file directories or worse yet, on the C: drive of the developer. It's like the library of Alexandria burning down – - a little bit at a time.

Don't miss the opportunity to make the most of this golden age of design capability. Make sure you have the best Product Lifecycle Management system you can afford, and fully utilize its capabilities to preserve the great work of the design community that comes before us. With a comprehensive PLM system, you avoid that sinking feeling that comes with the realization that the "wheel is being re-invented". Don't be the folks on the "B-Ship" (See "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy”). Be on the A-Ship or the C-Ship, and help guide Mother Earth forward by effective design-re-use, so that your organization can "stand on the shoulders of giants". It really is the "green" thing to do. Don't waste resources – re-use and re-cycle them, every chance you get.

[Edit: re-post from April 2012]

And speaking of re-use and re-cycle, I'm featuring one of our most popular resource libraries, "Engineering Integration/Collaboration Hub". This is where you will find tons of resources specific to the integration of engineering CAD data with the rest of the enterprise - from webinars to eBooks to customer success stories. Please review these invaluable resources and let us know how we can help you build the business case for PLM.

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