Impact of Industry 4.0 on Product Lifecycle Management

The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), additive manufacturing and other innovative technologies add more dimension and depth to the never-ending amounts of data produced by the industry.

How will you effectively manage and use this data to enhance your product development processes? 

Because Industry 4.0 shows no signs of slowing down, It’s important to know the answer to this question and more:

  • What challenges will you face with Industry 4.0’s integration, implementation and education in your company?
  • How will it affect your PLM infrastructure and product development processes?
  • How will you adopt new business models by intelligently linking your products?
  • Are you ultimately prepared for digital transformation?

Adequate PLM Infrastructures

For any company, in any industry, adopting modern technologies can be a challenge. Executing digital thread or digital twin initiatives to monitor products while they’re being used will affect your current PLM architecture and processes. Are your existing PLM infrastructures adequate for meeting these new challenges?

If you look at today’s development processes, PLM must have a strategic approach towards answering Industry 4.0’s challenges. These approaches include:

  • Modular PLM architectures and agile processes
  • ALM integration, PLM integration and ERP integration
  • Systems engineering and model-based systems engineering
  • Interdisciplinary variant, configuration and change management
  • Collaborative PLM processes
  • Implementation of the digital thread and digital master

Your existing PLM solutions most likely aren’t enough to incorporate the full gamut of Industry 4.0 data. Experts suggest that federated systems with open architectures will help accommodate Industry 4.0. This setup enables a modular, multilayered architecture that allows data to be linked across different systems. A network of ALM, PDM and ERP systems allows the entire lifecycle of a product to be mapped.

More Intuitive Product Development

Enabling linked data between systems will allow for better, faster and more intuitive product development. The ability to access, at any time, up-to-date information about a product is your basis for making sound business and technical decisions. Integrating Industry 4.0 technologies into your processes gives you more information about your products across the entire product lifecycle.

One specific use case example is remote assistance.  When an on-site user encounters an issue or situation with documentation that is incomplete or poor quality, an expert who is not local to the work site may be needed. With remote assistance, the on-site user can establish a communication session during which all the local conditions can be sent from the AR device in the field to an expert in another location.  According to our friends at the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA), “An expert can use an AR-enabled system to annotate/enhance the on-site user’s experience with text, graphics, animations and/or videos. In some scenarios the instructions and annotations appear independent of the on-site user’s context; in others, the expert’s annotations may be registered to the objects in the user’s field of view.”

There's not a one-formula-fits-all solution for digital transformation. As every company has different and diverse needs, a digital transformation strategy that makes business sense, inclusive of but not limited to AR, digital health/telemedicine, and digital supply chain - is critical. Industry 4.0 is driving digital transformation through its technological impact on companies and customers. Systems integration will not only help product development by being better and more efficient, but also help the end consumer with a top-quality product.

So, where should you start with systems integration? Visit We take a highly personalized approach - listening and learning about the customer's needs and requirements, while simultaneously creating a balance between experience, user-friendly digital products, data-centric architecture, and design at a high-security level. Let’s talk, today!

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