Most automakers and suppliers use PLM as an innovation tool to design better products and gain a competitive edge. However, a successful PLM implementation requires sound planning, vision and leadership considering the inherent complexities of such an enterprise level system.
Recently, Tech-Clarity performed extensive research on how top auto companies realize innovation and manage complexity. They found top performing automotive companies transform their vehicle development processes by taking greater advantage of digital product models and simulation. Top performers leverage digitalization for early, model-driven systems optimization, which helps in integrating processes across the lifecycle to align and share design data from concept through production.
Throughout the paper, Tech-Clarity uses data and charts extensively to support the points. After identifying the key strategic plans of automakers and suppliers (Figure 1), the paper then illustrates how top performers in the industry approach their PLM strategy.
Tech-Clarity highlights (Figure 8) that top performers clearly leads in performing simulations at the systems level. In addition, they are two times more likely to use the manufacturing process management (MPM) solution compared to the lesser performing companies. This allows top performers eliminate errors before production and ramp-up volume very rapidly.
The paper concludes with a set of recommendations on how the automotive companies can take their PLM implementation to the next level. Today, successful digitalization of the innovation process is crucial when the complexity in the automotive industry is more than ever before.