Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) streamlines the product development process, allowing engineers to focus on designs that will differentiate your products from others on the market. When implemented correctly, PMI saves time and money, and even makes your engineers happier—and thus, more productive.
What is Product Manufacturing Information?
Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) embeds information about how to manufacture, run analysis on, or inspect a product directly into the 3D CAD model, so design engineers can communicate this information to other departments without having to create a 2D drawing.
PMI includes geometric dimensions and tolerances (GD&T), surface finish, material specs, 3D annotations, and more.
Two words you might hear associated with PMI are drawingless and paperless. It’s easy to get them confused, but they are two different things:
Drawingless – No 2D drawings. Your company uses only 3D annotated models. Paperless – No paper. Your company uses only electronic formats.
It’s also important to note that just because your company uses PMI does not mean you have to eliminate 2D drawings all together, nor do you have to go paperless.
Why use Product Manufacturing Information?
At a time when engineers are overworked, PMI reduces the workload to make the most of a shrinking workforce. Less 2D drawings are needed, so your engineers aren’t tasked with the tedious process of creating them. Instead, they simply embed the Product Manufacturing Information directly in the 3D model. It’s easier, so it saves time and makes the engineers happy. Studies show happiness correlates with productivity, so expect to see a boost there as well.
PMI also reduces mistakes due to communication errors, because the same information the engineers embed gets used downstream by manufacturing and other departments. Fewer mistakes mean savings in cost and time because your company won’t have to redo anything, and you’ll also see improvements in product quality.
How do you get started with Product Manufacturing Information?
Change is hard for people, even when the benefits are obvious. This can make implementing PMI in your business a challenge. Tech-Clarity has a great guide to help you get started. You’ll have to help your team understand the value PMI adds not just to your business but to their individual workflow and processes.