Let’s say your engineering team designed a product set for production in a month and decided to make last-minute changes to some product elements. Unaware of these new changes, your manufacturing team began manufacturing with the older product version, which led to massive losses in cost, time, and effort — a true nightmare for any manufacturing company.
Wouldn’t it be smooth and efficient if you could track any changes made to products and communicate them timely? That is where the concept of product versioning and PLM-ERP integration comes into play.
Having enabled global manufacturing companies to connect their engineering and manufacturing worlds with a PLM-ERP integration embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management for over 18 years, we have seen the positive impact that product version management has had on manufacturers.
This article will offer insights into the concept of product versioning, its benefits to your business, and how we can help you achieve accurate product version management with our PLM-ERP integration solution.
What is product versioning?
Product versioning is a technique to track and manage the changes that occur while managing product lifecycles. It is the creation and management of multiple product sets, all of which have the same general function but are modified, improved, upgraded, or customized.
Typically, product versions are minor updates made to an existing or released product without changing the key components of a product. Making minor design changes, such as changing a product's color, would result in creating a new version of the same product.
Why is product versioning important?
For any manufacturing business, products are continuously updated and undergo several iterations or changes before reaching the finalized version. All production, enhancements, or marketing processes will be based on the 'version of the product' and not just the 'product.'
Every new product version impacts all the associated components of the product, such as the bill of materials (BOM), routing, documents, etc.
What are the benefits of product versioning?
Enhance product traceability
By tracking each change made in the product with newly created versions, the engineering and manufacturing teams know the changes made to the product.
Identify the impact on processes
Product version management helps you identify whether and how the changes will impact different product lifecycle processes.
Add improvements easily
In case of any damaged or faulty product release, instead of recalling the product and releasing a new one altogether, manufacturers can easily update the product by creating a ‘new and improved version.’
Minimize manual effort
It enhances your ability to manage the development of product releases by providing a consolidated history of product release changes, reducing the manual effort of product releases.
What is the role of product versioning during PLM-ERP integration?
Integrating your PLM and ERP systems is about streamlining the communication between the engineering and manufacturing teams with a seamless and quick connection. While product version control and management are responsible for tracking and managing changes made to products, a PLM-ERP integration enables you to relay these product changes and versions quickly.
The current or active version of the product is essential information for the production team, so they know which product version must be manufactured. Similarly, the procurement team must know the active product version and use the associated BOM version to buy the materials.
This easy knowledge-sharing process among different teams operating in the PLM and ERP system can be easily achieved through an integration solution.
How can we help you manage product versions with PLM-ERP integration?
Our PLM integration framework recognizes changes within the PLM system's product versions or BOM lines. These changes are automatically updated in the ERP system without altering any other product fields through the concept of 'data ownership.'
For instance, different BOM lines of a product will be transferred 'as is' from PLM to ERP, as the PLM system owns the BOM line of products. You can add 'local information' in the ERP environment, which will be available locally and not globally.
All product combinations with their versions are essential data for the PLM and ERP teams. And our PLM-ERP integration solution handles each product version in line with the associated information and attributes.
How does our PLM-ERP integration solution ensure product version management?
As mentioned earlier, we offer PLM-ERP integration solutions for Dynamics 365 ERP. Our integration solution works with Engineering Change Management (ECM) – a module within Dynamics 365.
Any change in the PLM, resulting in a second version of the product based on the change order, will be updated in Dynamics 365. In combination with ECM, you can manage complete product versioning, including the option of version control in the supply chain. It allows you to track the different versions of each product and its sub-parts.
Here is a representation of product version management in our PLM integration solution
In the image above, the product version has changed in the PLM/CAD system. The BOM - C V 2.0 in Product A V 2.0 has changed. The PLM integration precisely reflects the changes in the Dynamics 365 ERP without changing any other product data elements. You can see a difference only in Product A V 2.0 and BOM C V 2.0, whereas BOM B V 1.0 remains unchanged, ensuring accurate product versioning.
You can carry out local change orders in Dynamics 365, such as adding packaging materials to the existing BOMs. The local changes will also be transferred to the new version when new releases occur. This ensures the product data always stays up to date, based on the current version of the product.
Our PLM integration solution provides increased insight into version updates during the numerous lifecycle stages of the product and offers better control of costs and schedules.
Ready to integrate your PLM and ERP to manage product versions and more?
Apart from efficiently tracking and managing product versions and releases, our PLM-ERP integration solution has many more features. As an intuitive solution, it offers a unified data view across the product lifecycle while ensuring data quality. The solution can support integrations for all PLM systems with the ERP Dynamics 365 F&SCM (and Dynamics AX).
We offer out-of-the-box PLM integrations for Siemens Teamcenter and PTC Windchill and a configurable PLM integration framework for other PLM, PDM, and CAD systems.
If an integration solution with a quick implementation piques your interest, you can explore more about our PLM-ERP integration for Dynamics 365 in this factsheet.
The solution factsheet covers information on the following: