Glossary of PLM-related terms

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The willing receipt of items, such as parts from a supplier, indicating that the provider has conformed to the acceptor's requirements; or the completion of all approvals necessary to issue a formal change form.
alphanumeric character
One of the numeric digits (0...9), or any upper- (A...Z) or lower-case (a...z) letter. For use within an item identifier, language-specific diacritical marks (Â,Ö) are avoided.
altered item
A standard item supplied by another organization that is physically modified to meet internal requirements.
allocated baseline (ABL)
The documentation defining a subsystem's functional and interface characteristics in relation to the overall system requirements, including design constraints and verification methods required to demonstrate that requirements have been met.
An authorized reviewer's agreement to an item's change.
Any combination of parts and/or subassemblies joined together to perform a specific function, and subject to disassembly without impairing any of its parts.
attachment, file
An electronic file that has been associated with ("attached to") a specific document, part, change form or other object managed within the PLM database.
base (or root) number
In a segmented item identifier, the portion that excludes the (usually category-related) prefix and the (usually iteration-related) suffix. If the item identifier has any sequentially-assigned segment, the base is that segment.
A set of documents formally established to reflect a particular milestone during a product's life cycle. Baselines, plus approved changes from those baselines, constitute the current approved product configuration. Most processes define three baselines: functional, allocated and product.
bill of material (BOM)
A list of all the components and subassemblies that go into a parent assembly. It is the subset of a structure that includes only the physical items. A BOM includes the child item at a particular find-item location, the child items quantity and unit of measure, and related information such as reference designators.
When ERP systems refer to their BOM, the reference is generally to the currently-loaded list of items, or (at most) the next immediate change at a specified future effectivity date. ERP systems typically do not keep a historical record of a BOM's evolution. PLM, on the other hand, is specifically designed to provide a full audit trail of all changes to the BOM, including when and why it was changed, which change form changed it, who approved the changes, how affected items were dispositioned, and the total recurring and non-recurring cost.
canceled (or obsolete or void) item
An item (or a particular item revision) that was previously released, but has been formally removed from use.
change (or configuration) control board (CCB)
The team of interested parties who together review and approve new releases or changes to product documentation.
change form (or simply change)
The vehicle used to describe proposed or actual modifications to affected items, either temporarily or permanently. At a minimum, change forms list the affected parts and documents, the justification or rationale for the change, the instructions for how to implement the change, and the people who reviewed the change.
change notice (or order)
An implementing change that defines a set of affected parts and/or documents that will be released or canceled upon the change order's acceptance. Change orders may be issued by a specific department, and may affect only certain items; for instance, an engineering change order (ECO) may only affect design documents whereas a manufacturing change order (MCO) may only affect sourced parts.
change request (or proposal)
A non-implementing change that describes proposed changes to a set of affected parts and/or documents. Upon the change request's acceptance, work may begin on a change order that will ultimately release and/or cancel the affected items.
check-in/check-out, file
If a user wants to make changes to a unreleased file in the PLM system's file repository (library), the file is checked out and which prevents other users from also modifying the same file. Checking out the file is actually a two-step process: the system first copies the file to the user's computer, and then locks the file from further checkouts (other users can still copy the file).
When the file is checked back into the library, the updated file is (1) copied from the user's computer back to the library, and (2) unlocked for other users to check out again.
If a user decides not to return a checked-out file, it still must be unlocked. In this case, the PLM system does not copy the file from the user's workspace, but simply unlocks the library file.
Once the item associated with the file has been released, the file is locked from further modifications and cannot be checked out, but only copied for use or as the basis for a new item iteration.
child item (see also parent item)
An item that is required for the proper production of a parent item, and appearing at a specific line (find-item) on the parent structure. Physical parts that are used or consumed during production typically specify (among other things) a quantity and unit of measure, and have a non-zero integer find-item number.
A purchased part manufactured by a partner organization, to that partner's specification, and applied to an assembly without modification or selection.
configuration item (CI)
A hardware or software item that is identified using a configuration identification number and controlled using configuration management and status accounting processes.
configuration management (CM)
The original technical and administrative discipline that grew into PLM. CM formally (a) documents a part's functional requirements and physical characteristics; (b) verifies conformance to specifications through physical inspection; (c) controls changes to parts and their documents; and (d) tracks proposed and approved changes to parts and documents, and monitors implementation to the affected items.
data list
A list of all design, process, inspection and service documentation that is required for a specific item. It is the subset of a structure that refers to the information required for producing and maintaining an item.
deviation (compare to waiver)
A written authorization, issued prior to the manufacture of an item, to depart from an approved specification, drawing or other document, for a specific number of units or a specific period of time. Since a deviation is of limited duration, the applicable specification or drawing is typically not revised. Classified as a type of change form.
device history record (DHR)
A set of records that describe a particular product's complete production history, including serial and lot numbers, raw material traceability records, inspection reports, and shipment data.
device master record (DMR)
A set of records that describe a particular product's complete design history, including product requirements, specifications, design documentation, labeling, process methods, acceptance criteria and inspection procedures, installation and service procedures, and approved changes.
An authorized reviewer's refusal to approve a change form. Typically, a change form that has been disapproved by any of its authorized reviewers will either be reworked to address the deficiency, will be canceled (and possibly be deleted from all records), or will be rejected.
A uniquely-identified block of information in electronic or physical (typically paper) form that is managed within a PLM system. Its purpose is to convey the conceptual and/or physical properties of an item, or information relating to its procurement, manufacture, test, inspection, or maintenance and repair.
effectivity date
The date on which an item is (a) released and available for its intended use, or (b) canceled and no longer permitted for use.
engineering (or electronic) document (or data) management system (EDMS)
An earlier acronym for what is now regarded as PLM, EDMS typically managed fewer attributes regarding downstream production, inspection and disposal.
enterprise resource (or requirements) planning (ERP)
The successor to MRP, these systems focused on the relationships between, and demand for, components necessary to manufacture a product as well as other organizational capabilities such as managing related procurement, accounting and human resources functions.
export, data
The extraction of item metadata from a PLM system for purposes of sending the resulting file to another computer system or organization.
export, file
Copying of a file from the PLM repository to another computer, while leaving the original file intact.
A part manufactured, modified or selected in accordance with the using organization's internal specification.
Electronic data managed and stored as a single object.
find-item (or balloon or bubble or find) number
A reference number that relates an item listed on a structure to its depiction on a related assembly drawing, without explicitly referring to the actual identifier (part number or document number). Find-item numbers for parts are typically integers greater than zero; documents listed on a structure may have find-items of zero, or may be assigned values in the same manner as parts.
The ability of a part to physically mate with, interconnect to, or become integrated with another part.
The unique and relevant physical characteristics (shape, size, mass) that characterize a part for a particular use.
The action that a part is expected to perform in fulfilling its purpose.
functional baseline (FBL)
The documentation describing a product's functional characteristics (that is, the product requirements) and the method used to demonstrate that those requirements have been met.