Glossary of PLM-related terms

A - F    G - M    N - S    T - Z

We encourage readers to offer additional PLM-related words, technical terms and phrases. Please direct your glossary submission, preferably with a suggested definition and reference, via the Contact us page.

non-implementing change (see also implementing change)
A non-implementing change form does not release or cancel anything, but simply announces a particular fact about the affected items listed on it. 
A "fact" may be, for instance, that a document needs revision ("change request"), or product shipments must be stopped until a defect is corrected ("stop ship"), or an unapproved component can be used as a temporary substitution ("waiver"). Even when approved, none of these change forms will release or cancel an item.
package, export (or data or PDX)
The metadata of one or more items (documents, parts, change forms), and may include the electronic files attached to these items. A "PDX package" is an industry standard XML-based format, defined by the IPC & NEMI, for exporting data from PLM to ERP systems.
parent item (see also child item)
The assembly or package to which all subsidiary items (components, documents) belong.
A physical item produced or purchased for use in, or consumed during, a product's manufacture. A part typically cannot be disassembled without its destruction or impairment.
A PLM system manages data about the part (that is, part metadata), not the actual physical part itself. This PLM management process may require metadata beyond what the physical part requires. For instance, the PLM system may display a part revision field to distinguish between identically-identified and functionally interchangeable parts that have different constituent materials, construction processes or other attributes.
pending (or unreleased) item
An item that has not yet been formally approved for its intended purpose.
phantom (or transient) assembly (or bill of material or structure)
A bill of materials that represents a non-stocked assembly. It may be useful to identify a partial assembly prior to its completion, such as when moving it from one work cell (e.g., assembly) to another (paint); or, where an engineering BOM identifies a logical subassembly that does not exist as a separate entity during the manufacturing process.
prefix, identifier
A distinct segment of a document or part identifier that is typically used to broadly categorize items. Although a practical mnemonic in manual processes (and most PLM systems can easily assign a prefix), its usefulness has diminished -- and management costs increased -- as PLM's more powerful and flexible categorization and searching capability is used.
product family
All products with similar attributes (e.g., requirements, design, materials, construction, service, usage), but having intended and useful variation in physical and/or functional characteristics.
product baseline (PBL)
The documentation describing all functional, physical and interface characteristics necessary for production acceptance and product support. 
product data management (PDM)
The predecessor to PLM, PDM systems typically include capabilities such as document and part metadata management, electronic file repository, and workflow. PDM systems typically do not include materials declaration support; product recovery and disposal information
product lifecycle (or life cycle) management (PLM)
Both an umbrella concept and a software solution. As a concept, PLM encompasses all aspects of a product from early requirements, through design, into production and service, and finally recovery and disposal. Practically speaking, the software serves as a central hub for product data, with associated software systems (CAD, ERP, CRM, SCM) obtaining their product-related information from the PLM system and, in some cases such as CAD, creating information for management within the PLM file repository.
pseudo assembly
See phantom. (In some systems, a pseudo assembly is a group of parts that are ordered as a set but cannot actually be built, though the distinction often isn't sufficiently useful to maintain two separate terms.)
reference designator
A reference designator is associated with a specific find-item on a structure, and is used to identify that item's physical location in an assembly, or its logical location on a schematic. Each instance of the item has its own reference designator; there is usually a one-to-one relationship between a find-item's quantity and the number of reference designators.
regulatory agency
A governmental (e.g., FDA) or independent (e.g., ISO) organization that creates regulations, standards and/or procedures which impact manufactured products or their documentation. Government regulatory agencies have the legal power to require observance, while independent agencies' standards are voluntarily adopted to achieve some market advantage. A customer may assert a "regulatory influence" on your process if their contract provides for process audit and approval.
The refusal of a buyer to receive an item from a supplier, usually due to the item's failure to meet the buyer's requirements. 
The disapproval of a change form by its reviewer(s) which, if not otherwise rectified, thereby prevents the completion of the change form and results in no change to any of its associated items.
released (or issued) item
An item that is currently approved for use by its intended audience, for its intended purpose.
repository, file
A dedicated storage area on a computer server that is managed by the PLM system for the purpose of storing electronic files related to objects in the PLM database.
A formally-recorded item iteration that (a) represents a change to a document's contents, or a modification to a part such that the part remains interchangeable with its previous iteration, and/or (b) modifies an item's metadata.
A document that describes (1) the essential technical requirements for an item and (2) the criteria for determining whether those requirements have been met.
The complete list of all documentation (including software) and physical materials necessary to produce and maintain a parent item. 
Typically, a parent document will not have physical (child) items on its structure unless that document is a bill of materials that is managed separately from the assembly that it describes.
suffix, identifier
A distinct segment of a document or part identifier, principally used to collect groups of related parts or identify non-interchangeable iterations of a single part. Although most PLM systems can work with suffixes, these suffix-driven relationships are reflected within the PLM database; as such, numbering schemes which rely on suffixes are redundant and subject to errors, and are gradually disappearing.