PLM as engineering discipline

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The purpose of engineering design activity is to create complete documentation for the manufacture and support of a product throughout its lifecycle.¹

PLM, building on the earlier discipline of configuration management ("CM"), is a process for ensuring that a product consistently meets the agreed-upon specifications throughout its life.²

The PLM effort includes identifying, documenting and verifying the functional and physical characteristics of an item; recording how an item is produced; and controlling changes to a product and its documentation. The PLM process should also provide an audit trail of the decisions that affected the product design.

The PLM process is embodied in rules, procedures, techniques, methodology and resources to ensure that:

  • The configuration of a product is documented

  • Changes that are made to a product's configuration in the course of development, production and operation are beneficial and can be implemented without adverse consequences.

  • Modifications are managed until fully incorporated into production and, if necessary, field items.

1. Engineering design without complete documentation is often called a "hobby".

2. This paragraph, and those following, are derived from MIL-HDBK-61A