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How to Use PDM Tools for Project Management

Key Takeaways

  • PDM software is a tool used for tracking product data.

  • PDM tools can help organize projects through cataloging, revision, sharing, and security features. 

Engineers project managing through PDM system

PDM software is a valuable tool for project management

As electronic devices become more advanced and complex, the project management required to develop them has also become more demanding and increased in scale and scope. Multiple teams, vendors, partners, and stakeholders may contribute to the success of a final project. For this reason, using proper project management tools is worthwhile to ensure the project progresses and is properly managed. Utilizing project data management (PDM) software can help a project’s workflow. We’ll be discussing how PDM software can support project management and push engineering projects to completion. 

PDM Software Makes Project Management a Breeze

Product data management software can be accessed from product lifecycle management (PLM) software platforms. PDM is a tool used for tracking product data. Usually, PDM software contains version control systems and history features in addition to search abilities used for locating components in a centralized database. Typically, CAD software has basic project management features such as libraries to catalog electronic components for PCB design projects.

PDM systems generally focus on product design data. In the design phase, the PDM stores only design data, while for volume production, manufacturing files may be stored in the PDM. PDM systems may also be used to track revisions to design data.

In the engineering design process, there are a variety of tasks used to ensure the integrity and accessibility of product data. Various industries have their own requirements, but some of the major tasks involved in PDM for the electronics industry include:

  • Storing and cataloging project files in a template.
  • Naming conventions, ensuring a part, assembly, and revision system.
  • Revisioning through a version control system. 
  • Sharing required data with stakeholders and individuals.
  • Ensuring security and that data remains protected against unauthorized access.

PDM Tools Keep the Team on Track

PDM systems attempt to tackle the challenge of data management by creating a method for file storage and lookup. It provides a secure system for utilizing computational resources, allowing for more power during intensive design processes.

PDM systems are simple to install and use, and they are able to help engineering teams remain organized during complex projects. PDM systems offer an alternative to using separate systems for storing, tracking, and preserving product data.

As more complex products generally necessitate more complex PDM processes, a single PDM system capable of managing all product data can be especially useful for tracking data through numerous teams, designs, and more. 

What Can You Do With PDM Software for Project Management?

With PDM tools, engineers can track design data associated with their projects. Developing electronics can be a multi-disciplinary task, so having data organization capabilities spanning multiple disciplines is essential. PDMs are capable of tracking the following data types:

  • Electrically
  • Block diagrams, flowcharts, schematic
  • Physical PCB layouts
  • Simulation models 
  • Component models
  • Mechanically 
  • STEP and STL files 
  • Application-wise
  • Functional requirements required for debugging applications
  • Raw code for building applications
  • Compiled HEX/BIN files for flashing to devices
  • Documentation
  • All required documentation for products
  • All required documentation for understanding the internal functions of products
  • Manufacturing 
  • Pick-and-place files, drill files, and Gerber files 
  • Fabrication and assembly drawings
  • Testing requirements 

Once you’ve determined that PDM software is right for your project management requirements, you can use the set of PDM features available with Allegro Pulse. These features help teams advance through the development process, push products to production, and access the necessary data for distribution while monitoring obsolescence and the supply chain.

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