Skip to main content

Effective Lifecycle Product Data Information Management

Key Takeaways

  • The stages of a product’s lifecycle.

  • Why is product lifecycle data management important?

  • Optimizing your product data information management.

Product data information management

PLM requires effective product data information management

e a designer, you may receive a request to describe or rate your product. Many people disregard these as wasteful and unimportant exercises. This could not be more inaccurate. True, some of the data acquired is used for marketing purposes; however, much of it is also used by ODMs and OEMs to evaluate performance and make tangible improvements throughout the product’s lifecycle.

The information gathered once an electronic product has been put on the market is important. It may result in modified designs, enhancements in operation and functionality, packaging upgrades, and even extend the time a product is available. Therefore, product data information plays a significant role in lifecycle management. 

The Stages of a Product’s Lifecycle

The introduction of a new circuit board or electronic product is a complex process, and success depends on the execution of the two product lifecycle stages:  

  1. Development

The first and arguably most important stage of new product development and introduction is development. During this stage, which is often referred to as prototyping, the board proceeds through a cyclic process of design, build, and testing (DBT). The objective is a production-ready design that can be distributed for installation and operation.

  1. Operation

Once a design is validated as ready for distribution, its production is scaled to an introductory volume level and introduced to the market. This may be as a standalone board or as an integral subsystem for a particular OEM’s application.

Effective design data management is critical for the development stage. Similarly, data acquisition, storage, and management are essential once the PCBA is deployed and implemented. Collectively, these comprise product lifecycle data management. 

Why Is Product Lifecycle Data Management Important?

Development is defined by the iterative DBT processes, and accurately collecting data about design, redesign, components, materials, equipment, ECOs, tests, and results is essential for optimizing this stage. The operational lifecycle, on the other hand, is typically described by unique time intervals based on the level of production. The basic four intervals are shown in the figure below.  

Lifecycle of electronic products

Electronic product operational lifecycle intervals

As shown above, the operational lifecycle follows a normal or Gaussian curve distribution. The ordinate axis variable (not labeled) is usually board volume or sales, while the abscissa (also not labeled) is time. This stage is also a source for invaluable product data information, as listed below. 

Important Operational Product Data Information 

  • Production volume

  • Production yield rate

  • Number of product failures

    • Repairs

    • Returns

  • Suggestions for product improvement

    • Functionality

    • Operation

    • Performance

As the list above illustrates, important product data and information is obtained during the operational lifecycle, typically from OEMs and ODMs. This data can be used to monitor and improve design manufacturability and reliability, production efficiency, and analyze risk management. Also, important user feedback can be leveraged on revisions to maximize the product lifecycle extent or be used to introduce alternatives. 

Optimizing Your Product Data Information Management

As discussed above, product data information management is not only important to support design intelligence and team design workflows during development, but throughout your PCBA or electronic product’s lifecycle. In fact, the success of your product is significantly influenced by the collection, aggregation, analysis, and utilization of pertinent product data and information throughout both stages of the product lifecycle. In order to maximally leverage this data and information, you need an advanced PLM software tool that can be integrated during design and/or redesign. 

Cadence is the industry’s leader in comprehensive and integrated PCB Design and Analysis Software. Cadence delivers this capability with Allegro PCB Editor integrated with Pulse PLM functionalities. Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. If you’re looking to learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.