Hooi Leng, Lee (2002) Application of product data management within the product development process. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Manufacturing companies need to be able to respond to customer demand quickly
and accurately. This requires the capability to manage product data effectively.
Product Data Management (PDM) systems have been identified as a solution to
deliver this capability by providing the right information to the right people at the
right time and in the right format.
The foundation of this research is that the concept of PDM is relevant and important
within the product development process. This research focuses upon how the PDM
concept is applied in practice to define and configure products and how it can be
integrated with other major information systems to enable an enterprise wide
information system. To enable the research aim, an extensive review of literature
was undertaken to investigate the effectiveness of PDM in enhancing the product
definition process and in creating an interface between different business functional
A survey ofPDM system usage was undertaken aimed at identifying the current level
of PDM usage within manufacturing enterprises in the UK. This was followed up by
three industrial case studies to provide some degrees of validation of the results
obtained. A need for effective one time order capture was identified from the three
case studies which led to the development of a model specification for a late product
configuration tool. A prototype system was produced to validate the design
specification and was successfully demonstrated to a collaborating company. During
the submission of this thesis, the collaborating company and the university are
working on funding a project to pursue with its implementation.
The work undertaken has firmly established the relevance ofPDM within the product
development process and the importance of effective interfaces between PDM and
other manufacturing information systems. The research will be of interest to small
and medium sized manufacturing companies searching solutions for improving the
management of their product data to enhance product definition and configuration.

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