PLM vs PDM : What’s the difference? | CMS, Authorised PLM Training Institute

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Product Data Management (PDM) are two terms that are frequently used interchangeably in the manufacturing sector. These two systems, though, are separate and have different functions. We shall examine how PLM and PDM differ in this post.

PDM is a software program that assists in managing data for product development. It organizes and tracks engineering data, including 3D models, drawings, specs, and bill of materials (BOM). PDM offers version control and revision history for various data sets, guaranteeing that only the most recent and correct information is utilized for design and manufacturing. PDM is frequently used by engineering teams to enhance communication and control data access, ensuring that everyone has access to the appropriate data at the appropriate time.

On the other hand, PLM is a more thorough system that addresses every stage of the product development process, from idea to end-of-life. It is a cross-functional tool that makes it easier for workers from different departments, including engineering, production, marketing, and sales, to collaborate and communicate. Design, development, testing, manufacturing, and service information are all provided by PLM as a single source of truth for all product-related information.

PLM vs. PDM – Key Differences

The scope of each is the main difference between PLM and PDM. PLM includes the entire product development process, whereas PDM focuses on handling data connected to products. PLM incorporates features including project management, workflow management, change management, quality management, and compliance management in addition to PDM.

PLM encourages departmental cooperation and is built to accommodate cross-functional teams. The main purpose of PDM, on the other hand, is to manage engineering data for engineering teams. PDM focuses on maintaining the data needed during product development, whereas PLM offers a more comprehensive picture of product development, from conception through retirement.

PLM may assist businesses in reducing the time it takes to bring new goods to market and streamlining the product development process. By detecting and removing inefficiencies in the product development process, PLM may also assist firms in cutting expenses. In contrast, PDM offers a central repository for product data that assists engineering teams in eliminating mistakes and enhancing accuracy.

Now that we have understood the difference between PLM and PDM let us get into the purpose of each of them


  1. Centralizing Product Data
  2. Streamlining the Product Development Process
  3. Enabling collaboration across departments
  4. Improving product quality
  5. Reducing costs


  1. Managing product-related data
  2. Ensuring data accuracy and consistency
  3. Improving collaboration
  4. Managing access to product data
  5. Streamlining engineering processes

The Design Process PLM & PDM


Requirements gathering: Gathering requirements from stakeholders, including engineering teams, product managers, and other people involved in product development, is the first step in the design process. The specifications might include things like the kinds of data that need to be managed, the degree of access control needed, and the workflows needed to handle the data.

System Design:The next step is to design the PDM system architecture after the requirements have been acquired. This requires selecting the necessary software tools, hardware, and infrastructure to support the PDM system. The system procedures, data structures, and access control rules are all defined during the design stage.

Implementation:Setting up the data structures, configuring the PDM software tools and hardware, and integrating the PDM system with other organizational systems like CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) systems are all tasks that are included in the implementation stage.

Testing:Following the PDM system’s implementation, the system must be tested to make sure it complies with the specifications and performs as planned. Functional testing, performance testing, and security testing are all examples of testing.

Deployment: The PDM system can be introduced into production when it has undergone testing and validation. In order to do this, the product-related data must be transferred to the PDM system, access control settings must be made, and staff must be trained on how to utilize the system.

Maintenance:Ongoing upkeep and support of the PDM system constitute the last stage of the PDM design process. This includes keeping an eye out for problems with the system, updating the software, and offering user assistance.


Requirements gathering: The first stage of the design process involves gathering requirements from stakeholders, such as engineering teams, product managers, and other personnel involved in product development. The requirements may include the types of data to be managed, the workflows required to manage the data, and the integrations with other systems used in the organization.

System design: Once the requirements have been gathered, the next stage involves designing the PLM system architecture. This involves selecting the appropriate software tools, hardware, and infrastructure to support the PLM system. The design stage also includes defining the system workflows, data structures, and access control policies.

Implementation: The implementation stage involves configuring the PLM software tools and hardware, setting up the data structures, and integrating the PLM system with other systems used in the organization, such as CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, and PDM (Product Data Management) systems.

Testing: After the PLM system has been implemented, the next stage involves testing the system to ensure that it meets the requirements and functions as expected. Testing may include functional testing, performance testing, and security testing.

Deployment: Once the PLM system has been tested and validated, it can be deployed to production. This involves migrating the product-related data to the PLM system, configuring access control policies, and training personnel on how to use the system.

Maintenance: The final stage of the PLM design process involves ongoing maintenance and support of the PLM system. This includes monitoring the system for issues, applying software patches and upgrades, and providing user support.

Advantages of PLM

  • Improved product quality
  • Faster time-to-market
  • Greater visibility and control
  • Improved collaboration and communication
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Improved customer satisfaction

Advantages of PDM

  • Improved data management
  • Better version control
  • Faster design and manufacturing cycles
  • Improved collaboration
  • Better cost control

How to Choose PDM vs PLM

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