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Clients First South Central

Bluestar PLM: The “Missing Link” Between Engineering & Operations


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Project management has evolved significantly with higher customer demands, increased technology, and the speed at which consumer goods are expected. Today, ETO and project management demands product lifecycle management (PLM) and ERP, such as Dynamics AX, to help enterprises manage, control, and link engineering activities with operations.  This sort of functionality exists, but finding a bi-directional tool for managing the link between engineering and operations -upstream and downstream- has been hard to come by-until recently.

The Solution

BlueStar PLM is an intelligent integrated solution developed to assist manufacturers using Dynamics AX in delivering products not only on time and on budget, but also in strict accordance with required specifications. BlueStar PLM facilitates a series of operations, including documentation exchange among different users, product lifecycle management and control across various departments and subsidiaries around the globe, and engineering change management along with relevant impact analysis in terms of costs and feasibility. Below, you can find out how BlueStar PLM helps you connect engineering with manufacturing to achieve the best results.

 

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  • Managing large amounts of product data is very difficult especially if you run a large organization. Although Dynamics AX delivers a comprehensive, fully integrated project management software solution that enables you to track all facets of a project, it comes short of offering the link back to engineering to modify and store different product revisions. If these revisions aren’t interconnected with existing data, your overall operation may be negatively and irreversibly influenced by redundant data entries, inefficient engineering/manufacturing processes, and costly disruptions.Focusing on consolidating all the documentation across your organization, including the data kept in separate systems like Microsoft Office, BlueStar PLM creates a centralized database that anyone who must interact with product data, such as engineers, project managers, production planners, shop floor workers, warehouse employees, and even sales personnel can access at any time. This enhances collaboration not only between your engineering and manufacturing teams, but also between your organization, suppliers, and customers.
  • BlueStar PLM leverages the project management features included in Dynamics AX to deliver a superior engineer to order manufacturing software solution appropriate for designing, planning, developing, deploying, and implementing product changes, while considering the individuality of each product and how changes will impact manufacturing processes. Since engineering and manufacturing are closely related to each other, any engineering change, regardless of how big or small it is, will influence productivity and costs, which in turn will affect the bottom line.
  • BlueStar PLM also allows engineering teams to create separate lists of items that will be changed or affected by certain changes. Once such lists are developed, manufacturing teams can review them and use this product life cycle management add-on to analyze the downstream impact each change will have on different manufacturing processes. Then, they can use Dynamics AX to compare their findings against existing data and make the best decision on how to implement engineering changes. As soon as a decision is made and certain parameters are entered into the system, Dynamics AX performs the necessary changes and issues a comprehensive result report. Since BlueStar PLM centralizes data in real time across your entire organization, each of your subsidiaries can implement the same measures at the same time to achieve identical outcomes.

Any engineering change has both positive and negative, direct and indirect effects on manufacturing, administrative, handling, and transportation costs. Having a complex process manufacturing software solution to analyze in detail and control these effects could help you develop differentiated strategies to efficiently manage any situation that may occur in your organization.






by Chandler Hutchison, Clients First Business Solutions

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