Product to process lifecycle management in assembly automation systems

Presently, the automotive industry is facing enormous pressure due to global competition and ever changing legislative, economic and customer demands. Product and process development in the automotive manufacturing industry is a challenging task for many reasons. Current product life cycle management (PLM) systems tend to be product-focussed. Though, information about processes and resources are there but mostly linked to the product. Process is an important aspect, especially in assembly automation systems that link products to their manufacturing resources. This paper presents a process-centric approach to improve PLM systems in large-scale manufacturing companies, especially in the powertrain sector of the automotive industry. The idea is to integrate the information related to key engineering chains i.e. products, processes and resources based upon PLM philosophy and shift the trend of product-focussed lifecycle management to process-focussed lifecycle management, the outcome of which is the Product, Process and Resource Lifecycle Management not PLM only.