June, 2018

Part 3 of 3 – In the first article in this series we summarized the aerospace business and technology trends which have added so much complexity into their mix of products, processes, and programs that risks paralyzing even the best defense contractors and their supply chain. In the last CMsights article we explored the most important configuration management software functions that A&D industry users of configuration data seek in their CM tools, and how that differs from the needs of PDM users in product engineering.

In our final CMsights post of this series on hardware configuration management software for the aerospace industry we’ll demonstrate how the As-Configured Management (ACM) functionality requirement of downstream CM users can be addressed by an industry-focused CM tool like CMstat’s PDMPlus. These down-lifecycle users of configuration data are found throughout numerous supply and service organizations within the A&D industry including logistics, test, quality, support, tech pubs, certification, service, maintenance, repair, refurbishment, and even decommissioning.

The requirements that these users have of their CM tools to manage the as-deployed, as-maintained and as-repaired live configuration of an individual component, delivered product, complex assembly, complete system, or fielded in-service asset are quite different than those users in the OEM’s product engineering groups have from their enterprise PLM/PDM solutions with some CM capabilities.

These requirements include the ACM functionality to quickly and reliably navigate through and interrogate the real-world product structure before an effectivity impact assessment can be performed or a change request processed in the field. This includes being able to search, view, compare, report, export, change, track, update, and audit a multitude of inter-dependent configuration data records. These records include product structures, baselines, in-service BOMs, documentation, serial numbers, work order history, maintenance logs, substitute parts, action items, and much more.

But is it realistic that these downstream CM users, often located remotely in the field far removed from the OEM’s PDM / CAD vault and PLM solutions, can access and manipulate the as-configured data to perform their work, especially when they often lack formal training in CM fundamentals or the expertise of the original configuration data managers?

Yes, it is indeed possible with a best-in-class CM software tool that is highly focused on and configured to address the needs of users in a specific industry such as A&D. We demonstrate this with an ACM example using CMstat’s PDMPlus CM software tool at CMstat’s YouTube Channel.

To request a live demonstration of why CMstat PDMPlus is highly capable for the expert user, instantly usable for the occasional user, rapidly deployable for projects to standup, and quickly affordable for the program office to absorb in their contracts, visit PDMPlus Demo Request.

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