Extend your product lifecycle management software with low code to boost collaboration and innovation 

By Brooke Heerdegen

In today’s dynamic business environment, customers expect accelerated product innovation and quick time to market. To keep up with these demands, it’s more important than ever for manufacturers to have efficient cross-functional collaboration.  

By coupling product lifecycle management (PLM) software with low-code application development, manufacturers can enjoy new possibilities for collaboration and co-creation across functions. They can also unlock the potential of diverse data sources while optimizing for mobile experiences. 

In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of extending PLM software with low code and how it can enable businesses to broaden their user base, easily connect with other systems and data (including ERP, MES, and IoT, to mention some of them) and create adaptable user experiences faster and easier. 

Extend your PLM user base with low code 

By augmenting PLM software with low-code capabilities, businesses can optimize their user experience for different user profiles. They can tailor applications to suit the needs of not only their design and engineering teams who work in the PLM system daily, but also for occasional users like manufacturing, sales and customer service teams who need to access only limited and specific information related to their work environment. 

Low code capabilities can reduce complexity and offer focused functionality and dedicated UI for these occasional users who are not necessarily PLM-savvy, while still accessing key product information from the PLM. Also, low code enables manufacturers to provide easy and secure PLM access to external users and build portal applications easily and efficiently for suppliers and partners. 

Extend PLM with third-party data 

To operate at its highest potential, PLM software must seamlessly connect with other systems and data. This includes enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, manufacturing execution systems (MES), Industrial Edge and industrial Internet of things (IIoT), quality management systems (QMS) and supply chain management software (SCM), among others. 

By enabling these connections, businesses can gain a more holistic view of their product lifecycle processes, leading to better decision-making and improved product quality. Low-code capabilities make it simple for companies to create single-screen composite applications that connect their PLM software with other necessary systems to unlock the full potential of their data. 

Extend user experiences with low code 

As mentioned earlier, low code enables manufacturers to optimize their PLM user experience for various user profiles – including mobile and offline applications. In doing so, it empowers teams to collaborate cross-functionally, thus accelerating new initiatives across departments. 

Also, because low code enables businesses to extend their PLM to third-party systems and data, it empowers their teams to develop composite applications quickly and easily — even if they have little to no coding experience. By achieving faster application deployments, businesses can also get their products to market quicker — gaining a competitive edge.  

By extending the PLM user base and connecting the PLM with third-party systems and data, low code helps manufacturers create composite cross-platform data applications for a larger variety of use cases — including offline device integration — while optimizing for mobile devices and web browsers for more streamlined, error-free processes.  

For example, pricing or carbon footprint calculations usually require a paramount view of information stored in the PLM and adjacent systems, including external supplier or partner data. Low code makes it possible to address this type of complex use case in a totally unintrusive way. 

Developing applications with low code not only enables fast and efficient product and process changes, but does so while preserving the core PLM code. PLM and other software systems work harmoniously with each other to streamline processes and connect separate data systems into user-friendly composite apps. 

Maximize the power of your product lifecycle management with low code 

Personalizing PLM with low code offers numerous benefits, including: 

  • An extended user base 
  • Easy connectivity with other systems and data (including ERP, MES, IoT, QMS, SCM etc.) 
  • Faster, easier deployments of composite applications and adaptable user experiences 

With Teamcenter X and Mendix, businesses can combine the power of SaaS PLM with cutting-edge low-code capabilities — enabling better collaboration, streamlined processes, and accelerated innovation. 

How an aircraft manufacturer increased the connectivity and transparency of its PLM with low code 

When Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus needed to standardize its processes across separate systems, including PLM, it needed a solution that could deliver results within a short timeframe. 

We wanted to start developing a 360-degree view into the part chain so that every part is traceable from design to the end-of-life. When it comes to the shopfloor, this means becoming completely paperless, so that is one of the main goals we needed to support.” 

Luca De Simoni, Product Owner for Digital Operations and Maintenance, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd

Pilatus decided on Mendix to connect their ERP and PLM systems with low code. After finding success with this solution, they continued to leverage low-code capabilities in other PLM use cases, including digital task management and status-tracking of parts and machines in the production line.  

Their success demonstrates the versatility of low code and how it can be used to create apps for various purposes, ultimately streamlining processes for greater efficiency. 

Ready to take the next step?

If you are interested in learning more, visit our webpage or contact our sales team to discover how you can maximize the potential of your PLM with low code. 

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at