Thought Leadership

Product Lifecycle Management for Machine Builders

By Blake Snodgrass

Technology is changing exponentially on a global scale. To address this phenomenon, manufacturers must produce products in varying sizes, colors, and materials to satisfy dynamic consumer demands. Subsequently, product complexity puts extreme demand on machine builders, requiring flexibility and agility to meet ever-changing customer requirements to remain competitive against low-cost, global competitors.

To address this competition, machines builders must reduce margins and even compensate by overdelivering on projects, thus jeopardizing their business’s longevity and reducing employee morale. Machine builders must implement a cultural shift to conquer product complexity, address customer demands, overtake the global competition, increase profits, and keep employees. This cultural change starts with digitalization.

Cloud-based technology solutions allow companies to easily track and manage complex requirements, address change requests, and reuse data across projects to deliver machines to market faster.

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Machine builders can realize the time, cost, and resource savings when a company implements these modifications. Siemens’ cloud-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for Machine Builders provides an end-to-end tool to transform and optimize operations digitally. Also, there is an advantage to using the Software as a Service (SaaS) PLM solution because it defines a PLM solution to harness the project power, process and requirements management, machine configuration and reuses, and blended ETO/CTO.

In knowing these domains, machine builders collaborate successfully to provide a stimulating environment for employees, address global competition by adhering to fluctuating customer requirements, using the bill of materials information between projects to expedite and increase order fulfillment.

Digitalization fast-tracks innovation

PLM for Machine Builders provides numerous features and performance, resulting in optimum, competitive machines. So, project management, machine configuration and blended ETO/CTO tools combine to create a connected platform that provides predictable and productive machines.

PLM for Machine Builders incorporates three key areas:

  • Project, process and requirements management
  • Machine configuration and reuse
  • Blended ETO/CTO functionality

Synchronous tools

When utilizing a modern and scalable PLM tool, machine builders realize a shift that reduces costs, saves time and optimizes resources. PLM for Machine Builders, with best practices, provides instant-on cloud-based solutions. It allows organizations to enhance project collaboration efficiency, implement real-time dashboards, reuse machine structures/BOM information/project data to deliver products faster, reconfigure machines and automate redundant tasks through ETO/CTO functionality. It is an initial step and small investment in the digital transformation journey, but a massive leap for business.

There are many benefits to using PLM for Machine Builders, including the ability to:

  • Locate customer requirements and project information faster than ever before
  • Reuse data, BOM and mechatronics information between similar/repeat projects to save time
  • Through repeat machine orders, increase machine predictability and reduce risks and liabilities
  • Deliver products to market faster than before through the help of project milestone dashboards
  • Drive alignment between departments to save downstream costs, time and resources
  • Trace a project from start to finish; understand how modifications can impact timelines

For customers ready to adopt change, Siemens’ digital tools provide a new path onward. They provide solutions built on secure, modern platforms with open architecture integrated inside leading mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) tools. Through numerous years working with machine builders, they have brought industry best practices into their cloud solutions, supporting design management, project execution and a blended CTO/ETO delivery.

Siemens’ software solutions

Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio helps companies of all sizes create and leverage digital twins that provide organizations with new insights, opportunities, and automation levels to drive innovation.

For more information on Siemens Digital Industries Software products and services, visit or follow us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Siemens Digital Industries Software – where today meets tomorrow

Related links:
PLM eBook
PLM Teamcenter blog
Industrial Machinery home page

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