ALM/PLM integration
  • Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

  • ALM/PLM integration

  • ALM/PLM maturity model

  • Digital twin

The share of software is increasingly growing in innovative mechatronic and cyber-physical products. Consequently, this adds to the complexity of the interdisciplinary challenges in product development.

This development is majorly challenging companies – from medium-sized suppliers to globally operating OEMs – in regard to the interaction of product data (electrical, electronic or mechanical) and software components. Modern IT architectures provide for the management of component information and the related software components in separate systems – which makes sense considering the diverse requirements.

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The development and processing of software components throughout their entire life cycle is carried out on an ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) platform, while the hardware is managed in the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) environment. As a result, component information and the associated software components are stored in separate systems. There have been many reasons for this in the past, e.g.

  • different methods and procedures,
  • different structures of the data and metadata to be processed,
  • different workflows, and
  • non-uniform requirements for comprehensive processes such as interdisciplinary configuration management (Cross Domain Configuration Management).

But the separate handling of hardware and software components leads to the well-known “silo thinking”, e.g. notifications of changes that affect software and hardware simultaneously are not being synchronized between the two systems. This means that highly error-prone, manual processes have to solve the underlying problems – at the cost of quality and efficiency.

So how could the two worlds ALM and PLM be linked transparently and comprehensibly to ensure quality and consistency and to increase the efficiency of joint development? An omniscient “ALM-PLM system” is not realistic because of the enormous migration effort, the complexity and the major differences between the two disciplines. In fact, the disciplines ALM and PLM demand a holistic approach to integrate their respective data and processes with the help of a common federal backbone. This process does not take place in one step, so an adjusted catalogue of measures must be defined depending on the desired target state in the maturity model and the current actual situation.

This is how we support you

Potential problems without ALM/PLM integration:

  • The collaboration between your software and hardware developers might lead to conflict, because interdisciplinary processes have not been defined.
  • You have high manual effort to comply with guidelines and standards regarding transparency and traceability such as ISO26262 or Automotive Spice (ASPICE).
  • You have identified a malfunction of your prototype or even your product on the market, but you have to painstakingly work out which software code components belong to which hardware components.
  • There is no cross-domain configuration management.
  • Change management is carried out separately for software and hardware components; the implementation of mutually dependent changes is highly error-prone.

What we offer you

save time, increase efficiency and even improve the quality of your results through automated data exchange between your ALM and PDM/PLM systems?

… ensure compliance with any directives and standards through transparent traceability of the ALM and PDM/PLM system environments and prove this compliance “at the push of a button”?

see at a glance which version of the software components is installed in which version of the hardware components – possibly even at the level of individual instances of the products?

… use the digital twin to enable cross-disciplinary configuration management with software, electrical and hardware components?

… significantly reduce the error rate in the processing of change requests relating to software and components, thereby saving massive costs?

Further highlights:

  • Years of experience in the creation of PLM specifications from the user’s perspective / technical specification
  • Analysis of your actual and target situations in the ALM/PLM environment with EAM methods (processes, use cases, IT interfaces and IT development planning)
  • As a very trusted advisor, we offer independent support in tool selection and implementation processes in an agile way.
  • We strictly separate specification, implementation and testing to ensure best possible quality and user acceptance.
  • Moderation of the change process between IT, business departments and users from a process, system and management perspective
  • Development of reference processes and methods
  • Definition of the IT system architecture
Dr. Marcus Krastel, Management Board, :em engineering methods AG
Dr. Marcus Krastel

Tel. +49 6151 7376-100

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Any questions?