What is Product Data Management (PDM)?

By Mahesh Vyas 29 December, 2019

Product data management is the use of software to control data related to a particular product. It involves the technical specifications of the product, specifications for manufacture and development, and the types of materials that will be required to produce goods. The use of product data management system allows a company to track and estimate the various costs of a product. PDM serves as knowledge for process and product history and data exchange for all business users who interact with products including project managers, engineers, and sales people, purchase people, quality control and quality assurance teams.

Product Data Management (PDM) managing the information related to the creation product, manufacturing product, etc. The information being stored and managed include engineering data such as computer aided design (CAD) models, drawings, analysis data, Bill of Material and their associated documents. The database also manages metadata such as files of a component required for a product. It also controls the check-in and check-out of the product data, invoice, store and manage the data carry out engineering change management and release the control, issues of components in a product, build and manipulate the Bill of Material (BOM) for an assemblies of machine or a product.


Product data management (PDM) or Product information management (PIM) is the business function often within product lifecycle management (PLM) that is responsible for the management and publication of product data. The goals of product data management include ensuring all stakeholders share a common understanding, that confusion during the execution of the processes is minimized, and that the highest standards of quality controls are maintained. This enables automatic reports on product costs, etc. PDM enables companies producing complex products to spread product data into the entire PLM launch-process. This significantly enhances the effectiveness of the launch process. Product data management is part of product lifecycle management and configuration management and is primarily used by engineers.

Product data management is focused on capturing and maintaining information on manufacturing products or services through its development and useful life. The information managed in the Product Data Management (PDM) module includes:

• Name of the product.

• Part number of the product.

• Part description of the product.

• Raw material of the product.

• Supplier/Vendor.

• Vendor part drawing number and description.

• CAD Drawings.

• Unit of measure.

• Cost of the final product.

• Quantity of the product.

• Bill of Material.

According to Autodesk, Product data management (PDM) is a system for managing design data and engineering processes in one central location. Engineering teams use PDM software to organize product-related information, track revisions, collaborate, manage change orders, generate Bills of Materials (BOMs), and more. With a single source for project data, engineers save time and avoid mistakes.

According to SOLIDWORKS, Product Data Management (PDM) solutions help you get your design data under control and substantially improve the way your teams manage and collaborate on product development. It offers a range of applications with capabilities for quickly and efficiently managing data files and documentation to maximize productivity and improve product quality. Manage your data files and documentation to maximize productivity and improve product quality. SOLIDWORKS PDM enables your teams to securely store and index design data for fast retrieval, eliminate concerns over version control and data loss, and collaborate on designs in multiple locations.

According to Siemens, Product data management (PDM) is the use of software to manage product data and process-related information in a single, central system. This information includes computer-aided design (CAD) data, models, parts information, manufacturing instructions, requirements, notes and documents. The ideal PDM system is accessible by multiple applications and multiple teams across an organization, and supports business-specific needs. Choosing the right PDM software can provide a company in any industry with a solid foundation that can be easily expanded into a full PLM platform. PDM systems provide the visibility necessary for managing and presenting a complete bill of materials (BOM). It facilitates the alignment and synchronization of all sources of BOM data, as well as all lifecycle phases, including the as-designed, as-planned, as-built and as-maintained states.

PDM system provides solutions for secure data management, process enablement, and configuration management. PDM systems provide the visibility necessary for managing and presenting a complete bill of materials (BOM). It facilitates the alignment and synchronization of all sources of BOM data, as well as all lifecycle phases, including the as-designed, as-planned, as-built and as-maintained states. PDM systems provide change management capabilities that allow you to see the BOM before and after changes are made. A PDM system can help you establish, manage and execute automated workflow-driven processes that reflect company-specific best practices for change planning change incorporation, and change verification and communication.

Advantages of Product Data Management (PDM):

1. It helps to find the correct data quickly.

2. To reduce development errors and costs.

3. To improve productivity and reduce cycle times.

4. To provide visibility for better business decision-making.

5. Meet business and regulatory requirements.

6. To optimize operational resources.

7. To facilitate collaboration between global teams.

8. To improve value chain orchestration.


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