Tony Pallone

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PLM: Where It Began, Where It's Going

Product lifecycle management, or PLM, is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception through end-stage disposal. It is sometimes considered one of four information technology cornerstones for a manufacturer, alongside customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP).

The PLM concept began in the mid-1980s when American Motors Corporation (AMC), intent on establishing a competitive advantage over the auto industry giants of the time, put its focus on using technology to speed the product development process. Although AMC was ultimately acquired by one of those giants, its innovations were integrated into modern manufacturing tech and have played an invaluable role there ever since.

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All About Agile Tooling

Designing and fabricating manufacturing-related tools — dies, molds, patterns, jigs, fixtures and so on — in ways that maximize efficiency while also minimizing cost is commonly referred to as “agile tooling,” and it is an important trend for modern manufacturing.

Techniques used to create an agile tooling environment range from the traditional to the cutting-edge. These may include the following:

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