Title: Lightweight product lifecycle information management for small enterprises

Authors: Lian Ding, Alexander Ball, Manjula Patel, Glen Mullineux, Jason Matthews

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. ' UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. ' UKOLN, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK

Abstract: In an increasingly competitive and global market, small enterprises can benefit just as much from product lifecycle management (PLM) as larger enterprises. However, the software currently available to support PLM is aimed at larger enterprises and does not entirely suit the more flexible business processes and heterogeneous systems environment of smaller enterprises. We argue that some of the most important benefits of PLM may be achieved by small enterprises using the combination of a full-featured CAD system with lightweight visualisation formats and a system of overlaid annotations that may be applied to a model regardless of its format. We outline a proof-of-concept implementation of these ideas and indicate where further work is needed.

Keywords: small enterprises; product lifecycle management; PLM; annotation; CAD models; modelling; information management; small firms; lightweight visualisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLM.2011.038100

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 2011 Vol.5 No.1, pp.21 - 36

Published online: 18 Jan 2011 *

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