It is the dawn of the Third Age of PLM. PLM is at a crossroads, and perhaps more alarmingly a precipice. Long enough have we stood upon the accomplishments of the First and Second Ages – if nothing new is to come, then PLM stands to be forgotten in the land of IT, where the shadows lie.
The First Age of PLM began with its very creation, or perhaps more correctly with the creation of PDM (Product Data Management). With the birth of PLM/PDM, forged in the very fires of Mount Doom, came the important understanding that keeping files in directories just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Document and part model changes needed robust revision control to make sense of the chaos inherent with the development of any product. The concept of product structure, which related constituent elements of a complex product to each other, was a key innovation among many others.