Joe McBurnie, CEOFlipping through the pages of the book that binds his first specification for product data management (PDM) tools, Joe McBurnie, CEO, Concurrent Systems Inc. (CSI) assesses that nothing much has changed since 1992 when he wrote the book. Just as the core of PDM has remained unaltered, the fundamental requirement for PDM solutions, which are data and lifecycle management, are also unchanged. What has changed over the years is the PDM technology in terms of the end product, which is being designed today to cater to the digitalized masses to simplify their product lifecycle management (PLM) processes. To deliver robust PDM solutions that match the digital customers’ expectations, CSI has not just upgraded its technology beyond the core PDM but has taken steps to transform it into a PLM solution. “We manage the complete product lifecycle datasets and the relationship between these data in terms of configuration management, and not just file-based systems,” informs McBurnie. “We also manage processes and people that handle the data throughout the product design lifecycle. This is where PDM really becomes PLM.”
As an independent software developer, CSI provides sophisticated data management solutions to small businesses through to large enterprises. CSI’s flagship software, Design Data Manager (DDM) is a multi-CAD and a multi-faceted solution that provides full PLM functionality and revision control of parts, models, drawings, and office documents. As a comprehensive document management solution, DDM uniquely streamlines the entire product design process, from office document lifecycle management to configurable document auto-numbering for a project. In addition, the DDM CAD data management includes functionalities such as automatic generation of bill of materials (BOMs) from assemblies. The solution also has an interface that will downstream complete BOM information to the clients’ ERP or MRP system.
DDM also has a built-in business process management tool that includes a graphical workflow engine, allowing you to build simple processes to complex multistep procedures. This provides an accurate audit trail for compliance, where it’s ISO, FDA or otherwise. By providing a full lifecycle management solution that has unprecedented capabilities of allocating tasks and requirements, CSI’s goal is to help users get rid of the legacy file systems.
We aim to improve visibility, traceability, efficiency, accountability, and control across the entire product management process
DDM provides an out-of-the-box integration with CAD vendors like SOLIDWORKS, Solid Edge, Creo, Inventor, IronCAD and AutoCAD. As a technology development partner of these CAD vendors, CSI leverages their software development toolkit to build solutions that manage the CAD information such as part storing and assemblies.
“We aim to improve visibility, traceability, efficiency, accountability, and control across the entire product management process,” says McBurnie. A case in point is when Spectrum Brands, a global consumer products company, based in Madison wanted to introduce a new razor for pre-operation patients. The challenge was to meet the necessary FDA compliance. Leveraging CSI’s DDM solution, Spectrum was able to launch the FDA compliant product successfully into the market.
With DDM, CSI has introduced attributes that define the individual responsible for a particular task or requires consulting, and the consequence of each action taken by workers at any level. They have also introduced RAG status, to signal a project’s status in terms of budget, schedule, and specification. Apart from these additional features, CSI has recently added a new mobile-friendly web client for DDM to provide information based on access controls in the core database. By the end of 2018, CSI is aiming to introduce communication capabilities within this environment, enabling businesses to keep a complete audit trail of conversations regarding projects and products. With growing expectations of digital customers for a comprehensive PLM solution, McBurnie brings to bear his rich PDM experience and expertise to lead CSI, delivering feature-rich quality solutions that accelerate client’s growth.