PROSTEP publishes Industry 4.0 white paper

Darmstadt, April 4, 2017 – Industry 4.0 refers to the intermeshing of the value chains in development, production, service and sales using state-of-the-art information and communication technologies. As one of the forms that the digital transformation is taking, Industry 4.0 calls existing business processes and business models into question and opens up new possibilities. Experts from PROSTEP discuss what impact this will have on the future design of engineering processes and PLM architectures in a white paper entitled "Smart Engineering: The Impact of Industry 4.0 on PLM", which is available for downloading on PROSTEP's website.

"Smart engineering is setting the stage for the digitalization of products and product development, and PLM has a vital role to play in this context," says Dr. Martin Strietzel, head of the PLM Strategy & Processes division at PROSTEP AG and one of the authors of the white paper. Existing PLM infrastructures, however, must be developed further if the challenges posed by Industry 4.0 and smart engineering are to be mastered. The shift from traditional products to cyber-physical systems demands interdisciplinary know-how both when developing the products and when designing the processes.

The experts at PROSTEP see a need for action in a variety of strategic, PLM-related areas, starting with the PLM architecture: "The increasing complexity of interdisciplinary product development can only be handled by a modular overall architecture comprising federated subsystems with intelligently linked information." The lightweight integration of application lifecycle management (ALM), product data management (PDM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) is essential if the entire lifecycle of the digital product representation is to be mapped. Companies need to rigorously expand their approaches to digitalization to create a complete, digital product model.

In the authors' view, domain-specific IT tools and methods do not provide sufficient support for the interdisciplinary engineering process. They therefore recommend that the tools and methods used in model-based systems engineering (MBSE) be integrated in the PLM processes and systems. In the context of Industry 4.0, getting to grips with variant, configuration and change management becomes a cross-domain issue that encompasses the development and manufacture of mechanical parts, electrical components and software.

According to the authors, technological innovation in the context of Industry 4.0 is also leading to greater collaboration across companies and domains. They therefore pose the question of how PLM systems can better support the growing need for collaboration during the development of smart connected products. PROSTEP strives to provide the appropriate answers to these and other questions with its comprehensive range of consultancy services and solutions for Industry 4.0 and smart engineering.

PDF Version of the Whitepaper:


PROSTEP AG is recognized as a partner to the leading manufacturing companies worldwide. We count the top companies in this industry among our customers. PROSTEP is an independent consulting and solution development company, but also supplies ready-made product solutions. Our strength lies in a combination of industry-specific expertise, process know-how and technological competence. We offer our customers competent consultancy services, a comprehensive range of other services, and innovative solutions covering every aspect of product lifecycle management.

The PROSTEP Group has a current headcount of more than 250 in Germany and the USA. In addition to its headquarters in Darmstadt, PROSTEP also maintains branch offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, and Wolfsburg, as well as in Birmingham, Michigan (USA).

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