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Product Life Cycle Management and Cloud Computing

OEM Supplier Integration In Design Using the Cloud Platform

Cloud Value Proposition In Design Integration between Supplier & OEM
The table belos discusses each of the issues  in supplier OEM and integration and how Cloud Computing can mitigate them.



Suppliers must mirror each customer's CAD environment, down to the revision and patch,

or invest heavily in translation to the OEM's CAD system of choice. Significant time and

resource is spent in preparing for and reconciling product and process data exchange.

Community  Clouds  with SaaS based delivery model for the CAD systems,  should bridge the gap between the OEM and supplier  and can provide a unique interface, avoiding the  error prone and costly data transformation

In premise  OEM systems for design collaboration makes the supplier access for them  difficult and costly.  OEM organizations need to invest time on federated security mechanisms and the associated over head with  registration, approval and authentication of supplier personnel.

Trusted cloud providers like currently in the market   can take the load of authenticating the  supplier  to the PLM Systems on the Cloud. This avoids OEM with the  work of  implementing the federated security systems, rather concentrate on their core concerns on design.

A bill of materials (BoM) is a list of the parts or components that are required to build a product.  In a collaborative  design environment, OEM and Suppliers need to share BOM  and should be able to transfer data between them.


An increasing portion of engineering development work is given out by OEMs to  suppliers. This requires a stronger integration of processes, information and systems  between OEM and supplier. In order to cope with this, various IT solutions were developed  over the past years.


They can be generally  classified into,

  • Asynchronous file-based data exchange
  • PDM integration based on Web-clients
  • Synchronous data sharing


However most of these options either  provide for latency or allow for investment  and maintenance of data transfer systems from OEM side and prone to errors.

Cloud can act as a common storage and metadata repository  for the selected set of  OEM and suppliers  within the security framework governed by  Cloud providers like a Virtual Private Cloud.

This will avoid much of the over head of data transfers of BOM and improves accuracy. Cloud based model facilitates this easily.

While the potential of Cloud applies to many different phases of PLM, this article concentrates on the supplier and OEM collaboration using the  cloud platform. It brings important benefits that will improve the OEM's ability to go-to-market in the shortest possible time. Further articles on this series will  analyze  other aspects of PLM and their suitability to adopting the cloud platform.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).

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