What does PLM stand for?

PLM is the acronym for Product Lifecycle Management.

What is PLM, anyway?

As is often the case with buzzwords, many have attempted to find a suitable definition. For example, the following definition comes from the machine tool laboratory (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University, which includes many aspects of PLM:

"Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an approach for comprehensive, company-wide management and control of all product data and process of the complete life cycle along the extended logistics chain, including everything from design and production to sales to disassembly and recycling" (RWTH Aachen University machine tool laboratory (WZL)).



PLM system - PLM solution

In many cases, when talking about the support of PLM in the company, the term "PLM System" is used. Ultimately, however, it is more like a "PLM solution" or a "PLM strategy".

Using various approaches (principles, methods, concepts, notations, models) the various business processes in the different phases of the life cycle are to be given the best possible support by using suitable IT tools.

As a result, it is difficult to isolate PLM to a single system. Rather, in this heterogeneous corporate world, the greater challenge is to design a "toolkit" that is customised in all its facets to the specific company and related to the various process levels. However, this should be based as much as possible on standards, legal requirements, directives and best practices to arrive at a workable solution as quickly as possible.

PLM in mechanical and plant engineering

We at Wideburg Solutions GmbH & Co KG have set the goal of advising companies from a wide variety of industries—particularly the mechanical and plant engineering sector—in selecting their PLM strategies and helping to put them into practice.


The "Aras Innovator" software has proved to be a suitable and versatile basis (often called a framework or tool) for handling a wide variety of challenges in the PLM environment quickly and flexibly.