International Journal of Applied Information Systems (IJAIS) – ISSN : 2249-0868Foundation of Computer Science FCS, New York, USAVolume 12 – No. 2, May 2017 – www.ijais.orgEnriched Integrations of ERP and PLM in the IoT WorldRitesh JainSenior Software Development ConsultantPune IndiaABSTRACTWhile the software systems like Product LifecycleManagement (PLM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)have been solving critical problems of the industries, there arevarious integrations implemented to use them underoverlapping conditions depending on the category of sectorthe solutions are implemented into. With the new buzzwordcalled Internet of Things, in the Information Technologyfraternity the scope and face of various traditional softwaresystems is changing fast. Internet of Things is growing bigday-by-day and finding its applications in domestic as well asindustrial areas and even to some very unconventional areasas well. This paper discusses the overlapping roles of PLMand ERP systems in the IoT arena. The applications of boththe systems can be enhanced and put to better use with theusage of IoT along with.With some of the enhancements, especially in the integrationsystems implemented for them, helps increasing theproductivity and efficiency of the products and also save thecost with early indications of any failure.General TermsInternet of things, Product Lifecycle Management, EnterpriseResource ycleManagement(PLM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)1. INTRODUCTIONThe software products related to managing different (notnecessarily separate) components of the industry have longbeen organized under different categories e.g. ipManagement (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) ,Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems etc. Theyprimarily cater to different functions in an industry and insome of the cases adopted by a particular type of industry e.g.the CRM have been used by an industry that needed morecustomer interaction on a frequent basis e.g. Telecomcompanies or Banks. The ERP is primarily used by thecompanies having a vast range of functions corresponding tothe various modules of the ERP system viz. HR, Sales,Finance, and Inventory Management, Purchase etc. So it’sused by companies engaged into manufacturing of some kindof product and selling them as well. With the variety offunctions in the company there was a risk of them operating insilos and hence was the need of an ERP system to have themworking in sync and alleviate the losses and inefficienciescauses by that. The PLM software on the other hand wasevolved when there was a need to manage design data of aproduct development company. The design data consists ofmainly the Computer Aided Design (CAD) and associated ornon-associated but relevant data. When the volume of CADdata increased beyond human-manageable capacity, PLMsoftware came into the game.With the advent of usage of these software systems and theincreased complexity of integrating various software systems,the customer demanded overlapping features in all of them toavoid the issues of using (read buying) different softwaresystems for a small need of some part of the complementarysoftware.PLMSCMERPCRMFigure 1: Overlapping roles of different systems2. ERP SYSTEMS: WHAT GOOD ARETHEY FOR?Information is the key to success of any organization. Preciseinformation at the right time with a click of button has been afancy of the think-tanks across the industries. Most of the timeit’s the right decisions at the right time that can help anindustry or an initiative of the industry, to succeed. And rightdecisions in turn attribute their success to the informationavailable at that time. The holistic approach that has beenmissing in the pre-ERP era has been the major hurdle intaking right decisions. A simple example could be for instanceif an industry involved in manufacturing an engineeringproduct that needed some raw material to be available. Thelow level of inventory when it’s needed in the productioncycle causes a delay in production that in turn can lead tolosses while a more-than-needed level of inventory increasesthe inventory carrying cost(ICC) causing the increased inputcost. This principle has been taught as one of the basics in therelevant branches of engineering as well as management butknowing the level of inventory in a real-time manner has beena challenge if that was done as part of some protocol-basedmanual process. In the same industry if the sales guy receivesan order of a specified quantity at a particular time, he need toknow based on the production levels, (that in turn depend onvarious factors including the inventory level of the rawmaterial) if it’s really possible to supply the order within thecommitted schedule. ERP tried bridging the gaping gaps ofsuch situations. With a properly customized and implementedERP system, it has become possible to get the information atthe right time and most importantly in most12

International Journal of Applied Information Systems (IJAIS) – ISSN : 2249-0868Foundation of Computer Science FCS, New York, USAVolume 12 – No. 2, May 2017 – www.ijais.orgusable/consumable form related to the various functions in theindustry.Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are powerfulsoftware packages that enable businesses to integrate a varietyof disparate functions. In particular, ERP systems can providethe foundation for a wide range of e-commerce basedprocesses, including web-based ordering and order tracing,inventory management, and built-to-order goods. An ERPcontrols all aspects of manufacturing including inventory,purchase, process planning, production ce,configurations, effectivity status etc.3. PLM SYSTEMS: WHAT GOOD ARETHEY FOR?Because of its potential benefits to shorten innovation leadtimes and to reduce costs, PLM has attracted a lot of attentionat industry and at research. Product Lifecycle Management asthe name suggests, provides a data warehouse to thecompanies who would like their product data to be managed.It provides hosts of different services e.g. Allows capturing the various stages in the productdevelopment right from conceptualization, design, designreviews, production planning, generation of drawingsand Bill of material, manufacturing data including thedetails relevant to manufacturing, machining andservicing of the product. Provide the CRUD (Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete)services like any other Database system to manage thedesign data. Share the data to allow working in decentralized anddistributed mode of work environment and even workwith vendors and suppliers.evolved from the nineties’ product data management(PDM)approach. A typical PLM system, as mentioned earlierfacilitates all CRUD operations and provides the followingfeatures, Out-of-the-box(OOTB) (Mule 2012): Data Management/Document Management Part/ProductManagement Process Management/ Workflow Management Program Management/ Project Management Collaboration Management Visualization of data Integration with other systems Infrastructure Management Product Review Change managementdataManagement/Configuration4. PLM INTEGRATIONS WITH ERPThe above mentioned features primarily help in theintegration of the CAD with PLM but as the need arise, therewere integrations implemented and offered between PLMERP and PLM-CRM also.The PLM manages the virtual form of the product and ERP’srole encapsulates manufacturing the product and delivering it(Mckinney 2015). There are some overlapping functions likemanaging the part identification, scheduling, process orworkflow management, product structure etc. PLM not only helps one single company but a globallydistributed, interdisciplinary collaboration between producers,suppliers, partners and customer. PLM systems, nowadays,also don the avatar of a Cloud-based solution. They canintegrate with an ERP system and so on. The PLM systems inmany cases need customizations to suit to the different kind ofbusiness needs, process needs of the customer etc. Part Product Structure3.1.1 Evolution of PLMWith the increase in adoption of CAD data in the industry andincrease in spreading footprint of CAD to encompass varioustype of industries e.g. Furniture, Apparel, Shipping apart frombeing used in Manufacturing, Engineering, Automotive andAerospace industry and also with the increase of size of datain CAD systems, there was a need to manage the data usingsome intelligent and automated system and this gave birth tothe PLM system.As gathered, (Shilovitsky 2013) and (Mahadik 2013) theinitial systems to manage the CAD data were primarily thetailor-made/custom-made solutions that were called ProductData Management (PDM). They were developed in-house orbought from vendors that implemented it with a focusedapproach of solving the particular problem of the keeping andmanaging the CAD data. The projects that were developedcustom made were gradually converted to solutions and thento generic products. With time it was realized to have aholistic system to manage not just the product data but thewhole gamut of activities revolved around them. That’s whenthe term PLM was coined and conceptualized. So the PLMPLMERPFigure 2: Intersection points of PLM and ERMFor such product data integration, engineering bill ofmaterials (EBOM) needs to be transformed to manufacturingbill of materials (MBOM), but the MBOM transformation13

International Journal of Applied Information Systems (IJAIS) – ISSN : 2249-0868Foundation of Computer Science FCS, New York, USAVolume 12 – No. 2, May 2017 – www.ijais.orgmust be done in such a way as to fit the particularities of eachmanufacturing site.Both PLM and ERP have their distinct advantages and hencethey are needed to cater to specific purposes in an industry.Since they have some overlapping functions it’s important toimplement the integrations between them, properly so that thedata exchange between is smooth and synchronized. Thisbecomes further challenging because of the different vendorssupplying these systems. These software products are so bigthat no one company can develop these products.5. AN ERP SOLUTION WITHOUT PLMBusiness relying only on ERP without a PLM system finds itdifficult to manage the product data. The resulting scrap andrework around the product in the office and the shop floor isoften costly. By implementing a PLM system beforehand, anorganization can be confident the product information is beingaccurately managed and the ERP system is working withcorrect data.Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physicaldevices, vehicles (also referred to as "connected devices" and"smart devices"), buildings, and other items—embedded withelectronics, software, sensors, actuators, and networkconnectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchangedata.”A popular magazine says “The Internet of Things will be thelargest device market in the world. By an estimate, by 2019 itwill be more than double the size of the smartphone, PC,tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined.”(GREENOUGH n.d.). Gartner, Inc. forecasts that connectedthings through IOT will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. (Gartnern.d.)So it is obvious for the industry to have the focus on IoT.Internet of things has wide range of applications and as listedby IOT Analytics the below mentioned are the top ten out ofthem. (Lueth 2015)1.Smart homeBecause ERP systems intend to read the BOM fortransactional purposes only, they do not have the product datacollaboration-ready among the departments. Preserving thehistory of change information is important to understand thechange and the time it occurred. Without a proper PLMsystem in place there is a risk of losing product changeinformation that helps accurate financial planning. By keepingproduct data in a PLM system and then exchanging it with anERP system, the product company enjoys a moresynchronized, cohesive and efficient manufacturing process.2.Wearables3.Smart City4.Smart grids5.Industrial internet6.Connected car7.Connected Health acturing companiesmustimplementmanufacturing engineering with proper consideration given tothe manufacturing process and resources that are appropriatefor the particularities of each manufacturing site. Particularlyfor effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) systemimplementation under a global manufacturing environment,the PDM or PLM integration for product data is one of theimportant keys to success.8.Smart retail9.Smart supply chainTo have an ERP and PLM system working in tandem witheach other, they need to be integrated properly with the sameconventions followed in both of them. The overlapping areasneed to be taken care of, more carefully to have smoothexchange of information between the two. Consider a scenarioof an assembly design that is saved in a PLM system alongwith its supporting documents that include some nonmechanical components e.g. lubricating oil. The quantity ofoil, specified in the PLM system, has to be passed to the ERPsystem that can track the work-order, capture the procurementdetails and manage the inventory of the same. Both the PLMand ERP systems have to follow the similar conventions toensure smooth flow of information across and make theoverall implementation successful.6. WHAT’S DIFFERENT WITH IOT10. Smart farmingBut out of these as the Gartner suggests, the most commercialapplication is the industrial one. In fact, it has been given aspecific name i.e. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Inindustries there are applications ranging from catching theleakage in pipes in a process plant to tracking or anticipatingthe breakdown of a manufacturing center in a manufacturingcompany. The biggest advantage is to have the capability tocollect, manage and control the information and devicesremotely.PLM can accommodate and process the data coming from thesensors attached to the live product in the field. This liveinformation can be fed to be processed for various purposese.g. it can be used to amend the future design to better theproduct by considering the usage of the product and itsfunctional behavior under the actual operating conditions orthe overload conditions. It can be used to monitor or track thecurrent status of the product or process and enable taking theappropriate actions. In fact, there are advance IIoT systemsimplemented that can take the actions automatically.Internet of Things is fast finding the users both on industrialas well as domestic front. As the Wikipedia says: “The14

International Journal of Applied Information Systems (IJAIS) – ISSN : 2249-0868Foundation of Computer Science FCS, New York, USAVolume 12 – No. 2, May 2017 – tunderoperationFigure 3 : IOT with PLM SystemIn the IOT arena, the applications can be different with ERPand PLM. The integration of PLM system with IOT could beuseful at the CAD vendor end to enable it improving thedesign and application of the product based on the feedbackinformation fed to it but the ERP system implemented at thecustomer site would enable improving the availability of theproduct using the supplied/designed product that have sensorsattached to it.7. USE-CASE SCENARIOS WITH IOT1.2.With the IOT, one of the use cases is to analyze thebreakdown frequency of the product or predicting thebreakdown of the machine using the sensor attachedproduct and allow preparing for the breakdownmaintenance of the machine. This would also enable thecustomer to maintain the inventory of the spares used forthe product in the ERP system.It can also be used to predict the load on the machine toallow planning for the preventive maintenance of themachine, or prepare schedule of the preventivemaintenance of the machine and ensure supply of thespares. This can also provide inputs to the HumanResources department of the company to plan resourceallocation to the respective departments e.g. inproduction, maintenance, purchase etc. It can also helphiring contract employees based on the prediction ofdemand.3.The sensor data can also give early indications of anydelivery slippages in the supply chain module of ERP,due to the breakdowns.4.The breakdown or fault analysis of the sensor data of aproduct received from field can be used to Understand the conditions causing the frequentfailure of the product. Identify the lot that used some of the componentsfrom a particular vendor that fails frequently. Identify the lot manufactured on a particularmachine. Identify the lot manufactured by a particularmachinist. Identify the lot manufactured under some differentconditions of the plant.The PLM receives the data from the sensors incorporated inthe product in the field and the data could aid in deciding ofreplacing a particular component with another one available inthe ERP system and can help doing the feasibility study of thesame.Additionally, the ERP system can capture the feedback fromthe customer and help modifying the design so as to make itmore robust and long lasting. This can also be based on thefrequency of service request of the product.5.The sensors incorporated on a product operating in fieldcan send data to the IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things)Server. It could be early signals of a breakdown orexcessive vibrations coming out of one of the spares. TheIIOT server will in turn collect the information includingthe intensity and frequency of the problem.If the problem is recurring and severe the IOT could send therequest to the PLM to get an alternate spare available from thesame or another vendor. The information related to the sparecould be fetched from the ERP system e.g. the rating of thevendor, expected delivery time, price comparisons byinvolving the purchase module of the ERP system. Theseiterations could help deciding the best alternate spareavailable and could be fed to the CAD system to do analyseslike FEA or simulation.ERPsystemPLMsystemIIOT Server(Cloud nFigure 4 : IOT with PLM and ERP Systems15

International Journal of Applied Information Systems (IJAIS) – ISSN : 2249-0868Foundation of Computer Science FCS, New York, USAVolume 12 – No. 2, May 2017 – www.ijais.orgSo there are various scenarios, the IIoT could be put to use tomake the integrations of the ERP and PLM more successfuland the best part is that all the software components could becloud-based to make the whole system cost-effective makingit a feasible solution even for (Small and Medium Enterprises)SMEs also. The figure shows a generic representation of suchuse cases.8. CONCLUSIONWith the initiatives like Self-driven cars, Smart Factorysystem and with concepts like Augmented Reality(AR) andVirtual Reality(VR) among the thick of the things in today’sworld, its utmost important to have the connected systemsworking properly. The mission-critical data of a companybeing managed in PLM and ERP implemented, can be put toenhanced uses with the IoT techniques and IoT enabledequipment. PLM and ERP in the IIOT framework have manyuse cases defined and put together and put to use by variouscompanies and institutes. The two complimentary componentscan be made to work to the best potential using the IOTframework. As the number of areas IOT applied to increasesso will the maturity of the applications. There are numerousunconventional areas waiting to have the IOT implementede.g. the room lighting can be IOT controlled and can varybased on the weather of temperature etc.The application of IoT with PLM and ERP systems could helpin planning the spares and maintenance of the productionmachines or process plant machine, that when broken downcould lead to heavy losses.It could also be used to monitor (in fact remotely!) thecondition of railway tracks, telecom towers, airportinfrastructure, critical medical equipment, condition of farmin agriculture. There is still scope to utilize the full potentialof IoT in various areas in the integrations of ERP and PLM.The applications will be many, depending on the imaginationof the designers or product developers.The area need to be focused upon is, to make the modules ofERP and PLM, IoT enabled and IoT compliant. This will needthe strategic will of the EPR and PLM vendors to cometogether decide the norms and communication protocolskeeping the IoT framework in mind. There is a need to have acentral authority to formulate these protocols in future tomake different products interchangeable since they all will befollowing the same set of rules and conventions.9. REFERENCES[1] GREENOUGH, JOHN. “The ‘Internet of Things’ WillBe The World’s Most Massive Device Market And SaveCompanies Billions Of Dollars.”[2] 66662.cms.[3] Mahadik, Kiran. 2013. “PLM in the Cloud: ComputerSystem Validation in FDA Regulated ecyclemanagement.[4] Mckinney, Jim. 2015. “PLM & ERP : What Is theDifference , and Why Should You Care ? Our Mission.” (January): 1–48.[5] Mule, Jaykumar Yoga. 2012. “Concept and Evolution ofPLM.” 4(3): 25–28.[6] om/2013/04/10/cimdata-plm-forumplm-never-ends/.[7] Umble, E.J., Haft, R.R. and Umble, M.M., 2003.Enterprise resource planning: Implementation proceduresand critical success factors. European journal ofoperational research, 146(2), pp.241-257.[8] O'Leary, D.E., 2000. Enterprise resource planningsystems: systems, life cycle, electronic commerce, andrisk. Cambridge university press.[9] Schuh, G., Rozenfeld, H., Assmus, D. and Zancul, E.,2008. Process oriented framework to support PLMimplementation. Computers in industry, 59(2), pp.210218.[10] Abramovici, M., 2007. Future trends in product lifecyclemanagement (PLM). In The future of productdevelopment (pp. 665-674). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.[11] Lee, C., Leem, C.S. and Hwang, I., 2011. PDM and ERPintegration methodology using digital manufacturing tosupport global manufacturing. The International Journalof Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 53(1-4),pp.399-409.[12] Julie o-plm[13] t-lifecycle-managementconnected-object/201616

4. PLM INTEGRATIONS WITH ERP The above mentioned features primarily help in the integration of the CAD with PLM but as the need arise, there were integrations implemented and offered between PLM-ERP and PLM-CRM also. The PLM manages the virtual form of the product and ERP’s (