cPLM vs. PLM: What’s the Difference?

For many years, product life cycle management, or PLM, has been used to great benefit in the discrete manufacturing industries. You also hear PLM discussions in the shipbuilding and offshore industries, although using re-purposed discrete manufacturing technology that does not best address the special needs of the marine market.

Enter capital project life cycle management, or cPLM, and a new white paper from Intergraph explores the differences (and special technology requirements) for “engineer-to-order” capital projects and “engineer-to-stock” discrete manufacturing. For example:

A shipyard essentially sells its production expertise for delivering to the customer a marine structure on time, on budget, and within its operational parameters. A yard may even specialize in one form of product, such as ships of the same size, range, or type. … In other words, a shipbuilding company doesn’t speculatively “build to stock” products it might sell on the open market; rather, each order is a project, a capital project.

In contrast, a car manufacturer designs, assembles, and sells many different products – a range of cars with multiple options and variations “built to stock” for the open market.

Therefore cPLM is focused on project execution – meeting the delivery deadline – as opposed to PLM, which is focused at meeting a market window of opportunity.

The white paper, with an introduction by Professor Jang-Hyun Lee, Ph.D., is an interesting read. You can download your own copy here.