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Paper w78-2010-68:
A Product Lifecycle Management Approach for Civil Engineering Projects

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Markus Schorr, Andre Borrmann, Cornelia Klaubert, Yang Ji, Willibald Gunthner, Ernst Rank

A Product Lifecycle Management Approach for Civil Engineering Projects

Abstract: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a strategic concept to develop, manage and keep control of industrial products over their entire lifecycle. The concept comprises IT-systems as well as methods, business processes and organizational structures (Arnold, 2005). The most essential component for a PLM implementation is product data management (PDM) systems that administrate all the data from initial ideas, drafts and drawings to information on the manufacture and maintenance on a central storage platform (Stark, 2005). Compared to document management systems, PDM systems provide part-oriented functions required for linking components, corresponding 3D models and drawings as well as any other related documents in a clearly arranged pattern. In addition, they also provide a convenient means of transferring and incorporating data from CAD-systems into the central storage platform. Combined with cleverly devised access rights management and an integrated workflow engine, PDM systems appear to be a good information management solution in civil engineering projects.Since those systems are designed to serve in-house information management procedures in the mechanical engineering industry, however, they have not been used for civil engineering projects so far (Borrmann, 2009). This is due to the fact that special requirements needed in construction projects have not been fulfilled yet. This paper describes both the concept and the implementation of a PDM system customized to manage data arising in civil engineering projects. As well as discussing specific requirements, it also introduces the implementation of necessary adjustments and several add-ons are presented. Thus the paper shows how an adapted PDM system originally developed for the mechanical engineering industry enables a company-wide component-oriented management of all relevant data over the entire lifecycle of a building. Beyond that, today’s inadequacies and missing features for using PDM systems in civil engineering projects are described.

Keywords: Building Lifecycle Management, Product Data Management, Document Management, Data Acquisition and Storage, Information and Knowledge Management


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