Can PLM Help With Compliance Issues?

With product traceability regulations increasing, companies should look to PLM competencies to assist with compliance according to Eric Karofsky, an analyst with AMR. Almost all manufacturers are facing product traceability regulations including: End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) for automotive, 21 CFR Part 11 in consumer products and medical devices, Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) for the electronics industry and the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) directive for the chemical industry.

In a recent article Karofsky points out that PLM applications can be modified to assist with compliance needs by adapting protocols already in place. For example, a product manager can use a system that currently provides real-time knowledge on the status of a product's compliance posture by using a red-light/yellow-light/green-light approach to assess if a product is ready to be delivered.

New processes will be needed to ensure compliance, according to Karofsky. In the area of product development, manufacturers will now need to evaluate if they must produce multiple products to accommodate the different regulations of different countries. The supplier vendor relationship will need to step up its collaborative efforts in order to ensure compliance. Further collaboration will be necessary in product design while product data management will need to increase access to component information in order to prove due diligence.

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