Manufacturing has become much more complex than it was in the past. New designs are created every day, data flows during engineering processes are becoming huge and the number of engineers working together is growing. These improvements bring some challenges in tracing the data and managing the processes and workflows. A materials lifecycle management (MLM) system is a tool that focuses on capturing and managing data all the way from test data to the consumption of this data by CAE applications. It gives the ability to automate test processes, have complete traceability of all the data in the system, and it gives a very deep client integration. It ensures that engineers are using a consistent source of approved materials derived from traceable integrated processes. Furthermore, it is web-based and very easy to install. MLM eliminates a significant amount of tedious manual data management activities and gives engineers the ability to focus solely on innovations and new product designs.
For example, an aerospace development program consists of many different tiers, which start from the bottom with material development and continue all the way to the top to component testing and validation. A large amount of tests need to be conducted and must be properly managed and traced for at least 25 years in a single program. Time and labor associated with these programs can be huge. With MLM automation, processes can be streamlined so that costs and resources associated with physical testing can be reduced. Engineers should put the data test or design data into MLM that can later be exported as different formats such as Excel or text. MLM can be fully integrated with CAE programs. Virtual test conditions and material data flow easily back and forth between MLM and CAE. Finally, with its authorization system it secures the data very safely.
Engineers are now working with material lifecycle management to design new products and manage the data flow. It reduces the data loss during the processes and eliminates the manual time-consuming data management activities. In this way, they are able to focus only on designing new products and innovations.