Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a strategy enabling the efficient exchange of information between relevant stakeholders in a manufacturing network. Various approaches utilising PLM platforms have been developed and used by a range of companies and organisations in a number of manufacturing domains. Additive manufacturing (AM) will force companies to rethink their strategies to account for its implications across the entire product lifecycle. Current PLM approaches were designed for conventional manufacturing (CM) methods, such as machining and forming and are therefore not adapted to cope with AM. Despite its advantages regarding increased design freedom, customisability, lightweighting, consolidation of parts and faster deployment, AM also introduces challenges due to issues regarding repeatability and quality, build rate, cost of materials, process monitoring and control, as well as standardisation. This paper will review the implications of AM on current PLM approaches across the entire product lifecycle, as well as problems and opportunities for further progress.
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