Open-Source PLM Software: Top Solutions for 2020

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Selecting the best product lifecycle management (PLM) software is like going to the beach and selecting one beautiful seashell to take home with you – there are so many branches of PLM software that you don’t know which one to choose. We understand. But have you ever considered an open-source PLM ERP? Open-source options have features common to PLM solutions but is usually free. It allows you (or your IT team) to evaluate its coding to pinpoint bugs and add extensions to its interface to better align with your enterprise’s needs. Kudos to our top-notch research team for churning out our pics for the best solutions. Before getting down to our nitty-gritty list, let’s go over an open-source’s characteristics as well as the common benefits and features found within open-source PLM software.

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Top Open Source PLM Software

What is Open-Source Software?

As aforementioned, an open-source software (OSS) has the typical features a normal PLM software would have, but usually (sometimes not) has zero licensing and usage expenses and is customizable so your IT team can alter and adjust the software as needed to follow your practices. There are supplementary traits that come with an OSS such as:

  • Additional Support: Generally, popular OSS applications have an abundant amount of support and training material that’s either free or comes in several paid plans. Users can also get assistance from online community forums and mailing lists.
  • No Vendor Imprisonment: Costly license expenses, inadequate movability and restricted customization tools are some of the disadvantages that users face when experiencing vendor lock-ins with closed-source software (CSS). However, OSS does not come with strict vendor or license contracts.
  • Catch Vulnerabilities: Programmers can effortlessly catch and resolve bugs, malware and other problems found within an OSS and quickly resolve them as opposed to the majority of CSS where it can take weeks or months for programmers to find and fix issues.

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Common Features

Not all open-source product lifecycle management software are alike. But they do share similar features. Knowing which features are best for you can be a tricky task. Our detailed PLM features article and intricate requirements template can aid you in formulating the appropriate wishlist of accessories needed for your business. Just keep in mind that although a feature is popular or well-liked does not necessarily mean that it’s quintessential for your enterprise. Some common features include:

  • Collaboration: A proper collaboration tool not only allows you to collaborate with your internal team but also with your engineering and supplier teams to ensure your finished products are in good hands.
  • Bill of Materials (BOM): A BOM offers a thorough roster of raw materials, sub-assemblies, parts and their amounts. An open-source PLM software can usually transform BOMs into quotes and estimates, adjust several BOMs at a time or integrate with your default BOM accessory.
  • Document Management: Keep all of your documents such as work orders and estimates in one place and export them in various formats with the right document management module.
  • Change Management: An exemplar change management tool permits you to administer all of your change requests, assessments, plans and more as well as chronicle your change history.

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Common Benefits

Along with nifty features, open-source PLM software comes with numerous benefits. According to several reviews, these are the following benefits:

  • Plenty of Integrations: The proper solution has the capabilities to integrate with software you’re already using. These integrations can include Microsoft Office and other document authoring tools, computer-aided design (CAD), product data management (PDM), other PLM solutions and more.
  • Pinpoint Design Flaws: A digital mockup module enables users to catch and resolve flaws and hazards within product designs so you always stay in the loop and address issues before reaching the market.
  • In-Depth Search: You can implement in-depth searches to find exactly what you need such as crucial data, files and more. Some search tools operate as a thorough repository.
  • Enhanced Communication: Similar to a typical PLM software, an open-source PLM ERP can boost internal communications among internal and external stakeholders, manufacturers, suppliers and more so you may effectively review and convey appropriate changes to a specific product. This allows manufacturers and other key players who have a role in your product’s lifecycle to receive and implement changes in real time, keeping everyone in the loop.

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Top Open-Source PLM Software

After reviewing the distinct qualities of OSS along with the common features and benefits of open-source product lifecycle management solutions, it’s time to review our intricate roster of the best open-source PLM software. Hopefully, you’ve had enough time to draft a thorough wishlist of the top features and requirements that are suitable for your organization. Here we go.

Agile PLM

Agile PLM is an on-premise and cloud-based program that permits users to administer product value chains and is equipped with other Agile software such as Agile Product Collaboration, Agile Product Quality Management and Agile Engineering Collaboration amongst others. It caters to businesses of all sizes and is tailored for every industry in the semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceutical and consumer goods sectors.

Agile PLM BOM module

An example of Agile PLM’s BOM module.

Product Collaboration

The product collaboration accessory permits users to link with globally scattered product groups, suppliers and clients in a sleek collaborative atmosphere to govern product launches. This module offers secure access to introductory and published information about any product, workpiece or document along with full transparency of pending and approved changes and products affected by these changes. You may sync manufacturing systems with the latest product record and superintend finished products, stock-keeping units (SKU), assemblies and sub-assemblies to manage product quality. It’s feasible for users to intertwine content management and process control with an effective user interface such as quick views, system navigators and structure navigators while supervising item tracking in review, products in conversion and issues in resolution.

Change Collaboration

Rationalize a product’s change process that allows users to produce and sanction product revisions with the change collaboration attribute. Internal teams, supply chain partners and patrons can work together with you on the product change process in real-time. Change collaboration capabilities include governing change cycle times, manufacturing costs, product quality and revision implementations that administer product features.

Engineering Collaboration

The engineering collaboration trait enables you to evaluate data while integrating with CAD platforms and Agile PLM. This tool has an engineering collaboration client extension as well as the individual mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) connectors to particular CAD platforms such as Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks and others. CAD designers and engineers can gather and manage data representing a dominant source of product records. This engineering collaboration attribute provides extensive searching and evaluating of data and extends a user interface for saving and loading CAD intel. Users may access CAD datasets for analysis, annotations and real-time collaboration on 3D CAD designs throughout the web without even leveraging a separate CAD tool. This appliance needs the Agile Product Collaboration as a base module to provide fundamental item management and change management needed for CAD designs.

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Bill of Material

Examine the quantity of each part necessary to make and finish an assembly with the bill of material (BOM) tool. Individual or grouped items are displayed on BOMs. A separate BOM tab exhibits every item on a particular BOM. This appliance also features a BOM table that showcases the items on a BOM in a visual graphical hierarchy consisting of icons to determine whether an item number represents a specific part, document or assembly.

Additional Noteworthy Modules

Although Agile PLM lacks some of the typical open-source PLM features, there are other mentionable accessories to upkeep operations. These additional noteworthy modules include:

  • Manufacturing Management: This trait allows you to establish, share and govern approved manufacturer lists (AML) and manufacturer part information for your products.
  • Distributed Manufacturing: Gain complete visibility and control over site-specific product information as well as launch products to markets throughout certain regions with site-specific release dates and revisions with this accessory.
  • Product Quality Management: This appliance makes it possible for you to manage customer, supplier and product qualities all in one place as well as offer resolutions.
  • Product Portfolio Management: Upkeep a focused view of project records and associated product information within the organization with this module.
  • Product Cost Management: Manage direct material sourcing across the product cost lifecycle from the preliminary stages to the end of its lifecycle with this feature.
  • Product Governance and Compliance: This accessory enables you to administer every facet of a product’s compliance and combines compliance activities with the enterprise product record.
  • Product Lifecycle Analytics: Make better investment choices by accessing large amounts of product lifecycle data from every operation and entity with this tool. You may also see product development pipelines, hazards and quality trends.
Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

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Odoo PLM

Odoo PLM is an integrated and configurable open-source product lifecycle management software available on two on-premise versions and one cloud version. It’s designed for organizations of all sizes and serves all kinds of industries.

Odoo PLM document management

A preview of Odoo PLM’s document management feature.

Bill of Material

Odoo PLM’s BOM module allows a single product to connect to a BOM. A BOM depicts numerous variants of the same product. It’s feasible to add routing — or a series of procedures necessary to produce a product and its worksite where each task is carried out — to several BOMs, but one BOM can only have one routing. Byproducts and subassemblies can be added to a BOM.

Document Management

Attach plans and worksheets directly onto BOMs and routings including photos, a URL, videos and word or PDF files thanks to the document management module. It’s feasible for you to review every document before sending them. This accessory also denies documents. You may validate documents to verify and ensure the condition of deliverables as well as send for a signature request and directly sign on the documents.

Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Aras Innovator

Aras Innovator is an open-source PLM software solution with public or private cloud, on-premise or hybrid deployments. It serves organizations of all sizes and specializes in the aerospace and defense, energy, life science, automotive, electronics, shipbuilding, transportation, industrial manufacturing and consumer packaged goods industries.

Aras Innovator Digital Thread Tool

An example of Aras Innovator’s digital thread tool.

Change Management

The change management tool enables you to superintend change requests, assessments, plans and orders to a product or system with visibility into how they affect other parts of a system. Product revision histories are promptly chronicled and archived as part of the product development process, which adds on to the product’s digital thread.

Document Management

Arrange version and change control for files in several formats in a searchable storage center with the document management attribute. Internal and external users gain access to valuable data. The technical publications extension permits users to adjust and govern all product documents.

Supplier Collaboration

The supplier collaboration attribute offers a coordinated ambiance that provides users with product information so they can effectively collaborate with suppliers, stakeholders, partners and manufacturers with a single set of operations and intel in one centralized location. When your business’ IT department grants suitable access, the supplier collaboration apparatus enables external users to review and update files and items with three tiers of data management: data access, data location and client access.

BOM Management

Link and administer various sources of information in one place with the BOM management accessory. You may produce and upkeep arranged, multi-layered BOMs for all stages of a product’s lifecycle. Engineering bill of materials (EBOM) and manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) can also sync with this tool for transparency through multidisciplinary change statuses during design, manufacturing and service.

Additional Noteworthy Modules

Despite Aras Innovator having all of the common features, there are supplementary attributes worth reviewing that can enhance your production methods. These other mentionable appliances are:

  • Product Engineering: This component is a merged unit of PLM and PDM abilities that allow organizations to establish and govern information about a product’s lifecycle such as parts, multi-tiered BOMs, configuration management II (CMII) standard configuration management and change management, approve vendor manufacturer lists (AVL and AML) and documents.
  • Digital Thread: Gain complete traceability of a product’s lifecycle by tracking a product and its digital components such as concept, design, manufacturing, quality and service with this function.
  • Requirements Engineering: Set and superintend requirements with a multi-faceted requirements hierarchy thanks to this trait.
  • Configuration Management: This module permits you to administer product configuration with a variant management extension so you can overlook options and variables to control the differences between several designs.
  • Workflow: Construct, supervise and regulate workflows without using outside administrative programs with this appliance.
  • Component Engineering: This trait permits you to govern electronic component selections, approvals, sourcings and compliance operations.
  • Simulation Management: You may inaugurate a simulation with automatic access to inputs, tool and setting leveraging, comparing results from one design deviation to the next and formulate choices with simulation outcomes connected to a specific product version with this module.
  • Program Management: This appliance helps you monitor and analyze processes with several extensions including stage-gate/phase-gate organization, project trees, Gantt charts, tasks and activities, status roll-ups and work breakdown compositions.
  • Quality Management: Link quality to product designs, manufacturing plans and company-crucial proceedings that stipulate competencies to pinpoint and supervise risks, upkeep quality and regulate safety, environmental and medical compliances with cross-disciplinary teams and supply chains thanks to this apparatus.
  • Manufacturing Process Planning: This idiosyncrasy authorizes you to transform EBOMs and MBOMs as you divide your bill of process (BOP) into distinct paths, guaranteeing that the shop floor instructions are in tune with engineering modifications.
Price: $$$$$
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Windchill

Another on-premise and cloud deployable open-source product lifecycle management software, Windchill is compatible with the aerospace and defense, automotive, electronics and high-tech, life sciences, oil and gas, retail and consumer products and industrial machinery. It caters to businesses of all sizes.

Windchill Visualization Tool

A preview of Windchill’s visualization tool.

BOM Transformation

The BOM transformation appliance proposes associative EBOMs, MBOMs and service bill of materials (SBOMs) views to simplify reconciliations and support for text and graphical conversions.

Variant BOM Configuration

It’s viable for you to develop configurations for order-specific variants or utilize them to explain stock offerings in regard to a common application with the variant BOM configuration trait.

Change Management

The change management attribute grants you the ability to sync design changes and plant-specific production information with local and global rule effectivity management functions. The change and configuration addon enables users to also communicate revisions, requirements, test activities and manufacturing tools with their team while providing a full change implementation board (CIB) that approves or rejects the implementation plan included in change notices. It offers a plain thin change notice feature that represents a work authorization that records and sends news designs, manages existing designs or remedies design flaws.

Document Control

Storing and assorting your valuable files along with Integral training tracking is included in Windchill’s document control idiosyncrasy.

Additional Noteworthy Modules

Since Windchill has most of the typical features found within open-source PLM software, there are other mentionable attributes worth reviewing. These tools include:

  • Multi-CAD Editing: This feature enables you to revise product data within major CAD programs implementing check-ins and check-outs, downloads, family tables, virtual elements and soft typing.
  • Post Publishing: Activate auto-publishing, job scheduling and manual publishing with this appliance.
  • Release and Change Process: This module provides workflow capabilities to route files for approval or evaluation.
  • Part AML/AVL: This apparatus contains AMLs and AVLs along with scorecards so you may assign preferences in accordance with rules-approved, preferred or do not use.
  • Change Notice Workflow: Generate and carry out performance plans, schedule change implementation board analysis and obtain audit outcome alerts with this component.
  • Problem Report Workflow: Have the option to require problem report attachments for linked change requests with this element.
  • Advanced Logic: Outline fluctuating logic for configure-to-order requirements with gaugeable variables, case tables and more with this capability.
  • Export Logic, Rules and Structure: This appliance permits users to share conventional platform logic to ERP and configure price quote (CPQ) platforms, allowing prevalent definition and change management of logic.
  • CAPAs, SCARS, and Change Requests: Institute, assess, watch, allocate and validate corrective and preventative actions (CAPAs), supplier corrective action requests (SCARS) and change requests that stem from internal and external non-conformances.
  • Audit: Conduct internal and supplier audits to verify essential key corporate operations, requirements and directives are executed.
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

Teamcenter

Last, but certainly not least, Teamcenter is an on-premise and cloud-based open-source PLM software that leverages a digital thread to connect people with operations. While serving organizations of all sizes, it accommodates the automotive and transportation, aerospace and defense, retail and consumer products, semiconductors and electronics, energy and utilities, industrial machinery and heavy equipment, insurance and financial, media and telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, marine and software development industries.

Teamcenter

An example of Teamcenter’s worklist component.

BOM Integration

The BOM integration apparatus consists of an effective BOM management strategy that permits product definition upon interacting with the BOM. Integrate BOM information throughout other ERP systems. You may carry out cross-domain design BOM management by combining with MCAD, ECAD, software development and simulation applications. Recognize, superintend, share and recycle multi-domain data globally with a source blueprint of BOM insights. You are able to comprehend intricate relationships and dependencies amongst elements from different design domains across every practicable product configuration even if it changes.

BOM Configuration Management

Work with various BOM configuration strategies and configure-to-order proficiencies that offers a singular source of configuration information with the help of the BOM configuration management appliance. It’s usable for planning, engineering, manufacturing, engineer-to-order and more. Various rules within this module enable you to instantly formulate a new design for each customer specification equipped with significant product content. You are able to manage product variability within a particular BOM and supervise reusable tools to make new products or product generations.

Change Management

The change management idiosyncrasy aids in governing the evolution of merchandise, flaws and enhancements. It’s possible to monitor change operations throughout every affected domain, timeline and resource. This apparatus keeps your coherence with closed-loop procedures to boost change processes and track audit history.

Supplier Collaboration

Share your PLM operations and intel with non-Teamcenter suppliers through real process integration with the help of the supplier collaboration appliance. You can work with supplies through several interactions such as design data exchange, direct materials sourcing and supplier program management.

Additional Noteworthy Modules

Despite Teamcenter having most of the typical functions, there are some extra worthwhile modules to streamline operations. These additional noteworthy modules include:

  • Digital Workflow Management: This appliance enables you to automate PLM proceedings, develop workflows that mesh with your business logic and set regulated process templates to overlook errors.
  • Content Management: Automate the assembly and publishing of product or service documents in numerous languages and formats that cater to a particular product configuration with this attribute.
  • Materials Data and Lifecycle Management: This idiosyncrasy grants you the authority to supervise the lifecycle of every material used for your products including material design and production.
  • Mechanical Design Management: This attribute automates engineering changes, validation and approval methods to superintend cycle time and product quality.
  • Engineering Automation: Design automation functionalities found within this extension enable you to promptly build new part designs in accordance with engineering rules.
  • Product Line Engineering: Product options are independently administered, offering a centralized space of configuration data that can be utilized throughout the mechanical, electrical and software domains with this appliance.
  • Project Management: This idiosyncrasy unifies PLM data like parts, documents, requirements and more to assignments and deliverables.
  • Software Design and Asset Management: This trait manages, joins and tracks software requirements and design objects i.e., code, functions, test cases, models and more to data from other domains so you may comprehend every cross-domain association and reliance in all facets of the product’s lifecycle.
  • Supplier Program Management: Plan and implement supplier projects within the overall spectrum of production and obtain visibility on supplier deliverables to govern turnaround times and time-to-market with this module.
  • Vendor Management: Design, engineering, compliance and purchasing stakeholders have access to suppliers, supplier insights and supplier part PLM structures with this apparatus.
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Last Words

Finding the ideal open-source PLM software can be trickier than finding the exit of a crowded auditorium. But it’s critical that you find a solution that measures up to your company’s standards with practical benefits and features. Do you want to peruse additional PLM software and features? Check out our detailed comparison guide.

Which open source PLM software is your top pick and why? Let us know in the comments!

Khaleel HayesOpen-Source PLM Software: Top Solutions for 2020

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