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Exploit the vast untapped wealth of product data

How PLM for transportation and infrastructure companies can improve reliability, control costs and sell value-add services


The Industrial Internet of Things enables faster and deeper analysis of dynamic component data and real-time information on assets. For most transportation companies, however, the majority of product data remains parked at the loading dock—figuratively speaking—or stuck at the container port. The data is not being transferred electronically from manufacturers to operators, who input it manually and store it in paper files.

Information in Product Lifecycle Management systems can ease the work of many people. To enable an expansive range of improvements, PLM needs to be seen as a strategic initiative, with strong support from senior-level executives for transformation.

Exploit the vast untapped wealth of product data


Product data is rarely handed off efficiently by manufacturers to operators of complex assets and infrastructure. As a result, operators manually input data, a process that is time-consuming and delays awareness of new possibilities.

As the Internet of Things unfolds, companies can exploit growing troves of digital data and tap into dynamically created data on asset status. This advanced approach can help operators improve reliability, reduce cost and devise additional revenue streams.

Key Findings

Since operation is by far the longest period in the product lifecycle, PLM logically should be extended from manufacturers to the operators of complex assets. Having a broader PLM perspective leads to new possibilities:


The Internet of Things introduces a wealth of data and automation to improve management of transportation and infrastructure assets. More than a technology tool, PLM is a strategic perspective that takes advantage of the new possibilities.

Strategic perspective—along with strong support from senior executives—increases the number of benefits. Real-time asset data can help detect faults and potential security issues, thereby increasing safety and reliability. Paired with algorithms, information enables condition based and predictive maintenance, both of which reduce cost while optimizing utilization. In addition, product data management from end to end lays the foundation for additional services, such as track-and-trace, and condition-based monitoring of temperature, pressure and weight.

As operations increasingly go digital, now is the time to manage the growing data trove. Information is an increasingly valuable asset that spurs insight into ways to improve processes, increase transportation reliability, preserve infrastructure, and enhance service for business customers and consumers.


Marcel Hell

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Robert Zippel