Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) helps you accelerate your product development processes across all departments and locations by automating workflows, key tasks and delivering timely information.  Autodesk’s PLM software, Fusion Lifecycle is on the cloud allowing everyone to have access to their data  anytime, anywhere.

Why PLM?

eliminate bottle necks-update

Eliminate bottlenecks
Not sure why things have stalled?

PLM can help define and automate processes to keep the work flowing and your product development on track.


Take control of change
Struggling with spreadsheets and email?

PLM delivers a modern change management tool that tracks and records changes to your product designs as they happen.


Stay on top of status
Wasting too much time on status reports?

PLM provides real-time access to the product data you need and presents it in graphical dashboards for quick interpretation.

How does PLM fit into your Organization?

What is a Project / Product lifecycle?
Product Landing Page - product lifecycle

In order to have a better understanding of a project / product lifecycle, let’s have a look at a typical product lifecycle example.

If we look at the first stage of a project lifecycle, the cycle begins with a customer need. The customer need is then evaluated by the Sales and Project Managers to determine the product requirements. Based on the product requirements, engineering and design create drawings and CAD models. While engineering is busy with the design, Purchasing orders the required parts to build the product. Once the project is completed, the Quality department checks the product quality, after which your customer receives the product.

Well, this is actually only half of a product lifecycle!

Now if your customer reports an issue, you want to be able to capture the issue and report it back to the right people to make the right modifications.

With Fusion Lifecycle acting as the single source of product information, you can achieve a perfect lifecycle from the beginning of the project to the end. This will allow an organization to capture the product issues and report them to the right people, enabling them to make timely and effective adjustments.

What is the difference between PDM, PLM and ERP?
Product Landing Page - Enterprise Solutions


Product Data Management (PDM): keeps your files, metadata and CAD documents organized. It is an engineering centric tool.

Enterprise Resource Management (ERP): Manages resource and transactional tasks for departments such as accounting, purchasing and inventory management.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM): Manages product development, BOM, ECO and workflows. PLM connects processes and workflows to each other from different parts of an organization. It is a platform that helps not only the engineering departments but also sales, purchasing, quality and production.

Autodesk Vault PDM and Fusion Lifecycle
Product Landing Page - Vault and Fusion Lifecycle


Vault or other PDM applications are great tools for managing CAD documents, drawings, metadata and revision control. On the other hand, Fusion Lifecycle is a platform that supplements a PDM application by enabling an organization to achieve the following:

  • New Product Introduction (NPI)
  • Bill of Materials (BOM) Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Change Management (ECO, ECN and ECR)
  • Quality Management
  • Project Management
  • Reporting and Traceability

Today, with the live connection between Autodesk Vault Professional and Fusion Lifecycle, companies can automatically export data such as a complete BOM from Vault to Fusion Lifecycle. In addition, the connection allows users to sync the change management in Fusion Lifecycle to Vault.

Fusion Lifecycle and ERP
Product Landing Page - ERP and Fusion Lifecycle

What ERP does not provide is functionality suited for managing Engineering Product Data like: Change Management, Quality Management Systems and new product Development.  These functions are very iterative in nature and are not well suited to an ERP system.

PLM, on the other hand, is well suited to managing these iterative processes.

The best practice in the industry is connecting these technologies and allowing data to be shared in an effective and streamlined manner.

PLM does not replace ERP, it complements ERP!

Fusion Lifecycle as the Single Source of Information in your Organization
Product Landing Page - Fusion LifecycleIn an organization where each department is using a different technology to achieve their goals, it becomes very difficult to streamline information and communications across teams. These different technologies do not communicate well with each other and can create significant communication barriers between teams.

By using PLM as the single source of information, Fusion Lifecycle complements the existing tools by connecting them together.

With Fusion Lifecycle: information captured by the sales team in a CRM will be visible to the engineering. Once engineering is done, a complete BOM and product information will be available to ERP, purchasing and production.

Fusion Lifecycle gives your organization the visibility through the entire project, from customer requirements all the way to production.

Fusion Lifecycle Capabilities

New Product Introduction (NPI)

Configurable New Product Introduction (NPI) project templates standardize phase-gate milestones, deliverables and tasks by product line, business unit, product team, or other designation.

Bill of Materials

Configure and mange structure Bills of Materials (BOMs) and items in a centralized system that is both powerful and easy-to-use in a centralized system that is both powerful and easy-to-use. Compare different BOMs and/or versions of the same BOM interactively.

Change Management

Product Changes are fully defined, reviewed, approved and implemented in a collaborative environment. Easily configured workflows provide a clear view of the details you need to approve Engineering Change Requests (ECR) and Engineer Change Order (ECO).

Quality Management

Configurable workflows coordinate, control and track the complete chain of cross-functional quality processes, tied together in a single system. This creates a complete quality chain from Non-conformance identification and analysis to RMA, CAPA and engineering change, improving product quality while reducing time-to-closure.

Supplier Collaboration

Establish flexible and configurable 24/7 collaboration with your global supply chain in a secure environment. Stakeholders can quickly and easily approve suppliers and vendors, manage supplier audits and supplier corrective actions.

Product Data Management (PDM)

Autodesk Vault empowers your engineering team to organize, manage, and track product data, revisions, and releases. Keep everyone working from the same design data across your organization.


Below are examples of industries that have successfully implemented PLM in their workflow.

Industrial Machinery & Products

Industrial products must be innovative, precise, and reliable to meet the evolving needs of Industrial Automation. Delivering on time while ensuring the quality of products depends on streamlining information and processes, from initial design to mass production. Fusion Lifecycle, a multi-tenant Cloud-based PLM system, is built upon a highly configurable interface that allows the solution to easily adapt to existing processes and environments, while also extending beyond traditional PLM functions.

Consumer Electronics & High Tech

Both the High Tech and Consumer Electronics Industries have product development that is characterized by complex BOMs, extensive networks of global suppliers/contractors, and constant product iterations driving innovation to keep up with highly competitive markets. Fusion Lifecycle, a multi-tenant Cloud-based PLM system, is built upon a highly configurable interface that allows the solution to easily adapt to existing processes and environments, while also extending beyond traditional PLM functions.

Automotive Suppliers & Components

The Automotive Industry is going through disruptive change, Tier Suppliers are challenged to be more innovative, reduce costs and deliver on-time. Cloud-based PLM helps manufacturers collaborate through their entire product development process on a single platform with no information delay or discrepancies. Fusion Lifecycle, a multi-tenant Cloud-based PLM system, is built upon a highly configurable interface that allows the solution to easily adapt to existing processes and environments, while also extending beyond traditional PLM functions.


Check out these videos on Vault Integration with Fusion Lifecycle

Part 1: New Project/Product Introduction

Part 2: Bill of Materials (BOM) Transfer from Vault to Fusion Lifecycle

Part 3: Change Management (ECR, ECN, and ECO)

Interested in how SolidCAD can help?

At SolidCAD, we’re transforming PLM with an affordable, easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy and Cloud-based PLM solution called Fusion Lifecycle.

Our Fusion Lifecycle PLM solution is for the entire company and includes many standard use case applications.

Learn More