Product Data Management (PDM) is in essence what it says – Managing all the relevant data of a product in context of the product and its structure. This includes all data like CAD models, drawings, specifications, data sheets, manufacturing instructions, procedures, quality specifications, simulation data, test data, suppliers, etc. The data can be in any format as long as it is available electronically.
One of the important aspects that differentiates Product Data Management from Document Management is the fact that all the data in a Product Data Management system is related. It can either be to a Product or a Project. This functionality gives you extensive capabilities in the area of searching and re-using data that has a major impact on engineering efficiency.
A good PDM system is essential for a efficient and productive Product Development Environment.