Course syllabus


PPU111 Product lifecycle management (PLM) lp1 HT20 (7.5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Industrial and Materials Science

1.         BACKGROUND

Leading manufacturing firms aim to base their product realisation processes on the use of digital models of the product and the IT-systems that support the product throughout its lifecycle. Information Technology (IT) supports a wide range of tasks throughout a product’s lifecycle including managing requirements, generating concepts, defining geometry, simulating function and properties, planning production, managing spare parts, maintaining, recycling and, retirement of the product.

Industry has a strong need for engineers who are competent in using and adapting modern IT tools for product development and manufacturing. This requires knowledge and skills ranging from understanding the overall business down to the adaptation of IT tools. The course Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) aims to develop these skills. In particular, the course is aimed towards students from the master programs Product Development, Product Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Automotive Engineering, who envision a future as:

  • PLM Professionals: For example consultants within the CAD, PLM, systems engineering, or business development areas
  • PLM users: Designers, project leaders or managers within development departments or,
  • PLM Experts: Researchers or specialists within the IT support for product development area.


The purpose of the course of to provide an overview of how IT tools and systems are used to create and manage product information and knowledge, from identification of customers’ need to product retirement. In particular, the course focuses on the advanced use of digital models, information, and knowledge in the product realisation process.

After completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Describe the state-of-the art and important trends in the area of digital support for product realisation
    • Explain drivers and challenges for PLM
    • Explain the critical role that PLM solutions play in today’s organisations
    • Explain how decisions on product information will impact the success of a company
    • Identify and account for current trends in PLM
    • Describe some leading companies’ PLM approaches
  2. Describe the core functionality of different digital engineering tools, specifically in Catia/NX and Teamcenter
    • Explain how PLM systems relate to engineering tools and how they are used in the product lifecycle
    • Explain how PLM systems relate to other enterprise IT systems
    • Describe and exemplify how PLM functionality can be used to facilitate increased information management efficiency and exchange
    • Describe different users role with respect to the PLM system
    • Demonstrate how a user works with a PLM system (Teamcenter).
  3. Evaluate company-specific needs for PLM solutions and configure PLM solutions for the company’s product lifecycle
    • Apply different methods for business analysis.
    • Use a proper combination of methods in order to define and develop a strategic plan and an architecture for PLM.
    • Explain the need to base a PLM solution both on business needs as well as on possibilities and constraints of available engineering tools and PDM systems (Catia/NX and Teamcenter).
  4. Be able to Apply Systems Engineering principles to support the implementation of PDM
    • Apply the notion of system-of-interest, enabling systems, system context, lifecycle processes, and systems models, and relate these to tailored product-, system-, and project lifecycles.
    • Explain the use of models and IT tools to support common systems engineering activities and methods including requirements management, systems architecture and design, and systems analysis.
    • Explain the use of common description techniques for describing and analysing (important aspects of) systems including e.g. SysML diagram types, FFBD, IDEF0, N2, and tree notations such as Functions-Means Trees and Feature diagrams.
  5. Use methods for information and process modelling as tools when developing PLM solutions
    • Account for motives and difficulties associated with development process and information modelling.
    • Use Microsoft Teams, Planner to plan and follow up a project.
    • Use UML or SysML diagrams to document the contents of a PLM database.
    • Use UML or SysML diagrams to document product structures.
    • Compare different methods for process modelling in order to be able to choose the right method in a particular situation.
    • Use Use Cases and IDEF0 to model, analyse and improve product lifecycle processes.
  6. Evaluate and use engineering tools and PLM systems in integrated PLM solutions (Specifically Catia/NX and Teamcenter)
    • Plan the development and implementation of a PLM solution.
    • Specify and document the requirement, information, processes and system architecture of a PLM solution.
    • Customise engineering tools and PDM systems according to an implementation plan
    • Be able to use and explain how to use CAD, CAX and PLM systems to others. (Catia/NX and Teamcenter).
  7. Model, analyse, and design key product information management processes such as engineering change management, product structure management and configuration
    • Be able to demonstrate how a configurator works by implementing and evaluating solutions in e.g MS Excel or Teamcenter.
    • Be able to demonstrate and evaluate basic workflows in Teamcenter.
    • Be able to set up a basic project, and documents Teamcenter.
  8. Describe common organisational change management challenges regarding a PLM implementation
    • Explain how such challenges risks impair the potential benefits from a PLM solution


The course contents include:

  • PLM overview (what, how, why) 
    • PLM constitutes (CAD, PDM, etc)
    • PLM lifecycle processes and workflows
      • Process modelling using use cases, IDEF0 etc.
    • Information configuration and product structures
      • Modelling using UML
    • PLM strategy and implementation
  • Knowledge management
    • Information & knowledge
    • Tacit and Explicit Knowledge
    • Personalisation and Codification strategies
    • Organisational perspectives
  • Systems Engineering
    • Systems, lifecycle processes, and lifecycles
    • Systems engineering and its relation to requirements, systems architecture and product data throughout the product lifecycle.
    • Model-based systems engineering and systems description techniques.


The course is organised around a series of recorded lectures and tutorials.

Completion of the course is worth 7.5 higher education credits (hp). The teaching and learning activities are divided into about 30 h lectures, 85 h project work and 60 h homework.

The course is divided into several themes, and each theme  will  follow the theme of Lecture --> Tutorial --> Exercise --> Evaluation (Quiz) , (not all themes include all parts)


  1. Course introduction (Week 1)
  2. PLM basics (Week 1)
  3. Model Based Systems Engineering (Week 2-3)
  4. PLM configuration and product structures (Week 4)
  5. PLM Processes (Week 5)
  6. PLM Strategy and Implementation (Week 6)
  7. Knowledge management in the context of PLM (Week 7-8)

Digital Lectures

The lectures are listed in the course checklist  corresponds to each theme. Connected to each theme there will be a live Q&A session using Zoom as the communication software.

The lectures will be offered as videos to watch and follow individually by students.

Each theme will have a list of preferred pre-reading (or pre-viewing) activities. Supported by either the course book, the course lecture or the material provided by Siemens, this is also described in the course checklist.


Connected to most themes there will be a video recorded (or documented) tutorial that shows you how to perform an activity taught in the lecture. In some tutorial you will do the exercise at the same time as watching the tutorial (just press pause in the video). 

Exercises/Project Work/Take Home exam

Connected to tutorials you will be able to perform an exercise. The exercises connects to a common theme and build up the project part of the course. For this year's edition you are allowed to work together with one (1) other person, but all hand ins should be done individually. I.e. You are allowed to perform the work, and discuss the contents with another student, but all hand ins should be written individually (they may not be copied).


Each theme is ended with an evaluation  in the form of a quiz or a reflection report. The evaluations are handed in through Canvas. 


5.         EXAMINATION

For completion of the course the students must have at least a “passed” grade on the home exam, the project work, and have attended the compulsory parts . The home assignment as well as the final project report is to be submitted through Canvas. The final grade depends on the results from both the home exam (50%) and from the project work (50 %). Grades 3-5 will be given.

The following calculation example is taken from the introduction lecture:

  • Home Exam: gives maximum 22 points.10 Points are required for grade 3. Points are converted to grade by multiplying with 0.25, and rounded up or down. E.g. 10 points gives you the grade 2.5 which rounded up will give the grade 3. All work is to be written, drawn and handed in separately, however you are allowed to collaborate/discuss topics with one (1) other identified student taking the course.
  • Project work: The project work is divided into 3 separate hand-ins given in total 22 points. 3 points per hand in is needed to be classified as approved. If not approved the work may be updated to reach the minimum 3 points needed. First hand in has maximum of 6 points, 2nd Hand in maximum 10 points, 3rd hand in maximum 6 points. All work is to be handed in separately, however you are allowed to collaborate/discuss topics with one (1) other identified student taking the course.
  • All grading is individual.
  • Active participation is given by following lectures and course literature, participating at scheduled Q&A sessions, completing training and tutorials, and completing Quizzes.



The main course literature is:

Product Lifecycle Management (third edition), Authors: Antti Saaksvuori, Anselmi Immonen (Available as PDF through the library

Supplementary reading:

Product Lifecycle Management: 21st Century Paradigm for Product Realisation Author: Stark, John. (Available as PDF through the library

The Teamcenter training materials will be available in digital format. Lecture notes and some other course materials will be made available in Canvas. You will have access through this through your Learning Advantage accout (see the Teamcenter folder on Canvas).

For the course theme related to systems engineering we recommend the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK) as supporting literature. Available on-line:



Advanced computer aided design (PPU080), Computer aided industrial design (CAID) (PPU010) or similar are recommended. Please notify the examiner if you have not attended these courses. This may require some extra reading and training regarding CAD.

8.         TEACHERS

Examiner and main lecturer

Professor Dag Bergsjö (DB), phone: 0768 936 368, e-mail:


Following guest lectures will appear more than once in the course, and are responsible for a separate theme within the course.

Dr. Amer Catic,

Project supervisors

Msc Olivia Bourge (OB), 031-772 1321

The offices of the examiner and the project supervisors are located in the IMS department, floor 5 in the M building. You are welcome to consult with us there at any time during regular office hours, but we greatly appreciate a pre-notification in the form of e-mail or a phone call in order to make sure we are present and available.

Siemens (Teamcenter support)

Consultants from Siemens (experts in Teamcenter) will be available. To make sure that their time is used effectively (and also to ensure that they are needed) we will use a booking system, where project groups can book an appointment. 


Other teachers and guest lecturers

TBD. Guest lectures will be made available during the course weeks.

8.         Lectures labs and  important dates

See the course checklist.


Important dates and deadlines:

Hand in of the home exam is end of examination week November 1st at 23:59

Lab Part 1: End of study week 4 27th September 23:59

Lab Part 2: End of study week 6 18th October 23:59

Lab Part 3.1: End of study week 8 25th October 23:59  (Lab Part 3.2 Nov 1st 23:59)