This article discusses the lack of adoption of Product Lifecycle Management software that the textile industry has seen. The authors discuss the reasoning behind this slow adoption and propose some possible solutions. Ultimately, the answer may be the creation of an entirely new Product Lifecycle Management suite for this industry. The authors offer a custom-designed solution and describe its use.
The most impactful finding of this research paper was that no single PLM solution delivered in all major areas of product lifecycle management while also integrating with textile CAD tools. The best overall overlap was seen with ENOVIA; however, integrating a tool of that nature is often too expensive for smaller vendors to afford. WebPDM/FLM and Lectra Fashion PLM had noteworthy overlap as well. Segonds concludes that “there exists no clear methodology to define a collaborative tool that is suited to the needs of the textile industry ”.
Textile engineers have particularly unique needs when it comes to PLM tools. PLM tools are often explicitly derived from the CAD software editors promoted by the company selling PLM solutions. As there are few attempts at localizing a PLM solution to the CAD programs common in the textile industry, PLM adoption has stagnated. Product lifecycle management must incorporate some additional information to truly be of use to those in the textile field.
Target markets, production platforms, and product lines are particular product class categories that solutions should be designed for. Modern Product Lifecycle Management systems instead typically categorize products by Work Breakdown Structure or similar classification system. Color and sizing for products also should be optional non-standard features in categorizing products within the software. Pattern modeling, Finite Element meshes of unique styles, and seasonal trends are other items worth incorporating.
 Segonds, F., Mantelet, F., Nelson, J., Gaillard, S., 2015, “Proposition of a PLM Tool to Support Textile Design: A Case Study Applied to the Definition of the Early Stages of Design Requirements,” Computers in Industry, vol 66, pp 21-30.