This study was conducted as a means to discover common traits associated with small and medium manufacturers, especially ones who have adopted product data management systems as a method to control engineering design and manufacturing data. After qualitative interviews with leading experts in the PDM field, a survey was developed and sent to small and medium manufacturers in the United States. The survey concludes a number of interesting statistics about the state of PDM usage within this segment of the industry, including general uses for engineering design systems, level of data exchange with customers and suppliers, and satisfaction levels with information querying, concurrent engineering contributions, and imposed restrictions. The study concludes that there are a few major factors that determine a company’s success with using design systems, including frequency of data exchange, data reuse, digital data formats used, and employee counts and locations.


manufacturing, product data management, small medium business, indiana, product lifecycle management, PDM, PLM, engineering design

Date of this Version




Month of Graduation


Year of Graduation



Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

Gary Bertoline

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Nathan Hartman

Committee Member 1

Patrick Connolly

Committee Member 2

John Springer