PLM Specialist PTC Touts Auto Industry Wins

Cites power train focus, emphasis on collaboration and 3-D visualization

Needham, MA — December 15, 2003 — Product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist PTC this week touted its recent wins in the automotive sector, saying that its installed base in this industry has reached approximately 3,000 customers.

PTC particularly highlighted its focus on power train development between both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the extended supply chain, where manufacturers have standardized on PTC solutions in their power train organizations. Automakers, suppliers and engineering service companies using PTC solutions for power train development include BMW, Volkswagen, Robert Bosch, Eaton, Dana and Federal Mogul.

BMW and Volkswagen were among PTC's customer wins during the second half of the solution provider's 2003 fiscal year, ended September 30. Other wins in this period included Chang An Automobile, Dongfeng Automobile, Shaanxi Automobile and Toyota Motor Corp.

"We understand the business processes that our automotive customers follow and the issues they face," said Bill Berutti, PTC senior vice president of marketing and strategy. "We know many of these companies are striving to improve their competitive position by reducing development times and reliance on physical prototypes as they standardize their engineering processes. This requires tools that provide virtual development and workflow capabilities from concept to production, together with coordination with the extended supply chain. PTC has developed the latest versions of its products to address these industry specific trends and requirements and will continue to address those needs in the future."

As an example, PTC cited Webasto, a supplier of sunroofs, convertible car-top systems, modular roof systems and temperature management. The company needed to standardize processes such as change management worldwide and needed to integrate heterogeneous computer-aided design (CAD) systems and different installations of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems into a product data management (PDM) backbone system. Using PTC solutions, Webasto accomplished this and also shortened development time by making data easy to find and available worldwide. It also accelerated international coordination from five days to just a few minutes.

"PTC's Windchill significantly improves our internal and external collaboration," said Webasto board member Dr. Wolfgang Thurow. "Since we develop our products in global teams worldwide, the ability to efficiently communicate on a global level gives us a great competitive advantage."

Elsewhere, the Volkswagen group selected PTC's ProductView software as a group-wide standard for the visualization of 3-D data created in the product development process. 3-D visualization is currently a pervasive cross-functional requirement in the automotive industry as it adopts product lifecycle management.

"The fact that we have chosen PTC's ProductView as the corporate visualization solution emphasizes the spread of 3-D-based working processes within the Volkswagen group and its increasing penetration with virtual product development," said Dr. Trac Tang, director of IS product development at the group's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

"The premier task of PTC's ProductView is to provide a uniform tool for the visualization of 3-D data throughout the wide array of corporate processes. As a part of our integrated product data management infrastructure (iPDM), ProductView is also available to users who have no access to a CAD workstation," Dr. Tang continues.

Finally, ArvinMeritor, a $7 billion global supplier of a broad range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle industry, needed to design a new generation tandem axle with integrated bearing cage, new sets of pinions and gear sets to satisfy various gear ratios. Using PTC's Pro/E solution enabled ArvinMeritor to shorten product development cycle by 45 percent, accelerate time-to-market by 30 percent and reduce product development costs by 35 percent, according to the solution provider.

"PTC Solutions has helped us by cutting time-to-market and development costs. This leads to a higher market share and increased revenue," said ArvinMeritor design engineer Kumar Ramaiah.

PTC and RWTH Aachen, a European center for manufacturing research, have initiated a global research study with automotive OEM's and suppliers worldwide to better understand their product development strategies and capabilities, and the resulting impact on their financial performance. Senior executives responsible for leading new product development activities have been surveyed, and conclusions and findings will be available in early 2004. PTC said it will use these results to further define the critical success factors for its automotive customers.

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