Wrightbus Globalizes Product Development

As the largest independent bus builder in the United Kingdom, Wrightbus is a pioneer in its field and the first to design low-floor buses for the U.K. market. In recent years, The Wright Group has focused increasingly on overseas markets like the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore, establishing itself as a leading global player.

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Wrightbus produces vehicles for the United Kingdom and more and more, for global markets, such as the Republic of Ireland, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore. To incorporate specific requirements of overseas markets, Wrightbus designs its products in a global network of partners. PTC Windchill provides essential capabilities to support Wrightbus's global product development practice.

David Barnett, Development Engineering Manager speaks about how the company meets the challenges of global product development. Speed to market and ever-increasing technological advancement are the greatest challenges to overcome on an international scale. As fuel prices go up, weight reduction and more efficient engine technology is paramount to the company┬┤s success. Continuous innovation and efficient global product development processes and engineering are the foundation that enables Wrightbus to successfully deliver sophisticated public transport vehicles to global markets.

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Video Transcript

Wrightbus is the largest independent bus builder in the United Kingdom. We produce vehicles for the United Kingdom and also for the global market. I'm the development engineering manager, responsible for the engineering teams working in product development. I also carry some project management responsibilities.

The greatest challenges that Wrightbus face are the speed to market required for our products, and also the high level of technological advancement that come with our products. As fuel prices go up, weight reduction and more efficient engine technology is paramount to our success. Our main engineering facility is based in Ballymena. We've got a satellite design office in Preston, and we have partner sites where our engineers work across the globe. Locations such as Singapore, Switzerland, San Diego, wherever our project partners happen to be.

The main reason for globalizing our product development process, is to bring in the capabilities of partners in other geographical locations and to drive those advances into our product for competitive improvement. The top challenges we face are having engineers working on different continents across different time zones and making sure that all those engineers are working with the same set of data, within the same constraints, and we don't end up wasting time due to engineers having incorrect or old variants of data.

To make sure that information flow smoothly, we're using the capabilities within Windchill to share data and make sure that each development site is working off the latest data within their user permissions. Within the user account settings, we're able to restrict the various permission levels of each user so that they will have visibility or potentially read/write permissions on data depending on the level of clearance that they have and the area of responsibility they have within the project.