Lack of change management and disconnected systems left Navantia’s product development process disjointed.

Navantia is a Spanish state-owned shipbuilder that can trace its founding to the mid-18th century. It designs, constructs, integrates, repairs and modernizes ships for both the military and civil sectors. The ninth largest shipbuilder in the world, Navantia boasts a line of products ranging from aircraft carriers and supply ships to patrol boats and submarines.

Business Challenge

Navantia’s product development process was disjointed. The team was not keeping track of the changes being made during the product development process. For every change made, engineering would release a new version of drawings. Not only did this lead to confusion as to which version product developers should use, but it also kept stakeholders across the organization from realizing the full implications of a change they were proposing. In addition, information from various enterprise systems, such as Navantia’s ERP solution, SAP, were not connected – leaving knowledge gaps in the complete product development picture.


Navantia was already using Windchill, PTC’s PLM solution, to help manage its vast amount of product information. However, it now had the opportunity to expand its use of the solution to other use cases. One capability was particularly attractive: Windchill offers advanced out-of-the-box integration with SAP. Navantia was also pleased that Windchill allowed them to define a configured product structure using 3D models and drawings.

“Being able to visualize a ship in 3D is key for all stakeholders throughout the product lifecycle to understand even the most minute details,” says Alfonso Olmos Marin. For instance, manufacturing engineers can use the 3D model for re-grouping the design into different packages according to the building strategy of the vessel and then release these packages into SAP for production management.


Already, the effect of implementing change management via a system of systems is clear:

“Before change management, it was difficult to realize the impact changes would have on other parts of the product development process,” explains Olmos Marin. “Since implementing a change management process with Windchill, changes must be approved by a small committee of people who are able to easily determine all implications the change will have. Because of this process, many changes that would have ended up hurting the product down the line are now tracked and managed. Changes are now systematically approved and automated providing teams across the enterprise with the most accurate, real-time information.”

With the integration of SAP, Windchill has also made it possible for all product and process data to be funneled into a consolidated platform. This has enabled Navantia to significantly improve the standardization of its product development processes across its various shipyards.
Now that Navantia has consolidated its various enterprise systems, it is looking ahead to improve process coordination between engineering and manufacturing using BOM transformation. Windchill MPMLink gives manufacturing engineers the tools they need to design and manage all of their process plans in parallel to the design team as they develop their own models – reducing time to market and improving accuracy and transparency between engineering and manufacturing.

“We have been impressed with the functionality that Windchill allows and are currently expanding our environment with Windchill MPMLink,” says Olmos Marin. “This new integration will allow us to execute both the product and the manufacturing process concurrently to improve the accuracy of manufacturing deliverables.”

Next Steps

Navantia is continuing to drive its digital transformation through a new initiative that will bring Industrie 4.0 technology to the shipbuilding industry. The 4.0 Digital Shipyard initiative will include the development of a new frigate – the Spanish Navy F110 – that will be designed with smart, connected technology, systems, equipment, operational functions, and services. Navantia has partnered with a local university to develop the initiative’s research project as well as to experiment and test new IoT technology using ThingWorx, PTC’s IoT platform.

Says Olmos Marin: “With Windchill, we have now firmly established the foundations which will allow us to implement new technologies and procedures for achieving the Digital Shipyard”.

The Great Consolidator: Windchill as an Integration Platform

Integrating its ERP and CAD solutions through Windchill has had a major impact on Navantia’s product development process. By integrating all product data from its various enterprise systems into one consolidated platform, stakeholders can feel confident that they are accessing the most up-to-date product information. In addition, the consolidation of data from multiple enterprise systems means that stakeholders spend less time searching for data and more time performing high-value tasks. Ultimately, this leads to reduced engineering hours, the elimination of errors early in the development process, improved first pass yields in manufacturing, improved design reuse, and reduced duplicative work.