Getting Fit for the Future of Manufacturing With Cloud PLM Software

Getting fit for the future of manufacturing with cloud PLM software

The automotive industry faces the most significant transformational period in its history: replacing the internal combustion engine, which dominated the powertrain for more than a hundred years, with more sustainable technologies. This colossal change is driven by the greatest challenge of the present: climate change.

Along with other automotive OEMs and tier-one suppliers, SEG Automotive is undergoing a digital transformation to ensure that it can meet these challenges. SEG Automotive is a global supplier combining flexible on-site development and manufacturing with worldwide know-how and mature purchasing, production, and logistics processes. With over 6,500 employees in 14 countries in the world's most important automotive markets, any solution it implements must be scalable.

To meet this changing market dynamic, SEG Automotive sought to take advantage of the digital technologies available to expand its leadership in the automotive industry. The route they were taking was utilizing efficient digital transformation by using the cloud PLM software, and for this, they needed an experienced digital transformation partner. For this, they turned to Transition Technologies PSC (TT PSC). In the latest PTC Talk, Tobias Petz, Business Development Manager CER at TT PSC, explained how they worked with SEG Automotive to deliver the solution built around PTC's Windchill+.

The growth of cloud PLM software

The adoption of cloud PLM software is accelerating. According to IDC, 89 percent of manufacturers currently use or plan to use the public cloud by 2023. Cloud PLM users benefit from rapid time to value with proven, closed-loop, enterprise-class PLM capabilities along with world-class performance, reliability, and security. Cloud-based PLM also offers increased enterprise collaboration with self-service, purpose-built, role-based applications, greater scalability with active user pricing, and seamless systems integration.

SaaS PLM increases business agility, leveraging the elasticity and scalability of the public cloud to improve product development processes, respond to unanticipated disruptions, and address emerging competitive threats. It helps manufacturers meet changing business and market conditions by eliminating the time and cost of adding infrastructure, connecting resources, and expanding ecosystems. It can also improve product quality, internal and external collaboration, time to market, data processing, and innovation. Finally, SaaS PLM is the system of record for maintaining continuity across a digital thread that connects people, processes, and complex systems in a closed loop that spans the entire product life cycle.

How a cloud-first strategy addresses customer challenges?

For SEG Automotive, sustainability was becoming a significant factor, and one of the targets was to manage the reduction of resources with a cloud-first strategy. The move to cloud PLM software came amidst massive structural changes within the company and a with a great sense of urgency. The plan was to replace an existing ERP system and migrate to a standard PLM system. As Windchill was already being used within the company, it was decided to standardize on this solution. One overriding requirement was ensuring data security and avoiding downtime and operational shortages.

The goals set by SEG Automotive were numerous. Chief amongst these was the desire to establish a single version of truth for shared data and content. Also, they wanted to be in control of the process and continue to use the Azure IoT platform. Finally, flexibility was also crucial, with a readiness to scale up and avoid downtime while preparing the groundwork for the future IT architecture allowing iterative exchanges to understand the business plan.

The implementation was viewed as a success by all parties, and at the end of the day, the most important thing for SEG Automotive was the benefits. The cloud platform delivered safety, improved performance, and cost optimization with a secure and scalable solution. The architecture was slightly different from what was expected because the company had its own cloud model because it already has control of some processes and databases, but this approach may change. With the solution up and running, it enabled global collaboration across its sites with no maintenance and monitoring of PLM hardware needed. The service level agreement (SLA) was met at 99 percent, which significantly improved the previous on-premise solution. Adding and removing resources or compute is much faster and requires less work from both the customer and TT PSC.