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Moving from PDM to PLM

How Volvo CE established the foundation for a digital thread

Volvo CE needed a unified product lifecycle management system to provide a product-centric information backbone for the extended enterprise

Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) is a leading international manufacturer of premium construction equipment. Leveraging more than 180 years of construction expertise and the knowledge of over 14,000 employees, it supplies products and services to more than 180 countries around the world. With innovation at the heart of its strategy and culture, Volvo CE provides the right machines and solutions for any construction job to ensure customer success.

Ever-changing market conditions, shorter product lifecycles, and increasing product complexity are requiring industrial organizations like Volvo CE to change. Companies are adapting by creating new business models, globalizing operations through decentralized production, and leveraging technologies like automation and connectivity to enable

customized products and smart services. To realize key business capabilities and secure longterm growth, Volvo CE set out to define a vision for digital transformation.

Like many companies with a long history, mergers and acquisitions have impacted Volvo CE’s product and service portfolio. A complicated and costly IT landscape—based on no less than four different product data management (PDM) systems—emerged over the last four decades. As a consequence, a significant part of the investment capacity went to keeping the old systems running. Little or no investment could be put towards actually improving ways of working.

Volvo CE needed a unified product lifecycle management (PLM) system. They chose to leverage PTC’s Windchill, a comprehensive PLM solution for data governance and traceability, providing an authoritative source of truth across engineering, operations, suppliers, and customers. By creating a digital thread and consistent product architecture, Volvo CE would enable cross-functional teams to manage hardware and software complexity in one place.