PLM Series 2022
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Innovator Spotlight: Polaris

Using a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution to create and orchestrate a digital thread while leveraging augmented reality and the digital twin, Polaris is committed to a connected enterprise that drives customer-focused and industry-leading innovations.

Overview: How Polaris is driving a connected enterprise with a digital thread

Polaris strives to create a great end-to-end experience for its customers, including customized purchase options, enhanced safety features, and rapid product repair. To achieve this vision, it needed to connect stakeholders across the company with real-time, accurate product data. With that in mind, the manufacturer adopted a step-by-step approach to digital transformation, unlocking the power of its employees through PTC solutions. At the heart of this transformation was Windchill, PTC’s PLM solution.

The results to date have been significant:

HIGHER
Increase-Arrow Productivity
LOWER
Icon_DownArrow Costs
RAPID
Increase-Arrow Product repair
ENHANCED
Increase-Arrow Safety and reliability
IMPROVED
Increase-Arrow Operational efficiency
GREATER
Increase-Arrow Innovation
HIGHER
Increase-Arrow Data quality and accuracy
FASTER
Increase-Arrow Time to market

Challenges: Outgrowing processes and tools

As the global leader in powersports, Polaris, Inc. operates 30 brands and delivers enriching experiences and services that invite people to discover the joy of being outdoors. As the company has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade—and established a larger global footprint—it had outgrown its processes and tools. As a result, it was struggling to deal with the complexity of all the product options and variants.

To mass customize its line of snowmobiles and ATVs as well as quickly deliver the most innovative, high-quality vehicles in the market, Polaris needed to better connect and manage every step of its product lifecycle. The challenge was to equip its employees with the right tools so the company could continually stay ahead of customer expectations while empowering riders with the right products, services, and experiences.

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Solution: Establishing a PLM-enabled digital thread

Polaris called upon PTC’s enterprise PLM solution, Windchill, to streamline the product development process, resulting in efficiencies and improved innovation across the enterprise. The many capabilities of Windchill empower the company to manage and orchestrate a digital thread of data across the enterprise. Windchill makes it possible to react better and faster to customer- and engineering-driven changes, optimize costs, and break down the silos between engineering, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and service with closed loop quality.

This digital thread also extends into augmented reality (AR). Windchill’s AR Design Share functionality provides an efficient way to collect, create, manage, and maintain 3D experiences as part of the natural PLM process in a more consumable way.

The connectivity of Windchill paired with the collaborative aspect of ThingWorx has brought all areas of Polaris’ product development processes onto one platform.

PTC ThingWorx Navigate provides secure, quick, and easy access to rich product development data managed in Windchill through a set of contextual role- or task-based apps. Non-expert and expert users alike spend less time searching for data and see the data they need—combined with data managed in other systems such as ERP—in a simplified, easy-to-understand interface.

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Implementation: Enabling the connected enterprise

Polaris wants to inspire consumers to choose the company’s brands based on connections made with its customized vehicles. To enable this, Polaris embarked on a digital transformation journey. The focus was on implementing and providing the processes, communications, and data that its employees could harness to best design, introduce, produce, and support innovative products.

Managing Configurations and the Product Lifecycle 
Using Connected Devices to Enhance the Customer Experience
Connecting the Enterprise
Polaris is streamlining its end-to-end process by connecting Creo (CAD) to an engineering bill of materials (EBOM) or manufacturing BOM in Windchill (PLM) and then passing that information on to a service BOM (SBOM). The service BOM then flows out to parts lists and illustrations. This automated process means Polaris will have more agility to manage product configurations, options, and variants, which will unlock the ability to more quickly deliver customized products to market.
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The industrial design team at Polaris uses Creo to communicate with engineering and improve the product design process. At the same time, connected data from its products, factories, dealers, and the field is helping the company design customer-focused features and products that deliver the best riding experience. Through use of the digital twin, it is speeding up product designs, delivery and quality.
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The connected enterprise is how Polaris makes sure all stakeholders work in unison, efficiently calling upon shared information. Connecting Creo CAD data from design to the MBOMs and then into an SBOM in Windchill has automated the process of sharing information downstream. This makes it possible to make faster decisions, accelerate the design and validation process, and bring new products to market faster. Learn how Polaris is bringing BOM transformation to the entire lifecycle, ensuring stakeholders use the same data and can easily collaborate across engineering, manufacturing, and service.
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