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

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 Productivity

HIGHER

LOWER Costs

LOWER

RAPID Product repair

RAPID

ENHANCED Safety and reliability

ENHANCED

IMPROVED Operational efficiency

IMPROVED

GREATER Innovation

GREATER

HIGHER Data quality and accuracy

HIGHER

FASTER Time to market

FASTER

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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.

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.

Implementation: Enabling the connected enterprise

Managing configurations and the product lifecycle 

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.

Using connected devices to enhance the customer experience

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.

Connecting the enterprise

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.

Managing configurations and the product lifecycle  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. Using connected devices to enhance the customer experience 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. Connecting the enterprise 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.

PLM demonstrations

Digital thread

Manage and orchestrate a digital thread of data across the enterprise leveraging BOM management, configuration management, BOM transformation, change management, manufacturing process management, and AR design share.

Manage and orchestrate a digital thread of data across the enterprise leveraging BOM management, configuration management, BOM transformation, change management, manufacturing process management, and AR design share.

Family management

Plan product families and manage options, choices, and assignments in multi-year product structures.

Plan product families and manage options, choices, and assignments in multi-year product structures.

Augmented reality

View first-hand variant-specific AR design review and visualization, as well as process plan visualization.

View first-hand variant-specific AR design review and visualization, as well as process plan visualization.

Manufacturing process planning

Concurrently develop mixed-model assembly process plans.

Concurrently develop mixed-model assembly process plans.

BOM costing application

Make a custom mashup of variant-specific cost tracking and roll-up.

Make a custom mashup of variant-specific cost tracking and roll-up.

BOM management and global platforms

Manage and link CAD data, BOMs, and visualization for a modular EBOM structure and generate options & variants for design verification and visualization.

Manage and link CAD data, BOMs, and visualization for a modular EBOM structure and generate options & variants for design verification and visualization.

Change management

Manage the change of a new option from EBOM to MBOM through process plans and work instructions.

Manage the change of a new option from EBOM to MBOM through process plans and work instructions.

BOM transformation

Associatively transform the BOM from engineering to manufacturing with options and logic.

Associatively transform the BOM from engineering to manufacturing with options and logic.

Role-based access

Access digital product information depending on your role in the organization.

Access digital product information depending on your role in the organization.

Interference detection

Create variant-specific validations with DMU/interference analysis.

Create variant-specific validations with DMU/interference analysis.

CAD demonstrations

Computational fluid dynamics

Improve product quality and speed time to market with its powerful analysis tools.

Improve product quality and speed time to market with its powerful analysis tools.

Topology optimization

Create innovative designs that meet engineering requirements.

Create innovative designs that meet engineering requirements.

Additive manufacturing

Print with polymers and metal, allowing you to lower manufacturing costs and reduce costly scrap.

Print with polymers and metal, allowing you to lower manufacturing costs and reduce costly scrap.