Hitachi Rail Adopts PTC PLM to Transform Global Product Development

PTC solution automates development processes, accelerates product innovation, reduces delivery time by 20%

NEEDHAM, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — December 10, 2013PTC® (Nasdaq: PTC) today announced that Hitachi, Ltd. Rail Systems has selected the PTC Global Product Development Solution based on proven PTC Windchill® technology as its single enterprise platform for global product development throughout its railway vehicle engineering and manufacturing business. Hitachi, the only railway systems integrator in Japan, designs, manufactures, and services railway vehicles, traffic control and signal systems, and railway facilities/equipment for railway companies. Hitachi’s strategic alignment around the PTC solution will help the company drive product development innovation and success in an intensifying global competitive landscape.

Class 395 Dual Voltage High Speed Train EMU for London & South Eastern Railway Co (Photo: Business W ...

Class 395 Dual Voltage High Speed Train EMU for London & South Eastern Railway Co (Photo: Business Wire)

After being awarded a contract to deliver 600 railway cars and well over two decades of maintenance support for the Intercity Express Program in the U. K., Hitachi decided to build a production facility in the U.K. to produce the vehicles locally. Hitachi recognized that it needed a world-class PLM solution that would provide a unified, consistent view of all product data to meet its innovation and quality goals for the new center. Additionally, the limited availability of external resources with traditional Japanese craftsmanship skills to support development of its custom-ordered railway vehicles elevated Hitachi’s need to automate its product development processes and enhance its production environment.

Further, because its engineering team works in a multi-CAD environment using both 2D and 3D CAD tools, Hitachi needed a system with the flexibility and broad capabilities to manage heterogeneous CAD data. The company also required the capability to manage the engineering bill of materials (eBOM) and the manufacturing bill of materials (mBOM).

The implementation of the PTC solution has increased Hitachi’s visibility into daily workload on the shop floor by improving the accuracy of Bill of Material (BOM) information. As such, part inventory levels and component and materials procurement processes have been optimized. The Hitachi manufacturing team is now able to create more accurate plans, and has reduced its production lead-time, from component order through car assembly completion, by 20%. “PTC Windchill helps companies better manage their bills of materials and product configuration as well as heterogeneous CAD data. In addition, the product provides intelligent workflow that automates mundane tasks within and across development sites, ensuring the highest levels of quality and consistency, and driving continuous product and process innovation,” stated Peter Bilello, president, CIMdata.

Hitachi has expanded its use of the PTC solution to manage multiple configurations of its railway cars, enabling the company to flexibly support customer requirements. The company expects that the workload of its design engineers also will be substantially reduced as adoption of the PTC solution further accelerates. In addition, Hitachi plans to improve the accuracy of its manufacturing process and cost management by placing the scalable PTC solution at the center of the UK Intercity Express Program.

“We needed a system that would help us enhance our production environment and, at the same time, enable us to automate production processes and be less reliant on human resources,” said Takashi Kadohiro, Manager, Business Reforms Promotion Department, Kasado Works, Hitachi Rail Systems. “As the core of our product development platform, the PTC Global Product Development Solution has allowed us to manage all of our CAD data in a single repository, improving our workflow and process automation.”

“Process improvement is pivotal to supporting product development and services, and ultimately to helping drive business success,” said Mark Hodges, Divisional General Manager, PLM Segment, PTC. “We are pleased to expand our relationship with Hitachi to support innovation, drive efficiencies throughout its product development processes and ultimately increase its competitive advantage."

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About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. The company's consolidated revenues for fiscal 2012 (ended March 31, 2013) totaled 9,041 billion yen ($96.1 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional material & components, automotive systems and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at .

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