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Arena Solutions, a pioneer in cloud-based, unified product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS) solutions, released highlights of its success in penetrating the automotive component supplier industry. Automobiles are rapidly becoming at least as intricate and interactive as a smartphone. From deep wireless device integration to driverless automobiles and the software defined car, vehicles rolling out of the factory are many times more complex than they were just a few short years ago, and IoT (Internet of Things) plays a central role. With hundreds of IoT companies already in its stable of customers, Arena is enjoying enviable traction in this white hot market segment.

Competitive pressures and the need for rapid innovation are requiring auto component suppliers, many of them very young companies, to rapidly produce completely new modules and subcomponents. Even more challenging, they must do so in high mix and high rate-of-change production runs while simultaneously improving quality and functionality with every release as they sprint to be first to market.

Similar to consumer electronics and medical device manufacturers, automotive suppliers and sub-suppliers are increasingly turning to Arena because only it can deliver a unique combination of PLM and QMS that also incorporates industry leading supply chain solutions. Arena assures a higher degree of interoperability to avoid the frustration of linking together third party dissociated solutions. Indeed, as the automotive component market increasingly incorporates IoT technologies, and vehicles become more connected and complex, it’s only natural the industry would look to Arena, which has more than 250 IoT customers, a number that few competitors can match.

With Arena, automotive component manufacturers can:

  • Provide flexibility and ease of use for QMS in the cloud
  • Connect the entire supply chain to the product record for heightened visibility
  • Enable all stakeholders to participate in the quality process
  • Scale as needed to meet the needs of fast growing companies
  • Avoid the costs associated with the maintenance of additional hardware and software – Arena PLM and QMS require only a standard web browser
  • Secure their product data, thanks to a highly secure, multi-tenant cloud-based architecture and dedicated security team
  • Reduce manufacturing costs

Aperia Technologies, based in Burlingame, Calif., began using Arena PLM in 2013. The company was founded in 2010 and released its first product in mid-2015. Their device, the Halo Tire Inflator, monitors tire pressure for the trucking industry and, when it becomes low, automatically inflates the tire.

“Arena is our master repository of record,” said Roget Ratchford, principal engineer at Aperia. “One of the greatest benefits of Arena is it reduces ambiguity down to zero. You can always get the right answer no matter where you are, on the ground, in the office, in the air, on the phone. If you need current rev, information on parts, go to Arena. It’s the pivot on which all of our other databases run.”

Aperia also extensively takes advantage of Arena Quality. “With Arena Quality, we know who’s got the ball in their court, what needs to be done, and when was it achieved,” Ratchford added. “It’s enormously helpful. Quality issues don’t get lost or overlooked, because all the information is right there in the product record where everyone can see it.”

Starline, a St. Petersburg, Russia-based supplier of next generation automotive telematic security systems and services to automakers, provides a good example of why manufacturers in EMEA are increasingly turning to Arena to solve their product design and supply chain challenges.

“We started high-level hardware development in Russia about five years ago,” said Alex Borisov, head of research and development at Starline. “We used a spreadsheet application to manage our bill of materials, and it was very hard to control, especially because we use many of the same parts across different products.”

After two years, however, Starline recognized that the company needed to deploy PLM software to manage their BOM, and they selected Arena because it was best suited for electronic products design and, as a cloud-based solution, it was simpler to deploy, easier to connect to suppliers with and cost much less than traditional, on-premises PLM software.

“The automotive industry is in the midst of a technological transformation,” said Steve Chalgren, EVP of product management & chief strategy officer at Arena. “Both new startups and established suppliers are creating highly complex, innovative components. They’re recognizing that traditional, mechanical focused on-premise PLM solutions can’t deliver the electronic high tech PLM and QMS capabilities that are required by the electrical, firmware, and software development teams. As a result, they’re increasingly turning to Arena Solutions.”

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