Faster to the front
NX and Teamcenter accelerate armored vehicle development by 20 to 25 percent
European solutions for global markets
Patria is a defense and aerospace group based in Finland with international operations. It is owned by the State of Finland (73.2 percent) and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company EADS N.V. (26.8 percent). Patria Vehicles’ expertise is based on more than 60 years of experience and a profound understanding of customer needs. This supports the company’s commitment to strong and continuous product development. Its latest successes, such as the fourth-generation Patria armored modular vehicle (AMV) and the AMOS double-barreled mortar system, are remarkable evidence of successful concepts resulting in European solutions for global markets.
Patria Land Solutions business unit is divided among armored wheeled vehicles, mortar systems and ammunition products. Patria Vehicles develops and delivers medium-weight armored wheeled vehicles and supports their lifecycles. Patria Vehicles’ new AMV 8x8 is designed to meet the most demanding military multi-role vehicle requirements. This vehicle extends off-road mobility very close to that of tracked vehicles while maintaining excellent on-road mobility and low lifecycle costs. Due to its high payload of up to 10 tons, the AMV 8x8 offers excellent ballistic/mine protection in addition to serving as a platform for modern heavy weapon systems.
Fast response with modularity and PLM
Armored vehicles represent significant investments for customers, and their development poses a number of challenges for Patria. For example, even though some customization is always necessary, delivery times are extremely short. Typically, the first vehicles are delivered within 12 months of the initial order. It is critical that projects are started quickly because some of the required components have long delivery times. Another challenge facing the company is compliance with a variety of international military standards. Also, although the company is a niche provider, now that it has entered the international arena, its competition has become global as well.
One of the company’s competitive advantages is its ability to respond to customer requirements quickly. One way of doing this has been to develop the Patria AMV family with as many modular components as possible, providing adaptability between versions without changes in basic vehicle systems. Another way the company ensures a fast response is through its use of product lifecycle management (PLM) software from Siemens PLM Software.
Patria Vehicles chose this solution in part because Siemens PLM Software is highly regarded and well known globally. “We wanted a global provider such as Siemens PLM Software which, together with Ideal Product Data Oy, has a strong understanding of our needs and is capable of fulfilling our technical requirements to carry out a successful deployment to our full satisfaction,” says Rami Harmaala, director, Business Process Development at Patria Vehicles.
The other reason for the choice of this solution was the software itself. NX® digital product development software and Teamcenter® digital lifecycle management software provide a competitive, modular CAD system with integrated engineering data management that can be used in a global environment. Also NX can handle the large and complex assemblies containing more than 10,000 parts that are needed in designing armored wheeled vehicles. Finally, this solution is able to reach beyond the design and engineering departments and be used by order processing, sales and marketing and PLM support.
Faster development with fewer errors
To make sure that this solution was used optimally as soon as possible, Patria Vehicles developed a certification program that tested designers’ and main users’ knowledge of the new system. The company also extended the certification program to subcontractors. This approach accelerated learning. After designers and engineers had been using NX, the company surveyed them twice about their experiences and the effectiveness of the training. The company used the results to organize additional training in design and modeling methods.
Deploying Siemens PLM Software has allowed Patria Vehicles to have a single design system throughout the company. A central platform permits internal and subcontracting designers to access designs through the central repository, reducing the need to edit models and improving end-product functionality with fewer errors and better quality. More importantly, it has accelerated the product development process by an estimated 20 to 25 percent, helping the company to keep to its delivery schedule. The time saving is due to daily tasks being completed quicker as well as a greater re-use of existing product data. Additional time is saved in the creation of instruction manuals, which previously required digital photographs but now use NX 3D models.
The increased visibility of projects made possible by Siemens PLM technology has resulted in improved planning. Also, spare parts and maintenance documents are now managed in a way that was previously not possible. Another improvement comes from keeping design, analysis and simulation data in one system for a single source of product and process data. It is also no longer necessary to translate formats to move this data between systems, making the process faster and less prone to error.
Overall, adopting NX and Teamcenter has standardized operations, improved the ability to respond to customer requirements and market challenges, and allowed for more flexibility across the company. The company plans to extend the current use of Siemens PLM Software technology to include, for example, requirements management, CAM, data exchange and more simulation. Harmaala notes, “We wanted a single design and engineering solution, with many modules, so that we can increase its use over time as requirements change. This is a real benefit of Siemens PLM Software technology.”