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Clean Energy Companies Rely on Arena PLM to Help Accelerate Product Development

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Foster City, Calif., Sep 10 - Arena Solutions, the leading provider of on-demand product lifecycle management (PLM) software for manufacturers of all sizes, today announced that its Arena PLM software is helping clean energy companies accelerate product development to meet the surge of demand created by the rush to move away from fossil fuels and adopt clean energy.

Arena Solutions' wind, solar, and geothermal customers, such as Nordic Windpower Ltd., Sunlink Corporation, and Free Source Energies LLC, as well as others involved with the transportation and storage and conversion industries, are staying ahead of their competition—even as new, well-funded companies pour into the market—in part by using Arena PLM to keep current products on schedule and speed new product introductions. Arena PLM also helps them increase accuracy and reduce development costs by virtually eliminating potentially expensive errors that eat away profit margins and threaten success.

The challenge made by former Vice President Al Gore this summer, to abandon electricity generated by fossil fuels within a decade and rely on the sun, wind, and other environmentally friendly sources of power, puts pressure on alternative energy businesses to deliver at much higher levels. To make this increase in production possible, clean energy companies must employ the right mix of technology—one that includes PLM software—to ramp up product development and run their businesses.

Nordic Windpower Ltd. implemented Arena PLM to accelerate the domestic and international rollout of its advanced wind turbines. The software has been instrumental in helping the company hit product launch goals, ensure product data integrity, and collaborate with worldwide contract manufacturing partners.

"We're trying to make clean, sustainable wind power a more viable alternative by reducing its cost. Using Arena PLM, we can do it faster. Arena PLM streamlines processes and eliminates costly mistakes before they occur. We pass these lower costs onto our customers and ultimately will be able to expand production, distribution and global use of this renewable energy source," said Greg Mead, vice president of manufacturing and operations at Nordic Windpower.

"We're proud that Arena PLM is the product development backbone for so many clean energy companies working to decrease the world's dependence on fossil fuels," said Craig Livingston, chief executive officer of Arena Solutions. "The urgency for companies in this space is very real. With Arena PLM, instead of spending time and resources on expensive hardware and IT maintenance, clean energy companies can focus on speeding innovative, high-quality products to market ahead of their competition."

SunLink Corporation, a leading provider of highly engineered, aerodynamically designed solar electric mounting systems for the commercial market, chose Arena PLM to shorten new product introduction (NPI) times, collaborate more effectively with its supply chain partners, and better manage product revisions. Having Arena PLM for support in managing its design through manufacturing processes has allowed SunLink to devote greater focus to boosting its competitive position and scaling to serve an industry poised to triple in three years.

"Arena PLM is helping us accelerate our time to market and improve our NPI project execution. The software also ensures our entire supply chain has the revision information they need to build products on time and budget," said Ranjan Prasad, director of operations and supply chain management of SunLink.

Every new product design means exponentially more documents to be managed across the extended enterprise and throughout the product's lifecycle. Traditionally small- to medium-sized businesses have managed this information with disparate applications, such as Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks. Highly ineffective, companies often pay for it with mistakes that could have been prevented and delays in getting to market—things that clean energy companies can't afford to do. Arena PLM provides a cost-effective way to replace this ad hoc collection of software with a single product record that's centralized across the extended enterprise and connects employees, partners, and suppliers to engage in real time around engineering change, compliance, testing, and other design and manufacturing processes.

"To begin using the robust functionality of Arena PLM, we didn't have to make any big investments—no significant increases in headcount or operating costs. We pay as we go and get automatic software upgrades included in the price. It doesn't get more affordable—or valuable—than that," said Laura Matykiewicz of Free Source Energies, LLC, a developer of direct exchange geothermal units. Free Source Energies selected Arena PLM not only to replace its disparate systems, but for the centralized product record, ease of use, low cost of ownership, and ability to scale with company growth.

A web-native, on-demand (SaaS) application, Arena PLM offers significant advantages related to connectivity, cost savings, security and ease of implementation and use. Unlike traditional software, there are no clumsy behind-the-firewall access rights to configure and manage each time a user is added or removed. The scalability of Arena PLM means that companies can plan for growth—but can reap benefits immediately by investing only the time and resources to support what they need at that time. In addition, with all infrastructure and data securely hosted by Arena, customers need little to no overhead to support Arena PLM, even across multiple locations.

"The fact Arena PLM is Internet-based is very significant: We can access it from anywhere, include partners and vendors in the process and enjoy the benefits of PLM while keeping our IT and hardware costs low. In Arena PLM, we've found a scalable PLM application that will fully support us as we continue to grow," said Matykiewicz.

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