Nextracker was searching for a better way to manage product information with distributed teams, enable automated approvals, and provide better tracking and accountability. In addition, the company needed the ability to integrate to its design and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Arena’s cloudbased product lifecycle management (PLM) solution checked all the boxes. It made internal and external team collaboration simple while providing seamless integration.
Lee was hired to drive adoption of PLM. “Using Arena’s cloud-based PLM system to centralize product information and automate design and development processes has accelerated innovation,” said Lee.
“We can pass information instantly from our engineering systems to Arena and then to our manufacturing systems to expedite the end-toend new product introduction processes.” Arena is used by design, operations, quality, marketing, and even some executive teams to drive faster review and approvals. “We have over 300 internal team members and more than 200 supplier partners using Arena PLM across five countries—the United States, Australia, India, Mexico, and Spain,” said Lee. “We have daily changes and updates driven by our engineering and quality teams. We continually add new suppliers to improve our ability to source and release high-quality products fast.”
Nextracker has been able to automatically push the necessary product information to Oracle® NetSuite immediately upon release to support the sales, purchase order (PO), and manufacturing processes. Information flows from their engineering design systems, SOLIDWORKS® and OrCAD®, into Arena to minimize wasted cycle times and improve accuracy of information.
Nextracker’s contract manufacturing (CM) partners are scattered throughout the U.S. and India. “Our CMs can go into Arena PLM and securely access the exact information they need. Arena enables us to synchronize product information in ERP, so our teams in India can service customers in their region and the U.S. location can service customers in their region,” noted Lee. “We always get positive feedback from our suppliers on the ability to check drawings, revisions, compare against POs or sales orders, and start work without delay.”
With Arena’s PLM platform, Nextracker is taking advantage of the quality management capabilities to create quality records connected to the underlying product record. By processing first article inspections and form, fit, and function (FFF) information in Arena Quality, Nextracker’s team can link parts that need to be tested. Nextracker uses the quality system to create and process nonconforming material reports (NCRs) and corrective action reports (CARs).
Nextracker developed a mobile app that is connected to Arena to help field service teams that have limited web connectivity and are impacted by harsher conditions. This speeds the collection of field service information and the creation of NCRs—giving the quality team earlier visibility.