Feb 23, 2009

Vaillant Group Deploys PTC Product Development System to Drive Innovation and Streamline Global Collaboration

Designs CO2-Reduced, Energy Efficient and Environmentally-friendly Heating Systems

NEEDHAM, Mass - PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), The Product Development Company®, today announced that Vaillant Group, a leading internationally operating heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technology concern headquartered in Germany, has successfully implemented Windchill® as its global platform for product development content and process management. With Windchill, Vaillant Group has reached an important milestone by creating an efficient enterprise-wide product development system formed to increase process transparency and collaboration thus driving product innovation. In the mid 90's, Vaillant Group standardized on Pro/ENGINEER®, PTC's parametric CAD/CAE/CAM software for designing innovative products. Vaillant Group originally used PTC Pro/INTRALINK®, for Pro/ENGINEER data management, but has since upgraded to Windchill to take advantage of its broad and deep capabilities for content and process management as well as its superior Pro/ENGINEER data management capabilities. The implementation of Windchill creates a single, integral platform for global collaboration among the R&D departments across Europe and China as well as controlled access to product development for non-engineering departments and third party suppliers. As part of the project, the PTC Global Service Organization migrated 1.6 million product data files with a total system downtime of less than two days.

Like many organizations, Vaillant Group is faced with some extreme product development challenges including increasing competition from overseas companies as well as higher prices for raw materials that are critical for the production of its products. In fact, the more than 130 year-old, family-owned company has a long-term growth strategy to create a competitive edge through innovation and execution of a clear R&D strategy by highly qualified engineering teams. Vaillant Group's R&D centers in Europe and China form one of the largest development teams in the industry. Around 70 percent of heating technology sales are achieved with products less than three years old. Accordingly, the company is investing significantly in research and development (64 million Euro in 2007) in order to safeguard its ability to respond quickly and efficiently to customers' requirements in product development. The PTC product development system is an integral component of Vaillant Group's R&D strategy with Pro/ENGINEER supporting the general development and, in particular, the development of technologies based on renewable energies. Solar thermal systems, photovoltaics, heat pumps and ventilation with heat recovery, all being designed in Pro/ENGINEER, have shown tremendous success with sales increased by 25 percent in this product segment. The newly developed heat pump proved to be an even stronger growth driver with a 40 percent sales increase. Additionally, Vaillant Group is making strides with the development of fuel cell heating appliances. These efficient, environmentally-friendly, hydrogen-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) units generate 50 percent less CO2 and consume about 25 percent less primary energy.

In order to continue to drive its competitive advantages, Vaillant Group keeps improving efficiency. In fact, the implementation of Windchill is one more milestone in optimizing development processes and driving innovation. With the implementation of Windchill, the Vaillant Group established global 3D CAD file access, control and visualization as well as improved collaboration between R&D and non-engineering departments. Furthermore, PTC enabled controlled, online 3D CAD data exchange with suppliers and established design workflows to enable repeatable and predictable product development processes.

"One of the greatest challenges for product development in the next few years will be how to share the right information with the right people at the right time. Engineering and non-engineering departments need to collaborate on a global scale and independently of the software system that created the original data. We are convinced that PTC products will help us overcome this challenge in the future," said Dr. Gamal Lashin, head of R&D tools and standardization, Vaillant Group.

"To unlock business value by deploying PLM technology, you need to have the right processes in place and full management support through to each individual user," said Josh Fredberg, senior vice president market and strategy, PTC. "Customers like the fact that our out-of-the-box solutions can meet their requirements without customization so that they can focus their services investments on process optimization and user adoption to ensure that they realize the maximum value from their software investments."

About Vaillant Group

Vaillant Group is an internationally operating heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technology concern based in Remscheid, Germany. As one of the world's market and technology leaders, the company develops and produces tailor-made products, systems and services for domestic comfort. The product portfolio ranges from efficient heating appliances based on customary fuels to system solutions for using regenerative energy sources. In financial year 2007 the company, which has been family-owned since its founding in 1874, achieved with almost 12,400 employees sales totalling about € 2.4 billion.