PTC PLM helps in development of Volocopter’s autonomous air taxis to manage product data in central platform

PTC announced that German start-up Volocopter has selected PTC’s Windchill product lifecycle management (PLM) solution for the development of its autonomous flying transportation systems. Windchill will record, configure, and secure interdisciplinary product structures, requirements descriptions and documents, and manage mechanical, aerodynamic, and electronic CAD models and the associated system software.

Windchill provides a single source of truth for product data and processes to stakeholders throughout an organization. With PLM, organizations can improve product quality by connecting teams directly to live operational data. It can also help reduce IT burden and overhead, while ensuring accessibility and security with both on-premise and cloud deployment options. Windchill is an end-to-end PLM platform that is IoT-ready.

Volocopter develops electrical vertical take-off and landing multicopters (eVTOL) as autonomous air taxis for the safe transport of people. The technical platform is extremely flexible and permits piloted, remote controlled, and fully autonomous flight. In addition, the unique design offers unprecedented degrees of safety based on the high level of redundancy in all critical components.

As early as 2011, the company earned its entry into the history of aviation through the manned flight of the world’s first purely electrical multicopter. Since then the young enterprise has set new milestones: In 2016 Volocopter was granted provisional licensing for a two-seater Volocopter by the German aviation authority and in 2017 the aviation start-up showcased the first ever autonomous flight of an air taxi in cooperation with RTA Dubai.

In the meantime, the founders Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel have gathered a team of experienced managers like CEO Florian Reuter and CTO Jan-Hendrik. This paved the way for the further expansion of the company. Daimler, Intel and Lukasz Gadowski are among the investors in the company.

Volocopter plans to connect its machines and supporting infrastructure systems. Windchill, coupled with PTC’s ThingWorx Industrial Innovation Platform, will provide role-based applications to enable improved collaboration, as well as enable the imaging of digital twins to predict and test aircraft behavior in the physical world.

Valuable data collected during operation will flow back into the product design process to ensure true closed-loop lifecycle management. This form of development can help Volocopter further expand its current competitive advantage.

Technical functionality and seamless interaction with extensive requirements management and IoT capabilities were decisive in Volocopter’s selection of PTC’s PLM solution. Windchill ensures rapid new development by amassing cross-company information at an early stage in the development, production, and testing processes.

The system’s integrated requirements management functionality support comprehensive coverage of market and regulatory requirements.

And its strong capabilities around gathering processing measurement and sensor data from test and experimental setups and prototypes enable fast reaction for effective development.

The Volocopter is emission-free, very quiet, and stable in flight. The fully redundant power train, driven by 18 independently-controlled propulsion rotors and an intelligent autonomous control system, make the Volocopter one of the safest aircrafts.

“We are creating tomorrow’s mobility solution in the third dimension. Urban air taxis are a completely new market, and we are treading on new ground every day,” said Jan-Hendrik Boelens, CTO of Volocopter. “The modular Windchill PLM system gives us the necessary flexibility to grow and stay at the forefront of innovation, while managing all our product data consistently through one central platform.”

“Emerging technologies and breakthrough innovations are not possible without a solid product development solution in place. PLM is that foundation, making its adoption more important than ever for innovative companies like Volocopter,” said Kevin Wrenn, divisional general manager, PLM Segment, PTC. “This spirited start-up has taken the first step to successfully impacting the transformation of mobility as we know it. We look forward to supporting Volocopter in defining and implementing their IoT strategy.”

 


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