_How Aprilia accelerated innovation with Windchill implementation




  • Technological development
  • Providing consistency and efficiency




  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Effective data management

About Aprilia

Aprilia, founded in 1945 (TBC), is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer which is currently a part of Piaggio Group, established in 1884, Europe’s largest scooter and motorcycle manufacturer and one of the world leaders in the industry. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Piaggio Group operates eight factories and seven R&D centers and is present in 100 countries. The company achieved its best-ever result in 2022, setting new records across all metrics, including net sales exceeding €2 billion and a net profit up 41.4% compared to 2021 at €84.9 million.


The company’s systematic evolution is so sophisticated that today Aprilia is nothing like the manufacturer it started as. Historically, they initially dealt with the production of bikes, mopeds, and scooters; over time they also began to produce motorcycles, focusing on sports machines, which high-performance versions are very successful in motorsport. Today, Aprilia not only manufactures motorbikes for racing, such as in MotoGP, but they also have a second team dedicated to selling products to individuals.


With 294 Grand Prix races won in Road Racing World Championship, Aprilia holds the record for the most wins of any European manufacturer in the history of top motorcycle competition.

How Aprilia accelerated innovation with Windchill implementation

Project Background

The racing motorcycle industry is fiercely competitive, with manufacturers striving to create the fastest and most advanced bikes. Standing out in this crowded market is challenging, encompassing on-track performance, marketing, sponsorships, and securing talented riders.


Technological innovation drives racing motorcycles, necessitating continuous investment in research and development. Staying ahead requires substantial engineering, testing, and integration of cutting-edge technologies.


Innovations developed for racing motorcycles often hold potential for consumer applications. Successfully transferring and commercializing these technologies poses a complex task, balancing racing performance with cost-effectiveness and mass production feasibility.


Aprilia has a few top-class competitors. To be one step ahead of them and aligned with Piaggio Group’s development strategy, they’ve started their journey to Industry 4.0 and decided to implement PLM.

Business challenges and needs

The Piaggio Group introduced PLM in their factories a few years ago. The implementation of Windchill in Aprilia is just part of a larger digital transformation project for the entire group.


Although until now, Aprilia has exchanged their data using a standard approach to manage and store prototype data, making safe sharing of its know-how more difficult. Data exchange is challenging when it is fragmented and stored on local servers without any monitoring mechanism So, they needed the right technology that would allow them to more efficiently manage the entire development path of motorcycles, their engines, components and parts to maintain a winning streak in MotoGP. In addition, to improve knowledge sharing with other research and development units within the group.


Aprilia wanted to improve the reuse of the data they already have and the way they manage it. The goal was to have clear information about the history of all their data in one place. Managing prototype data and how any of them needs to be built is crucial in the development process of motorbikes. Piaggio also wanted to efficiently use the source information from Aprilia and motorbike racing to improve their own designs.

Windchill (PLM) implementation within Aprilia Racing application architecture

EKA has been cooperating with PTC and its Poland Solution Center (PSC) driven by Transition Technologies PSC (TT PSC), for years. It comes as no surprise that once again they have selected TT PSC to support them with PLM implementation and perform Windchill Data Migration for Aprilia.

A partnership of TTPSC with EKA and PTC with Windchill implementation for Aprilia

Aprilia Racing’s PLM project aims to modify the processes and tools used by AR Design to implement a PLM solution based on the PTC (Windchill + Creo) application stack.


The project concerns the implementation of functionalities in the following management process areas:

  • CAD data,
  • eBOM,
  • documents,
  • releases and changes.


Why Windchill?


Because it revolutionizes knowledge sharing, innovation, and information management. Its centralized repository serves as the ultimate data and content source, while adaptable access controls enable customized project permissions. Streamlined workflows and boosting innovation processes are achieved through effortless dissemination of product configurations. Windchill promotes collaboration, breaking down organizational barriers and creating a harmonious cross-functional environment.


The development teams, both from EKA and TT PSC sides, used Agile software development methods and delivered new functionalities in a repeatable and predictable way. Thanks to the flexible approach, adapting to the requirements and designing changes was efficient.


There were two main goals during the project:

  • Design processes in the PLM system and apply proper system configuration
  • Migrate CAD data from the file system to Windchill


One of the most important activities was PLM system configuration, i.e., adding system functionalities that would ultimately support the user in PLM processes. This part of the job includes the definition and implementation of data model design, change processes, CAD data management and document management. The main goal was, therefore, to adapt the approach to the client’s existing processes and smoothly apply them in the newly deployed system. EKA has handled this part of the project.


TT PSC was responsible for 2nd part of the project which was CAD data migration from the file system to Windchill, where information can be more valuable and gathered in one place to create a seamless data value stream, providing traceability from engineering through quality, manufacturing, sales, and service, to enhance innovation. In the field of data migration, TT PSC has extensive experience with successful projects. These experts are a team of consultants with the most knowledge about PTC Windchill Bulk Migrator. Designed to load data into Windchill, the tool is not available on the market but only for dedicated partners, such as EKA and TT PSC, who can use the tool in migration projects.


For Data extraction, TT PSC used a dedicated component of WBM: Windchill Bulk Migrator Flat File Extractor. Flat files were extracted, consisting in obtaining metadata and establishing relationships between files. The tool took care of the automatic standardization of formats. Some attributes in the metadata required filtering and cleaning. Then TT PSC experts successfully transferred data from system files and PLM folders to the new environment.


In the beginning, migration test environments and many test loops were used, i.e., a microscale migration was performed. Great emphasis was placed on testing and assessing the usability of the migrated data, where both parties (EKA and TTPSC) supported Aprilia engineers and made sure that engineers could work freely on the data migrated in the new system.

Business Impact

The main benefit is related to the development of new products. Implementing PLM will accelerate innovation and enable the reuse of structured data. To reduce the occurrence of errors, the system automates several daily activities of engineers. The Windchill implementation also enables the customer to go ahead in their implementation roadmap and to speed up also the job of other departments, which is very important for racing because, usually in this case, you must engage the motorcycle component supplier before the new project is completed. So, all departments should work together seamlessly and move in the same direction.


Historically, all information derived from specific 3D models developed previously was managed unstructured. With PLM, the customer can manage all data in a more organized and efficient way while evaluating and assessing many different technology solutions and ideas at once. When one such idea is worth attending, it is easy to select and develop further until the prototype testing phase. Thanks to the use of historical data, based on the analysis of drawings, it is possible to predict whether something will work or not, without having to go to the construction and testing phase of the prototype, which has a positive effect on improving the quality and reducing the effort in the process of creating new products.


Building a single component/prototype and testing it on the field with the support of the PLM helps manage data gathered during this process in a structured way. It also speeds up product development and enables knowledge reuse and sharing.

Benefits of PLM implementation


Aprilia Team about collaboration with TT PSC and EKA with PLM implementation

EKA about collaboration with TT PSC with PLM implementation project for Aprilia

TT PSC about collaboration with EKA with PLM implementation project for Aprilia

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