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4 min read

Rising Demand for Parts | Motrec Launches 3D Interactive Part Catalog

Motrec, a leading electric industrial vehicle manufacturer offering genuine replacement parts, invests in providing accurate spare part information and an intuitive user interface. “Good data and findability are the foundation for reducing vehicle downtime and efficiently supporting our network,” says Nicolas Laplante, Motrec's technical support and warranty specialist.

Motrec and Zea innovate to automate over 6,000 serial number-specific spare part catalogs

Traditional 2D spare part catalogs rely on exploded views with callouts that match a bill of materials. In fact, over 75% of the cost of creating a spare part catalog typically comes from manual labor to create the technical illustrations. 

Knowing that throwing time and resources at the project wasn’t an option, the teams set out to create part catalogs that leverage Motrec’s 3D models. Furthermore, Motrec needed a scalable solution that was easy to maintain to support its substantial growth. 

Motrec needed a best-in-class solution to reflect its status as a market leader in its category, and Zea rose to the challenge.

The Challenge

Motrec faced a spare part catalog worst-case scenario. They produce high-mix low volume customer equipment.


At the project's outset, Motrec had over 18,000 unique vehicles but lacked a dedicated team to manage the parts catalog. Motrec deployed internal resources from engineering to create their part catalogs.

With limited resources and ambitious goals, Zea needed to devise a solution to increase data quality and accuracy, automate the entire solution from end to end, and ensure the platform could support the initial scope of over 6,000 unique vehicles.

Zea and Motrec worked together to identify the exact pain points and found:

  • Motrec could better leverage data in the ERP system to manage spare parts. 
    • While content could be used from the ERP, there was neither a definitive content model nor normalized data.
  • Motrec had to overcome the philosophical parts catalog dogma, which says parts catalogs are PDFs, to ensure their dealer network would be onboard.
  • When the new system was placed into production, Motrec's dealer network would likely continue facing challenges ordering parts without 3D models.

The Solution

Short overview of Zea's solution and its key capabilities to solve Motrec's challenge.

Upon realizing their challenges, Motrec knew they needed outside support to develop and execute a plan. After scoping a plan with Zea, Motrec believed Zea's knowledge of the parts catalog, implementation methodology, and 3D model platform was the solution to meet their industry-leading expectations.

The 3D spare part catalog and customer portal include various features and functionalities designed to streamline the spare part ordering process. The key capabilities of the platform include:

  • Serial number-specific part catalogs: Dealers can search for spare parts using the vehicle's serial number. This feature lets dealers quickly identify the relevant parts required for maintenance or repair tasks.
  • Interactive 3D models: Once the vehicle's serial number is entered, the platform displays a full 3D model of the vehicle. This allows dealers to visualize the parts they need in a realistic manner, ensuring accurate selection.
  • Spare part selection: Using the 3D model, dealers can easily select the specific parts they require for their maintenance tasks. The platform offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies the selection process.
  • Order submission: After selecting the desired parts, dealers can submit their orders through the portal for a quotation. This enables efficient communication between the dealers and Motrec's sales team, expediting the ordering process.


Zea Parts Success Plan Methodology. From proof-of-concept to deployment - Zea

The primary users of the next-generation 3D spare part catalog and customer portal are Motrec's dealer and industrial distributor network. Dealers ordering replacement parts from Motrec received an invitation to access the portal. By providing the dealers with a comprehensive and user-friendly platform, Motrec aims to strengthen its relationships with its partners and further enhance customer satisfaction.

Part of Zea’s approach to planning for a large project like Motrec was to ensure the project's feasibility before Motrec committed financial resources. To ensure project feasibility, Zea: 

  1. Audited the CAD data from Motrec that would feed and automatically generate the initial parts catalog.  By doing so, Zea could quickly determine the project’s feasibility.
  2. Reviewed findings with Motrec and suggested optimization strategies for exporting a parts list from Motrec’s ERP.
  3. Collated all of the data and presented a success plan that highlighted the project goals, the implementation path for success, and a pricing model.
  4. Motrec was now convinced that with Zea, they could move forward with the project.

The Results

Screenshot of a Motrec MC-480 displayed in Zea Parts - Zea

Upon completing the project, Motrec developed a process for automating its parts catalog.  The final process, which resulted in the parts catalog, followed these fully automated steps.

  1. Zea Sync processes native SolidWorks and SolidEdge 3D CAD models on-premise and uploads a web-optimized version to Zea. 
  2. Zea Sync then uploads a master parts list and serial number list from the ERP to Zea.
  3. Zea then matches parts, assemblies, and serial numbers with the 3D files and produces a unified view of the 3D models with the correct spare part numbers.

Blair McIntosh shares his experience working with Zea while implementing a 3D interactive part catalog.

Zea is the future. With Zea Parts, we automated how we create and update thousands of serial-number-specific part catalogs based on our 3D models and data from our ERP.” Blair McIntosh, President and owner at Motrec International Inc.

Motrec's development of a next-generation 3D spare part catalog represents a significant step towards revolutionizing after-sales support in the vehicle industry. By leveraging interactive 3D technology and user-friendly features, Motrec aims to enhance the spare part ordering process for its dealer network, ultimately strengthening its position as a world-leading manufacturer. The gradual rollout planned for this spring ensures a seamless transition for dealers, promising improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The teams are excited to begin work on phase two of the project, which involves incorporating e-commerce into the dealer portal to facilitate part ordering and reporting.

About Motrec

Motrec International Inc. has built a rock-solid reputation as a world-class designer and manufacturer of electric industrial vehicles for the horizontal transportation of goods and people.

We innovated, reimagined, engineered, and tirelessly drove ourselves to this preeminent position. We also consistently exceeded customer expectations. That’s why legions of satisfied customers worldwide have been driving Motrec since 1988.

About Zea

At Zea, we believe that providing high-quality product documentation clearly signals to your clients that you’re with them for the long run and that you stand behind your equipment. We also believe it should be easy to do.

That’s why we’ve built a next-generation 3D cloud platform specifically designed for manufacturers. From creating technical illustrations to building easy-to-use and interactive 3D parts catalogs using 3D models, Zea helps anyone deliver an unforgettable after-sales experience without compromising data security.

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