Grimes Industrial Design Creates Next-Generation Roller Skate with PLM Solutions from IBM and Dassault Systèmes

Entrepreneur uses CATIA V5 to develop new, more stable roller skate in less than nine months

Yorba Linda, Calf., USA and Paris, France - December 17, 2003 – IBM and Dassault Systèmes (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) today announced that Grimes Industrial Design, a design outsourcing boutique, has designed the revolutionary Vertical Skate (VSK8) roller skate using their Product Lifecycle Management technology. The new patented skate was designed in less than nine months using CATIA Version 5 (V5), just in time to hit the 2003 holiday shopping season.

VSK8 creator Reynald Chaput, a former toy designer, envisioned the VSK8 to be an easy to use, four-wheel skate with a low center of gravity that could be easily and securely clamped onto a person’s street shoes. Chaput grew frustrated with the computer aided design (CAD) software he had used for years, until he met James Grimes, a senior design engineer at Grimes Industrial Design, who introduced him to CATIA V5.

Using CATIA V5 with add-on modules from MSC.Software, an IBM and Dassault Systèmes Business Partner, Grimes was able to test the skate virtually to see how it would perform in reality, which was crucial for the small business in order to eliminate prototyping costs. A particular challenge that CATIA V5 overcame was the VSK8’s unique self-articulating wheels and axles, which provide unprecedented mobility to novice and extreme skaters alike.

“My motto is Get It Done, but my previous CAD software’s motto was You can’t do that,” said James Grimes, senior design engineer, Grimes Industrial Design. “By cutting design costs and development time, we saved thousands of dollars, which now enable us to sell the VSK8 at a competitive price. IBM, Dassault Systèmes and MSC.Software have made it affordable for my start-up to compete in a very competitive marketplace.”

“Regardless of size, all companies must reduce their time-to-market while striving to innovate,” said Jean-Daniel Jouanna, director Fabrication and Assembly PLM Practices, Dassault Systèmes. “CATIA V5 scalable solutions enable small but innovative companies such as Grimes Industrial Design to produce world-class products and benefit from the cost savings and short time-to-market that result from 3D design and virtual prototype testing.”

The VSK8 was designed on an IBM M Pro IntelliStation. All of the manufacturing, molding, assembly, packaging and distribution are done in-house with over 20 components all made in the United States.

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