Infinivu Open Air Roof System Development Time Reduced From Weeks to Hours with CATIA
Auburn Hills and Southgate, Mich., April 16, 2007 - Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, announced today that ASC (American Specialty Cars) has leveraged lean principles in its product development process and achieved a significant reduction in product development time for its InfiniVu open air roof systems through use of Dassault Systèmes’ PLM solutions. Where ASC’s original InfiniVu took one year to develop, DS’s CATIA can now generate a new design in a matter of hours.
“We believe the automotive industry is headed for a “micro-niche” environment that focuses on bringing vehicles to market much faster than before and moving to replace existing designs sooner,” says Chris Theodore, ASC Vice Chairman. “DS’s CATIA will be critical in helping us achieve the flexibility and speed we need to satisfy this growing industry trend.”
CATIA captures the know-how and best practices gained through the product design process. This knowledge is then stored for reuse to develop new, better quality products faster. This knowledge enables the creation of intelligent components, which are able to adapt to a new context, in a process known as component morphing. Whereas traditional product development techniques would require significant engineering time for each new InfiniVu system, with CATIA users simply change the requirements, such as roof hole size or curvature, and a new design can be provided in hours versus weeks. Non-value-added activities are eliminated and a significantly leaner process created.
“Increasing speed and innovation while maintaining or improving quality is essential,” says Michel Tellier, president, Dassault Systèmes Services. “With CATIA and the Knowledgeware portfolio, we are able to impact these three areas in a very significant manner. Quality is systemically assured and can then be incrementally improved. Design iterations from existing know how are virtually instantaneous. The economies generated free engineering to invest in innovation and deliver additional benefit to each successive customer. We call this Lean Engineering. Chris and his team at ASC have proven this.”
In addition to speed, quality improvements are gained. Since knowledge is stored and there is only one set of data that is shared in real-time, all changes in design specifications are automatically propagated across all involved disciplines to ensure that everyone is working with the most current data. Information is clear and transparent. Says Theodore, “Not only does this contribute to continuous quality improvement, but it also keeps the cost below what you would typically expect for this type of vehicle option.”
Originally used in the development of the fabric-style InfiniVu, CATIA is now being implemented in the glass- and Lexan®-panel versions. ASC is building product development process rules that will allow the fabric and solid designs to be interchanged automatically. The next step is to move into full knowledge-based engineering that will capture not only design information, but also analysis, tooling, manufacturing and cost information.
For more information, visit the Dassault Systèmes booth (#1767) at the SAE World Congress and view demonstrations of automotive solutions that can help companies improve quality, reduce costs and drive innovation throughout the product development cycle.