Ford Motor Company’s Adoption of CATIA V5 Increases Product Development Efficiency
Ford Fusion Virtual Build Development Time Shortened
Paris, France, and Auburn Hills, Mich., USA, May 17, 2006 ─ IBM and Dassault Systèmes (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), world leaders in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), today announced that CATIA V5 played a crucial role in increasing product development efficiency on the Ford Fusion program at Ford Motor Company. CATIA V5, supporting collaborative virtual product development, was used on the Body-in-White (BIW) development of the Ford Fusion, helping Ford reduce its overall digital development time. CATIA V5 continues to enable innovation in Ford’s product development process by providing mature, highly reliable data much earlier in the vehicle design process.
“CATIA V5 doesn’t just create parts. It creates those parts in the context of each other, taking into consideration all the surrounding design and engineering intent. Our customers are benefiting from exceptional maturity of data very early in the process,” said Joel Lemke, president, Dassault Systèmes Americas Corp. and recently appointed CEO of ENOVIA. “CATIA’s ability to quickly adapt a design for other vehicles on the same platform is critical to making gains in an overall corporate product development process, and is a real, measurable through-put improvement that is directly contributing to Ford’s goal of driving cost out of the system and ensuring quality.”
Ford launched CATIA V5 in 2003 and used it for Body-in-White development of the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr vehicle programs. Leveraging CATIA V5 enabled Ford to take a top-down, functional approach to BIW geometric modeling. This included product & process associativity and integration. The deployment of CATIA V5 within the context of the associative design process yielded a significant reduction of geometric modeling time. This reduction was accomplished while delivering greater design fidelity and completeness earlier in the product development process. All the system/component geometric relationships─including detailed transitions, blends, and fillets─were delivered earlier and maintained throughout all of the subsequent design iterations.
CATIA V5 was instrumental in maintaining the cross-vehicle system relationships supporting associated brands, such as the Lincoln Zephyr and the Mercury Milan. Changes to system specifications are now automatically propagated to the detailed design level across several disciplines, including CAE and manufacturing.
Ford’s success with CATIA V5 further strengthens Dassault Systèmes’ and IBM’s position within the automotive community. “We are very pleased that Dassault Systèmes could help Ford achieve real, measurable improvement in data quality and delivery on the Fusion project. We look forward to expanded contributions in the Ford system,” added Lemke. Dassault Systèmes was named the leading provider of PLM software services and sales in 2005 by independent industry analyst firm Daratech.