PLANO, Texas -- UGS PLM Solutions, the product lifecycle management (PLM) subsid iary of EDS, today announced it will provide software products to be used as par t of the technical foundation for a $10.8 million project to develop the Digital Body Development System (DBDS) -- a decision support software system that will integrate the virtual building of an automobile body structure with functional b uild decision making software. Part of the National Institute of Standards and Technologys (NIST) Advance d Technology Program (ATP) the DBDS will potentially save U.S. automobile manufa cturers $3.5 billion in vehicle launch costs by shortening lead times, reducing the number of physical evaluation model builds and improving vehicle quality. T he four-year project will involve a validation phase where the DBDS will be impl emented at two vehicle launches -- one at Ford Motor Company and one at General Motors Corporation. The DBDS will help Ford continue producing world-class vehicles while redu cing development lead time, said Al Ver, Ford vice president for Advanced and Manufacturing Engineering. We value the knowledge and expertise of ou r suppliers and are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort. The goal of the DBDS is to enable the implementation of a virtual build methodol ogy where designers and vehicle launch teams will be able to make better decisio ns faster and understand the quality, cost and timing impacts of these decisions . Key enabling technologies are anticipated to be the enterprise-wide visualiza tion and the variation simulation technology of UGS PLM Solutions Teamcent er® solution. We are delighted to be part of this project as it has the potential to dev elop industry-changing technology and processes, said Joan Hirsch, vice pr esident, UGS PLM Solutions. It builds on a broad range of key strengths o f our current solutions for automotive body development and has synergy with our product direction, particularly how our technology for simulating the variation o f deformable parts, such as sheet metal body components, can be used in such an environment. The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) has brought together automobile and too l manufacturers, a software development firm and academia to develop the DBDS. While previous efforts have focused on design methodologies, this project focuse s on body development and manufacturing validation because these areas are so pr oblematic and costly. The overall project will be managed by CAR in Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition to F ord, General Motors and UGS PLM Solutions, the DBDS interdisciplinary research t eam consists of the following organizations: Altarum Institute, American Tooling Center, Atlas Tool, Autodie International, Cognitens, ComauPico, Perceptron, Ri viera Tool Company, Sekely Industries and Thunder Bay Pattern Works. The Univer sity of Michigan and Wayne State University are also key research participants.
DBDS will enable virtual implementation of functional build through the integrat ion of a dimensional and finite element simulation engine with an agent-based de cision support system. DBDS will simulate a newly designed automobile body and link its many components and manufacturing elements virtually, allowing designer s and engineers to identify and solve problems before any assembly occurs. Then design and simulation results are integrated with manufactured parts data to id entify problems and novel solutions during launch. This is expected to reduce time to market and improve quality by focusing on the assembled product rather than individual parts. Also, by applying a systems pe rspective to monitor total program costs, the DBDS will allow cost reduction dec isions that optimize the whole program, a capability the industry currently lack s. Although joint venture members are contributing more than $5 million over the pr oject’s four years, NISTs ATP funding is needed because this technology is challenging and expensive t o develop, and not commercially viable during the developmental stages. If succ essful, the joint venture members estimate that over a six-year period adoption of the DBDS will lower body assembly costs, by $3.5 billion; significantly incre ase revenues to the automobile supply chain; and produce thousands of new jobs. Possible qualitative benefits include increased model variety and vehicle qualit y (making U.S. cars more competitive), increased learning across vehicle platfor ms and a codified problem-solving process for sheet metal stampings and assembli es that will transfer to other industries, such as aerospace and major appliance s.
About UGS PLM Solutions
UGS PLM Solutions, a leader in product data management, collaboration and produc t design software and services with 41,000 clients and more than 2.6 million sea ts of technology operating in the market, is the product lifecycle management (P LM) subsidiary of EDS. The company works collaboratively with its clients to cr eate solutions enabling them to transform their process of innovation and thus b egin to capture the promise of PLM. The integration of the former operations of companies including Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC), Engineerin g Animation Inc. (EAI) and UGS, UGS PLM Solutions has created some of the leadin g design, collaboration and product data management technologies that ultimately formed the foundation of the PLM industry. Today, the company is a family of o ne, building on three decades of leadership in continuing to be a pioneer in PLM . For more information on UGS PLM Solutions products and services, visit
EDS, the worlds most experienced outsourcing services company, delivers su perior returns to clients through its cost-effective, high-value services model. EDS core portfolio comprises information-technology and bus iness process outsourcing services, as well as information-technology transforma tion services. EDS two complementary, subsidiary businesses are A.T. Kearn ey, one of the worlds leading high-value management consultancies, and UGS PLM Solutions, a leader in product data management, collaboration and product d esign software. With 2002 revenue of $21.5 billion, EDS is ranked 80th on the
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