Aerospace & Defense
Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
CAMBERLEY, UK -- UGS PLM Solutions, the product lifecycle management (PLM) subsidiary of EDS, today announced Ker Associates Limited, one of the world's most successful racing yacht design groups, selected Unigraphics® NX -- after a three-month selection process -- as "the best available software" for its transition to total 3D design. Unigraphics NX is a primary component of UGS PLM Solutions' NX suite of integrated computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering analysis (CAD/CAM/CAE) software.
Led by Jason Ker, Ker Associates designed the Ker 55, which recently won an unprecedented seven out of nine races at the 2003 Admirals Cup -- the unofficial world championships of offshore sailing. The team has also been selected to design a prestigious Volvo 70, a completely new class of boat for round-the-world racing.
"This is not an easy business to enter and having the very best technology helps us to persuade buyers that they should come with us rather than one of the longer-established teams," said Jason Ker, Principal Designer. "Ker Associates is a young company that has already achieved success at the highest level by embracing the best technology. We spend a lot of time seeking out the best available software and investing where we feel it can make a difference -- that is why we chose Unigraphics NX."
Initially Unigraphics NX will mainly replace Ker Associates' MicroStation CAD tools and supplement the team's specialist freeform surface modelling package, Maxsurf, which Ker uses for hull design. The design team expects to move more completely to Unigraphics NX in the course of 2004.
"We decided to move to 100 percent 3D design about six months ago, to resolve a situation where we have been exporting 2D profiles of hull sections from Maxsurf, into Microstation. In effect, we have been designing in 2D on top of 3D, which we felt brought too many limitations," explained Ker. "We developed a highly detailed specification and spent three months testing all the major packages. We were looking for programs that could import our hull designs easily from Maxsurf -- an area where many packages struggle -- and which have excellent surface modelling capabilities. Unigraphics NX fulfilled our criteria better than any other package we tested."
Ker Associates has already experienced substantial time savings from the switch to Unigraphics NX. Hull design takes priority in racing yacht design and a single boat will go through many hull variations before settling on the final specification. Before switching to Unigraphics NX, the team had to manually redesign all the other boat components to account for any change in hull design.
"Once the hull shape has been changed, everything else is impacted; from the 'plugs' -- the laser-cut hull cross sections that the builder planks over to create the initial hull mold -- to the bulkheads, furniture and rigging," explained Ker. "With Unigraphics NX when we update a hull design all other aspects are automatically recalculated within seconds. This saves us days -- not hours -- of design time and that means we can now create variants of our boats -- lighter hulls for example -- very rapidly."
"We often build bespoke or very low-run racing yachts for people who are in vesting large sums of money to win races. Naturally, our customers are very demanding and want to participate fully in the development of their yacht," said Ker. "Unigraphics NX's 3D capabilities allow us to help our customers visualize the evolving design of their yacht and help us to show the builder exactly what we want."
"World-class yacht racing is one of the true proving grounds of a design tool's capabilities," according to John Hurley, president of UGS PLM Solutions UK. "We are thrilled that one of Europe's hottest design teams agrees with us, after extensive trials with competitive products, that Unigraphics NX is the best package available today."
UGS PLM Solutions, a leader in product data management, collaboration and product design software and services with 41,000 clients and more than 2.6 million seats of technology operating in the market, is the product lifecycle management (PLM) subsidiary of EDS. The company works collaboratively with its clients to create solutions enabling them to transform their process of innovation and thus begin to capture the promise of PLM. The integration of the former operations of companies including Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC), Engineering Animation Inc. (EAI) and UGS, UGS PLM Solutions has created some of the leading design, collaboration and product data management technologies that ultimately formed the foundation of the PLM industry. Today, the company is a family of one, 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 www.ugsplmsolutions.com or www.eds.com.
EDS, the world's most experienced outsourcing services company, delivers superior returns to clients through its cost-effective, high-value services model. EDS' core portfolio comprises information-technology and business process outsourcing services, as well as information-technology transformation services. EDS' two complementary, subsidiary businesses are A.T. Kearney, one of the world's leading high-value management consultancies, and UGS PLM Solutions, a leader in product data management, collaboration and product design software. With 2002 revenue of $21.5 billion, EDS is ranked 80th on the Fortune 500. The company's stock is traded on the New York (NYSE: EDS) and London stock exchanges. Learn more at eds.com.
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