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06 November 2002

Preci-Spark Replaces Its Existing CAD/CAM System With Unigraphics From EDS PLM Solutions

CAMBERLEY, U.K. and PLANO, Texas -- EDS today announced that aero engine and gas turbine components manufacturer Preci-Spark will standardise on Unigraphics pro duct development software for its tooling design and manufacturing requirements. The fully integrated 3D modelling and NC tool path programming system will repl ace Preci-Spark’s existing separate CAD and NC programming systems. Based in Loughborough, Leicestershire, Preci-Spark specialises in the production of precision aero engine and gas turbine components, from raw material to finis hed component using both conventional and high-tech machining techniques. It cou nts many of the world’s leading aerospace and power generation equipment ma nufacturers among its customers. “Our selection of Unigraphics as a way for us to shorten manufacturing lead times and improve our time to market was the result of a comprehensive evaluati on of the leading CAD/CAM systems on the market,” said John Elliott, engine ering manager for Preci-Spark. “Among the reasons for our final decision wa s the software’s open architecture, which enables us easily to develop our own specialised programs to make the most of the system’s functionality. It s superior surface modelling capabilities and the maturity of its integrated NC tool path programming facilities were also key factors. “Above all though, we were impressed with EDS’ understanding of manufa cturing industry and its obvious commitment to continuing, future software devel opment in this area.” The company’s new Unigraphics system provides advanced solid and surface mo delling, assemblies modelling and detail drafting capabilities, fully integrated with NC manufacturing tool path programming facilities for 3- and 5-axis millin g, wire EDM, 4-axis wire EDM and laser cutting. It also supports Internet-based communications between Preci-Spark and its customers. Measurable Benefits Among the benefits the company is experiencing since Unigraphics was installed and implemented are a reduction i n errors and consequent delays during the tooling design process, improved stand ardisation and faster, more reliable NC tool path program generation. In additio n, the production of detail drawings is up to 50% faster than before while desig n modifications can be carried out some 75% faster. “The speed at which necessary design modifications can be made with Unigrap hics is one of the biggest factors in reducing our lead times,” said Elliot t. “For example, a complex overbend form die which could previously take 10 hours to modify now takes 30 minutes.” Preci-Spark’s planned future d evelopments for its Unigraphics system include the addition of EDS’ Teamcen ter Engineering product data management (PDM) software and integration with manu facturing planning and other business systems within the organisation at its fiv e UK sites. About Preci-Spark. Founded in 1962, Loughborough, Leicestershire-based Preci-Spark is a leading dev eloper and manufacturer of precision components, such as air impingement inserts for gas turbines and aero engine components. Through constant improvement in te chniques and processes, the company is able to manufacture nozzle guide vane and turbine blade cooling inserts varying in size from those for the small Allison 250 Series helicopter engine to the massive ABB 146 megawatt industrial gas turb ine. Today, with the largest sub-contract capacity in Europe for specialised faciliti es for the aerospace industry, Preci-Spark’s customers include Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, AlliedSignal Aerospace, Snecma and GE Aircraft Engines, plus A BB Group, Alstom Gas Turbines, Allison Gas Turbines and Vickers Precision Compon ents, among others. About EDS EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation, bus iness transformation and operational solutions for clients managing the business and technology complexities of the digital economy. EDS brings together the world’s best tec hnologies to address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eli minate boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers’ trust and continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management consulting subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world’s leading companies and governments in 60 countri es. EDS reported revenues of $21.5 billion in 2001. The company’s stock is tra ded on the New York Stock Exchange.