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Solo Keeps its Head Down and Follows Through with CATIA Solutions to Design Space-Age Golf Clubs

CATIA Reduces Development Time by 75 Percent, Cuts Costs by 60 Percent

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City of Industry, California - 22 May 2001: .... Solo Golf, a leading maker of golf clubs, announced today that CATIA* Solutions have enabled its engineers to reduce new product development time by 75 percent while cutting design costs by as much as 60 percent.

CATIA, developed by Dassault Systemes, marketed, sold and supported by IBM's Product Lifecycle Management group, is an advanced CAD/CAM/CAE solution thatenables engineersto generate and manipulate designs quickly and efficiently, speeding time to market while improving product quality and performance.

Solo Enterprises, two-time winner of the Small Business Association's Administrator's Award for Excellence, began manufacturing golf clubs in the early 1980's. A leading supplier of aerospace components, Solo brings 30 years of experience in design and manufacturing for customers such as the U.S. military and NASA to the development of drivers, irons and putters for golf enthusiasts. Initially, Solo Golf manufactured clubs for virtually all the premier golf club companies, including Callaway*** and Titleist***, but after learning the club design and performance parameters, Solo realized that it could design a better product on its own and began exclusively manufacturing Solo Golf brand clubs in the early 1990's.

One thing Solo Golf had learned from past experience is that, surprisingly, the design of a golf club can be more difficult than designing machined parts for the aerospace industry. Most aerospace components have a large number of flat planes, straight lines and defined radii that facilitate design. Designing a golf club can be far more complex. Its shape must provide a certain weight distribution and center of gravity and perform under different moments of inertia.

Traditionally, golf clubs are designed at a drafting table, which makes it very difficult for engineers and craftsmen to attain the degree of precision needed to create a club with correct weight or a big enough "sweet spot." Solo Golf engineers learned that by using CATIA Version 4, the same software used in designing for their aerospace customers, they could produce a superior club that would greatly enhance a player's accuracy and performance.

An example of CATIA's abilities can be seen in the design of Solo Golf's patented titanium oversize driver, the Turbolator. The difficulty in designing jumbo club heads is due to the 30 percent increase in surface area, which often results in increased drag, slower club head speed and an overall loss of distance from a higher trajectory and "ballooning" of the ball. To eliminate this, Solo Golf used CATIA's 3D modeling capabilities to determine how different head shapes will affect a ball's flight pattern and trajectory. The resulting Turbolator club head design channels air over the top of the club head reducing drag and increasing kinetic energy by six percent.

"Solo is able to design a much better club with CATIA," said Ed Mugica, vice president, Solo Golf. "Using CATIA, we can investigate new ideas, check their feasibility, determine whether proposed products are aesthetically pleasing and whether they strengthen the overall performance of the Solo line, all the while reducing time to market and cutting costs. In many cases, we've been able to turn CATIA design prototypes directly into production with zero modifications. CATIA prototypes are that good."

Solo is constantly researching and developing new products while improving current ones. Most recently, Solo has been looking at a CATIA solution that would enable wind tunnel simulation. Solo is committed to employing advanced technologies in the development of high-quality products for its customers, and CATIA continues to be the engineering solution of choice.

Solo Golf has spent the last ten years designing or producing clubs for Callaway®, Lynx®, Founders Club®, Cobra®, Titleist®, Andrews & Aberdeen® and Cleveland®. The experience has led to a breakthrough that can only be called a revolution in golf club design. Having achieved unparalleled perfection in golf club design, only one name could grace the result: SOLO. Every Solo club is manufactured in the United States, utilizing aerospace CAD/CAM design engineering, CNC manufacturing, and cast in Solo's in-house foundry to mil-spec aerospace tolerances.

IBM is the leader in creating, developing and manufacturing the world's most advanced e-business technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. IBM translates these advanced technologies into value for its customers through its professional solutions and services businesses worldwide. IBM's worldwide Engineer Solutions unit is the leader in helping manufacturers gain a competitive advantage by offering them consulting and e-business services and solutions. Customers use IBM solutions for such activities as computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering, product data management, virtual product development and Web-based collaboration.

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