IBM Announces Digital Product Validation, an Advanced PLM Industry Solution for Automotive Product Development

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PARIS - 04 Dec 2003: IBM today announced a Digital Product Validation (DPV) Solution for automotive manufacturers and their automotive suppliers. DPV is the first solution in IBM Product Lifecycle Management Services' new Automotive Industry Model (AIM), a set of best practices-based solutions for automotive business design. The solutions intend to help the automotive industry increase efficiency, reduce product development costs, improve product quality and innovation, and simplify coordination and communication between automotive manufacturers and their supply chain. The AIM framework and DPV offering will increase the overall effectiveness of the product development process and leverage existing product development knowledge.

The IBM DPV Solution leverages IBM's market leading insight gained through collaboration with the world's top automotive manufacturers over the past two decades. The new offering merges the core competencies of IBM PLM Solutions with IBM Global Services consulting expertise to deliver the latest in PLM collaboration capability, business process integration, middleware, and automotive best practices. The services offering exploits the IBM PLM portfolio of collaborative product development and data management applications, including CATIA, ENOVIA, SMARTEAM and DELMIA, developed by IBM partner, Dassault Systèmes.

To support automotive manufacturers' product development processes, DPV replaces the conventional build-test-break-fix design validation paradigm with a process that leverages digital development and validation tools that are integrated into the customers' existing systems. The DPV process recasts non-geometric product requirements specifications into visual requirements models that represent key product interfaces and integration parameters. Digital tools simulate design performance and compare the geometric simulation results to the requirements models. This results in rapid design validation without the time and expense of building, testing and managing physical prototypes.

IBM Digital Product Validation enables development teams to create and manage visual requirements models from disparate information sources, and to synchronize product, process and tooling data. By integrating the requirements validation process into product development, teams can streamline the product development process and cut the time and costs associated with constructing, validating and testing physical prototypes.

By using a product development process that can integrate regulatory, legal, performance and assembly requirements into the digital mockup from project inception, the Digital Product Validation solution improves the ability of design teams to meet and exceed product requirements while reducing the mistakes associated with incomplete or inaccurate physical prototypes. Enhancing the product data model helps ensure that the latest design and requirement revisions are quickly made available to key team members during each step of the development process. This rapid access to up-to-date requirement data and knowledge helps product developers more easily explore new concepts.

A key technological innovation of the Digital Product Validation solution is its virtual modeling function that enables automobile manufacturers to provide suppliers with visual representations of requirements that include clear communication of development boundaries, interfaces and requirements. With automotive suppliers based around the globe, communication through virtual models to relay requirements, rather than text documents, facilitates supplier communication and significantly reduces interpretation-related errors.

"IBM's deep business process, industry and technology expertise -- along with our strategic relationships with technology partners -- has allowed us to develop innovative solutions that are tailored to the unique requirements of the automotive industry. Digital Product Validation was developed based on our extensive PLM knowledge and experience with automotive customers across the globe," said Dave Seybold, partner, IBM Business Consulting Services. "With intense competition and market saturation, leading automotive OEMs are faced with increasing their product offerings to maintain market share. Tools designed to streamline critical path product development processes become very compelling. The Digital Product Validation Solution addresses a critical element of product development to deliver time, cost, quality and capability improvements."

IBM Digital Product Validation Solution is available immediately worldwide through IBM Business Consulting Services (BCS) - PLM Services practice.

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