Digital Design Infrastructure to Speed Up Delivery of Fuel Efficient Cars

IBM and Dassault Systmes help BMW respond to consumer changes by allowing immediate access to global design plans.

Earlier this month, IBM and Dassault Systmes announced BMW's use of a single digital software environment for the design of all BMW engines across its fuel and diesel-powered cars, motorcycles, and its newest line of eco-friendly, hybrid cars including the industry's first hydrogen-powered vehicle.

With the use of CATIA software, a 3D virtual design platform, engineers can consolidate design environments and create a single reference model for the design of all future BMW engines. IBM and Dassault Systmes PLM experts have helped the automaker to harmonize and consolidate all mechanical design initiatives into a single digital infrastructure that provides the latest technologies to aid in the software simulation, calculation and testing of new engine models.

As industrial sector companies intensify efforts to deliver increased value to customers, they are using smart technology to help deliver a new class of products. For example, working with IBM and Dassault Systemes, BMW has developed a series of software design initiatives aimed at equipping new cars with fuel-saving technologies. From designing smaller engines to increasing piston and cylinder performance for better ignition and fuel performance, product lifecycle management software continues to play a key role in the intelligent design of new products.

In the past, aerodynamicists, physicists, and product engineers relied on CAD geometry and manual changes to create new design models. With CATIA, product designers can create multiple engineering applications that significantly enhance a manufacturer's ability to digitally share master versions of an engine or a gear-box design. The use of one digital reference model that can be updated and shared instantly across the globe helps BMW respond quickly to consumer changes prior to signing off on production and shipment plans. The time span required for designing and shipping new cars has been cut in half through the use of these new digital technologies.

"BMW is in a leadership position to speed up change in the auto industry. With this digital design infrastructure, the company can quickly respond to consumer changes and production demand by having immediate access to global design plans and making those updates digitally so they are instantly shared across global manufacturing sites and with partners in the supply chain." said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software.

Using CATIA software, BMW has shipped 22 new cars with engines that produce less than 140grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels per kilometer, an achievement that meets the goals set by Kyoto Protocol participants in 1992 as part of an international treaty on climate change to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.

"We are convinced that the extended deployment of our 3D PLM software across all BMW divisions will deliver quick results for BMW and its customers." Said Bruno Latchague, executive vice president, Dassault Systmes. "BMW can now streamline all its design and product development activities on a single platform that is easy to share with all its suppliers. This reflects an important move in times where return on investment is more critical than ever."


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