Ford opts for Catia v5 for all its bodywork design

Automotive giant Ford has finally decided to break away from its almost universal EDS-based engineering IT infrastructure, by agreeing a contract with IBM/Dassault to provide product lifecycle management (PLM) software, CAD software and services. Dean Palmer reports

Automotive giant Ford has finally decided to break away from its almost universal EDS-based engineering IT infrastructure, by agreeing a contract with IBM/Dassault to provide product lifecycle management (PLM) software, CAD software and services (including process and methodology consultation and integration with Ford's existing C3P PLM system).

Speaking on behalf of Ford, Christine Lemyze, VP marketing PLM worldwide, commented: "Ford has predominantly been using Metaphase and Ideas software from SDRC [now part of EDS] for a while now. But Ford has been impressed with the results of our [IBM/Dassault's] work with Land Rover and Volvo, who were both using Catia v4 CAD/CAM. We've been working on Ford for some time now trying to win back more seats."

And win they have. Although the actual size of the deal with IBM/Dassault is unknown, it is reputed to be worth between 3,000 and 5,500 seats. "Ford's vehicle engineering team will be using Catia v5 for all its bodywork design process," added Lemyze. "They won't be using it for powertrain design, that's covered by Ideas."

According to Lemyze though, Ford's ratio of bodywork seats to powertrain seats is 10:1, so the deal is a huge success for IBM/Dassault. "Ford will be using Catia v5 for CAD/CAM, plus Enovia and Smarteam for PDM [product data management] and to support collaboration processes with key suppliers," said Lemyze.

Last month, Ford's VP and chief information officer issued the following announcement: "For years, Ford Motor Company has pursued a multi-CAD strategy – that has not changed. Recent marketplace reports concerning Ford's strategic direction in PLM software technologies and services are grossly distorted. Both EDS and IBM/Dassault are key partners to Ford."

But EDS has not been pushed aside entirely. It's been awarded an expansion of its existing PLM contract, to provide some of the foundation for integration and collaboration in Ford's multi-CAD global virtual product development environment. Teamcenter PLM (formerly SDRC's Metaphase) will be used primarily for data management, analysis and manufacturing engineering, along with NX (next generation Ideas CAD) for interior design and development, and e-Factory (digital manufacturing technologies from EDS' strategic partner Tecnomatix) for manufacturing simulation, process and resource planning.

IBM's Lemyze continued: "This is a very significant deal for IBM/Dassault. As Ford roll out new car models, the company will introduce our software with the support of our IBM Global Services teams for technical support, training, benchmarking, business process change management, cultural management and PLM philosophy education.

"We're also fully committed to working with Ford to leverage its investment by helping it to deliver Smarteam [PDM collaboration software], training and implementation services to its lower-tier suppliers," said Lemyze.

Author
Dean Palmer

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

 

Do you have any comments about this article?
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

© MA Business Ltd (a Mark Allen Group Company) 2020