think3 Inc. Announces ESI Group As US Reseller Of thinkcompensator

CINCINNATI, October 3, 2006 – think3 Inc., a leading supplier of product development solutions, announced today that ESI Group, a world-leading supplier and a pioneer of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes, will be the US reseller of its newest computer-aided design tool, thinkcompensator™. thinkcompensator helps automotive OEMs and suppliers address springback, a condition that occurs when materials, such as high-strength steel, partially return to their original shapes after being stamped—making them unusable for the intended application.

With thinkcompensator, engineers can automatically bridge the gap between finite element analysis (FEA) results that compensate for springback and the actual modification of tooling design required to modify the shape quickly and accurately before production. Tooling companies using thinkcompensator, such as Atlas Tools, which supplies stamping dies and prototype parts for automotive stamping customers, are seeing up to a 50% improvement in compensated data quality and a 30% improvement in processing time.

ESI Group currently offers a series of virtual manufacturing tools for its automotive customers that include stamping solutions spanning the entire tooling process. Providing a software package that integrates FEA results into the modification of tooling design made sense. “We can now deliver a software package that takes our customers from product data to CAD data, with validated and springback-compensated tooling that’s ready for machining,” said Michael Bloor, Chief Operating Officer for ESI Group North America. “With the incredible amount of competition in the automotive industry, we’re always looking for ways to compress delivery timeframes without compromising quality. We can deliver technology that automates functions with improved quality that will drive cost out of the product and speeds time to market.” To put this into perspective, an average automotive die tool set costs approximately $500,000. Tool corrections for a single recut can run between 10 to 20 percent of the tooling costs, and slow down the process during critical phases of the production schedule.

“ESI Group is a recognized leader in delivery and support of virtual prototype testing software products that reduce cost and improve productivity in the automotive tool and die market,” said Alain Massabo, Vice President of Advanced Research and Development at think3. “We’re very pleased to have them as our partner, representing our products as a part of the think3 channel network. A technical relationship should lead both companies to an unmatched offer for domains requiring a compensation of the manufacturing process.”

How thinkcompensator Works        
Building on think3's powerful global-shaped modeling technology, thinkcompensator bridges the gap between FEA predictions and optimized tooling design. thinkcompensator automates the process—saving time, replacing tedious manual labor and maintaining the same surface structure (topology) and quality (continuity) as the original surface model.
Using thinkcompensator with FEA data reduces user interaction, eliminating the need for engineers to spend time rebuilding geometry to compensate surfaces. thinkcompensator speeds the process, allowing engineers to create better and additional design iterations so that materials can be correctly cut the first time.
thinkcompensator works in three simple steps:
• FEA information is read into thinkcompensator, and the compensated FEA mesh becomes the target of an automated process
• The user determines the design accuracy

About ESI Group
ESI Group is a world-leading supplier, and a pioneer of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes that take into account the physics of materials. ESI Group has developed an extensive suite of coherent, industry oriented applications to realistically simulate a product’s behavior during testing, fine-tune manufacturing processes in accordance with design product performance, and evaluate the environment’s impact on product performance. ESI Group’s products, which have a proven track record in manufacturing and have been combined in multi-trade value chains, represent a unique collaborative and open virtual engineering solution known as the Virtual Try-Out Space (VTOS), enabling virtual prototypes to be improved in a continuous and collaborative manner. This integrated protocol allows all the company’s solutions to work with each other and with applications developed by independent software vendors. By significantly reducing costs and development lead times and enabling product/process synergies, VTOS solutions offer major competitive advantage by progressively eliminating the need for physical prototypes during product development. The company generated sales of �62.2m in 2005, and employs over 500 high-level specialists worldwide covering more than 30 countries. ESI Group is listed in Eurolist compartment C of Euronext Paris. For further information, visit www.ESI-Group.com.

About think3 Inc.
think3 provides innovative, next-generation industrial design solutions for the industrial design industry and is a leading supplier of product development solutions to mid-sized manufacturers worldwide. Customers include Honda, BMW, Mazda and Alessi. Overall, the company enables more than 5,000 manufacturers to achieve dramatic gains in competitiveness and profitability by optimizing their product development process. think3's best-of-class products, services and unique business delivery model lower manufacturers' risks and remove barriers to successful implementation. With headquarters in Cincinnati and offices throughout Europe, Asia and North America, the privately held company has been leading innovation for more than 20 years. For more information, visit www.think3.com.


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