Bianchi Relies on think3 for Bicycle Market

Company Able to Cut Product Development Time by Half Using thinkiD DesignXpressions Technology

MILAN, Italy, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Bianchi(R), world premier manufacturer of cycling and quality bicycles for more than 120 years, and long-time customer of think3 Inc.(R), is used the company's thinkiD DesignXpressions(TM) software solution to develop its new carbon-fiber frames to reduce overall time to market and continue to innovate.

Over the past ten years, Bianchi, headquartered Treviglio in northern Italy, has experienced enormous changes in the industry and a rapid increase in competition. For example, a decade ago, the average lifespan of a cycle frame was five years -- today that average has fallen to two years.

Bianchi, part of the Swedish group Cycleurope A.B., one of the world's most influential holding companies in the cycling sector, is a premium international brand producing more than 75,000 bicycles annually, which accounts for 10% of the world market. Keeping its competitive edge was paramount to Bianchi's ongoing success.

As part of the company's goal to differentiate itself, Bianchi began investing heavily in innovation and research and development, which is where think3 technology was tapped. The goal -- produce the largest number of projects in the shortest possible time without compromising quality -- allowing Team Bianchi to test prototypes well in advance and get to market faster.

"For our company, thinkiD is the best solution for creating new frames available on the market at both the concept and the engineering level," said Luca Minesso, Bianchi's Engineering and Production Manager. "With think3's solution we have been able to use new materials effectively. With the entrance of carbon fiber to the market, frame-linked performance has become increasingly important and subject to improvement. thinkiD's clever mix of style and engineering, which leaves designers great freedom while respecting solid and surface modeling parameters, lets us focus on these factors."

"A frame project may require a whole year to be refined, finalized and wind tunnel-tested," said Minesso. "thinkiD DesignXpressions halved our design times. Thanks to GSM3 (Global Shape Modeling), frame modifications can be performed in minutes instead of hours or days. What's more, we have managed to speed up communication all along the production chain, importing and managing files from different CAD systems without problems and carrying out modifications more rapidly -- thus accelerating the revision process. ThinkiD's transparency -- which allows files from different CAD systems to be imported and managed -- is one of the most important features that convinced us to adopt thinkiD DesignXpressions,"

"thinkiD is the best solution for us, especially where the management of surfaces is concerned," said Fabio Ferri, Bianchi's Product Engineer. "This aspect is increasingly important in frame design. With carbon fiber, when you say frames it's more and more about performance. thinkiD is the perfect compromise between design and 'hybrid' modeling, allowing you to use solids and surfaces in the one environment."

With thinkiD DesignXpressions it is possible to concentrate exclusively on a product's form, with the greatest freedom of expression. The technology automatically transforms a design into a model which takes into account the technical and engineering aspects and maintains the initial design intention during the analysis and production phases, eliminating the math complexities. GSM3, which automatically performs the geometrical calculations required by a change of form, single modifications to the frame, can be carried out in just a few minutes, significantly speeding up the modification process.

"think3 technology allowed us to halve project completion times -- down from one year to six months," said Minesso. "Using thinkiD, we generated a significantly greater number of prototypes thanks to a streamlined product development cycle with significant cuts to modification times and development costs.

"In the past, Bianchi's range of bicycles consisted of 20 frame models and we were able to renew a maximum of five each year at best," said Minesso. Using the same resources, we have been able to renew 18 out of 20 models in the 2007 range."

About Bianchi

Bianchi has been synonymous with cycling and quality cycles for over 120 years. Since May 1997, F I V Edoardo Bianchi -- the company's full name -- has been part of the Cycleurope A B group, which is a Swedish company in the Grimaldi group that is acknowledged as the world's most important holding company in the bicycle sector. Bianchi group's brands -- Bianchi, Legnano, Puch and Chiorda -- have joined Cycleurope's brands -- Monark, Crescent, DBS, Kildernoes, Everton, Micmo, Gitane -- to create a network unique for breadth of its offering and widespread availability in the world bicycle market. Today, Cycleurope is able to implement operational synergies at the highest level involving prestigious Old Continent companies, among which Bianchi is the outstanding name. The group's strategic investments have two primary objectives: the development of products with a high level of technology, and the group's definitive consolidation on international markets. For more information, visit http://www.bianchi.com.

Information about think3

think3 has been operating in the ICT sector for more than 25 years and provides the only technology that links three separate design areas: the concept, its development and the finished product. In this way, think3 enables thousands of company customers to innovate, to compete and to rise to the challenges of global markets, thanks to the integration of processes, which helps to accelerate time to market and to reduce costs. Having been active in emerging markets with dedicated structures for many years, think3 can provide outsourcing services, thus offering companies a new opportunity to go international. All this means that think3 can count among its customers some of the most significant enterprises in the industrial market. With head offices in the United States and offices in Europe and Asia, think3 is present throughout other global markets too, with its network of selected VARs (Value Added Resellers).

    For more information visit our site at 
http://www.think3.com

    Media Contact Information:
    Cristina Carini, Marketing Specialist at 
Email Contact ,
    tel.: Italy +39 (0)51 597111.

Web site: http://www.think3.com/
http://www.bianchi.com/


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