Pridgeon & Clay Streamline Die/Blank Process Operations In Joint Effort With Altair Engineering

TROY, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 23, 2002--In a joint project with Altair Engineering, Inc. that began in August of this year, Pridgeon & Clay, a Grand Rapids-based supplier of stamped and fine blanked components to the auto industry, has announced an improvement to the die development process using Altair's HyperForm® sheet metal forming simulation technology.

According to Lee Berkenpas, senior design engineer at Pridgeon & Clay, "We spent six months earlier in the year evaluating a variety of software simulation products according to our needs. The conclusion we reached was that Altair Engineering's HyperForm technology is the best available today, bar none."

Berkenpas explained that the company was looking for four specific capabilities: First, they needed a program that could accurately predict the size of the pre-formed blanks needed to stamp a particular part. Second, they required software that had the ability to demonstrate product feasibility -- whether the part could indeed be made as intended, along with a robust failure mode analysis capability. Third, they wanted a program that could provide rapid simulations and analysis to speed up the product design, product validation and die surface fabrication processes. Fourth, they were looking at establishing a long-term partner that would work closely with them to deliver results right away.

"With HyperForm, Pridgeon & Clay's blank size estimation throughput has decreased from two days to two hours," says Ashwanth Goveas, Altair consulting engineer.

"Prior to HyperForm, P&C seldom used virtual stamping to validate the stamping process," Berkenpas continued. "We would wait to see what happened after the die was completed before action was taken to refine the process. Through simulation, we can address process and formability issues prior to cutting the die."

As part of Altair's flagship HyperWorks® CAE software suite, HyperForm is a unique finite-element-based sheet metal forming simulation program that combines an extremely fast one-step solver and incremental forming solution with the customized geometry manipulation and mesh generation capabilities of HyperMesh®. HyperForm provides engineers at any stage of product design with quick, valuable, reliable information that reduces the overall product cycle. HyperForm's die module takes a giant leap in bringing product design closer to manufacturing by enabling engineers to create and analyze conceptual die designs in order to generate an optimized die. Die concepts can then be read into any CAD system as a starting point for the actual die build.

About Pridgeon & Clay

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Pridgeon & Clay is one of the largest independent suppliers of stamped and fine blanked components to the automotive industry. With world wide sales of $170 million (2002), Pridgeon & Clay has a full-time work force of over 835 employees and occupies over 575,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space in Michigan, Indiana and Hungary. For more information, visit www.pridgeonandclay.com.

About Altair Engineering

Founded in 1985, Altair Engineering, Inc. has very quickly become a world-leading product design consulting and software development company, increasing innovation for more than 1,300 clients around the globe. With headquarters in Troy, Mich., Altair's five business units offer comprehensive and innovative product strategy, design development, process automation, commercial CAE software solutions and technical site services to meet complex customer needs. Altair has approximately 700 employees and operates offices in 17 countries throughout North American, Europe and Southeast Asia. For more information, visit www.altair.com.


Contact:
     Altair Engineering
     Mike Kidder, 248/614-2400
     
Email Contact
       or
     Marx Layne & Company
     Mike Szudarek, 248/855-6777
     
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Source: Altair Engineering, Inc.



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