ICEM?s Surface Modelling and Evaluation Software Helps Land Rover

London. 13 February, 2003.
Ref. NDM 642/03.

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ICEM’s surface modelling and evaluation software helps Land Rover achieve design quality targets for its latest Range Rover.

ICEM Surf 3D model data provides the key to quality, from concept through to production tooling.

ICEM Ltd. announced today that its ICEM Surf software suite played a key role in enabling Land Rover, the UK-based Ford Premier Automotive Group vehicle manufacturer, to meet its demanding quality targets for the latest Range Rover, which went on sale last year.

Some 25 designers and engineers made daily use of the software’s wide range of 3D surface model creation and diagnosis tools during the development of the four-wheel drive luxury off-roader at Land Rover’s headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire. ICEM Surf data was used from concept, through virtual and physical prototyping, to production tooling. And the same applies today on other new vehicle development programmes currently in the pipeline at Land Rover.

“The value to us of ICEM Surf is that it enables us to integrate the design and engineering processes so that we can deliver the design intent and the required level of design quality economically from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint”, says Wayne Morgan, manager of vehicle geometry and surface for both Land Rover and Jaguar.

At Land Rover, a development process which is critical to the final quality of the vehicle and which relies heavily on the advanced surface modelling, diagnosis and visualisation tools available with ICEM Surf, is what the company calls its �optical quality process’.

“It’s more or less a given today,” says Morgan, “that with the tools available in ICEM Surf for diagnosing surface quality, we know that the highlights and reflections we see in an ICEM Surf visualisation are what we will see in the final product. In fact, there’s really no excuse for getting to production release and finding that there are highlight problems, as these can be ironed out with ICEM Surf early in the design process.

However, at Land Rover, the use of these and other ICEM Surf tools goes beyond the usual process of evaluating the surfaces of the vehicle body for reflection lines, highlights and surface continuity etc. in order to achieve a certain level of visual quality.

Land Rover’s optical quality process begins when the vehicle design and development process has reached the 'design freeze’ stage, i.e. the point at which the style has been agreed and the ICEM Surf data becomes the 'master’ for all further design development. The process draws together and involves surfacing engineers, manufacturing personnel, detail design engineers, suppliers, toolmakers and designers in order to examine and agree on the critical interfaces on the vehicle.

During the process, ICEM Surf facilities such as the Reference Manager and Renderer software modules enable high quality visualisations of digital models, which combine both Class A surface data created in ICEM Surf and engineering data developed in Land Rover’s Catia CAD/CAM system, to be created and viewed in ICEM Surf. This enables the team to examine and refine the vehicle’s critical interfaces, for example in the area where the headlight, wing or fender, bonnet, bumper and grill all meet, in order to ensure that design intent is maintained while the engineering and manufacturing issues are considered. Exterior, interior and door shut-face reviews and design refinements are all performed during this process using ICEM Surf.

“It’s the optical quality process facilitated by ICEM Surf that gives the final production vehicle its overall look and feel of quality,” says Morgan.

That - and the fact that ICEM Surf data is then used directly in the machining of the individual components required for the assembly of the �function cube’ physical prototype of the complete vehicle and in the production tooling process, ensuring that what was designed is what is manufactured.

“We are proud to be associated with Land Rover,” says ICEM’s chief executive, Lee Cureton. “Their approach to the design and build quality of their vehicles and the use they make of ICEM Surf’s capabilities in achieving their quality targets reflect well on the efforts we make to continue to develop the leading software for surface modelling and evaluation.”

About Land Rover.
For more than 50 years, Land Rover has been designing and building the world’s best 4x4 motor vehicles. Today, the company is part of the Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group, along with Jaguar Cars, Aston Martin and Volvo.

From its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire in the UK, the company develops the Defender extreme terrain working vehicle, the stylish Freelander 4x4 road vehicle, the Discovery 4x4 family car and the Range Rover 4x4 luxury family saloon and off-road vehicle.

About ICEM Ltd.
With its headquarters on Chilworth Science Park near Southampton on the UK’s south coast, ICEM Ltd. is an independent company specialising in the development, sales and support of advanced software for use in the design and development of a product’s visible and underlying supporting surfaces. The company’s software development group is based in Germany, while it has a network of sales and support offices and specialist distributors covering continental Europe, the USA and the Asia Pacific region.

The company’s principal market sector is the worldwide automotive industry, where it includes most of the leading manufacturers among its customers, including the Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler Group, Volkswagen Audi Group, Porsche, BMW, PSA and Harley Davidson among others, as well as leading automotive industry suppliers such as Volke, EDAG, Pininfarina, Bertone, Mayflower, TWR and The Budd Company, among many others. The company also has a significant presence in the consumer durable products design market, with customers such as Wilson Sporting Goods, Salomon, Ping, WMF and Toto among them.


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