FIAT Group Automobiles to implement Icona Solutions’ perceived quality simulation and visualization software, aesthetica

Manchester, UK. 5 August, 2010. – Icona Solutions Ltd., the developer of the innovative perceived quality simulation and visualization software solution, aesthetica, together with its business partner in Italy, EDIST Engineering Srl, has announced that FIAT Group Automobiles is to implement aesthetica as part of the car firm’s plans to improve the perceived quality of its vehicles.

The software will be implemented in FIAT Group Automobile’s Elasis and Centro Ricerche Fiat units – the FIAT Group’s centres of expertise for innovation, research and development - where it will be used in perceived quality studies as early as the concept development stage of the vehicle design and development process. It will enable issues of fit and finish quality to be identified and resolved when the cost of design changes is lower.

“Typically, variation analysis is performed at a much later stage in the design process and is often too late to influence the design”, said Dr. Elena Bergadano, engineering quality and craftsmanship manager, FIAT Group Automobiles S.p.A. “However”, she added, “by using aesthetica we will be able to actually see the effect that manufacturing variation will have on perceived quality, exactly as the customer will see it. This will enable us to identify and resolve aesthetic problems at a much earlier stage than has ever been possible before. We will be able to work directly with the design teams to ensure we drive up perceived quality”.

By using aesthetica to apply information on tolerances and locator schemes directly to the 3D digital model of a vehicle, Fiat’s engineering teams will be able to simulate and visualize, in real time, their effects on components and assemblies in terms of form and position variation and component deformation etc. Root cause analysis will allow them to diagnose the cause and quickly try out what-if solutions.

Among the benefits that Fiat expects to gain from the use of aesthetica are shorter development timescales as a result of improved communication between designers and engineers; lower development costs through the reduced need for physical models and an increase in right-first-time tooling; a reduction in the number of variation issues discovered later in the development programme; and an improvement in the perceived quality of Fiat vehicles.

“I am confident that the use of aesthetica is going to have a major impact on our ability to meet the ambitious perceived quality targets that we have set for future Fiat vehicles,” said Dr. Bergadano. “The software will form an important and integral part of our overall product lifecycle management (PLM) software environment that will help take FIAT Group Automobiles on into the next stage in the company’s development.”

“We are delighted that FIAT Group Automobiles has made the decision to implement aesthetica in its advanced engineering departments,” said Tim Illingworth, chief executive, Icona Solutions. “We look forward to working with the company through our partner EDIST Engineering to integrate the software into Fiat’s existing systems and processes and to achieve the maximum benefit in the shortest possible time.”

About aesthetica
Icona Solutions’ aesthetica software provides an accurate, visual simulation of the effects of component variation, assembly variation and component deformation in manufactured assemblies to enable full perceived quality reviews using digital models in order to resolve issues of fit and finish quality. The use of aesthetica gives greater insight than has previously been possible into the impact of manufacturing variation on perceived quality by enabling the user to visualize a ‘virtual’ product at different states within its geometric tolerance range, in real-time, and precisely as the customer will see the final, manufactured product. It helps to improve perceived quality while saving time and improving communication in the design process.

About Icona Solutions Ltd.
Icona Solutions Ltd. develops and provides innovative and unique solutions to audit and improve perceived quality in manufactured metal and plastics products. Its software can form an integral part of a product design and manufacturing company’s overall product lifecycle management (PLM) software environment and is supplied and supported globally both directly and through qualified, specialist resellers. Icona Solutions is a member of both Dassault Systèmes’ CAA V5 Adopters and of Siemens PLM Software’s JT Open programs. Find out more at: www.iconasolutions.com

ENDS

Editors: for further information contact:
Tim Illingworth: +44 (0)1706 629882, e-mail: Email Contact
Neil McLeod: +44 (0)1666 504293, e-mail: Email Contact



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