Altair Engineering Awarded U.S. Patent for New Ultra-Short Drive Shaft

TROY, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 27, 2003--Altair Engineering, a global leader in product design consulting, engineering software and high-performance computing technology, was awarded a U.S. patent on Aug. 5 for the design and development of an ultra-short drive shaft for automotive and other industry applications.

The new drive shaft, invented by Altair engineer Jos Timmermans and colleague Jean Raymond, is designed for applications where the relative movement between the driving and driven shafts is limited. In some applications, typical drive shafts are too long and flexible couplings will not allow sufficient radial movement.

The Altair drive shaft is similar to a conventional drive shaft, except the diameter of the rotating tube, which resembles a brake drum more than a tube, is large enough to accommodate one of the U-joints, reducing the distance between the two U-joints in the drive assembly.

The benefits of the ultra-short drive shaft for vehicle designers include the overall reduction of drive shaft length by as much as one-half foot. This will allow designers to either increase vehicle cargo loading area or to shorten the vehicle length.

Designed primarily for commercial vehicles such as buses, fire engines, ambulances and military vehicles, the Altair drive shaft concept is fully adaptable to numerous machinery applications in other industries.

About Altair Engineering

Through consulting, engineering software, and high performance computing technologies, Altair Engineering increases innovation for more than 1,300 clients around the globe. Founded in 1985, Altair's unparalleled knowledge and expertise in product development and manufacturing extend throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Altair specializes in the development of high-end, open CAE software solutions for modeling, visualization, optimization and process automation. For more information, visit Altair at

CONTACT: Altair Engineering
             Michael Kidder, 248-614-2400 ext. 269
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             Barrett Kalellis, 248-855-6777
             810-599-3072 (cell)
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