CAVA Accelerates Product Development at Ford

Innovation potential for more efficient production methods has a long tradition in automobile industry. The first moving assembly line was already introduced in 1913, at that time for the legendary Tin Lizzy. One century later both automobiles and fabrication have changed a lot. But production enhancement is still one of the main subjects. A good example is the implementation of the CAVA product suite from TechniaTranscat (previously Transcat PLM), which enables manufacturers to achieve a higher level of capability and flexibility in doing automated checks to reach virtual homologations. One of the companies benefitting from this is Ford Motor Company.

TechniaTranscat has excellent knowledge in process engineering for several industries such as automobile, for which the CAVA solution was developed. This process-related software system is based on CATIA and has been designed especially for the automotive industry to support the entire process chain concerning legal compliance by displaying the requisite industry standard information geometrically in CATIA. Recently CAVA was officially approved by a passenger car certification authority for a non EU/ECE based Technical Service. The virtual homologation, which is based on CAD data, was certified with CAVA avoiding the need to build physical experimental assemblies.

Ford Motor Company uses CAVA to become more efficient in its development process. The target was to reduce costs for the in-house solution enhancements and updates of standards and regulations as well as reaching a higher level of capability and flexibility concerning more tests and verifications.

Therefore the integration with current updates of the most relevant legal provisions and in this way creates a standard application. The implementation of CAVA at Ford Motor Company started in 2007 and was seamlessly integrated into the global company system of CATIA V5. The software eventually went entirely productive worldwide one year later.

Today, about 100 CAVA users around the world work with the software for global product management in the US, Brazil, Germany, UK, Turkey, Australia, China and India. It is rolled out in several departments. CAVA Vision for example is used for basic design, as there is a wide range of requirements for vehicle construction with which manufacturers have to comply. CAVA Safety helps in design engineering as safety usage is increasing massively and direct safety aspects for both passengers and pedestrians play a major role in vehicle development. Furthermore there are solutions like CAVA Tools for easy and fast calculation of a car silhouette, or CAVA Wiper to control standard fulfillment of windshield wipers via simulation and visualization. The menu operations of the CAVA products correspond to the V5 features in terms of handling, so that the ease of use via intuitive graphical user interface leads to a great acceptance across all divisions and users.

CAVA really works out with regard to reducing costs as a result of process enhancement. Therefore it can be used in an early design stage throughout development and validation, which significantly saves time and resources in product development. As the homologation division receives reliable and validated data from product development the compliance of legal provisions is ensured throughout the whole process. So the procedures of system analyses and type approval tests become much more efficient. The driver ́s field of vision for instance can be computed exactly and virtually tested. Moreover CAD evaluation quality improves substantially.

The next round of development does not have to start from scratch. CAVA uses the power of the CATIA templates for example for vision analysis, so a formerly complicated application is very much simplified. This enables efficiency in developing unique tools for vision evaluation. It is evident that legal compliance in global product development processes will play an even more important role in terms of worldwide competitiveness in the future.

Photo Copyright: Ford

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