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UGS Announces Unigraphics Version 18

(August 23, 2001)
UGS, a leading supplier of product lifecycle management software and services, today announces Version 18 of Unigraphics, its highly acclaimed software for integrated product development. The newest release of Unigraphics represents the next major technological leap for CAD/CAM/CAE and CAID (computer-aided industrial design) and provides the cornerstone for the future development of product design technologies. Building on UGS' industry leading innovations in knowledge-based engineering, industrial design, process automation and design collaboration, Unigraphics' latest release represents the culmination of the company's long-term plan to bridge the gap between technology (the way the software works) and process (the way the customer works).

"Unigraphics is setting the pace in the shift from a geometry-based to a knowledge-based product development approach, where design and manufacturing enterprises are guided by corporate and industry know-how rather than simply physical constraints," says Joan Hirsch, UGS director of the Unigraphics Line of Business. "Previous versions of Unigraphics laid the foundation for this successful transition with leading developments such as Predictive Engineering, Knowledge Fusion, Process Wizards and the industry's first integrated industrial design solution -- Shape Studio. Unigraphics V18 adds significant value by transforming this technology into customer specific processes."

Unigraphics now enables real-time design collaboration while maximizing product development productivity, promoting design innovation and placing product and process control back in the hands of the customer.

Knowledge Fusion, introduced in Unigraphics Version 17, has been greatly expanded to allow the widespread application of engineering knowledge across the development process. One example of where Knowledge Fusion technology has been most effectively utilized to significantly enhance productivity is in the development of several new process wizards. Based on the same principal as the highly successful Mold Wizard -- for the automated design of plastic injection molds -- and Gear Engineering Wizard -- for designing, modeling, and optimizing precision gears and gearboxes -- the latest release of Unigraphics introduces process wizards with embedded knowledge that automate complex tasks like progressive die design and structural analysis. Wizard functionality makes the application of knowledge pervasive across Unigraphics and provides UGS and its customers with a new platform for supporting knowledge-driven product development.

The new Progressive Die Wizard, for instance, leverages domain knowledge within a highly complex process and dramatically reduces design time while decreasing development costs. It is a complete solution for progressive die design, offering several automated features. The advanced technology built-in to Progressive Die Wizard is based on the encapsulation of expert knowledge that ensures consistently high quality.

Another example of how Unigraphics leverages knowledge to increase productivity includes the new Strength Wizard application. Strength Wizard is complimentary to Unigraphics Scenario for Structures and provides an automated tool that enables non-structural specialists to perform structural analysis using the finite element method. Its unparalleled speed and ease of use brings a new set of simulation possibilities to all users through the Unigraphics wizard methodology.

Unigraphics continues to lead the industry with design collaboration tools that recognize the need for customers to effectively communicate and share design ideas with globally dispersed development teams. Unigraphics Collaborate is the first and only real-time design collaboration capability embedded in a product development system. It goes beyond visual collaboration by enabling globally dispersed teams to conduct virtual design reviews over the Internet and immediately see how a given engineering change will impact their specific area of responsibility. Therefore, if a product designer makes a change that affects an adjacent subassembly as well as the manufacturing tooling, the whole development team can see the collective impact in real time and the appropriate adjustments can be made -- avoiding significant expense and prolonged development time.

Unigraphics has always supplied industry-leading capabilities that enable users to effectively control their environment and improve the product development process. This newest release of Unigraphics continues the tradition of leveraging customer expertise with new capabilities that automate functions like design checking and dimensional management. Manufacturers can use these new tools to improve their control over product and process quality.

Performing validation checking on a design can be tedious, complex and time consuming. Unigraphics offers new, easy to use validation tools called Knowledge Checkers that can be used throughout the design process to track critical performance parameters. If something changes, designers will be notified and can even be provided with suggestions on how to fix the problem. Knowledge Checkers are built into the system and automatically appear on the screen if the designer omitted a step or made an error. In addition, they keep track of critical performance parameters and notify designers of changes as they occur.

Unigraphics also offers several important enhancements that significantly increase the customers' ability to control dimensional management and improve product quality. Unigraphics Geometric Tolerancing now allows users to create associative GD&T symbols directly in the Unigraphics 3D CAD model, and the new Quick Stack application provides a fast and easy-to-use dimensional stack-up analysis tool.

UGS is committed to protecting its customers' investments and intellectual property, and Unigraphics offers several features that support that commitment. One example is Unigraphics' Direct Modeling eXtensions (DMX) technology, which has been significantly enhanced in this latest release. DMX technology is part of Unigraphics' powerful suite of tools that facilitates interoperability with incompatible data formats by allowing direct manipulation of imported solid models regardless of whether or not they contain history files (i.e., a record of how the model was created). DMX enables the user to automatically add editable parameters or make quick changes to non-parametric models.

In the latest version of Unigraphics, DMX adds several new functions that significantly increase productivity when manipulating geometric regions or "faces" on an imported model. Many imported models contain several faces that are blended into adjacent surfaces or regions. Typically, when editing these geometric features, extensive rework of the blends is required. DMX technology now recreates all blends automatically when the user moves, offsets, replaces or resizes a face. The operation is then added as a feature and becomes persistent in Unigraphics. Productivity gains are substantial, and the cost impact associated with rework of legacy data is dramatically reduced.

Strengthened Design Capabilities Increase Innovation

Innovation is often the difference between success and failure for many manufacturers' products, so the design software used must be able to keep up with the creativity of talented product stylists and industrial designers. Shape Studio -- Unigraphics' integrated industrial design software -- offers industrial designers and automotive stylists a creative and unique environment for concept development, form refinement and fulfillment, while providing the freedom to easily express innovative ideas. Advanced visualization tools allow designers to rapidly communicate their ideas within the organization and with external customers, while allowing design reviews to be performed much more effectively so that key decisions can be made prior to building expensive mock-ups. With a new streamlined user interface, along with enhanced curve, surface and evaluation tools, Shape Studio provides a world-class tool for innovation.

Shape Studio introduces several new freeform functions along with numerous enhancements to capabilities that support the creative modeling process. In addition, the latest release builds on previous advancements with improved evaluation functions that work together with the editing tools to give the designer real-time feedback. The result is an intuitive industrial design environment that focuses on visual and dynamic creation, enabling maximum freedom of expression and creativity.

For additional information on Shape Studio and all of Unigraphics' industry leading functionality please visit the Unigraphics web site at

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