Eden Prairie, MINN. — MTS Systems Corporation announced that it was awarded contracts totaling over $20 million for physical testing systems, modeling software, virtual testing tools, and consulting services by Mazda Motor Company, Hiroshima, Japan. Together, these support Phase 3 of the Mazda Digital Innovation program, announced by Mazda in September 2000. As the lead partner for the integration of physical and virtual testing of this project, MTS anticipates total revenues of approximately $40 million over the life of Phase 3.
This program is a continuation of a multi-phase partnering agreement between the two companies that began in 1996. It is aimed at increasing the quality and efficiency of vehicle development and reducing costs and time-to-market through a complete restructuring of all vehicle development processes, from concept to manufacturing, using integrated computer-aided design, engineering, and manufacturing tools.
Strategic partners to MTS on this project include Mechanical Dynamics, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich., and nCode International Ltd., Sheffield, England. Under the contract, Mechanical Dynamics will provide functional virtual prototype software and nCode will provide software and systems for streamlining the durability process.
“Mazda’s selection of MTS as their partner in accelerating the product development process is a strong endorsement of our vision of integrated simulation – analytical, physical and virtual,” said Sidney W. Emery, Jr., MTS chairman and CEO. “To meet the demand for time and cost reductions in the product development cycle, we believe that customers must tightly integrate all the available tools – from CAD to CAE to physical testing. MTS’s strength in physical testing, our knowledge of product development, and our growing capabilities in coupling software modeling with physical validation techniques provide us the skills to meet Mazda’s needs. Combining this with our established linkages to Mechanical Dynamics and nCode was key to Mazda’s decision.
“The new physical testing systems, modeling software, and virtual testing tools will be used by Mazda for more intensive laboratory testing and to streamline critical processes of vehicle development,” Emery said. “This latest agreement calls for MTS to deliver 11 separate physical testing systems over the next three years including an advanced crash simulation test system, a Flat-Trac dynamic tire test system, a dynamic suspension test system, and various component and accessory test capabilities. Additionally, we will be delivering our newest software products, Virtual Test Lab and Empirical Dynamics Models (EDM) developed jointly with Mechanical Dynamics.”
Robert R. Ryan, president and COO of Mechanical Dynamics, said, “Mazda’s selection of Mechanical Dynamics as a key partner in their Digital Innovation program is highly gratifying. We believe that functional virtual prototyping is an essential and critical component for optimizing and speeding up the product development process. By using the same user interfaces and signal processing techniques employed on MTS’s physical testing equipment, evaluation of issues such as durability and fatigue, vehicle dynamics, handling, ride and comfort, and noise and vibration can be performed in predictive mode much earlier in the design process.”
“Mazda has seen proven performance from MTS during the execution of the initial phases of the Mazda Digital Innovation program,” said Akito Nishiyama, director of testing at Mazda. “The selection of MTS and their partners to develop a virtual testing environment will allow us to complete the final phase of the program and achieve our goal to be an industry leader in virtual testing.”
MTS Systems Corporation manufactures computer-based testing and simulation systems for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures, and measurement and control instrumentation products for the automation of the manufacturing processes. The company had 2,400 employees worldwide and revenues of $390 million in the fiscal year ending September 1999. Additional information on MTS can be found on the worldwide web at http://www.mts.com .
Mechanical Dynamics pioneered the field of mechanical system simulation with its market-leading ADAMS software, and remains committed to extending the capabilities of this technology to benefit manufacturers in every industry worldwide. Engineering teams use ADAMS to build and test functional virtual prototypes of their complex mechanical system designs. Along with getting to market faster and at lower cost, the company’s functional virtual prototyping solutions provide additional significant benefits: closer integration between manufacturers and their suppliers; increased communication among design, analysis, and engineering teams; and the ability to manage the risks of the design process through more and better information earlier in the cycle. Mechanical Dynamics can be found on the worldwide web at http://www.adams.com .