Virtual product development and Virtual Reality methods are increasingly being adopted within manufacturing industries. Associated customer benefits are well understood: Improved product innovation, enhanced design quality, compressed development cycles and substantially reduced costs, realized across the entire product development process. However, until today market-driving manufacturers were forced to deal with competing standards and one-off solutions, especially with regards to advanced Virtual Reality and visualization solutions. This trend can be seen globally and ICIDO is one the world’s largest solution supplier’s for best-in-class virtual product analysis, visual decision making, and validation in a 3D immersive environment.
In its third year in the North American market, ICIDO not only doubled the number of employees, but also showed very strong revenue growth despite the uncertain market environment. Ludger Hemesath, Managing Director of ICIDO US, notes: “2008 was the most successful year in the history of ICIDO in the US. We had recurring revenue from our existing customers like Ford and Boeing, but we also won a range of new customers from small specialists to global manufacturers of heavy equipment. We also clearly demonstrated our competence and vision in Virtual Reality through a number of benchmarks.”
One small example demonstrates how Virtual Reality is now perceived within the manufacturing industry. Ford Motor Company uses the ICIDO software globally, performing various types of validations during the product development process, which has helped them to achieve quality leadership in comparison to Toyota. They have been so successful with Virtual Reality that it is featured in a series of Ford advertisement spots. Another example for the use of ICIDO’s Virtual Reality Software is the IOWA State University. In an international benchmark ICIDO has beaten all other commercial software provider. James Oliver, the director of Iowa State's Virtual Reality Applications Center and a professor of mechanical engineering stated: “ICIDO delivered a very professional and exiting performance. We are very impressed by the concept and the possibilities of ICIDO’s Visual Decision Platform.”
The next step in the use of Virtual Reality is Virtual Collaboration. Product development teams dispersed worldwide are thereby enabled to make instantaneous decisions using a shared virtual product model. In doing so, they can not only reduce travel costs, but key decisions can be made collectively and with confidence, accelerating the development process on the whole. The ICDIO software makes it possible to link several virtual reality systems and to couple them with desktop systems. Thus, complex 3D models at geographically disparate locations can be visualized and evaluated simultaneously.
The ICIDO goals for 2009 are summarized by CEO Ralf Heimberg: “Virtual Reality is one of the key factors for a cost effective product development process in forward-looking companies. You will get a tool that can cut cost and make risk more affordable. So, we believe that under these market circumstances, ICIDO will deliver a solution that helps companies to reach their goals. Because of that, we believe that ICIDO will become the main partner for all manufacturing companies in the near future.”
The US headquarters is located in Chicago and it serves the main customers directly, but ICIDO also works with a national network of partners including INCAT, Barco, Christie, HP, and ProjectionDesign. You can follow ICIDO on twitter.
ICIDO Group (icido.com) is a leading provider of interactive, visual decision-making systems. With its solutions ICIDO helps also non-specialists to understand and recognize complex products and situations. This creates the conditions for collaborative decision-making without departmental and enterprise boundaries. Thus, early, effective, and reliable decisions are made on the basis of digital product information, achieving lasting positive impacts on both revenue and cost.
The Visual Decision Platform (VDP) from ICIDO is the leading software for targeted, interactive decision-making based on Virtual Reality technology. The VDP provides a collaborative work platform for locally, globally and departmentally distributed teams. This flexible organization will realize efficiency potentials that have not yet been fulfilled through stand-alone solutions or central systems. Many global companies use ICIDO’s standardized solutions that are easily integrated into existing structures and processes.
Application areas range across the entire product life cycle, from design/styling, engineering, assembly and production planning to marketing, sales and service. The customer receives from ICIDO a complete solution consisting of software and services as well as the necessary hardware, such as a “power wall” VR display. ICIDO customers are based in the automotive industry (BMW, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen); transportation systems (Airbus, Boeing, EADS, MTU, Rheinmetall, Siemens Transportation Systems); construction and manufacturing (Caterpillar, John Deere, Festo, Trumpf, MAG und Siemens Power Generation); and also in research and education (Iowa State University, TU Braunschweig, TU Chemnitz, TU Dresden, TU Illmenau).