Global Manufacturers and PLM Industry Leaders Unite

Join forces to find common data format for visual collaboration, interoperability

Plano, TX ̵ November 20, 2003 ̵ Declaring "the use of closed technology a thing of the past," UGS PLM Solutions ̵ the product lifecycle management (PLM) subsidiary of EDS ̵ and other PLM industry leaders and global manufacturers today launched JT Open, a global initiative designed to promote open data sharing, enhance collaboration and expand visualization across the extended enterprise and throughout the PLM industry.

JT is a common data format for enabling product visualization and information distribution and enhancing data sharing between PLM software applications. UGS PLM Solutions said the functionality and lightweight nature of JT technology makes it possible to view and share product data and images worldwide, in real-time and throughout all phases of the product lifecycle.

Tony Affuso, president and CEO, UGS PLM Solutions, said, "We are gratified to see so many important industry leaders join us in a shared vision to define, promote and deploy open formats and software applications. We believe the result of openness in the PLM industry will inevitably reduce product developments costs and enhance product quality and innovation worldwide. As the PLM industry continues to evolve and mature, increasingly the use of closed technology is a thing of the past."

JT Open is an initiative driven by leaders with a vested interest in the PLM industry that have adopted the JT format. In addition to UGS PLM Solutions, initial members include Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Actify, Alias and PTC, as well as academic members Brigham Young University, Technical University Darmstadt, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan. DaimlerChrysler has committed to join the JT Open program and intends to participate in 2004.

Membership in JT Open is available to any and all end-user corporations, independent software vendors (ISVs) and non-profit organizations. In addition, many other companies that derive indirect value from the initiative can participate as "JT Open advocates." Initial JT Open advocates include CIMx, Elysium, HP, Intel, SAP, Tecnomatix and Theorem.

One organization with a special interest in the JT Open program is the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), an organization focused on the prosperity of the global automotive industry. AIAG was instrumental in the formation of JT Open.

"AIAG is proud to have been the catalyst for creating the JT Open initiative," said AIAG Executive Director Andrew Cummins. "Due to our position in the automotive industry we have a unique appreciation for the improvements to collaboration and innovation that can be realized through the use of open standards such as JT. By proposing the concept and providing a forum for this innovative initiative, AIAG is fulfilling its charter to enhance prosperity in the automotive industry. Now all industries managing product lifecycles can benefit through the JT Open initiative."

JT Open members benefit from direct communication and collaboration with end users and software developers using the JT format. Members will participate in formal management and technical review boards that provide guidance to the direction and development of JT technology. Additionally, members have access to an exclusive Web site with real-time availability of regularly updated JT Open program information, software downloads and JT implementation support.

UGS PLM Solutions said JT Open is being created to benefit all organizations associated with PLM regardless of the industry they represent. While every JT Open member shares a common vision, each brings a unique viewpoint regarding the need for open solutions and the types of benefits they create.

"PLM is essential to product development and the JT Open program will leverage the investment that GM has made over the past 5 years," said Terry Kline, General Motors global information officer for Product Development. "GM currently has more than three million JT files and has standardized globally on this format. JT Open is a valuable model for us because it extends the community of users and accelerates the implementation of a common visualization format across the automotive industry. Since the JT format is already so well established internally to GM, this program creates immediate bottom line value."

Ford Motor Co. uses JT technology to enable visualization of the vehicle throughout the product lifecycle. The JT pipeline has become the collaboration hub for Ford's extended global network including their vast supply chain. Ford said its membership in the JT Open program was driven by the need to enhance and expand the pipeline through the JT Open program thereby helping to usher in a new era of openness within the automotive community.

"In today's economy, all manufacturers are faced with the challenge of reducing costs while maintaining productivity," said Dr. Michael Grieves, University of Michigan PLM Development Consortium. "JT Open provides members with the opportunity to work together to develop common business practices around the JT format, and by doing so, reduce expenses in the process. An open forum of this kind, where members cooperate in developing and promoting solutions that enhance prosperity for everyone is the model for the future of collaboration in the PLM industry."

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