New Tool for Simultaneous Product Development

ImpactXoft software allows globally dispersed teams to collaborate on product designs

San Jose, CA  September 6, 2001  Companies looking to use geographically dispersed development teams to co-develop products in parallel got a new tool to make that vision a reality with the release of a new software suite from ImpactXoft Corp.

The software provider's flagship product, IX SPeeD Suite, comprises applications to enable simultaneous product development (SPD), as well as tools for digital modeling. ImpactXoft says that by using this type of software, companies can reduce time-to-market for products by more effectively involving multiple development teams in a project.

The software allows project members to create, revise and finalize digital product models together simultaneously, either in online synchronous mode or offline asynchronous mode. Design specialists in different offices can contribute expertise to the same digital product model at the same time, merging changes and exchanging ideas over the Internet.

"ImpactXoft's vision for capturing, managing, and applying knowledge about a design, and having it automatically influence and constrain a model's behavior downstream, is a powerful collaborative aid," said Bruce Jenkins, executive vice president of Daratech, an ImpactXoft customer. "Ultimately, we believe such an approach to modeling and knowledge management could enjoy the same success as parametric feature-based modeling a decade ago."

Attilio Rimoldi, president and CEO of ImpactXoft, calling the Internet a "disruptive technology," said the industry has been waiting for a mechanical engineering application that would incorporate this technology within its architecture. "We believe mechanical designers will soon change from today's isolated design methodology to a vastly more productive real-time design collaboration," Rimoldi said.

In synchronous co-development, project members log on to a design session and work together in real time to create a digital product model. Modeling operations merge immediately with the respective models of participating team members.

In asynchronous co-development, project members work separately on assigned design tasks and then send changes to other team members, who have the option of selectively or automatically accepting modifications whenever they join the project. Asynchronous mode is well-suited for product development teams located in different time zones. For role-specific co-design, the ImpactXoft software displays different versions of the same model to project managers, industrial designers, mechanical engineers, procurement specialists, molding manufacturers, and so on.

Available on October 1, 2001, from ImpactXoft and its resellers, the new suite includes both collaboration and authoring software and is offered on an annual subscription basis. Either customer-hosted or ImpactXoft-hosted servers support collaboration. The software and documentation will be supplied via Internet downloads.

Local language support is available in English and Japanese. German, Chinese, French and Italian are slated to be added in the future. The IX SPeeD Suite requires a Microsoft Windows operating system and runs on most standard PC configurations, according to ImpactXoft.