Futuris Automotive Interiors (Formerly Air International): "NX fuels auto supplier's bid to win global contracts"

Supplier: Product Lifecycle Management Australasia
10 April, 2008

Unigraphics®NX fuels auto supplier’s bid to become billion-dollar company

Air International relies on EDS product lifecycle management solutions to win “the big contracts” — large programs with major auto makers worldwide


  • Grow at rate of 30 percent annually to become billion- dollar company by 2004
  • Expand global presence
  • Win large contracts from major auto makers worldwide


  • Increase designer pro­ductivity through use of Unigraphics NX
  • Save time and resources by leveraging information from past projects via Teamcenter®
  • Enhance collaboration among geographically diverse staff by using Teamcenter


  • Process-focused workflows enhanced designer output and product quality
  • Design re-use increased significantly for faster quote preparation, less costly prod­uct development
  • Sites worldwide collaborate for around-the-clock design
  • Company won $400 million North American (GM) project since implementing new system


Air International needed to boost design efficiency, leverage existing capital and enhance enterprise collaboration to meet ambitious sales goals.

The automotive supplier’s challenge Air International’s customers include many of the world’s leading auto makers, including Ford, which standardized on I-deas® and General Motors, a long-time user of Unigraphics.

As a supplier to both companies, Air International was forced to maintain both systems.Although Air International incurred the extra costs associated with multiple programs, the company found other issues to be equally detrimental. For example, it was difficult to move design personnel from project to project

since most were trained in only one system.

Also, it was cumbersome to transfer parts between systems so design re-use was minimal. These problems cost time and money, and jeopardized Air International’s plan to become a billion-dollar company by 2004.

Integrate, collaborate

Air International implemented a three-part upgrade of its product development process, employing EDS product lifecycle management technology. First, it installed Unigraphics NX as its standard CAD/CAM/CAE platform.

This software eliminated the dual-system inefficiencies of the past, permitting data re-use between Ford and GM projects and enabling more effective personnel assignments. The second step, aimed at better lever­aging of knowledge and information from past projects, was accomplished by installing Teamcenter.

This tool gives engineers, as well as those outside of engineering, immediate access to product data. Third, the company adopted Teamcenter’s ad-hoc collaboration solution to improve knowledge sharing among product team members around the world.

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