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Honda Racing F1 Team to Develop 2008 Formula One Car Using Solutions From IBM


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that the Honda Racing F1 Team will develop and manufacture its 2008 Formula One car with the help of IBM software and services. In addition to delivering significant benefits to the business challenges faced by the Honda Racing F1 Team, the new system aligns the team to the worldwide strategy of its parent company, Honda Motor Co., Ltd., in Japan. This closer integration will maximize resource effectiveness across the group, reduce costs and speed time to market.

“Formula One is the pinnacle of the motorsports industry, where the ability to compress the development cycle of the car is critical. Being successful on the track requires a combination of highly skilled, innovative engineers, strong teamwork and the use of state-of-the-art technologies and materials,” said David France, IT Director at the Honda Racing F1 Team. “One of the keys to our success in adopting these new capabilities is IBM’s overall project management capabilities and the levels of professionalism and industry expertise the IBM PLM and GBS teams have delivered.”

The solution is based on Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA and ENOVIA VPLM, with infrastructure support from IBM Product Lifecycle Management solutions, including WebSphere Application Server and IBM Rational Rose Data Modeler. Together, these offerings enable the integration of all elements of the design and production process while rapidly adapting the applications to the customer’s specific requirements. Over the last year, a team of IBM project management and technical services specialists worked together with the Honda Racing F1 team to assess and evaluate the company’s requirements before implementing the solution.

IBM middleware solutions and expertise allow the Honda Racing Formula 1 Team to move to new levels of productivity. The ability to realize the complete vehicle in a virtual environment supports the highly collaborative processes necessary to remain competitive in the fast-moving sport of Formula One.

Speed of reaction is critical to ensure that new innovations reach the track quickly and support the rapid implementation of design changes imposed by the evolution of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) regulations.

The solution also includes Geometric Solutions’ xPDM gateway to integrate ENOVIA VPLM with legacy Teamcenter PDM environments, in the process enabling the Honda Racing F1 Team to rapidly replace their existing systems with minimal disruption to their business processes.

“The Honda Racing F1 Team is a great example of the benefits that customers can achieve by upgrading their systems and implementing the right software and services solutions,” said Dip Patel, IBM PLM Business Executive. “In this case, the many technical challenges in the motorsports environment are being addressed by a combination of IBM expertise and middleware as well as software from Dassault Systèmes and Geometric Solutions to maximize their effectiveness.”

Since signing the agreement, the Honda Racing F1 Team is now deploying design and engineering capabilities, which will be followed rapidly by a full manufacturing production build and rollout this year.

The agreement is the first step in a developing partnership between IBM and the Honda Racing F1 Team. From a technology perspective, IBM will continue to support the evolution of collaborative development capabilities in 2007 with deployment of additional IBM middleware and collaboration tools. The organizations will also work together in a wider, mutually beneficial partnership to realize additional business value from the combined reputation for innovation of the IBM and Honda Brands.

About Honda:

Honda is the world’s largest manufacturer of engines. The company employs more than 144,000 people, with manufacturing operations in 28 countries worldwide.

Honda’s first entry into Formula One came in 1964, less than two years after the unveiling of its first road car model. The company’s first and second eras of Formula One participation (from 1964-8, and 1983-92) yielded no fewer than 71 Grand Prix wins, five consecutive Drivers’ World Championships and six consecutive Constructors’ World Championships.

Honda returned to Grand Prix racing in 2000 with the British American Racing team as its partner for the company’s third generation of F1 racing operations, entering into a contract to supply engines and jointly develop chassis technology. Having taken a 45% shareholding in 2004, Honda completed its purchase of the remaining 55% in December 2005 to create the newly-renamed Honda Racing F1 Team.

About IBM:

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