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 DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The major design automation licensees of ACIS(R) announced the formation of "ACIS OPEN" to accelerate the implementation of standard, non-proprietary geometric modeling technology in CAE/CAD/CAM systems. The steering committee that drove the initiative to form ACIS OPEN includes Applicon, Aries Technology, Autodesk Inc., Ford Motor Company, and Hewlett-Packard. Wayne Hamann, director of product and manufacturing systems, Ford Motor Company, will serve as chairman of the organization.
 ACIS, developed by Spatial Technology, Boulder, Colo., is the leading 3D solids modeling technology kernel available in the worldwide market. Spatial has facilitated the transition of the CAE/CAD/CAM industry toward standard-based open modeling with the ACIS kernel. Chuck Bay, chief financial officer of Spatial Technology, will serve as a non-voting member of the ACIS OPEN steering committee.
 Hamann of Ford said, "The purpose of ACIS OPEN is threefold: to promote the concept of opening modeling within the industry; to provide a forum to exchange technical, administrative, and management information relative to ACIS-based products; and to prioritize user requirements for Spatial Technology, Inc. (STI) to ensure that ACIS remains the world-class, leading open geometry kernel for CAD/CAM applications."
 Hamann continued: "The use of a standard, non-proprietary technology for developing geometric data is critical to our ability to share data internally within Ford as well as with all of our major suppliers. Ford endorses ACIS as a significant move towards openness and would like all CAE/CAD/CAM modeling systems to converge towards the International Product Definition Exchange Standard, STEP."
 The first ACIS OPEN meeting was recently held at Applicon headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., with more than 50 representatives from 21 companies throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia, including ALTIUM (formerly Cadam, Inc.), Hitachi, IBM, MacNeal-Schwendler, and Point Control, as well as representatives of the member companies of the steering committee.
 Applicon President Brad Morley said: "With over 100 major companies committed to ACIS for their geometric modeling kernel, ACIS has become the de facto standard for geometry for the CAD/CAM industry. Given the critical importance of data exchange in sharing data among users and suppliers, ACIS provides a standard medium for geometry and puts closed proprietary CAD/CAM systems such as PTC and SDRC at an extreme disadvantage. ACIS OPEN will serve to dramatically increase the cooperation within the ACIS community."
 Dr. Tilman Schad, general manager, Software Business Unit, Hewlett- Packard, added: "The 'open systems' concept is no longer confined to hardware or operating systems. Just as we saw a shift away from proprietary systems in the hardware market, we believe the future of application software lies in openness and support of industry standards. This is the only way to ensure that customers can select the best solution today, and still have the flexibility to move to the best solution tomorrow. The formation of ACIS OPEN is a major step in creating an open modeling system."
 Larry McArthur, chairman and CEO, Aries Technology, said: "Aries is very supportive of the formation of ACIS OPEN. This will significantly enhance ACIS, and it benefits all ACIS licensees and end users." McArthur continued, "The commitment of Spatial Technology and its partners to form ACIS OPEN goes a long way in the development of an open modeling system. True open modeling is essential to today's engineering environments that use hardware and software developed throughout the world. Each founding company has agreed to break the barriers and work together."
 Ken Spenser, general manager of the Autodesk, Inc. Mechanical Division, said: "The selection of ACIS for our core products represents a significant milestone for us. It will be a key element of our upcoming feature-based solid modeler and will provide a seamless solution for future Autodesk design automation products."
 Applicon is a subsidiary of Schlumberger Technologies, a division of the $6 billion, multinational Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB), which has more than 53,000 employees operating in 75 countries on every continent. Schlumberger has a $407 million global research and development network with facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Applicon is a leading supplier of mechanical design automation software and services that shorten its customers' product development cycles and improve their productivity. Its customers, which span virtually every industry, include AT&T, BFGoodrich, Buehler, Eaton, Fisher Controls, Ford, Koenig & Bauer, Proctor & Gamble, Talbot, and Westinghouse.
 Aries Technology is the developer and marketer of a series of Predictive Engineering(TM) software products based on solid modeling that are used to conceptualize, create, analyze, and optimize mechanical designs prior to drafting and prototyping. Aries Technology software is used by mechanical engineers in the automotive, off-road vehicle, aerospace, agriculture and construction machinery, machine tool, industrial equipment, and consumer products industries.
 Autodesk, Inc. is the world's leading supplier of desktop computer- aided design automation software and is headquartered in Sausalito, Calif. Autodesk develops, markets, and supports a family of design automation software products, as well as professional scientific and multimedia software for personal computers and workstations. Autodesk shares are traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol ACAD(TM). For more information, please call 1-800-331-0356, or type GO ADESK on CompuServe(R).
 Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is the fourth-largest industrial corporation and the second-largest automotive manufacturer in the world. It serves customers in more than 200 countries and territories. With 322,700 employees in its plants, laboratories, and offices, this international network of people and production facilities has made Ford a leader in the global market. Diversity of products and markets ranks among Ford's great competitive strengths worldwide. The technology exchange between corporate components also is an important element in the company's success.
 Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HWP) is an international manufacturer of measurement and computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and support. The company's products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine, and education in approximately 110 countries. HP has 94,900 employees and had revenue of $16.4 billion in its 1992 fiscal year.
 Spatial Technology Inc. is the leading supplier of 3D solids modeling technology worldwide. Spatial Technology was founded in 1986 to facilitate the transition of the CAD/CAM/CAE industry into 3D by providing next-generation, object-oriented, solid-modeling technology industry wide.
 ACIS is a registered trademark of Spatial Technology.
 Predictive Engineering is a trademark of Aries Technology, Inc.
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 /CONTACT: Wayne Hamann of Ford Motor, ACIS OPEN chairman, 313-323-8087/ CO: Spatial Technology Inc. ST: Colorado, Michigan IN: CPR SU: PDT

ML -- DE020 -- 8429 09/02/93 12:40 EDT
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Date:Sep 2, 1993

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