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Alias/Wavefront Digital Technology Gives SEAT Auto Manufacturer The Creative Edge; StudioTools Speeds and Refines Conceptualization & Visualization.

Business Editors/Automotive Writers/High-Tech Writers

TORONTO, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 16, 2003

Alias/Wavefront(TM), an SGI (NYSE:SGI) company, announced today that SEAT S.A., part of the Volkswagen(R) Group, has used Alias(R) StudioTools (TM), the leading computer-aided industrial design (CAID) software, in the design of such exciting models as the Salsa, Salsa emocion and Tango.

The SEAT Technical Centre in Barcelona, Spain, uses StudioTools software at nearly every point in the development process, from the earliest stages of conceptualization to the design of the smallest details and finishes. The CAID software is used for modeling, rendering, animation, real time visualization and reverse engineering processes for automobiles which have been displayed at the most prestigious car shows throughout the world.

Ideal Tool for Conceptualization

Manel Garces, responsible for design surfaces at the SEAT Technical Centre, believes that Alias software "is the best there is for first proposals. It is the fastest method for designers who want to start work from a sketch. It is also excellent in rendering and for modeling, which is why it is the software most frequently used by those who demand greater creativity."

Garces says SEAT designers find it easy and intuitive to shape their initial ideas and give a product a basic definition. Then they use advanced modeling and surface evaluation tools to build the final execution, applying high quality material and texture simulations so that it is often difficult to distinguish whether an image is real or virtual.

A Perfect Case In Point

The SEAT Salsa sprang from combining a minivan coupe with the base of the Leon model and working up thousands of proposals from the first outline. Styling work in 3D was carried out in parallel with building the model's technical form (location of wheels, seats, etc.) so that everything would match up perfectly. Once the two elements were combined, the physical form was modeled in clay and repeated either through milling or manually, until a perfect finish was achieved and the automobile was ready for the auto show.

Cuts Development Time in Half

Garces believes digital technology has allowed automobile design to take an enormous step forward. "By working with StudioTools, we can shorten process times. For instance, models that previously needed six years to develop can now be on the road in three. By using Alias visualization tools, a model's degree of viability can be defined without having to go through the process of manufacturing it."

StudioTools has helped SEAT achieve a considerable reduction in design development time through improvements such as better and faster conceptualization. Designers are able to produce high quality material, texture and color simulations, evaluate surfaces and create impressive high-level virtual prototype presentations. The software has also allowed the design team to realize a significant cost savings in the construction of physical prototypes.

Installation Assistance

gedas iberia, the Alias/Wavefront supplier in Spain, has been responsible for the installation of StudioTools software in SEAT's manufacturing processes, providing essential training and maintenance of all the necessary infrastructures, as well as consultancy and advisory services. "Working with gedas has greatly facilitated the software's use but above all it has enabled us to be right at the cutting edge," explains Manel Garces.

About SEAT

SEAT is a Spanish company owned by the Volkswagen Group and integrated within the Audi(R) Brand Group. The brand develops and produces models with an expressive design, and a sporty and innovative character which reflects the company's motto "SEAT auto emocion."

One of the company's priorities is investment in Research & Development (R&D) with a view to offering innovative products with maximum quality. More than 2,000 people are working on this goal daily, the majority of them in the SEAT Technical Centre. This new company, which is managed entirely by the brand, affords SEAT an outstanding position among all the automobile manufacturers established in Spain because it is the only one capable of designing, developing and producing its own cars.

About gedas

gedas iberia, part of the Volkswagen Group, is an Information Technology consultancy and services company, integrated within the gedas AG group. Established in 1994, it now has offices in Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Murcia, Oviedo, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, Telde, Valencia, Vigo and Lisbon. It provides services to companies seeking to improve their business processes through technology for the business sectors of Automotive, Consumption and Distribution, Public Administration (also with the TAO brand), Finance (Banks, Savings Banks, Insurance Companies) and Services (Telecommunications, Utilities and Tourism).

At an international level, gedas AG develops, rolls out and operates individual information technology solutions for the optimization of its clients' business processes. This Volkswagen AG subsidiary was incorporated in Berlin in 1983 and now has more than 50 offices in 13 different countries.

About Alias/Wavefront

As the world's leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias/Wavefront develops software for computer aided styling, industrial design and visualization markets. Alias/Wavefront's design customers include AT&T, BMW, Boeing, Fiat, Fisher-Price, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Italdesign, Kodak, Mattel, Rollerblade, Trek Bicycle, Teague and Timex. Alias/Wavefront is a wholly owned, independent software company of SGI(R) with headquarters in Toronto and custom development center in Santa Barbara.

Please visit the company's website at or call 1-800-447-2542 in North America. International contact numbers include: Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, +44 (0) 1494 441273; Germany, East & Southeast Europe, 0049 89 31 70 20; France, Spain and Portugal, +33 1 44 92 81 60; Italy, 39 039 6340011; Japan, 81 3 5797 3500; and other parts of Asia Pacific, 81 3 3470 8282 and Latin America, 770 383 1881.

(C) 2003 Alias/Wavefront, a division of Silicon Graphics Limited. The Alias/Wavefront logo, Alias, and the StudioTools logo are registered trademarks and Alias/Wavefront and StudioTools are trademarks of Alias/Wavefront, a division of Silicon Graphics Limited in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. SGI is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Volkswagen is a registered trademark of Volkswagenwerk G.M.B.H. Audi is a registered trademark of Audi AG. All other trademarks, service marks, trade names, or product names mentioned herein are property of their respective owners.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:4EUSP
Date:Jun 16, 2003
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