Monday, November 07, 2005

Volkswagen Receives "Best Innovator 2005" Award

Text from Volkswagen AG.
Jury: "Fast identification and implementation of new technologies in product creation"

WOLFSBURG, Germany - Volkswagen has received an award for sustainable innovation management in the "Best Innovator 2005" competition from consultants A.T. Kearney and the magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

In the combined category "Processes and supporting factors" Volkswagen received recognition for consistent use of virtual technologies in the product development process.

Volkswagen saw the potential of virtual technologies at an early stage and already began using them effectively in its product creation process in the mid-nineties. In addition, since September 2004 a new 3D technology has been revolutionising vehicle development at Volkswagen. Real-time ray tracing" is used to visualise objects in space and give a photorealistic rendering of shadows, light refraction, and reflections. The objects can also be moved and altered directly and interactively without any time delay. This is done using powerful computer equipment, which makes it possible to process large and complex quantities of data. This technology developed by computer graphics specialists at the University of Saarbrücken is being used industrially for the first time at Volkswagen.

Two unique visualisation centres costing 20 million euros were set up within Volkswagen Technical Development in 2004. They are used by developers, designers, and engineers in cross-disciplinary development work. This makes vehicle development processes more efficient with major reductions in times and costs. Right from an early stage in a vehicle's development the engineers create a real and detailed impression of the planned vehicle on large projection screens.

Matthias Rabe, Head of Group Research at Volkswagen comments: "We are very pleased with the award from A.T. Kearney and WirtschaftsWoche. It shows that we were right to call our decision to implement new technologies in product creation a "Virtual revolution at Volkswagen". We have managed to optimise and considerably accelerate the product development process."

The Jury includes Dietrich Neumann, Central Europe Head of A.T. Kearney, Stefan Baron, Editor of WirtschaftsWoche, Georg Wilhelm Adamowitsch, Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Economy and Labour, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Bullinger, President of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and Hans-Werner Reich, Spokesman of the Board of Management of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau.

The award ceremony is on Monday, 7 November 2005 in Berlin.

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