Since offering a virtual disassembly of a Tesla Model X crossover, Caresoft Global has scanned other high-profile electric vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Bolt, right and the Tesla Model 3.
DETROIT – The partial division of vehicles has long been a way for car manufacturers to understand the latest models of their rivals.
But the engineering firm Caresoft Global Inc. has a much simpler, faster and cheaper way to achieve the same goal. The virtual disassembly technology can save automakers millions of dollars and hours of valuable product development time.
Caresoft engineers use high-tech 3D scans to dismantle vehicles separately – into separate battery cells, wires and screws – and sell the data to inquisitive carmakers and suppliers for up to half a million dollars. The company's software can also provide information about the materials used and the cost of each vehicle component.
"You've never seen the car of a competitor like that before", said Caresoft CEO Mathew Vachaparampil to Automotive News. "Is the technology perfect? No, but it is the best in the world today."
The company, founded in 2007 and based in Detroit, has started to offer virtual disassembly of Tesla's Model X crossover and has since scanned other high-profile electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. It's plan to the Jaguar I-Pace and other vehicles.
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Caresoft has signed agreements with more than 20 car manufacturers and a number of Tier 1 suppliers worldwide. Ford Motor Co., which has bought Caresoft's data on a number of vehicles, has recently honored the company with a World Excellence Award in the "Smart Brand Pillar of Technology and Innovation" category. Caresoft is also a finalist for the 2018 Automotive News PACE Awards.
In a statement after the Ford prize-giving ceremony, Hau Thai-Tang, the head of product development and procurement of car manufacturers, said that Caresoft is the kind of supplier that "is the key to Ford's continued success".
It takes Caresoft four to five months to scan a vehicle, a process that can cost millions of dollars. Once that has been completed, the software will accurately make 3D representations of the vehicle and all its components accurate to 0.35 millimeters or 0.01 inches.
Users can "explode" the vehicle to see individual components or cut it in half to see how everything fits together. They can analyze how battery cells are classified or why certain welds or connection processes have been used. Certain programs can also perform aerodynamic external simulations or crash analyzes.
Caresoft Global & # 39; s Mathew Vachaparampil, center, celebrates the World Excellence Award from Ford Motor Co. with links from the automaker Joe Hinrichs and Hau Thai-Tang.
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The cost comparison information of the software can show individual part numbers, which supplier they are from and other detailed information that automakers can use to reduce costs.
Vachaparampil said that Caresoft has advanced vehicle drop technology in the same way as the Apple iPhone revolutionized mobile phones.
Sharing the dismantling information with rival car manufacturers does not infringe on intellectual property, he said, because Caresoft simply buys production vehicles and shows what someone can see.
"We tell you what they have done, we give you the information," said Vachaparampil. If a car manufacturer "decides to copy it and violate a patent, then the problem starts."
Understanding what competitors do is becoming more and more important for car manufacturers, because powertrains change and vehicles are being packed with more technology.
An advantage of Caresoft technology: technical teams from all over the world can view the information of a vehicle simultaneously via virtual reality or 3D display on a computer, enabling them to make decisions faster.
"Today the issue in the market is not knowledge and it is not money," Vachaparampil said. "It's speed."