Profiles in Flexible Modeling: KTM Motorbikes

We’ve written a few times in this blog about KTM Motorbikes. We like the Austrian-based company’s fast motorcycles and sports cars. We’re intrigued by KTM’s all in-house engineering model. And we think its “Ready to Race” philosophy fits well with PTC Creo and our approach to product design.

Flexible Modeling for Unexpected Changes

PTC Creo offers a Flexible Modeling Extension (FMX) for PTC Creo Parametric users so that they have more design flexibility and speed to overcome last-minute design changes. It’s also useful for working on older designs or switching engineers mid-project. With FMX, engineers can easily select and edit a range of geometry and features, including rounds and patterns, while fully retaining the model’s design intelligence.

So, while in the past an unexpected change might have led engineers to rebuild models to avoid breaking constraints, with FMX they can easily just update the existing design.

Why does that matter to KTM?

The company is currently expanding its product range, and along with it the engineering team. In fact, today the company employs more than 350 designers and engineers. “With PTC Creo’s flexible modeling extension, everyone can take existing designs and make modifications to improve performance,” says Olaf Seger, company designer. “New designers can leverage existing parts [from previous generations of bikes], even when the original designer is unavailable.”

Flexibility is also important in a culture where it’s never too late for a good idea.

“The innovation machine at KTM stays revved all the time,” says Seger. “Every model that we release integrates the best of our engineering when we release it. But we never feel we’ve crossed the finish line. Our teams are continuing to dream up the next round of improvements all the time.”

With PTC Creo, that’s not a problem.  KTM can quickly take any design and easily modify it. At any time during the design cycle, engineers can design, simulate, optimize, and modify every aspect of a complete bike in PTC Creo, and this can all be done in just a few hours. In the past, engineers expected design modifications to cost weeks and months, says Seger.

The KTM Duke and PTC Creo: A Model of Success

The 2013 KTM 690 Duke is a good example great products designed by PTC Creo. It’s the most cutting-edge series production single-cylinder bike of our time. It features a precision chassis with a wealth of outstanding components that make every ride on the 690 Duke unforgettable.

Among the engineering advances on this model is a newly developed counterbalance system that effectively nulls vibration, for a smooth, high-performance ride.

The new KTM 690 Duke has been an instant hit, with sales numbers higher than the most optimistic KTM estimate.

Today, KTM is the fastest-growing motorbike manufacturer in the world, growing 36% in 2012, gaining market share in all key regions. And with PTC Creo, the company has cut time-to-market by 15% for this latest generation of motorbike.

KTM is just one of many companies across the globe that take advantage of the PTC Creo Flexible Modeling Extension to build great products. Watch this space—we’ll be featuring several more in upcoming weeks.

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