Press release BoxID: 128789 (ESI Engineering System International GmbH)
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Virtual Reality Pioneers ICIDO and VRCom Announce Merger

(PresseBox) (Stuttgart, Darmstadt, ) Combination Creates one of the World's Leading Vendors for Immersive Software Solutions for Virtual Product Development.

ICIDO GmbH and VRCom GmbH, two pioneers of advanced Virtual Reality solutions, today announced that they will merge. The business combination will establish the joint entity as one of the world's leading vendors of immersive software solutions for virtual product development. The companies' combined product portfolio provides a comprehensive, "best-in-class" application suite for virtual product analysis and validation in 3D immersive environments, enabling customers to substantially enhance and accelerate their product innovation and development processes. The merged entity expects to generate substantial revenue growth.

Virtual product development methods are increasingly being adopted within manufacturing industries. Associated customer benefits are well understood: Improved product innovation, enhanced design quality, compressed development cycles and substantially reduced costs, realized across the entire product development process. However, until today market-driving OEMs were forced to deal with competing standards and individual point solutions, especially with regards to advanced Virtual Reality and visualization solutions.

The merger of ICIDO GmbH, a provider of interactive visual decision systems, and VRCom GmbH, a provider of virtual prototyping software solutions, creates one of the world's leading vendors of immersive software solutions for virtual product development. The integration of the two companies' product lines will offer customers a comprehensive application portfolio ranging from desktop-based visualization up to cluster-based high performance solutions for best-in-class virtual product analysis and validation in 3D immersive environments. The combined entity targets the major growth markets in Europe, USA and Asia, serving clients in all manufacturing industry segments, with the main focus on automotive, aerospace, defense and transportation as well as mechanical engineering industries. The merger positions the joint entity well to continue to lead this rapidly evolving market and generate strong revenue growth.

“The merged entity will offer our customers a more powerful and comprehensive solution set for product development, design and engineering. At the same time, customers will benefit from our expanded service and support offerings as well as our global presence”, explains Ralf Heimberg, CEO of the merged company. He continues: “We believe we can play a major role in shaping and setting the future standards for virtual and immersive product development solutions”.

Christian Matzen, COO of the combined entity and in charge of R&D, adds: “The consolidation of the two product lines will deliver substantial value to our customers by bringing together best-of-breed functionalities in one product. The merger will also free up development capacities, which will enable us to more effectively meet our customers’ requirements with regard to innovation and product quality.”

The joint entity will operate under the ICIDO brand. Corporate headquarters are located in Stuttgart with subsidiaries in Darmstadt, Cologne, Hamburg and Chicago, IL, USA. The merger is subject to approval by antitrust authorities.

About VRCom:

VRCom GmbH is an established vendor of Virtual Prototyping solutions with a leading market position in the Automotive and Aerospace industries. VRCom's Virtual Design 2 software enables manufacturing and engineering organizations to efficiently validate products and processes in a human-centric 3D immersive environment. Going far beyond traditional visualization and DMU tools, the software features a realistic product and process experience on a 1:1 scale with extensive mirroring, shading, gliding and kinematics support. The underlying technology platform is based on more than ten years of R&D and delivers a complete Virtual Prototyping feature set with top-of-the-range visualization performance, seamless enterprise-level data integration as well as a highly flexible, scalable grid-computing infrastructure. The company was founded in 1998 as a Fraunhofer IGD spin-off and is headquartered in Darmstadt. VRCom employs a staff of 20 with an aggregate of 200 years of experience in the fields of 3D real-time computer graphics, simulation and virtual prototyping. Representative customers include, among others, Airbus, BMW, EADS, VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda.

ESI Engineering System International GmbH

The ICIDO Group (ICIDO GmbH, fleXilution GmbH, with branches in Japan and the USA) is a leading provider of interactive, visual decision-making systems. ICIDO solutions are simple and standardised and can be integrated in existing structures and processes with ease. When using the Visual Decision Platform (VDP) technology, customers derive benefits from an improved possibility of assessing and evaluating three-dimensional computer data in product development and in the simplification and acceleration of coordination processes in interdisci-plinary teams. Errors can be detected early on, optimum solutions can be determined better and the creation of physical prototypes can be reduced. This results in considerable cost savings, reduced development times and quality enhancements. Areas of application range across the entire product creation process from design/styling, engineering design, assembly and production planning to marketing and sales. Customers receive a complete solution from ICIDO consisting of software and services and also the necessary hardware, for example a power wall system. ICIDO customers are to be found in the automotive industry (Daimler-Chrysler, BMW, Ford, Bosch, Faurecia), in the transportation sector (Siemens Transportation Systems, MTU, Rheinmetall, Airbus), machine and system construction (Trumpf, Festo, IWKA and Siemens Power Generation) and in research and teaching (FH Esslingen, FH Pforzheim, TU Chemnitz, TU Munich, BA Mosbach), for example