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March 7, 1988

SMALL LUTON DESIGN HOUSE JVB IN TALKS TO BUY GM’s BIG UK CAD CENTRE

By CBR Staff Writer

General Motors Corp’s Vauxhall division in Luton, UK, is negotiating the sell of its computerised design centre modernised at a cost of UKP8m in 1984 – to a local design consultancy, JVB Ltd, which was founded by a former employee of the company and is reported to have a turnover of about UKP5m. GM denied reports that a deal had already been struck with JVB, but given the latter’s size it is far from clear under what terms it would be able to acquire the design centre. But JVB confirmed that negotiations with General Motors are continuing. The Vauxhall design centre uses computers in all three stages of the design cycle: mechanical and electrical design; body design and engineering analysis. The company has 57 terminals working on Cadam Inc’s Cadam computer augmented design and manu-facture system – which enables the drawing of electrical and mecha-nical engineering graphs on a screen using a function key-board, alphanumeric keyboard and a light-pen; 22 terminals for corporate design system for three dimensional body design and another 14 terminals are used in graphic presentations of analysis programmes and 17 terminals are used to ensure that new designs produce products which meet quality control standards. Cadam is presumably running on IBM mainframes, although this was not made clear by the company. Vauxhall has also developed and electronic mail system, EMS, for increasing communication within the company and a GMnet data communications system for transferring data between the company’s sites worldwide.

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