Between now and 2007, Mazda plans to spend R806,4 million on advanced computer technology to speed up its product development.

Between now and 2007, Mazda plans to spend R806,4 million on advanced computer technology to speed up its product development.

Known as Mazda Digital Innovation II, or MDI-II, in its first stage from 1996 to now it has slashed the development times for new products from up to 27 months to between 12 and 18 months, reported.

The company will also set up a computer system to corroborate the capabilities, quality and production process even before the design drawings have been finalised. Along with this, it will create a "digital factory" to allow engineers to follow vehicles through a simulated production and allow them to spot potential problem spots.

The new technology will also allow engines and transmissions to be developed concurrently, instead of engines first and transmissions at a later stage.

Mentioning one example, Akihiro Kidani, general manager of the MDI project, said while Mazda spent up to two months conducting virtual testing, this could be cut down to one or two weeks.

But Kidani was against setting a development time of less than 12 months, saying the extra time could be used to improve the quality of the cars.

Original article from Car