Dassault Systèmes provides technologies for the entire lifecycle of a product, right from engineering, designing, manufacturing to after-sales. The company has been strong on the acquisition front, through which it looks to offer one of the largest range of solutions to customers in the development of products and components across industries. Dassault’s Transportation & Mobility business covers the entire automotive industry, which is an important revenue contributor in India.
Auto Tech Review met up with Olivier Sappin, Vice President, Transportation and Mobility, Dassault Systèmes (Above) and Shree Harsha, Business Consulting Director, Transportation & Mobility Industry, Dassault Systèmes India Pvt Ltd (Below) to know about the company’s specialised offerings for growing electromobility, and its relation to autonomous driving, among others.
Electrification of vehicles is at the top of the agenda of most companies today, whether it is traditional existing OEMs or new market entrants. Silhouette said there are new players in the industry because there is abundant cash available, and it is also easy to procure electric motors. Through these advances, Dassault Systèmes sees an opportunity in this domain. What the company has done with the Electro Mobility Accelerator is to put together a unique set of technologies that enable customers to address challenges from the molecular level, up to the complete vehicle.
Dassault Systèmes’ acquisition of Accelrys, which specialises in molecular modelling and simulation, is the first step towards enabling EV developers to accelerate innovations in the market at competitive cost and optimal quality. Silhouette said the solutions from Accelrys mostly address bioscience, but there are players in the chemical domain that are evincing keen interest to simulate the behaviour of batteries at the molecular level. This also includes the formation of dendrites on the cathode of the battery, and monitoring how the li-ion is going to behave.
Secondly, through its Simulia portfolio, Dassault Systèmes offers various simulation solutions to address atomic and fluid behaviour, which enables one to begin realistic battery simulation, Silhouette said. Batteries are extremely complex and addressing its cooling and maintaining it at an optimal temperature are major challenges for which there is a requirement of a set of tools that Simulia offers.
Dassault Systèmes also recently acquired CST that provides expertise in electromagnetic simulation. When an electric car is of high intensity, it poses high intensity magnetic effects that need to be simulated. All these technologies illustrate the fact that Dassault Systèmes is putting enough into its platform to address the future of electrification from a small precise view, right up to a more global behaviour, Silhouette noted. While most of these solutions are directed towards EV development, a lot of these innovations can also be applied to hybrid and internal combustion engine vehicles.
Silhouette said it is better to have an EV as an autonomous car rather than an IC engine vehicle, mainly from the view of maintenance and refuelling reasons. He said urban environments/ cities will play a big role in the transformation of EVs into autonomous vehicles. Cities will push for electromobility by offering infrastructure for recharging and parking as well as providing connectivity of EVs.
In line with such developments, Dassault Systèmes’ system-based approach describing the software architecture of a car not only helps develop electric cars, but also combines the development of autonomous vehicles. This also brings us to the electrification challenges such as battery and issues concerning range, cost, weight and thermal management. Harsha said the company is working on addressing these new challenges. Dassault Systèmes offers solutions through multi-dimensional and multi-scale mathematical modelling of potential physical scientific scenarios of these new research domains and provides answers, he observed.
The power of the Dassault Systèmes’ physics bench platform is such that it enables the collection of applications from various sources on one single database as well as the integration of third-party software. All this data then can be put into perspective in order to manage the compromise and optimise the design, Silhouette explained. This eventually leads to what the company calls ‘performance-driven design’.
Harsha said Dassault Systèmes is helping customers design the end-user experience rather than just the physical form, fit and function usage. This is where the company’s core research is taking place. From the Indian perspective, Harsha said customers are keen to explore new electrification domains, especially focussing on battery technologies and looking beyond lithium-ion chemistry. The domestic industry is also looking to increase the charging infrastructure in order to keep up with the expected growth of EVs in the market as well as to employ more environmentally-friendly charging methods. Customers are demanding for visualising their ideas for a view of the final product before physically manufacturing the product/ component, he noted.
TEXT: Naveen Arul