With total revenues of more than € 3 billion in 2016, Dassault Systèmes is a global leader in 3D design software, 3D digital mock up and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. The company has built its hard-earned reputation on the basis of its deep understanding of industrial processes and the solutions it has developed for promoting digital transformation in a wide variety of industries, including the aerospace and automotive industries.
The company’s portfolio of industry solutions is powered by its ‘3DEXPERIENCE’ business platform, which has been designed to allow companies to implement integration of different verticals, drive innovation and build new business models. By allowing companies to connect processes – right from the design and ideation stages, to simulation, testing, production and even marketing, and powering these processes with big data analysis, Dassault Systèmes has helped companies reinvent their businesses, boost efficiencies and leverage new technologies.
Dassault Systèmes recently hosted the ‘Manufacturing in the Age of Experience’ event in Pune, where the company showcased its suite of technologies and explained how manufacturing sectors across automotive, transportation, aerospace and industrial engineering can bring digital transformation to their manufacturing operations. The event was especially relevant, given that the Indian industry already looking at ways and means to improve efficiencies and enhance quality and productivity, via increased technology adoption. With global automotive OEMs that have manufacturing operations in India looking at increasing localisation and sourcing from local suppliers, and with automotive engineering and production hubs being established in various parts of the country, the time is just right for manufacturers to adopt high-end software solutions that are being offered by Dassault.
‘The first step that Indian manufacturing companies need to take to compete with their global counterparts in an experience economy is to disrupt their traditional manufacturing operations with more agile, flexible, scalable manufacturing processes. In this context, they need to address four areas of the manufacturing equation – digital manufacturing, manufacturing operations management, supply chain planning, and operations and additive manufacturing,’ said Samson Khaou, Managing Director, India, Dassault Systèmes during the event in Pune. ‘The world of manufacturing has shifted its focus from mass production to mass customization and quick delivery to an on-demand generation of consumers. Complete synchronisation and integration of operations, modularity, and predictive analytics have enabled manufacturers to provide consumers with a personalized experience. Additive manufacturing is becoming a game changer,’ added Guillaume Vendroux, CEO, DELMIA, Dassault Systèmes, who also said that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform offers a unique opportunity for manufacturers to explore how they can digitally transform their businesses.
As part of their technology demonstrations, Dassault provided a preview of the future of manufacturing via the 3DEXPERIENCE Playground, which featured multiple interactive stations. The objective was to show how companies can manage production complexity by using a holographic 3D view of all levels of the value creation process. Dassault also showed its ‘3DEXPERIENCE Factory,’ a smart factory solution that allows companies to design and simulate the entire production line by using the HTC Vive virtual reality system along with Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Similarly, the company’s ‘3D Lean Experience’ was also explained, which provides a real shop floor experience developed for operators and supervisors.
Dassault Systèmes’ global investments, in internal R&D as well as development work carried out through acquisitions, are closely aligned with its strategic roadmap for the future. The company took the lead with 3D product design in the early 1980s, focusing on the aerospace and automotive verticals, introduced full digital mock up (DMU) technology in the mid-1990s and introduced an all-new architecture software for PLM (design, analysis, digital manufacturing and product data management) in the late-1990s.
It is now all set to focus on the digital manufacturing domain, including digital process planning, robotic simulation and the extensive use of 3D visualisation technologies. Via strategic acquisitions, the company is also looking at building up its intelligent dashboarding capabilities, as well as working with cloud-based 3D space planning solutions. With the introduction of its new navigational user interface, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Dassault hopes to promote integrated, end-to-end engineering and manufacturing services, which are likely to be particularly use for automotive manufacturers. In fact, according to Dassault, its 3DEXPERIENCE platform can be a critical enabler of digital continuity for auto manufacturers, starting with upstream thinking, to design and engineering, manufacturing, marketing and after-sales.
Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE portfolio is primarily comprised of 3D modelling and simulation applications, social and collaborative applications, and information intelligence applications. The portfolio architecture has been designed to offer value creation at the enterprise, team and user levels. The company focuses on covering a wide base of customer processes, with industry- and domain-focused sets of software solutions, and glocal thinking that leverages its global strengths on the one hand, while ensuring thought proximity with local customers, enabling a flexible structure that is responsive to local needs.
Of the twelve main sectors that Dassault Systèmes caters to, Transportation and Mobility is an important one, and building value with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in this domain is a key focus area for the company. It intends to do this in two ways – one, by being an operating platform that is useful for and accessible to all employees (especially those who are engaged in contributing to the end-consumer product experience, design, engineering & simulation, manufacturing operations, quality assurance and compliance, project management, business planning & operations, marketing and POS operations) within an enterprise, and, two, by become a trading platform that connects customers and partners in the long term.
Of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s diverse capabilities, 3D Dashboarding Technologies and Services, which allows manufacturers to monitor and summarize all enterprise and business activities via a digital ‘dashboard,’ could be particularly useful for the automotive industry. Also, the platform allows businesses to leverage the power of digital social platforms, connecting to social, open communities and sharing best practises for maximising efficiencies. Lastly, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s cloud-based workspaces services and technologies enable secure collaborative environments online, which facilitate sharing and innovation on any IP. Dassault has optimised this technology for big data and has made it available for remote usage for a wide variety of industries, including the automotive industry.
3DEXPERIENCE depends on realistic, real-time simulation of virtual workplaces and to make this possible, the company has invested heavily in technologies and services, enabling simulation of complex product behaviours, factory and production systems, additive manufacturing processes, logistics operations and consumer behaviour, all of which is made possible by unique tools for complexity management and heavy-duty computing firepower in the form of distributed multi-discipline simulations.
In the context of the automotive industry, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform allows manufacturers to digitalise their entire chain of operations, including their capability to analyse, design, simulate, engineer and deliver outstanding product experiences to customers. The platform also enables users to collaborate on a much wider, deeper level, moving to an always-connected world, where big data forms the basis for innovation, process streamlining and business decision optimisation. Maximum data utilisation is, in fact, one of the key strengths of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which allows companies to fully leverage enterprise-level data, which might have otherwise gone unused.
Another important part of the equation is DELMIA, which is an integral part of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and helps connect virtual and real worlds, thereby helping manufacturers achieve harmony across design, production and distribution processes. DELMIA digital manufacturing solutions drive manufacturing innovation and efficiency by digitally planning, simulating, and modelling global production processes. Especially in the context of the automotive industry, DELMIA’s mobility solutions leverage the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to provide the full capabilities of 3D digital manufacturing, to users responsible for body-in-white assemblies, tooling, plant design, assembly simulation, powertrain, robotics programming and supply chain planning. The results are significantly improved performance and higher profitability.
Digital continuity – using and repurposing 3D design data across all processes, and integrating feedback from the shopfloor, supply chain, the distribution network, and even consumers – is going to be critical for manufacturers in the years to come. Dassault Systèmes’ range of software solutions and digital platforms will, in the coming years, help manufacturers accomplish just that, and more.
10 Minutes With Shree Harsha
During the recent ‘Manufacturing in the Age of Experience’ event in Pune, we caught up with Shree Harsha, Business Consulting Director, Transportation & Mobility Industry, Dassault Systèmes, for a quick chat. Here are some excerpts from what he had to say about various aspects of Dassault’s business, its key focus areas and major growth opportunities.
KEY BUSINESS DRIVERS
We look at the major business drivers and one of the biggest is connected and automated mobility. We’re seeing phenomenal amounts of investments coming in that domain, and every day there are predictions of connected cars and trucks coming in very soon. The other big factor is personalisation and differentiation, which adds a great deal of complexity in engineering and manufacturing. Next is safety and regulatory issues, with new announcements coming in every day, which add a lot of pressure. There are new mobility models coming in, with OEMs announcing joint ventures with cab service providers and ride aggregators. Mobility as a service could be the next big thing.
In addition to quality, there are other factors that have become increasingly important. There’s ADAS and there’s platform sharing and optimisation. Electronics, software and mechanical systems are coming together to facilitate virtual modelling and advanced simulation, which lets us digitally analyse the behaviour of various parts and components. Industry 4.0, where manufacturing lines are connected digitally, which helps with flexibility when producing multiple models on the same line. We aggregate various technologies and make it simpler for our customers to adapt and optimise for local requirements. The Kwid, for example, which has been more than 90 % localised. A key aspect is, of course, ensuring quality control from local suppliers. With the frugal mindset in India, we always try to look for cost optimisation, try to reduce materials weight without compromising on strength and look at ways to optimise local sourcing, with global quality standards.
EURO VI, BHARAT NCAP
With the move from Euro IV to Euro VI and with new Bharat NCAP crash safety norms coming in, manufacturers have to make new investments in technology, to facilitate the move to new norms. It’s not just 3D, the core art of engineering is science – we’re dealing with physics, materials, mathematics and seeing how the structure behaves, without conducting a physical test. Honda, for example, has been using our tools globally, for crash validation. This will also be relevant for other OEMs with upcoming Bharat NCAP norms announced by the government.
In every country where we work, our customers have to comply with local bodies and their rules and regulations for getting a vehicle homologation certificate. The challenges come when to accommodate the changes [which local governing bodies may require], major reengineering is required. Customer requirements, government regulations, financial constraints, design requirements – there is a lot of complexity with these multi-dimensional challenges. With our technologies, we aim to make decision making at senior levels easier.
When Indian OEMs are faced with new requirements, they first go in-house and ask their own R&D if the work can be done internally. If not, they go to leading suppliers, which is good for our business.
TEXT: Sameer Kumar