Dassault Systemes has come a long way from providing siloed solutions such as CATIA, SIMULIA and DELMIA, to the manufacturing sector in India in this case, and then the ENOVIA/V6 platform tying them together, to its latest concept of 3DExpereince. The DS approach around experiences is gathering more clarity in terms of approach and technology. It can be a radical, collaborative approach in which all stake holders in the eco system – from designers who conceptualize a product to the suppliers and end users are included across all the design stages.
In the 3DExperience Customer Forum held in Mumbai on October 9th, CEO Bernard Charles explained how 3DExperience flips the idea of an IT platform integrating the various tools used in the life cycle of a product and its design to the physical product itself being at the epicenter. It is an interesting concept moving from design based on tool/document centric applications to experience-centric applications. Its adaptability with existing suites and adoptability among design engineers needs to be seen. Even if DS does not provide all applications required during a product's life cycle, it would want to provide a foundation on top of which all applications internal or external can be run. DS had setup stalls to showcase some of the tools they have recently developed for hands on 3DExpereince.
The 3 biggies in Indian automobile industry - Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors spoke about their journey:
• Maruti uses ENOVIA for its program management, including the popular Alto redesign - a 4 year project with 200 members, 120 test equipments and 500 activities. Maruti mapped its processes to solutions provided by DS and selected areas where there was good value offered. Its target was refreshment of the Alto design at the same cost, with improved value in terms of engine and aerodynamic performance. Supplier Collaboration and Quality Management are also planned on ENOVIA platform.
• Mahindra & Mahindra uses CATIA for Connections Management. Parameterized design of ~4000 weld spots and seams using AFS module has helped in reducing the cycle time for design and verification from 7 days to less than half a day. The information is passed on to DELMIA for planning of manufacturing operations.
• Tata Motors uses CATIA and DELMIA for automated Design for Manufacturing. Starting from parameterized master section design to part numbering in PLM and all the way to bill-of-material at an overall and station level, ergonomics and shop floor planning. Parameterisation helps in quickly propagating specific changes across the entire product structure.
Olivier Sappin, VP Transportation and Mobility explained how DS looks at the 5 holistic solutions for an automobile design:
• Lean, Green and Compliant - this ensures the vehicle is green in terms of its carbon foot print and compliance to local regulations
• My Car Experience - involving everyone in the ecosystem including customers to look and feel the product
• Smart, Safe, Connected for a systems perspective - systems engineering when multiple systems get together, simulation of performance and optimized fleet for connected cars
• Modular, Global and Secure - for maximum reuse of parts and design
• Target Zero Defect - primarily for Supply Chain Management for DS to move away from a defect management tool to a design tool that does it 'right the first time'
This is a holistic perspective of looking at the tools required around design of a product such as an automobile and it ensures that all perspectives are taken care of beyond just a high performance working product. This touches all key value creation stages from ideation with consumers to engineering design to global collaborative design to testing, manufacturing, environmental regulations through to the sale of the vehicle in a virtual showroom.
3DExperience is a revolutionary concept that can drastically reduce time-to-market for new products and change the way new products are conceptualized, designed and manufactured. This does not mean existing tools or processes should be thrown away. There in lies the catch where several OEMs across industry verticals have decades of experience using their own design practices and tools around them. DS will have to overcome the challenges of selling the concept of 3DExperience on top of its portfolio of existing tools and those in the pipeline. Better articulation of the next steps and industry wide communication of the business value with this new approach will be required from DS to take the journey forward.