âYou donât learn with static products. You learn from experience,â says Bernard Charles, member of the board, president, and CEO of Dassault SystÃ¨mes (3ds.com).Â His comment neatly encapsulates the direction Dassault SystÃ¨mesÂ is taking with its stable of software.
âThe first time I came to Detroit,â says Olivier Sappin, Dassault SystÃ¨mes’Â vice president of transportation and mobility industry, âthe only topics were how to shrink time-to-market and develop products quicker. Back then, [automakers] needed so much time, they could not compete with the Japanese. Everything else was second priority. [American automakers] have fixed that. Now they can spend time on the other challenges they face.â Take mechatronics, for example, products that combine mechanical, electrical, and electronic systems. Up to a point, continues Sappin, âpeople could manage the architecture of a system on a piece of paper because it was so simple. Thatâs impossible now.â Individuals, even small teams of engineers, need integrated, multi-domain, automated tools to develop mechatronic products.
The mechatronics example brings up another aspect of âexperienceâ that should not be ignored. Think âbeyond PLM.â Sure, says Charles, PLM addresses the way we build, design, produce, and maintain products, but âdo you think PLM in its current scope can see the other side: How the owner of the car experiences the car? Do you think the owner of the car cares about how theÂ
car was made?â
Therein is why Dassault SystÃ¨mesÂ V6 brings simulation and visualization up front and center. âIf you give an electronic job to a mechanical engineer, the odds are very high he wonât understand it,â says Charles. âBut if you show him the experience, he understands it immediately. When that experience is presented in a truly cooperative, multi-discipline environment, people understand each other.â
Dassault SystÃ¨mesÂ is also morphing Version 6 Release 2014 (V6R2014)âits integrated design, engineering, manufacturing, and PLM softwareâinto cloud applications that act as a single business-experience platform: âthe 3DExperience platform.â
Michel Tellier, Dassault SystÃ¨mes’Â vice president for the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) Industry, points out that âup to now, Dassault SystÃ¨mesÂ has been building the `user experienceâ versus the âenterprise experience.â Now weâre building the `industry solution experience.ââ (That applies to A&D as well as automotive.) âCatia is not a platform for actually deciding the detailed design of a system. Itâs a platform for defining product as a system. The Catia system is a common language, a model of how all these systems integrate and behave together.â
V6R2014 will still be available in the conventional wayâon-premise, on the user-companyâs IT systemsâbut it will also be available on public and private clouds. Of course, cloud operations might not be for everyone. Explains Sappin, automotive OEMs today rely on very large, legacy systems running on on-site IT. âI would not say that these guys would not change one day, but for them to change from on-premises systems to a cloud-based solution would be a revolution. Our first goal is to bring a simple, out-of-the-box system to plenty of customers.â
Cloud-based applications have the attraction of being immediately available, usable, and easily adopted by customers. Asks Charles rhetorically, âHow long does it take to install a PLM backbone in a company today? Maybe six months to a year? By the time you install the server, the local network, customize, and hire administrators, timing can make a big difference.â Namely, a company could lose its window-of-opportunity in the market.
Cloud-based V6R2014 is already in use. Tesla Motors (teslamotors.com) has been using Dassault SystÃ¨mesÂ products for years now: Enovia for PLM in 2010; V6R2010 for design, engineering, and simulation, among other disciplines; and currently V6R2013. Tesla is âa technology company working in the automotive space,â explains Jack Brown, Teslaâs senior manager, applications support-PLM. It is a car manufacturer. It is also a battery technology company.
Tesla took advantage of Dassault SystÃ¨mes’Â Lighthouse program, which gave the company early access to the cloud version of V6R2014. Tesla, says Brown, âwanted to gain insight into V6R2014x functionality beyond `slidewareâââwith minimal infrastructure investment.
Tesla is pleased. The personalized dash-boards across V6R2014 give people quick and easy access to information. Drag-and-drop dashboard widgets provide task notifications. Tesla can quickly and simply create and manage a virtualized collaborative space for its engineers and partners to work in. Tesla can monitor in real time the engineering status of various vehicle projects, both at the vehicle and the subproject (nested) levels. The company can even model task dependencies between various projects. This makes planning and managing resource assignments and understanding the effect of proposed changes on a project schedule a breeze. Simulations (what-if analysis) show the effect of proposed tasks on schedules and proposed changes to task durations. V62014âs support of supplier design collaboration lets Tesla connect suppliers to its data-base for real-time design collaboration. Supplier updates are instantly available for validation by Tesla. And vice versa: Tesla updates are instantly available to suppliers. Exchanging Catia V6 design data using 3DXML ensures secure access for suppliers while eliminating informal FTP/email exchanges. This secure access includes tracking uploads/downloadsÂ and an interactive tool for selective export/write access to design files. Incidentally, the cloud-based systemÂ also supports exchanging design filesÂ to Tesla suppliers still on Catia V5.
At the very least, says Brown, Teslaâs experience with V6R2014x was a ârapid kick off with no infrastructure burden enabled by cloud-based environment.âÂ
Hereâs a personalized dashboard in DassaultÂ SystÃ¨mesâ’Â V6R2014 integrated design, engineering, manufacturing, PLM suite that can run entirely on public and private clouds. Dassault SystÃ¨mesÂ is calling this whole gamut of software âthe 3DExperience platform.â