Jonas Gejer (JG): It is a great pleasure to meet you again. More than a year has passed by since our last discussion around the CATIA topic. What are your key professional experiences from the past year, since we had the interview? What are the most interesting and exciting changes?
Frédéric Martin (FM): As you know, we are all CATIA lovers and we learn a lot from our daily collaboration with our customers and partners from all industries. Recently, I met the Head of Engineering of an Automotive OEM. He was previously a CATIA V5 engineer, and is now leading a team of 2000 engineers. He told us that, by using CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE (V6) he believes that he can still improve the productivity of his team by 25 %!! This is the kind of professional experience I like – very exciting and very challenging to us! Value creation is always on top of my mind – the CATIA team is minded this way as well – I am leading four Center of Excellence in Europe which are covering Design, Engineering, Electrical and Systems Engineering disciplines – most of our time is spent on how we can help our customers to improve their productivity, save money or save time. I should say VALUE – isn’t it what we are all looking after?
JG: Yes, this is in the DNA of TECHNIA. What key trends do you see in the area of product development and design?
FM: Key trends are increasing complexity to manage, shorter development cycle, need for our customers to deliver the right product at the right time. Clearly, engineers should spend more time on true engineering tasks and less on data checking. This is where V6 Architecture and CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE can really bring added value that no other CAD tool can deliver. CATIA is still at the leading edge – the power of its modeler still being improved in 2016. Multidisciplines engineering has replaced sole Mechanical engineering. Mechatronics and Electrical are new priorities with light weight constraints (Composite and Additive Manufacturing). Not to forget to mention Cloud; new comers can benefit from best of breed Cloud solutions at a very low cost of acquisition. The recent example of Elixir Aircraft shows that start-ups can now build and certify planes. Real momentum for Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace industry.
JG: I saw some of those examples for the aircraft industry reducing the weight by 60-70%. That is quite amazing.
FM: You are right, this is incredible! The weight is one thing, but the savings that can be generated as well are amazing too. Another trend I mentioned already last time, is the importance of system engineering. Now we clearly see that there is so much pressure on the development of new products that the systems architect role is becoming increasingly important because you have to have someone in the company to manage all the changes, to manage all the complexity, to really decide rapidly about changes and to take quick decisions on functional and system architecture. The System Architect role is bringing this dimension in last release R2016X.
JG: Then obviously all products have a greater content of software and that is also the way to take the software discipline in this flow, real multidiscipline and concurrent engineering activities.
FM: Exactly. Real concurrent engineering is no more sequential, with a multi-discipline engineering and multiphysics approach to deliver a dynamic functional mock-up – to control the behavior and enter in 3DEXPERIENCE world. With CATIA Systems you can design and experiment smart and connected objects. With CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE we are opening a new era for Computer Aided Design
JG: The 3DEXPERIENCE and CATIA V6 adoption is really happening now and growing rapidly – is there any great success cases you can share with us?
FM: Yes, significant new 3DEXPERIENCE customers in Nordics in 2016 with Ericsson and Grundfos. But my favorite 3DEXPERIENCE customer in Sweden is European Spallation Source (ESS)! It was not an easy choice for them to go for 3DEXPERIENCE but they had to prepare for the future and be on time for 2025. Today, they are using CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE as CAD 3DModel master with 80 CATIA users in production. The “Machine” is 600 meters long – quite a large assembly all designed with CATIA. We are very pleased to see that they are now deploying, and taking the full benefit of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. One of the most important recent wins is DCNS, a French company in the defense sector, building submarines and warships. This company has won a big tender in Australia to build next generation submarine – a 24 billion dollars’ contract over 25 years. After extremely competitive evaluation, they have decided to go with Dassault Systèmes and for CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE to develop their new submarine. A major new win in Marine & Offshore industry.
JG: I agree to your comments on ESS, TECHNIA is proud to be ESS PLM partner. I have read that when it comes to the midsized companies, there is a lot of success among the startups especially within electric vehicles selecting the 3DXPERIENCE platform.
FM: Yes, indeed. These companies are mostly established in California, as Silicon Valley is attracting several new players in electric vehicles. Google and Tesla are leading the way but very few of us in Europe know that there are many other companies like Faraday investing a lot of money in electric vehicles, and they are using 3DEXPERIENCE platform and CATIA. They found it to be the most innovative and cool tool to design with. And if you are an engineer working in Silicon Valley you do not want to use a complex tool, it must be intuitive, cool and easy to use so that you can spent 100% of your time in creativity and innovation.
JG: You mentioned 3D printing and Additive manufacturing as key trends, and you said that Dassault Systèmes is developing new offerings there. Can you tell more about them?
FM: In those domains, it is extremely important to optimize the design in a way that you will make it at cheaper cost or with lighter weight. That is the objective. For satellites and planes, millions of euros are at stake! 3D Generative Shape Designer is a new role in release R2016X that allow function driven generative shape design completely integrated, from design to simulation, including topologic optimization and manufacturing. This new role developed jointly by CATIA and SIMULIA R&Ds delivers a new generation of integrated solutions which position Dassault Systèmes at the leading edge in Additive manufacturing with strong return on investment for customers.
JG: So it is very much an integrated approach, and you have the full capabilities.
FM: Exactly. Airbus has just announced that after very long benchmark they decided to go for Dassault Systèmes’ 3D Generative Shape Designer. We anticipate a move from traditional mechanical designer role to something new taking into account these new technologies, and the 3D Generative Shape Designer is a potential evolution of the mechanical designer role.
This was the first part of two in this interview series. Part 2 focuses on 3D printing, Systems Engineering and other trends in Design Manufacturing. Continue reading: CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE and Trends in Design and Manufacturing, Part 2