Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, December 20, 2006- Dassault Systèmes’ (DS) (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, recent DELMIA 2006 Worldwide User Group Conferences held in America, Germany and Asia brought together leaders from the automotive, aerospace, defense, energy and consumer industries to share their experiences in implementing a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) strategy through use of DS digital design and manufacturing tools. The consistent message was that digital software tools improve efficiencies and that there is a need to adapt standardized business processes and implement a cultural change throughout organizations.
At the U.S. conference, Bernard Charlès, CEO of Dassault Systèmes, stated that virtualization of the manufacturing sector will continue to accelerate as digital manufacturing has not been implemented to its full potential. He added that most companies use DELMIA solutions as a connection to their Manufacturing Bill of Materials environment rather than integrating it as part of a full PLM strategy, which allows you to gain the most from the tools.
Toyota Motor Company’s Ken Kreafle, General Manager, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, North America, Inc. spoke about Toyota’s success with digital tools, emphasizing the importance of having clearly defined company principles, standardized procedures, and that it is not just about the software such as DELMIA, but how it is applied within a consistent cultural environment. The importance of standardization--both in procedures and in design--was also stressed by presenter Laurie Harbour-Felax, president of Harbour-Felax Group, noting a Toyota Motor Company example where by simply standardizing on commodity components, the company has saved $1000/vehicle. Although tools such as DELMIA can help optimize manufacturing processes and facilities, you cannot have manufacturing flexibility if the product is not common.
Although manufacturers may need to develop standards and best practices in their implementation of digital tools, all presenters noted that significant gains have been made. Sanyo Machine Works noted that DELMIA tools influenced Sanyo to change its processes, helping the company to make a 25% reduction in parts, a 40% reduction in errors found during design and a 50% reduction in design time.
The standardization message continued at the European conference. There Fulvio Rusinà of COMAU S.p.A, called flexibility the key quality to successfully deal with the challenges of automobile assembly. With the increasing complexity and the multitude of product variations, he believes the development of lean solutions will become increasingly important. Additionally, Mathias Larsson of Saab Aerostructures described the fierce competition that forces his industry sector to implement new methods and processes. The systematic research and development work focused on customers’ projects performed by means of DELMIA simulation technologies and plays a decisive role in the implementation and operation of flexible assembly lines.
Dr. Markus Baur of the Czech Skoda Auto noted that standardization and seamless data integration allowed Skoda to optimize the manufacturing process both from a human safety and a throughput standpoint, allowing them to achieve an increase in product quality, a decrease in engineering time, and a reduction in modification costs. The company uses the Digital Factory as a tool to virtually represent all manufacturing and logistics processes of the real factory. He said that simulations significantly reduce the need for physical prototypes as well as pre-serial production.
The message of standard business processes continued at the Asia-Pacific Conference. In Japan, Siemens VDO Senior Production Engineering Assembly Manager Roland Brugger said that every new project at Siemens is planned digitally–starting from initial design through manufacturing of the final product. Siemens sees DELMIA solutions as essential in supporting continuous data exchange between the design and manufacturing departments. This allows the company to create successful manufacturing processes, which ensure that Siemens can react flexibly and quickly to meet the shrinking product life cycles while maintaining high quality and reducing costs.
At Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Akira Kitano, Manager, Production Planning Section, Oye Production Department, introduced a workflow development establishing their integrated process data in the DELMIA database. He emphasized how MHI is working to innovate their assembly and construction method planning by applying PLM to their aircraft design.
Nitin Rajurkar contributed that Tata Motors uses DELMIA to validate weld shop and vehicle assembly manufacturing processes, allowing the company to address issues like ergonomics, assembly feasibility, and tool access early in the vehicle development process. With various DELMIA tools such as QUEST and IGRIP, the company has been able to optimize material flow simulation and reduce cycle time.
All the DELMIA User Group conferences shared the benefits of PLM tools and value of standardization. These annual conferences provide a forum for representatives of various industries to exchange ideas and information about the impact of digital manufacturing in product creation. In addition to the executive and user presentations, there are workshops, exhibit booths and hospitality events. This year, over 1,784 people from around the world participated in the conferences.