Oct 01 2003

Swiss Watchmaker ISA Group Saves Time with PLM Solutions from IBM and Dassault Systèmes

Leading global watch-movement manufacturer anticipates reducing development cycles by 50% with CATIA® and SMARTEAM® solutions



Villers le Lac, Switzerland and Paris, France - October 1, 2003.  IBM and Dassault Systèmes (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) today announced that renowned watch-movement manufacturer ISA Group is already benefiting from its contract with IBM for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, just six months after initial deployment. The solutions, developed by IBM partner Dassault Systèmes, are helping ISA Group improve product design, fabrication and assembly processes of its entire product line.  

Distinguished throughout the world for the quality and diversity of its watch movements, ISA produces 55 millions movements annually for customers including some of the world’s most prestigious Swiss watch brands. ISA Group purchased IBM PLM Solutions, with CATIA® V5 and SMARTEAM® applications developed by Dassault Systèmes, to address their need to create multiple variations of core watch movements for distribution to customers around the world.  With remote manufacturing facilities and multiple product nuances, ISA requires powerful technology to manage its complex product information, remote collaboration and time to market.

Using CATIA V5, the world’s leading collaborative product design application specially equipped with specific functions for watch making, ISA Group is optimizing product development and manufacture.  After only six months into the implementation, the watchmaker foresees that by the end of the year they will have achieved a significantly shortened production cycle of 18 months instead of four years -- a savings of over 50 percent.  According to ISA Group’s managing director, Mr. Xun Guo, the dramatic decrease in product development time will clearly strengthen the group’s position as a major player in watch-making for years to come.  

In addition, ISA Group is also improving product data management using IBM and Dassault Systèmes’ fast-selling SMARTEAM software. This web-based application allows ISA Group to manage various product line functions and product information in real time among its locations in Mauritius, China, Switzerland and France, and with its supply chain.  

  “Creating beautiful and precise movements individually without any sharing of knowledge or stocking of product design information is inefficient,” said Mr. Guo. “With the CATIA and SMARTEAM solutions, we are able to manage and save all mindshare and product process data. The solutions have become the backbone for our group’s competitiveness by allowing us to manage our entire extensive product portfolio across our multiple sites and functional areas. We believe that PLM is a starting point for any global strategy for a manufacturing business.”

“The solution is also adaptable to our industry and our company size,” added Guo. “IBM was able to provide big company technology at a price affordable for a smaller company.  In addition, the partnership between IBM and its technology partner, Dassault Systèmes, is the longest in the industry. They have been providing leading product development solutions since the early days of CAD/CAM and know and deliver what manufacturers need to stay competitive. The IBM PLM solution package is helping us satisfy the fundamental imperatives of any manufacturing business, namely significant improvements in product innovation and cycle time.”

“The integration of watch-making and microtechnology know-how in CATIA V5 responds precisely to the demands of the watch-making and jewelry industries,” said Denis Senperé, vice president PLM Europe, Dassault Systèmes. “For ISA Group, the addition of SMARTEAM’s powerful product data and lifecycle management features creates an enterprise-wide PLM solution that will enable the company to develop and manage its products across the entire life cycle, and achieve its goals of product quality, precision and longevity.”  

IBM and its wholly owned services subsidiary, MDTVision, are managing solution implementation, training and support services at all of ISA’s worldwide locations. Yvon Corvez, Sales Director, Industries and Regions, MDTVision, said, « ISA Group chose MDTVision because we proposed a global PLM solution that took into account ISA’s specific business needs and the needs of the watch-making industry.”