Given the rapid pace of digitalisation in the global manufacturing sector, businesses today are specifically seeking to identify new manufacturing service providers, who will provide complete solution packages to them, including 3D printing, inserting specific components within their design environment, and managing their entire ecosystem of selected service providers and in-house resources so that further transparency and collaboration can be enhanced within the manufacturing enterprises.
Keeping this in mind, Dassault Systèmes recently organised SolidWorks World 2018, a four-day conference held in Los Angeles, USA, this year. The seminar majorly revolved around the official launch of the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace, which is its online ecosystem where today’s business innovators can collaborate and transact with other industrials and service providers. This cloud-based marketplace is a new trading platform for digital design, engineering and manufacturing transactions, which has been established specifically to achieve the objective of transforming the industry with greater transparency and collaboration.
Marking its 20th anniversary this year, the four-day seminar witnessed a total footfall of over 8000 attendees and hosted more than 200 breakout sessions, which showcased over 120 solutions on topics ranging from design to manufacturing, 3D CAD and simulation, electrical design and schematics, communications, collaboration, and data management. Several industry exhibitors attending the conference engaged in live demonstrations and discussions detailing the industrial applications of SolidWorks software in their companies.
Moving towards experiential thinking
Day One of the seminar kicked off with this key announcement of the official launch of 3D EXPERIENCE Marketplace made by Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, Dassault Systemes—SolidWorks. Sharing his vision of perfect integration, Bassi provided a detailed briefing on the various aspects of the 3D EXPERIENCE Marketplace, which includes the 3D EXPERIENCE Social Collaboration Services and the SolidWorks 3D EXPERIENCE PLM services, amongst others.
Also elaborating on this online ecosystem was Florence Hu-Aubigny, Senior Vice President, Dassault Systemes—3D EXPERIENCE, who observed, “Today, we are moving towards experiential thinking. Hence, the 3D EXPERIENCE Marketplace will be the trusted place where makers will unite to imagine the products of tomorrow.”
On a similar note, Bernard Charles, Vice Chairman & CEO, Dassault Systemes, also shared his insights and stated, “Today’s industrial renaissance extends beyond digitalisation to the emergence of new players and new categories of solutions, processes and services that prioritise sustainable innovation over productivity. Based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that pioneered the category of business experience platform in 2012, the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace will be crucial in transforming the supply chain into a value chain—a single, virtual, social enterprise, pioneering a new way to do business, innovate and create value in industry. Online platforms and marketplaces have already transformed retail, transportation and hospitality services. The industrial world is next.”
Already featuring 50 digital manufacturers with more than 500 machines and 30 million components from 600 suppliers, the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace connects recognised experts in their domains. It allows them to iterate on design and manufacturing specifications and ensures that a part or product can be manufactured while reducing risk and errors. It also manages all aspects of a transaction between a buyer and a seller—such as, payments, currencies and billing, and provides a record of each transaction for full traceability.
SolidWorks 2018: What’s new?
Apart from this online ecosystem, the seminar also focused on the most up-to-date advancements and features that have been added to the latest version of SolidWorks 2018, the company’s signature engineering design software, which was also released at the seminar this year. SolidWorks 2018 provides four new solutions, this year, to help enterprises simplify interactions between product development teams, improve business, accelerate product innovation and grow the business with new processes. These four new solutions include:
Design to manufacture: This feature provides a complete solution to bring ideas to the market. For years, companies have survived despite having a separation between their design and manufacturing departments, both by organisation, and by the tools they use. SolidWorks Design-to-Manufacturing Process Solution provides everything that is needed to bring ideas to the market. Design to final assembly work can happen concurrently in one seamlessly integrated and managed system.
Distributed data management: This allows for a seamless integration of the right data, at the right time, for the right people. Electronic data within organisations needs to be easy so as to allow access regardless of the format—from documents and spreadsheets to metadata, processes data, and data from enterprise resource planning. The SolidWorks Distributed Data Management (DDM) Process Solution helps organise all this data so that it becomes easy to access across many disciplines and departments. It also makes it easy to capture non-electronic data and complex electronic data such as 3D shapes.
Designer to analyst: This includes analysis tools for every step of the design. Great designs are the result of inspiration, perspiration, and hours of hard work. Hence, SolidWorks Designer to Analyst Process Solution helps to speed up the complete design cycle. With this tool, engineering and design teams can work together concurrently evolving product designs while validating any changes, and reusing previous analysis information.
Electrical and IoT: This feature allows connection of smart devices to customers. Every day products are becoming more complex. As web and app functionalities are added to everything from cars to sunglasses, many companies are looking for intelligent tools that work together so they can design and build the “smart” products that today’s markets demand. Recognising this need, this feature was added, which is the easiest and fastest way to achieve a more efficient process when designing connected devices by using one single, unified environment.
Building an ecosystem
Speaking on the new enhanced design software, Kishore Boyalakuntla, Vice President — Product Portfolio Management, Dassault Systèmes—SolidWorks, emphasised, “With a lack of manufacturing expertise being faced globally, we are keen on addressing this issue and our mission at SolidWorks is to empower anyone who wants to be a world-class manufacturer. By introducing the SolidWorks CAM in SolidWorks 2018, we are building an ecosystem of SolidWorks, where one can create an IP, add intelligence to this IP and with one click, they can go directly into manufacturing the product without being an expert.”
He further elaborated, “We are also working with machine builders so as to ensure that when something is designed using SolidWorks, it is automatically recognised by the machine so that it can start to cut the design as well. Hence, with SolidWorks, we are not building products but are building eco-systems.”
Catering to the Indian market
Shifting the focus on the Indian market, P M Ravikumar, Senior Director—Sales, Dassault Systemes—SolidWorks India, said, “Given the way in which the Indian government is bringing in policies to accelerate the growth of the Indian manufacturing sector, manufacturing will be the most important focus in the next two years. Looking specifically at India, SolidWorks has approximately around 9000 commercial customers in India currently. Further, within the education field, we have close to 1000 customers. So, we have had around 10,000 customers by the end of 2017. In terms of the total number of users, we have approximately 160,000 users in India, including academic and commercial.”
Also, addressing the challenge of providing affordable solutions for the Indian SME sector was Suchit Jain, Vice President — Strategy & Business Development, Dassault Systemes—SolidWorks, who stressed, “At SolidWorks, we have a real desire to help companies and have a strong philosophy, especially for companies who truly cannot afford our solution. In such cases, we will give them the software or ensure that they have access to it. We do this as we know that if it helps them, they will pay for it when they start making money and profits. However, the challenge that we have faced in India is to determine who truly deserves the affordable solutions from our end.”
Transforming the manufacturing framework
With the ever-evolving technological landscape caused by technological innovations & advancements within the engineering & manufacturing sector, it has become significant for manufacturing enterprises today to not only push the boundaries of production, cost efficiency and time-to-market but also transform the entire framework of their manufacturing enterprise. Aligning to these market demands, the recently concluded SolidWorks World 2018 conference was a successful endeavour that addressed these issues by introducing newer channels of digital trading platforms and digital solutions for greater transparency and collaboration. The next edition of SolidWorks World 2019 will be held in Dallas, Texas, on Feb 10-13, 2019.