Dassault Systemes strikes chord with automakers

by 15 Feb 2007

Has product lifecycle management, or PLM, become a mainstay in the Indian automotive industry? The statistics Delmia India, a subsidiary of France’s Dassault Systemes, provides makes it seem so. “In India, 56 percent of commercial vehicle OEMs, 40 percent of two- and three-wheeler manufacturers, and 30 percent of car manufacturers use our software,” says Shantanu Gupta, marketing manager, Delmia India.

Dessault Systemes is one of the leading 3D and PLM solutions providers with 23 percent share in the $10-11 billion global PLM market. Its process PLM brands are Catia, Delmia, Enovia and Simulia. Catia allows virtual product design, Delmia virtual production, Enovia global collaborative lifecycle management, and Simulia virtual testing.

Catia enables users to simulate the entire range of industrial design processes starting from initial concept to product design, analysis and assembly. A company can then use Delmia to digitally plan, create, monitor and control production and maintenance processes. Enovia addresses customers’ requirements across the full spectrum of product and business enterprises, sharing data and integrating supply chain. Finally, Simulia gives the benefit of virtual testing like crash tests, NVH and computational fluid dynamics. In short, these products used together provide end-to-end solutions.

However, companies do not necessarily use all products together. It depends on the strategies and requirements of individual companies. “PLM is a strategy, a top-down approach. The CEO has to decide and once that decision is taken, everyone has to have the PLM knowledge and implement it,” says Kamal Kumar, managing director, Delmia India.

In India, companies like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Eicher Motors, Force Motors, Hero Honda, Mahindra & Mahindra to name a few are using Dassault Systemes’ products. “Today communication happens in 3D form. Virtualisation of assets is a huge advantage, and India is emerging as a PLM hub,” he adds.

Dassault Systemes globally employs 6,600 people, of which 2,200 are research and design engineers or involved in R&D activities. About 27 percent of its revenue is pumped back into R&D. Moreover, its ecosystem consisting of partners in technology, development, sales & distribution and academia employ another 18,000. IBM is its global sales & distribution partner, while development partners in India include Geometric Software Solutions, Wipro, TCS and Infosys. The company competes with UGS, PTC and Autodesk.

Going forward, the company believes it is vital to integrate vendors with the OEs from the product design stage. In India, it is finding the pace increasing and component makers are opting for PLM solutions. A large part of the growth is driven by the OEs while vendors carry the momentum forward as Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers become integrated with the manufacturer.