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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

Dassault Systemes Helps Drive Driverless Vehicle Development With 3DEXPERIENCE

October 13th, 2016 by Jeff Rowe

When it comes to product manufacturing, consumers have zero tolerance for errors, and even less when it comes to vehicles. As we enter into a new generation of vehicle R&D with connected and autonomous cars, these expectations will only increase. What will this mean for automotive manufacturers and how will it change the traditional design and development processes?

Enter 3D modeling, simulation, and virtual reality (VR), things that Dassault Systemes knows something about.

Two announcements made recently by Groupe Renault and PSA Group demonstrate how Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform is helping car companies to use several 3D technologies to design, create, and visualize innovative transportation products, including autonomous vehicles, to meet the demand of their customers with what it calls its Target Zero Defect platform.

Dassault Systemes’ Target Zero Defect Collaborative Platform

The transportation and mobility industries are continually impacted by broad social and economic trends. Concern for the environment is currently the top influencer. The push for improved fuel efficiency has received unprecedented attention, with government agencies worldwide imposing increasingly strict regulations. Environmental friendliness has also become a purchasing concern of consumers, who also demand the same web connectivity and entertainment options they experience at home and on their mobile devices. And then there’s connected/autonomous/driverless vehicles.

Dassault Systèmes is responding to these business and technical challenges with its Transportation and Mobility Industry Solution Experiences. The “Target Zero Defect” Experience builds upon the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with a series of industry-tailored process modules that empower users with the tools needed to address many industry concerns. For customers in the transportation and mobility industry these modules can help initiate the product development process flow using company-established knowledge and best practices that ensure and sustain competitive advantage. Through the full cycle of development from conceptual engineering to component design, manufacturing, and final assembly, the Dassault Systèmes industry process modules are designed to allow users to target zero defects in product delivery.


Target Zero Defect Modules Span the Automotive Product Lifecycle

Created to work across the entire product development cycle, industry solution experiences are designed to enable innovation, helping to achieve real business value and ROI.

As vehicle development rapidly moves into the twenty-first century, Dassault Systèmes has positioned their solutions to help lead the change. For the transportation industry, their Target Zero Defect Solution Experience is designed to deliver industry-tuned process modules to help foster innovation across the full range of product development. Built upon the foundation of the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform, their solutions are intended to promote better design, product simulation, and manufacturing by advancing the ability to bring together the virtual and real worlds.

According to Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform lets stakeholders communicate and contribute to a product model. Specialists and domain experts are able to explore, evaluate, simulate, and build upon each other’s innovations. Developers and consumers of their products can communicate throughout the entire development process, increasing the odds for “right-the-first-time” results.

Dassault Systèmes’ technologies provide developers with a 3D master product model around which all can collaborate and theoretically avoid the errors and delays that occur when working designs are out of sync. Each of the industry process modules provides tailored tools that can be used to enhance design and business practices. This product development environment focuses on helping global OEMs and suppliers to excel at delivering innovative competitive products that will help them in the volatile automotive marketplace.

Target Zero Defects Helps Groupe Renault’s “New PDM” Program

A major portion in Groupe Renault’s “NewPDM” program is based on Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, to transform its engineering division to make it global and collaborative, with “right the first time” product development.  The company did this for not only speeding up validation and manufacturing in the digital development phases of product design, but all the way through to physical production. Groupe Renault has deployed Dassault Systèmes’ virtual collaborative design and simulation applications across all of its engineering centers worldwide to bring its teams together for real-time collaboration on a single, unified platform, from concept through production.  These applications now form the core of Dassault Systèmes’ “Target Zero Defect” industry solution experience.


Based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, “Target Zero Defect” ensures “right the first time” vehicle design through optimized end to end development processes.  Simultaneous and collaborative product and process engineering accelerates and improves early validation and manufacturing of innovations that are defining a new generation in transportation and mobility such as connectivity, autonomous driving, or zero emissions.

“Our ‘NewPDM’ program is key for engineering digital acceleration of Groupe Renault. This huge business transformation, driven with Dassault Systèmes’ support, represents a clear performance breakthrough for the development of the future range of our three brands, Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors. It brings us real benefits in the digital phases of our projects and even more during physical phases,” said Gaspar Gascon Abellan, Executive Vice President Engineering, Groupe Renault. “Thanks to ‘NewPDM’, we can ensure very soon the quality of our products and bring innovative concepts to customers with robustness. More than 10 000 users are now connected to a unique configurable powertrain-platform-vehicle structure, in a collaborative environment, shared within our global engineering organization in France, Romania, India, Korea, Brazil, Spain, and Russia.”

Dassault Systèmes has embarked on a journey toward their vision of twenty-first century product development built upon the foundation of their 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The move embodies a shift to market- and industryfocused solution experiences. They offer executives, business managers, and product developers of transportation and mobility vehicles industry-tuned process modules that span application needs across the full range of product development. These modules begin the product development process with attention to a company’s established knowledge, and progress through the full spiral of development phases from conceptual engineering to module design, manufacturing, and final assembly. The Dassault Systèmes industry solution experiences allow users to focus on innovation and empowers them to ‘target zero defect’ in product development and delivery.

PSA Group Accelerates Development with Target Zero Defects

Another French automotive company, PSA Group is enhancing its ability to manage the complexity of vehicle development and lifecycles using Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE, with digital R&D efficiency gains boosting the Group’s competitiveness by focusing on the passenger experience.

With sales and revenue of €54 billion in 2015, the PSA Group designs unique automotive experiences and delivers mobility solutions that provide freedom and enjoyment to customers around the world. The Group leverages the models from its three brands, Peugeot, Citroën and DS, as well as a wide array of mobility and smart services from its Free2Move brand, to meet the evolving needs and expectations of automobile users. PSA is the European leader in terms of CO2 emissions, with average emissions of 104.4 grams of CO2 per kilometer in 2015, and an early innovator in the field of autonomous and connected cars, with 1.8 million such vehicles worldwide.

A key efficiency driver that will support the PSA Group’s Push to Pass strategic plan, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform serves to gather, manage, and share all of the information relating to each product throughout its life cycle, from the design and engineering phases right through to after-sales service. The focus remains on customer needs during each of these phases.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform ensures that development processes run efficiently and that products are modular, reliable, traceable, and high quality by gathering user-shared data and making it accessible at all times.


The PSA Group and Dassault Systèmes have been working together for over 25 years. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is being used to host the digital modelling applications launched by the PSA Group since 2000, as well as the product lifecycle management (PLM) applications in operation since 2012. Providing a single location for managing all product-related information, the PLM covers every phase of the vehicle lifecycle. It centralises all of the data associated with each individual project, including component weights and materials, calculation and simulation models for design purposes, validation testing plans results, industrial data ( and completed trials, supplier information, prices and more. As such, it is a valuable, powerful tool for finding and managing “the right data, at the right time, in a highly secure environment.”

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform will also make it possible to take on board highly complex projects, such as those for developing connected, communicating and autonomous cars.

More than 1,500 staffers at PSA Group are currently using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in connection with the development of the common modular platform (CMP), the new generation of PureTech 3-cylinder petrol engines and the new 6-speed manual gearbox, all of which will be brought to market in 2017. All of the Group’s new vehicle projects are benefiting from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Gilles Le Borgne, Executive Vice-President, Quality and Engineering for the PSA Group said: “With the new Dassault Systèmes platform, we are moving our processes to digital much faster. This is helping us to make R&D efficiency gains and savings, and boosting our competitiveness as a result. Those savings are allowing us to strengthen our technology portfolio to ensure we stay perfectly in step with our customers’ needs.

Sylvain Laurent, Executive Vice President, Global Field Operations (Asia-Oceania), Worldwide Business Transformation at Dassault Systèmes added: “PSA’s digital transformation covers a very large scope embarking every business function, for the first time in the world! Together we are inventing and putting in operation solutions that illustrate the future of the fast changing transportation and mobility industry, where consumers are at the core of the innovation process.”

Searching For The 3DEXPERIENCE

Since its inception, I’ve been intrigued by what I might discover about Dassault’s elusive 3DEXPERIENCE, something I’ve always had difficulty getting my head wrapped around. I realize that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a comprehensive engineering and business platform, each dependent on the other and not mutually exclusive. So, in looking for a better understanding and appreciation of Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE, I think I found clues to a bit more of the puzzle with Target Zero Defects.

I get what the aim of Target Zero Defects is all about, but I question, are zero defects a realistic target? When applied within supply chains where large volumes of components are being purchased, such as nuts and bolts, then yes, it is entirely possible. However, at this time I seriously doubt that it can be ramped up to the scale of an entire vehicle, much less an autonomous one, but something you would hope to have zero defects. It might be possible down the road, but that road is long with no end currently in sight. Wishful thinking is one thing, but reality is another.

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