Dassault Systemes and IBM Release V5 R16 Of Their PLM Portfolio

Dassault Systemes and IBM have released Version 5 Release 16 (V5R16) of their Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) portfolio, comprised of CATIA for collaborative product development, and ENOVIA and SMARTEAM for product data and lifecycle management, collaboration, and decision support. Concurrently, Dassault Systemes announced DELMIA V5R16 for the digital development of factory and production processes.

"V5R16 helps our customers create more innovative products and leverage the talents of their global supply chains," noted Dominique Florack, Executive Vice President, R&D, Dassault Systemes. "The new release increases the power of the V5 PLM platform in three ways: by delivering unified PLM solutions for unrivalled gains in productivity; by extending the reach of 3D XML within the enterprise for ease of communication; and by accelerating performance with Microsoft Windows 64-bit support."

The V5R16 release:
  • Optimizes Business Processes - V5R16 extends the coverage of the large portfolio of V5 process-centric applications. It delivers significant new PLM capabilities for all industries in the modeling, simulation and electrical domains. New Product Simulation Management capabilities in ENOVIA fully integrate product simulation with design and lifecycle management processes - improving productivity for all companies that perform and manage product simulations.
  • Empowers Value Chain Innovation - V5R16 delivers powerful new collaboration capabilities within ENOVIA V5 VPM Navigator and SMARTEAM TeamPDM, enabling extended networks of partners to work together in globally distributed 3D environments. Entire engineering packages can now be shared and managed bi-directionally while protecting intellectual property, enabling true concurrent engineering across the value chain.
  • Streamlines Engineering-to-Manufacturing Cycles - V5R16 delivers on Dassault Systemes' Product-Process-Resource model. Major new extensions in the ENOVIA Engineering and Manufacturing hubs enable companies to obtain unique competitive advantages from the CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA and SMARTEAM PLM applications. V5R16 improves the integration of engineering and manufacturing environments: engineering specifications captured within the 3D environment are automatically made available and accounted for during manufacturing process planning, thereby ensuring a lean process flow from design intent to production set-up.
  • Continuously Grows Intellectual Capital - V5R16 captures and re-uses business processes and intellectual property, both at the enterprise level with Enterprise Process Management, leveraging IBM Websphere technology, and at the Engineering or Manufacturing level, with the V5 Business Process Knowledge templates.
  • Maximizes Standard Adoption - V5R16 has been designed to deliver a comprehensive 64-bit PLM architecture, and continues to leverage the proven openness of the V5 platform by providing major XML enhancements through its combined 3DXML and web services strategy. Adoption of the V5 architecture continues to grow, with two new industry-leading CAA partners and 360 V5 applications already available. New integration of the 3D XML Player with Lotus Notes enhances collaboration and joint decision-making by sharing 3D product and business information.
  • CATIA for collaborative product development - V5R16 accelerates collaborative product design with 64-bit support of the full CATIA portfolio on Microsoft Windows. It strengthens virtual product design and simulation by significantly improving the CATIA solutions in the simulation, electrical, shipbuilding, and modeling domains. It expands the usefulness of the open and extremely lightweight 3D XML format by embedding additional PLM product information, such as annotations and animations. The new release enables 3D-only paperless design-to-manufacturing, while VPM Navigator and TeamPDM streamline product development, by enabling teams to seamlessly manage advanced design process information from within a single engineering desktop.
  • ENOVIA for product data and lifecycle management and decision support - V5R16 supports AIX and Windows 64-bit across all ENOVIA DMU and VPM portfolios. It drives next-generation openness and infrastructure standardization via native Web Services connectivity, and deepens industry process coverage through new products for managing product simulation and electrical cable routing processes. V5R16 widens the scope of the Engineering and Manufacturing hubs' cross-process coverage, thereby streamlining global product development collaboration. The release enriches industry-leading PLM change management and Enterprise Process Management tools for unprecedented business agility, and accelerates ENOVIA V5 deployments and user-productivity through improved navigation and reporting tools.
  • SMARTEAM for product lifecycle collaboration - V5R16 fosters powerful design continuity across the value chain by facilitating collaborative exchange around CATIA relational data. It optimizes decision support by seamlessly integrating impact analysis and digital mock-up processes, and improves deployment of enterprise collaboration practices. V5R16 improves productivity through enhanced process automation and product knowledge reuse, and lowers the total cost of ownership through expanded enterprise interconnectivity and support for de facto industry standards.
  • DELMIA for digital development of factory and production processes - V5R16 supports Windows 64-bit across the entire DELMIA PLM portfolio. V5R16 enables users to access and manipulate very large datasets as they develop, plan and validate manufacturing processes. It delivers more power to capture and communicate knowledge efficiently, and helps the extended enterprise deploy V5's unified solutions for engineering and manufacturing. 'Best in Class' manufacturing process planning, detailing, simulation and validation solutions for the machining and ergonomics domains are reinforced. The reach of 3DXML is extended to the manufacturing domain.
Historically, the typical user of these products have been automotive and aerospace OEMs and their tier-one suppliers. In other words, zillion-dollar companies with IT budgets bigger than some countries. A couple of years ago, in an effort to reach out to "mere mortal" small and medium sized business (SMBs), Dassault Systemes (the developer) and IBM (the marketer) launched a novel initiative known as PLM Express. As much as anything, PLM Express was created to greatly simplify the acquisition and implementation process of CATIA for product development and SmarTeam for data management at deeply discounted prices. Frankly, prior to PLM Express, the application acquisition processes were so complex and drawn out, that I'm sure many potential customers got so frustrated that they went elsewhere. Anyway, PLM Express was a good effort to rectify that situation, especially for SMBs.

Although the companies are both quiet about how successful PLM Express has been so far, outwardly anyway, the initiative seems to have made at least some inroads to SMBs.

When PLM Express first began it was "one size fits all." More recently, however, industry-specific variants have been offered to meet the unique needs and requirements of specific industries. A couple of examples include industrial design and machining. The intent here is, of course, just buy what you need, but the costs can add up quickly.

The SMB market is today's "mass market" for CAD and all vendors are aggressively pursuing it because it is so big in terms of sheer numbers (there are a lot more SMBs than Fords or Boeings) and that's where the biggest potential lies. On the flip side, though, discounted prices mean you obviously have to sell a lot more seats to make the same level of revenue. Therein lies the trick - making economic sense of more seats at less income per. Admittedly, it's a tough balancing act - some vendors will succeed at it and some won't.

Because Dassault, with IBM, is aggressively going after SMBS, it's only going to be a matter of time (I'm sure it's started already) when they will be going head to head with SolidWorks (a company owned by Dassault). Won't that be interesting? While there are a lot of SMBs that might be able to take advantage of all that PLM Express can do, I think that there are at least as many where SolidWorks will do just fine.

Does Engineering Really Matter - A Second Look!

Editor's Note: The following essay was submitted to us recently by one of our readers, Mike LaCroix, and has received a lot of attention from a number our readers.

I just finished reading Mr. Schoonmaker's article [ See link at: http://www10.mcadcafe.com/nbc/articles/view_article.php?section=UserArticles&articleid=216292 ] and I must say that I agree with his opinions but I would like to point out that this is not just a U.S. problem as it is also a problem here in Canada. Like the U.S., Canada has fallen prey to Freetrade (everyone want to be in Mexico to manufacture) and as for outsourcing, India has become the place to be. But the question that needs to be answered is "Why?".

There are two answers to that question. The first is "Cost" and the second is our constant desire to buy products at lower prices which only feeds the first answer. I have purposely left out the idiocy of corporate's desire for short term profits at the expense of long term viability as that is just the force pushing the first answer. Today, in order to compete in the global market place a company needs to be able to produce its products and services at a cost that is equal to or better than the competition. The only difference today is that the competitors can be half way around the world instead of in the next city or state. As pointed out in Mr. Schoonmaker's article, besides the low cost of labor, the lack of control policies (eg. Environmental controls, etc) also reduce the costs compared to here in North America. So how can we compete?

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