March 22, 2004
EDS Selling UGS PLM Solutions For $2.05 Billion
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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From the beginning it was pretty clear that UGS PLM probably would not be acquired by a competitor, staving off, at least for now, MCAD market volatility and further MCAD vendor consolidation. Since February when things started to heat up and get serious, I didn't expect this acquisition to drag out for many months or years - there was just too much at stake for EDS, customers, and possible suitors. EDS needed the cash that a sale would bring and chose the best route for acquisition - three equal partners.

It appears as though the current management team (including the current president, Tony Affuso) will stay in place with the UGS PLM NX product line continuing to be developed and supported as in the past with minimal disruption. A new board of directors will be formed, but EDS will no longer have a seat.

According to Jim Phelan, director of Marcom for UGS PLM Solutions, the acquisition will let the company continue to conduct business as usual. "The acquisition will let us react more quickly, respond to market needs, and act more independently," he said.

I posed the following questions to Mr. Phelan regarding the acquisition and below are his responses:
  1. Who will decide about a name change for the new organization? Will branding be any different in the short term?
  2. There are no immediate plans for a name change or any changes to product branding. Those decisions would be made by UGS PLM company management in concert with the UGS PLM Solutions board of directors where appropriate.
  3. When is the first quarter earnings call when more information will be disclosed?
  4. EDS' Q1 earnings call is scheduled for April 26.
  5. Do you expect UGS PLM employee levels to remain stable for at least the foreseeable future?
  6. Yes.
  7. It appears that present management will stay in place, correct?
  8. Yes.
  9. Where does Solid Edge figure in equation? Is it safe to say that it will remain part of the UGS PLM mix, or might it get sold off because it somewhat dilutes potential UGS PLM sales?
  10. There are no plans to change the positioning of Solid Edge within the UGS PLM mix.
  11. Will R&D efforts remain at their current levels?
  12. Yes. The philosophy of the investment partners is to focus on high quality solutions and world-class customer care. As a result, investments in R&D will be maintained at a high level to ensure the industry leading quality and functionality our customers have come to expect.
  13. Is anything/will anything be done to assure current customers that product development and product support will continue at least at their current levels.
  14. Yes. Keeping our customers informed has always been a high priority for UGS PLM Solutions and this situation is no different. We have already communicated directly with several key customers and a letter from Tony Affuso is being distributed worldwide by our global sales force to assure customers that we will continue to provide them with the same high level of service and support that they expect and deserve.
  15. Is it safe to say that the transaction will be complete by July 1, 2004?
  16. Yes, the transaction is expected to be complete within 60 to 90 days after the announcement date of March 14, 2004.
    All in all, this sounds like a pretty positive move for all parties concerned - customers, EDS, and the acquiring partners. A win-win-win proposition, if you will. Just the sheer magnitude of this acquisition and its customer base are reasons enough to follow how UGS PLM continues to evolve in the ultra-competitive MCAD marketplace.

    Delmia V5 R13 - Detailing And Validating Digital Manufacturing Processes

    Delmia Corp., a Dassault Systemes company announced the release of DELMIA Version 5 Release 13 (V5R13). DELMIA, for the engineering of lean manufacturing processes, is part of Dassault Systemes' product lifecycle management (PLM) portfolio, also comprised of CATIA, for collaborative product development, and ENOVIA and SMARTEAM, for product data and life cycle management, collaboration, and decision support.

    DELMIA V5R13 has been designed in partnership with several manufacturers and their supply chains in order to support major new product programs. The new release introduces key innovations that advance the collaborative definition of manufacturing processes.

    For example, these new capabilities enable an OEM to export a portion of its manufacturing process plan, including product, process and resource (PPR) data, to a supplier for detailing and validation. Once detailing is completed, the OEM can reconcile any changes back into the DELMIA manufacturing hub. Collaboration between the OEM and its supplier are more efficient and effective and aid in the overall streamlining of the process planning efforts.

    "Collaboration throughout the extended enterprise is a necessity for all manufacturing industries where connectivity between OEMs and suppliers are critical for competitiveness, said Philippe Charles, CEO, Delmia Corp. "DELMIA V5R13 is a major step forward toward enabling innovation in manufacturing engineering."

    V5R13 further supports the production use of DELMIA's solution for manufacturing process planning, detailing, optimization, and validation in the automotive and aerospace domains. DELMIA's V5 Process Planning Solutions provide breakthrough technologies that dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to update large product structures between the engineering hub and the manufacturing hub. Enhancements for incremental updates and partial product transfer reduce this update time by as much as 90%, as compared to previous releases.

    V5R13 now enables the process planner to reuse a single product model within the process plan (for example, passenger seats in an airplane) while storing instance-specific attribute data. This new capability streamlines the synchronization between the engineering and manufacturing hubs.

    The DELMIA V5R13 product portfolio brings the following major features and capabilities:
    • Collaboration between the OEM and suppliers - DELMIA V5R13 lets an OEM export its product, process, and resource (PPR) data from the manufacturing hub for detailing by a supplier. Users can then reconcile process plans detailed by a supplier with the OEM master plan stored in the manufacturing hub.
    • Reduced manufacturing engineering time - DELMIA V5R13 introduces batch and incremental updates and partial product transfer to reduce the amount of time it takes manufacturing engineers to update large product structures between the engineering hub and the manufacturing hub
    • Evaluate the impact of change - New automatic line balancing features in DELMIA V5R13 let process engineers evaluate the impact of multiple model mixes in the production system so that the optimal process plan and layout of the manufacturing line can be achieved.
    • Leverage generative tooling designs created with CATIA - DELMIA V5R13 enables tooling designers to take advantage of resources and tooling created in CATIA with product knowledge template features. Designers can create tooling models that will automatically adapt to changes in the product model, minimizing the amount of time the process planner spends replacing tooling models when product designs change. For example, the clamps of a fixture can automatically be positioned based on feature positions, such as location holes, on a given product.
    • Provide "As Manufactured" detail to the shop floor - DELMIA V5R13 extends its openness to include XML interfaces that facilitate bi-directional communication with various Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). With this capability, shop floor technicians can pass critical as-built, labor, and change order data to the MES system with touch screen-compatible interfaces.
    • DELMIA has an interesting history that began less than four years ago in June of 2000. Dassault Systemes created DELMIA as a high-end brand for so-called digital manufacturing, and is comprised of three companies and technology sets:
      • Deneb Robotics, a provider of robotics programming software that has families of CAD-independent, physics-based products for simulation and digital manufacturing.
      • DELTA, a supplier of digital manufacturing software that lets manufacturers virtually define and simulate general manufacturing activities on a factory floor.
      • SAFEWORK that provides human-factors software for ergonomic simulation in a manufacturing context.
      • DELMIA for managing manufacturing processes is one of four major product groupings that comprise Dassault's PLM portfolio. The others being CATIA (for CAD/CAM), ENOVIA (for collaboration and product development management), and SMARTEAM (for product data management). Employed singly or in combination, these are all very advanced toolsets for handling complex products and processes. With this announcement, all four of the major Dassault product groupings are now at the same V5R13 level, and one would think, well tuned to work with each other for optimizing a flexible/adaptable manufacturing environment. DELMIA, like the other product groupings in Dassault's PLM
        portfolio are best suited for large-scale design, engineering, and manufacturing operations, such as automotive and aerospace. This large-scale suitability is probably the primary reason that in North America, the largest customers of the Dassault PLM portfolio are Boeing and DaimlerChrysler.

        You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

        To read more news, click here.

        -- Jeff Rowe, Contributing Editor.

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