Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Forum is now a regular digital industry forum held in many countries across the globe. 

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The 2017 schedule covering 12 countries had two locations in India – Bangalore and Mumbai – held on 12th and 14th September respectively. With the theme of ‘Digitalisation Powering the Future of Indian Industries,’ the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum 2017 took an overview of the challenges facing the industry and elucidated the power of digitalisation for business performance and success.


“Digitalisation will have significant impact on the macroeconomic forces in the country. Firstly, the manufacturing sector, from large enterprises to SMEs to start-ups, is on the verge of digital transformation looking to scale up and move up in the value chain. This will create significant demand for skilled workforce and new employability benchmarks in the industry,” said Samson Khaou, Managing Director, India, Dassault Systèmes, commenting on the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum 2017. “Secondly, digitalisation will also push traditional asset-based industries like energy and natural resources to modernise processes to compete globally and locally. Thirdly, the life of a billion people, as citizens and as consumers, will evolve with smarter cities and smarter consumer experiences.”


In his keynote address at the Mumbai edition, Vijay Sethi, Chief Information Officer and Head Corporate Social Responsibility at Hero MotoCorp Ltd, emphasised on how everything is getting transformed by use of digital technologies as ‘digital and ‘transformation’ have become synonymous, as all aspects of life – homes, education, media, cities, mobility, etc – are witnessing major transformation and disruption because of digital technologies. In the manufacturing world, these technologies are IIoT, machine learning, robotics, digital twins, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) and much else. While the mobile phone has enabled everyone to be always connected, social media is enhancing the interactive experience and Cloud helping collaboration among OEMs, designers, vendors, suppliers and other partners. Big data analytics enables better visualisation and intelligence that facilitates this transformation, making organisations fast, focused, nimble and agile. However, for all this to happen, companies and individuals need to embrace digitalisation in its entirety, making it part of the DNA of the enterprise, with the ability to take risks, shunning the fear of failure. "The biggest risk is not taking any risk. We need to adapt to the digital culture and shift from low cost to high skills. We need to adapt to a digital culture where individuals are free to question the authority," said Vijay Sethi. For the record, Hero MotoCorp is among the first to use the digital twin concept and used the 3DExperience platform for the execution.


Next, Monica Menghini, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Dassault Systèmes, shattered a few myths about Platforms in the digital age, where it has become a big buzzword, and illustrated it with the example how the search for the word ‘platform’ online has risen phenomenally in five years from 2012 to 2017. “By 2020, 25% of the world’s economy will be digital, and we are now into the digitalisation of everything. 75% of the companies are investigating or experimenting with digital,” she said, and giving the manufacturing sector example, pointed out at the progress from mechanical production to mass assembly line to advanced automation to smart manufacturing with industrial IoT, thus completing the transformation from analog to virtualised platform. Many companies are adopting the Platform Business Model. 70% of the ‘Unicorn’ start-ups (companies valued at USD 1 billion and above) are Platform companies and as early as 2018, 50% of large companies will create and/or partner with industry Platforms. Making the distinction from traditional Product based companies and new Platform based companies, Monica elaborated how the former are concerned with creating products and maximising sales of products, while Platform based companies are finding partners to make the platform profitable by maximising transactions. So what are the Myths – and realities – about Platform? There are three: 1. Platforms are Business Process Automation – but converting analog to digital doesn't count as digital transformation; 2. Point solutions can transform into Platforms – one might as well believe in a frog turning into a prince; and 3. Any platform is an innovation Platform – no, innovation does not come from one discipline, it comes from holistic business process of many disciplines. And it is important to understand the relevance of big data processing capabilities and analytics; that silos cannot exist in an enterprise and everything has to be collaborative; and innovation does not reside into the four walls of a company.


Speaking on the topic Digitalisation to Accelerate Electric Vehicle, Driving Automation and Mobility Services Innovation, Olivier Sappin, Vice President – Transportation & Mobility Industry, Dassault Systèmes, elaborated on the latest developments in automobiles like driverless cars and electric vehicles that are set to radically transform the transportation and mobility sector in terms of user experience especially in city commutes, what with new mobility business models and concepts like mobility as a service for ride and car sharing. New safety and emission regulations can be effectively tested by digital and functional twins. The quality and reliability of new generation vehicles will be effectively ensured by the Manufacturing 4.0 ecosystem. In electric vehicles, battery is going to be the most critical component and new materials are playing an important role. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps simulate all the new systems and materials and test them for performance and safety. Sappin also referred to the developments in India, the government’s National Electric Vehicle Policy, the Bharat VI norms and the implications and the proposed New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for India, and linked it to the Make in India initiative that envisages the country as a manufacturing hub for not only automotive OEMs but also component makers.


What about the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform in practice? That was exactly the topic of the next presentation by Rajesh Mishra, Senior VP (Corporate Processes and IT), VE Commercial Vehicles – the Volvo Eicher JV, who spoke about the challenges and disruptions in the commercial vehicles (CV) market, especially how globalisation and economic uncertainties expose it to various risks. Factors like customer expectation, safety and emission norms, technology disruptions and competition have made it imperative to change the way products are designed, validated, manufactured and distributed fulfilling not only customer expectations but also all statutory requirements. While the jump from BS-IV to BS-VI has its own challenges for the engine and drive train, the cabin design with driver comfort and safety has a different set of challenges. VECV has adopted the Integrated Data Management (IDM) approach for digitalisation across the value chain with telematics as the business aggregator. The company has been associated with Dassault Systèmes since the year 2000 when it first began with CATIA and progressively migrated to ENOVIA, DELMIA for plant simulation, SIMULA for analytics, 3DVIA for design and now, 3DEXPERIENCE Platform for the complete holistic experience. “We are not yet a Platform company, but are certainly getting there,” said Mishra.


Finally, it was time for Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Dassault Systèmes, to present the plenary session, and he spoke on Powering Value Creation. “The process of value creation goes beyond economics and there are many aspects to it. The world as it is today is not sustainable as humans take too much from it and provide too less,” said Bernard and referred to the February 2012 declaration when Dassault Systèmes became a 3DEXPERIENCE company: ‘to harmonising product, nature and life – we believe that developing products to improve life while preserving nature can be achieved in a harmonious, holistic way.’ “The world of manufacturing is transforming everywhere. It is not a flattening world but just the opposite – building capabilities to create higher values for society. The power of imagination is what truly provides freedom to people,” he added. Elaborating further, Bernard said, “The beginning of understanding is learning and the power of understanding is the power of collaboration,” and cited the example of an unmanned VTOL plane developed in three years by a DS team working with others. “There are many devices and tools available now to trade ideas – it creates a dialogue. While the social dimension of innovation is important, at the centre of this is the people dimension,” he said. There were more examples from aviation, the one with Airbus Industrie where the complete shop floor proceedings were videotaped and studied and improvements inserted in it; and another with Boeing’s decision to adopt complete digitalisation. Bernard also mentioned the prowess of 3D printing, and cited as example the case of an aircraft door part manufactured conventionally weighing 200 kg, but the same when 3D printed weighs just 18 kg without in anyway compromising performance and safety. “The most sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) systems are deployed to create new designs. It’s a long journey, but it is exciting,” said Bernard summing it up.


For industry professionals, the two events – with emphasis on Aerospace at Bangalore and Automotive in Mumbai – were a valuable experience with many takeaways, as besides all the keynote presentations and the plenary, there were several group and panel discussions as well as the technology playground consisting of a Manufacturing Experience Zone featuring Digital Continuity and 3D Printing, a demo of 3DEXPERIENCity, and several industry units.

-Milton D’Silva



Pic1: (L-R) Samson Khaou, Arun Chauhan, Monica Menghini, Bernard Charlès, Vijay Sethi, Rajesh Mishra and Y K  Jain at the opening of the Forum in Mumbai.

Pic2: Monica Menghini, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Dassault Systèmes.

Pic3: Olivier Sappin, Vice President – Transportation & Mobility Industry, Dassault Systèmes.

Pic4: Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman & CEO, Dassault Systèmes.