Paris-based Dassault Systèmes (www.3ds.com), a major provider of 3D and product lifecycle management (PLM) software, and Intercim LLC (www.intercim.com), an Eagan, Minn.-based supplier of manufacturing and production operations management software for advanced and highly regulated industries, announced on Feb. 19 that Dassault Systèmes is taking a minority position in Intercim. The deal represents a new step in an existing strategic alliance between the two companies. Specifics of the transaction were not disclosed.
The announcement illustrates Dassault Systèmes and Intercim’s commitment to bringing the real world of manufacturing execution systems (MES) into the virtual world of PLM, the companies said. The partners expect to provide a dynamic, real-time ability to execute production orders exactly as planned by manufacturing engineers, closing the loop between engineering and the shop floor. Dassault’s investment in Intercim, a partner since 2004, follows a June 2008 Memorandum of Understanding to provide the aerospace and defense industry with Intercim’s manufacturing operations management solution integrated with Dassault Systèmes' V6 platform.
MES plus PLM
This investment strengthens the currently available joint Dassault Systèmes-Intercim V5 solution around 3D process planning and manufacturing execution, the two vendors said. It also accelerates the development of a new V6 production experience that combines the values of MES and PLM. According to the companies, this will “revolutionize the sharing of intellectual property between engineering, manufacturing planning and production communities,” by:
• Creating real-time collaboration on product and production lifecycle data in a single online referential between the different communities in the manufacturing supply network, such as design engineering, manufacturing engineering, shop floor, and quality management
• Enforcing engineering-driven production execution on the shop floor, as designed and as planned
• Increasing visibility and traceability for all manufacturing stakeholders of shop floor execution with real-time 3D access to the “as-built” product, process and resource information
• Enabling immediate impact analysis and validation of corrective actions in the virtual model before committing to cost intensive implementations
• Validating production best practices with engineering for improved product manufacturability, reduced warranty costs and collapsed certification processing time for regulatory compliance.
“Because of the trends we see in aerospace and defense, like global sourcing, physical separation of design and manufacturing activities, and engineering specialization, it is critical that information exchange and collaboration between engineering, manufacturing and the supply network be handled in real-time,” said John Todd, Intercim president and chief executive officer. “The combination of Intercim’s proven execution and manufacturing intelligence capabilities with the virtual experience provided by Dassault Systèmes’ solutions allows this type of collaboration and knowledge sharing for the first time.”
The future of production communities requires the power of PLM 2.0’s lifelike experience incorporating shop floor “as-built” information, product and quality analytics, and manufacturing best practices. Dassault Systèmes and Intercim’s joint vision enables such an expanded PLM 2.0 strategy, which includes the shop floor and supply network’s real-time production state.
“Intercim and Dassault Systèmes have made a revolutionary step forward in terms of manufacturing collaboration with engineering. These two communities are now able to work together throughout the entire supply network,” observed Dick Slansky, senior analyst at ARC Advisory Group Inc. (www.arcweb.com), in Dedham, Mass. “It is not enough to stay within the walls of a single plant any longer or focus on the engineering and manufacturing needs of one site. Communication and coordination of all activities across the extended enterprise has become critical. This is especially true in highly regulated industries that carry a high cost of failure.”
“Dassault Systèmes and Intercim share a common vision for increasing customer manufacturing efficiency by bringing together the engineering and production communities through a real-time and accurate 3D production experience.” said Philippe Charlès, chief executive officer, Delmia, for Dassault Systèmes. “Bringing MES into PLM is a major breakthrough for the industry.”ARC Advisory Group Inc.