Best known as a supplier of engineering and design software via its Catia and SolidWorks computer-aided design and engineering (CAD/CAE) products, Dassault Systèmes has been strategically expanding its software capabilities in manufacturing production operations via acquisition. The first of these acquisitions took place in 2013 when the company acquired Apriso to integrate Apriso’s Delmia manufacturing operations and supply chain management software into Dassault Systèmes' 3DExperience platform (a cloud-based suite of integrated software applications for 3D design, engineering, modeling, simulation, data and process management). Now Dassault Systèmes has announced its intent to acquire IQMS, a supplier of ERP and MES software to further expand its 3DExperience platform capabilities.
Under the terms of the agreement, Dassault Systèmes will pay $425 million in cash for IQMS. The transaction is expected to be complete in early 2019.
A key aspect of Dassault Systèmes’ interest in IQMS is its targeting of small- to mid-size manufacturers. IQMS currently cites having 1,000 customers—primarily in the automotive, industrial equipment, medical device and consumer packaged goods industries. Most of these manufacturers are based in the U.S., operating 2,000 manufacturing facilities in 20 countries.
In its announcement of the IQMS acquisition, Dassault Systèmes said, “By integrating IQMS’s solutions into the 3DExperience platform in the cloud, Dassault Systèmes will provide these [mid-market] manufacturers with an affordable system for operations that improves the collaboration, manufacturing efficiency and business agility needed to serve their customers successfully. These manufacturers—many of them SolidWorks users—also gain the flexibility to rapidly scale up as a business grows.”
In 2018, Automation World featured a case study on Wittmann Battenfeld, an OEM of injection molding machines, CNC robotics, labeling machinery and auxiliary equipment, such as dryers, blenders and conveyors for industrial applications. Wittman Battenfeld integrates the IQMS MES software into its machines to analyze data from multiple sensor sources. This integration, a critical aspect of Wittman Battenfeld’s goal of providing Industry 4.0 capabilities in its equipment, allows for reporting on 75-100 conditions and parameters per injection molding machine.
Another IQMS customer, Westfall Technik, a supplier of plastics molds for the medical, packaging and consumer goods markets, was quoted in Dassault Systèmes' announcement of the IQMS acquisition. “IQMS’s strength in manufacturing operations and Dassault Systèmes' strength in design and digital transformation is a great outcome for Westfall Technik," said Brian Jones, founder of Westfall Technik. "We currently use both IQMS and SolidWorks in multiple locations.”