Latest News

Dassault keeps Australia in the loop

AS AN integrated global approach to product development gathers pace, it is imperative that Australian engineering teams are kept in the international design loop.

This has implications on a number of fronts including development of our domestic design expertise, and the ability to exploit opportunities for export devel opment and import replacement.

French-based company, Dassault Systemes (DS), is a supplier of 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software that the company says is used to design 80 per cent of the world’s vehi cles and 40 per cent of its aircraft, as well as many other products.

The DS portfolio includes CATIA, for integrated collaborative design and engineering across disciplines; SolidWorks, for mechanical design in 3D; SIMULIA, for virtual product simulation; DELMIA, for enabling manufacturers to virtually experience their entire production system; ENOVIA, for allowing global collabora tive engineering product development; and 3DVIA, for companies to commu nicate across the entire enterprise and directly with consumers using 3D as a universal language.

When utilising CATIA for the design of composite parts for example, engi neers in different locations can work concurrently on that component before later merging and synchronising sepa rately designed stacks into a single manufactured composite part.

During a recent visit to Australia, DS executive vice president, Etienne Droit, said that as product develop ment activities are increasingly carried out by many diverse teams across geographically dispersed sites, pressures to deliver quality products on time have never been greater.

“Some 80 per cent of all products being invented don’t get to the market, and the reasons are that the product is not right, it is not of good quality, or it is released too early or too late. This is not a sustainable situ ation, and there is a clear need to bring the voice of the customer inside the development process,” Droit told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

“A car for example must hit the market in the right way, otherwise big losses can occur. The answer is to estab lish a PLM virtual universe where the product can be developed, because as market cycle times become more compressed, cooperation on global market considerations is critical.

“The key is to establish an on-line collaborative environment that taps into centres of excellence in different coun tries. Australia for example is good at engineering composite materials, while France has expertise in plastic moulding. In this way, competent multi-disciplines can be brought together from around the world in a virtual environment to develop products.

“It is important that dispersed team members are all able to see the same 3D on the screen, which helps to avoid mistakes. 3D laptops are on the way and this will further empower multi-national team operations.

“There is a lot of opportunity for Australia in a range of industries to take the next step and decide whether to develop products in Australia utilising some overseas input, or just buy the original design. With CATIA it is possible to design and build in Australia. This country has a very strong education system that is producing expertise capable of developing new products here rather just servicing existing products.”

Managing director of DS for Australia and New Zealand, Gilles Cruanes, points out that engineers at Toyota in Australia are part of a global team that includes input from engi neers in Japan and the US to produce a Camry specifically for the Australian market. The team is using CATIA and DELMIA to connect live in real time on large screens from country to country,” he said

“The fast moving digital capability of PLM has enabled an integrated global approach to product develop ment, simulated testing and lifecycle management to bring goods and serv ices to market faster at lower cost.

“Our PLM software is applied across most Australian industries from apparel to warship production. Without this technology, Australian engineering could not continue to contribute to global projects.”

So is the integration of Australian engineering teams in global product development projects likely to be a continuing and escalating trend?

Austrade’s industry leader for auto and advanced manufacturing, Hayden Williams, advises that in the automotive industry this is a growing practice at the motor vehicle producer and major component manufacture levels, as well as the aerospace industry.

“Probably the best recent example was GKN’s participation in the F35 ‘joint strike fighter’.

“As the automotive and aerospace industries are truly global with global supply chains, this is one way Australian-based research and develop ment will be competitive going forward,” Williams said.

Send this to a friend