Scania chooses Dassault Systemes’ PLM solutions

Dassault Systemes recently announced in a press release that Scania chose to invest in ENOVIA as their PLM for integrated production design, product development, processes and manufacturing. Scania is a company of over 32,000 people and is reported to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, and of industrial and marine engines.

Anders G. Lindberg, technology manager, R&D, Scania states, “the biggest difference [as a result of this investment in ENOVIA] for the user today is that we have a platform where we can construct in 3D from the start and make cross functional use in a whole new way. We also have other possibilities for parametric design, optimization tools and kinematics compared to our previous solution.” Lindberg also talks about CATIA by stating, “we realized that CATIA was still the best authoring solution for us.”

Dassault Systemes seems well positioned to suit the needs of large corporations. However, when one sees press releases that talk about being selected by such organizations, one may be left wondering about Dassault Systemes’ ability to adjust their business model to suit small to mid-size companies. What are the CATIA and ENOVIA adoption rates for smaller organizations? Among those small adopters, how many have positive and beneficial experiences?

SolidWorks World General Session – Monday (part2)

Another theme of today’s General Session where potential improvements to 3D CAD, much of which is cloud computing based.  These include collaboration to allow more than one person to edit the same model at the same time.  Searches to use data from the database instead of making models from scratch.  Bring a “lifelike experience” (soon to be trademarked term, I’m guessing) to SolidWorks and other applications.  Predictive Engineering that can do things like calculate interferences or handle material properties before the user even requests such data.  With all these improvements associated with cloud computing, I am willing to predict that there will eventually be no distinction between SolidWorks and Catia.

Jeff Ray and CATIA/SolidWorks translator

Jeff Ray, CEO of SolidWorksJeff Ray recently commented about SolidWorks/CATIA relationship in an interview with R

Customers are fed up with not being able to share data between Catia and SolidWorks.

Grabowski then predicts, “at some point, a translator will be delivered.”  But this apparently is not a comment made by Jeff Ray himself.

Lunch with Jeff RayIn the discussion that Jeff Ray had with the bloggers at the Blogger Event in early August, there was a hint that a translator between SolidWorks and CATIA isn’t good enough. Does this mean that SolidWorks needs to be able to natively use CATIA files (and vice versa)?  Is something really coming that will address this long standing issue?

Deelip MenezeMeneze, in his article commenting on the Grabowski interview, goes on to list several reasons why making a translator between SolidWorks and CATIA is doable right now.  Meneze does this in the context of his statement,

Dassault Systems has made laughing stock out of SolidWorks and its customers.

Matt LombardThis was followed up by Matt Lombard who proposed,

This is of course a business decision, not a technical decision, ratcheting customers toward Catia rather than toward SolidWorks. Just like the version incompatibility ratchet.

Well, I’m not sure these are entirely accurate statements.  I’m under the impression that Dassault Systemes is aware they are losing business because their two major 3D CAD applications do not fully communicate.  Some large customers (who will not be mentioned here…but there’s a clue here) have standardized with CATIA for the high level 3D CAD work, but continue to use a Ralph Grabowskilist of other 3D CAD applications that does not include SolidWorks.  One likely reason is that SolidWorks cannot use CATIA files, where their competitors can, as Lombard rightfully points out in his article.  So, Jeff Ray is right.  Something has to be done to correct this issue.  Thank you to Grabowski for stirring the pot.

Ya’no, if Microsoft ran their business like this, we’d still see Lotus 1-2-3, Word Perfect, and Netscape lining the shelves at the local computer store.  Why as Dassault Systemes allowed this gaping hole in their product line to exist for so long?