Gunther Barajas
Vice President Mexico
Dassault Systèmes
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View from the Top

Resilience, Research Add TO Aerospace Prowess

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 15:35

Q: What factors have spurred Dassault Systèmes’ growth in the Mexican aerospace industry?

A: 2016 was a year of substantial growth for Dassault Systèmes as we increased our sales by over 20 percent compared to 2015. It was a year of opportunities, seeing many projects in the aerospace and oil and gas sectors come to fruition. In 2016, we focused on aerospace projects as this sector has substantial momentum. Mexico’s aerospace sector keeps growing and our software is used by most companies in this industry as a design, simulation and manufacturing tool. In 2016, we got closer to existing and potential clients to teach them how to increase efficiency in the projects they manage with our products. Our three most important projects in 2016 were with Safran, the Mexican Institute of Petroleum (IMP) and GE.

Q: What new educational initiatives is Dassault Systèmes implementing?

A: We are now developing an interesting project with one of Mexico’s largest public universities. For this project, FEMIA analyzed the profile of an aerospace student and compared that to what companies need from a graduate in this sector. We helped the university to align their programs to the industry’s needs, which can facilitate the integration of these professionals into the workforce. An aerospace graduate must be well-acquainted with additive manufacturing, compound management, advanced 3D design tools and knowledge of advanced simulation techniques, including topology, straining and fluids. We provide this university with our 3DEXPERIENCE platform for students to practice on, incorporating complete aerospace solutions.

In Mexico, Dassault Systèmes is developing strong human capital. This is an ideal time for foreign companies to come to Mexico, as the country has developed the expertise, talent and infrastructure necessary to be an attractive investment destination for the industry. We now have 18 PLM Competency Centers (CC-PLM), which are training centers developed at technical universities. The education level at these centers is so high that they even impressed our US offices, leading to students from California and Arizona receiving training in Tijuana. We expect to eventually have one in every state.

Q: How is Dassault Systèmes’ supporting the incorporation of Industry 4.0 practices in Mexico?

A: Fully incorporating Industry 4.0 practices into Mexican manufacturing is a complex process that requires much more than improving local infrastructure, but is extremely beneficial for the sector. Industry 4.0 permeates the entire design and manufacturing process. It permits the generation of comprehensive digital models that can be tested for weakness under pressure, corrosion and many other problems, to be perfected as necessary before spending on prototypes. Moreover, it allows the simulation of a part’s entire manufacturing process, to identify potential bottlenecks and complications for operators. All these processes can be done before making the physical model. If this entire process is used for a US$300 million plane, it can save at least that amount of money by removing the need to build prototypes for testing.

Through our platform, local companies can immediately contact their suppliers and clients to make modifications instantaneously. This generates a collaborative international environment with experts at all steps of the supply chain, facilitating efficient processes. Additive manufacturing involves much more than 3D printing. Its real value is applied by the designer and this is how Mexican SMEs can contribute to a global industry.

Q: Some aerospace companies cite uncertainty permeating Mexico. What is your opinion on the sector’s future?

A: I am very optimistic. Our plans for Mexico remain unaffected by external factors, in fact we expect more growth during this year than in 2016. We will focus on providing excellent services. Our division in Mexico is gaining attention globally due to our good results. Mexico is more than a growing manufacturing region as its possibility to supply added value to clients is not in doubt.