Gunther Barajas
Vice President and Senior Director General
Dassault Systèmes de México
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Boosting R&D Through Software-Based Visibility

By Alejandro Salas | Fri, 03/29/2019 - 05:00

Q: How is Dassault Systèmes working to promote Industry 4.0 principles in Mexico?

A: Our goal is to transform jobs so that people engage in added-value activities related to customer experience, while automating other processes and developing schemes where humans and machines collaborate to increase efficiency. We developed the “Industry of the Future” concept that puts human beings at the core of the 4.0 revolution. In Mexico, aerospace and automotive remain our core industries but other sectors, such as energy and consumer products, are gaining momentum.

Q: How does Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform help companies improve their design and engineering processes?

A: Our platform creates a collaborative environment that factors in many more elements that previously would not be considered. For instance, companies can now reflect comments from social media when developing the next generation of their products. Similarly, having several areas of a company collaborating simultaneously helps an organization reduce its engineering costs, response times and ppm rates while increasing product quality from a component’s design stage.

Q: What gaps in Mexico’s automotive industry are addressed by the implementation of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform?

A: One of the most important areas of opportunity to bring more Mexican suppliers into the industry is the lack of standardized processes that could offer certainty to OEMs. 3DEXPERIENCE is the best possible communication link between OEMs and their suppliers because it ensures designs, simulations and working plans are shared among companies. This gives OEMs the certainty that they are working with suppliers that have formal, well-defined processes. We are launching new cloud-based software packages so SMEs can access this technology and can be in direct communication with their Tier 1 or OEM clients.

Since all companies involved are aware of the final result that must be achieved, they can start performing analysis of weight, performance and design and manufacturing times. In Mexico, BMW and Ford are among the companies already implementing this platform.

Q: What new opportunities are EVs bringing to Dassault Systèmes?

A: Developing local suppliers that can support EV assembly has become a challenge for Ford. Vehicle electrification will transform the automotive industry into a high-tech sector. This is a great area of opportunity for Dassault Systèmes because 98 percent of all vehicle-electrification startups now use the company’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Mexico needs to train its talent so the people producing combustion engines and other components can answer to the new needs of the automotive industry and produce components for EVs.

Q: What role does Dassault Systèmes play in talent development?

A: In September 2018, Dassault Systèmes signed an agreement with the Ministry of Economic Development of the State of Mexico, the Automotive Cluster of the State of Mexico and the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) to create capable talent to develop EVs and self-driving cars. Dassault Systèmes will open two technology areas at UAEM so the university can start training students in the use of new manufacturing technologies. We plan to replicate the success of a similar program implemented in Wichita, Kansas. The company’s 3DEXPERIENCE Center focuses on the aerospace industry and several companies are taking advantage of it to carry out their R&D operations.

Q: How will the new trade environment resulting from USMCA impact Dassault Systèmes’ operations in North America?

A: Dassault Systèmes de México now competes with its US and Canada counterparts in terms of developing local suppliers. The country that manages to develop suppliers the fastest will capture a greater percentage of regional content production. For Mexico to keep its productivity level, the country needs to secure more contracts to supply components.

Q: What are your growth expectations for 2019?

A: We achieved our 20 percent growth goal for 2018. While 3Q18 was challenging because of changes in the energy sector that impacted Dassault Systèmes energy-oriented operations, the aerospace and automotive industries remained strong. We expect to maintain this momentum through 2019 and achieve a similar growth rate with these sectors as our most important revenue generators. We expect energy activities to remain on sluggish but the consumer goods area is likely to increase in importance as consumer habits change.

Mergers and acquisitions will also play an important role in the company’s growth strategy. The goal is to make Dassault Systèmes a US$10 billion company by 2023, up from its 1Q19 value of US$4 billion. I expect new acquisitions will be announced every quarter.  

 

Dassault Systèmes is a French software developer that offers solutions for 3D design and product life-cycle management. Its 3DEXPERIENCE platform allows companies to optimize design and manufacturing processes

Alejandro Salas Alejandro Salas Senior Editorial Manager