Customer Value at the Core of Companies’ Thoughts

By Dominique
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High-Tech mosaic

People & Technology at the heart of Innovation

Mike Demler, Technical Editor — EDN, recently concluded in his article, The design-to-cost imperative and customer value , that ‘Too many companies in “mature” competitive industries blame customers or the tough economy for driving down prices. The lesson from the most successful companies is to continually deliver greater value. Companies should focus more on how their engineers can design for value rather than obsess over balance-sheet-driven cost-cutting strategies, in which layoffs and outsourcing are all too prevalent.’

The focus here is on innovation versus purely cost reduction.  Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a significant element to the equation as it impacts not only costs reduction, but more importantly provides the means to deliver top-line growth.  Another more recently and extremely critical element to foster innovation is the move by Dassault Systemes (DS) to tie social innovation with the product development process, also known as PLM2.0 as supported by the DS V6 online platform.

V6 facilitates that connection between “Customer” and “Company” in a LifeLike manner all the way through to the engineering, to which Mike Demler is referring.

Consumer Focus + Technology Leadership + Business Process Agility: these are the drivers for DS in the High-Tech industry as expressed by our customers and that we drive with V6 capabilities.

It’s comforting for me to see that we all share a common vision to place consumers and consumer value at the core.



Virtual Learning Efficiency with Lifelike Avatars

By Olivier
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Already as an undergrad in Beirut, Ziad (the real person on the picture) was passionate about manufacturing engineering and member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers student chapter at the Lebanese American University.

Ziad came to France for his graduate studies.  In  September 2010 he defended his Master project at Nancy University.  The project  completed his Dassault Systèmes internship.

Creating a learning lab lifelike avatar  is an old educators’ dream. Lecture virtualization  is a done deal thanks to various  e-learning and recording techniques. But when it comes to a technical experimentation environment, the virtual model should reproduce real-world behavior and react according to learner’s interactions.

Ziad’s project was to virtualize the Nancy learning lab. Here’s a video showing one of his virtual scenarios:

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This scene shows a specific use of the lab: no need for a student or an educator to book the real equipment -especially when in use- to test a new idea or mature a project.

Ziad used CATIA V6 and DELMIA Automation V6 to create the “Flexible Production System” lab avatar. He based his model on the real Nancy lab that he used when studying there.

The Nancy lab  is an advanced learning environment shared by many engineering schools.  For example, the lab is part of  a nationwide French consortium in which Dassault Systèmes has always had an active role, the “AIP Primeca”.

Other cool usages :

  • Experiential enrollment marketing: Universities can provide engaging lifelike experiences of their learning equipment to any curious candidate student in high school,
  • Affordable learning experiences: Educators in under-equipped institutions, especially in developing countries, can teach with learning instruments that are incredibly more engaging than just text books,
  • Enhanced learning when in the actual lab: Students can discover and practice in the lab before going there physically. Their time in the real lab is more efficient. The learning process gains efficiency.

Next Step to Involve Mexico

There are currently six worplaces in the lab where students can program their scenario in context. The seventh will be the virtual one, first accessible locally, then from a partnering university in Mexico. Students there will receive credit within a newly created, international, double diploma while programming the avatar lab and testing their 3D-validated program remotely in the real lab.

Following  this project, Dassault Systèmes hired Ziad.  Now he works  in the ENOVIA QA department.

Other learning experiences are available on the DS Education Lab.



Ziad Hachache works in the DS ENOVIA QA department.






Olivier Ammoun works in the Dassault Systèmes education team.

Bad Knees? Good News!

By Tim
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Tim's sister Sarah

In June of this year, my 57-year-old sister, Sarah, had double knee implants. She has the scars to prove it as you would not believe that she has dual knee implants just by looking at her!

In a previous post, I mentioned that my 82-year-old dad has also had both of his knees replaced (twice). So, you can bet that I am trying to take extra care of my knees (think: whirpool, massage, extra vitamins). However, due to genetics and sports injuries there is no guarantee that I won’t need a knee implant at some point in my life.

It’s no wonder that our knees wear out—they bear five times our body weight with each step we take. Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA), which replaces damaged or diseased joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components, is performed about 580,000 times a year in the U.S. alone. It is currently the solution that provides the most relief to patients. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons calls knee replacement, “one of the most important surgical advancements of the 20th Century.”

Thankfully, researchers, like those at Smith & Nephew, are dedicated to improving the design of knee implants. Their goals are to make the artificial knees easier to implant while working better and lasting longer. In 2007 Smith & Nephew (the U.K.’s largest medical technology company) established the European Centre for Knee Research in Leuven, Belgium to drive TKA research and innovation. They have developed new knee replacements that have been designed to last 30 years, double the time of previous designs. You can view their commericial for their newest products on You Tube here.

Dr. Innocenti, Smith & Nephew

Recently, our communications team had a chance to interview the Centre’s project manager for Numerical Kinematics, Bernardo Innocenti, M.E., Ph.D. It’s pretty cool that they are using Abaqus FEA from SIMULIA to explore and improve their knee implant designs.

Dr. Innocenti kindly explained some of the details of their design and simulation process  to us. “When you replace a knee, you are trying to replicate the behavior of biological materials, like bones, cartilage and ligaments, with non-biological ones such as titanium, stainless steel and polyethylene. Abaqus FEA is fundamental in this game because it enables us to estimate rapidly and precisely the effects of different parameters in the design or performance…whether it is bone or metal or something more complicated like the viscoelasticity of soft tissues or polyethylene.”

This focused research and use of realistic simulation is certainly good news for people like my sister, my dad…and maybe even me! The report from my sister today (four months after surgery) is that she can walk through the mall to do her holiday shopping without the disabling knee pain, that is good news!

Check out the complete Smith & Nephew case study and many other customer stories on Realistic Human Simulation in the latest issue of SIMULIA INSIGHTS magazine.

Please join me  in raising a toast to better knee implants and pain free holiday shopping!


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