Get to Know Intercim’s People

By Remi
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Dassault Systemes DELMIA Intercim Romain Lavault

I met Romain Lavault, Vice President, Strategic Development at DELMIA (formerly at Intercim) and thought you’d enjoy some insights from the man behind the merger between Intercim and 3DS! So without further delay, let’s see what he has to say!

1/ What are the three nicest surprises you encountered now that you’re part of Dassault Systèmes?

One of the best things I found is definitely the customer-centric culture of Dassault Systèmes. Before you join the company, you might think that since it has such a big R&D legacy, it’s not very much customer-oriented. But this preconception falls quickly when you’re inside the company, and that was a nice surprise for an ex-VP of Sales!

I was also positively surprised with the company footprint: it goes much beyond its traditional core markets like aerospace or automotive. I’m personally crazy about life sciences which have very different needs than the “heavy” industries like aerospace for example… so it’s nice to see we’re on the same path.

Now, clearly, my nicest surprise is about the people at 3DS. People may know the company but usually not the men and women behind it. That was the same for us: we had no idea that employees would be so passionate about innovation. Coming from a start-up environment, it was a pleasure to see that Dassault Systèmes is still in that mindset, reinventing itself constantly.

2/ During your presentation you talked about a creative loop you used, called “plan/do/learn”… Can you elaborate on it?

This loop describes exactly where Intercim complements the existing DELMIA offer. We are connecting communities which have a desperate need to collaborate but did not really have a real-time way to do it.

DELMIA is about planning your operations before you execute. But we know things don’t always go exactly as planned. So we needed a way to manage these discrepancies and close the loop from the real world to the simulated world, and yet still allow workers to execute the work as required by engineers.

So we thought that if things don’t go as planned, it’s for a reason: that’s an opportunity to learn, especially if it’s a recurrent problem.

Take those experienced workers on the shop floor (yes the ones with a big mustache). They captured all these lessons and that’s what we want to capture scientifically and bring back in the PLM backbone.

People in production hold an important share of the IP of the company and their know-how matters to the engineering community. With an aging -and soon retiring- workforce, the challenge to gather best practices and merge knowledge between engineering and production is a key concern for manufacturers worldwide.

3/ I’ve heard that your product, the former Pertinence software, allows you to do just that: find out what are the best-practices and, conversely, what must be avoided on the shop floor. Can you explain how this works?

The former Pertinence software is now DELMIA Operation Intelligence and it works pretty simply actually: instead of looking at the historical data in a mathematical way (finding an equation that drives the whole system), we go for a much logical way, not using a statistical approach.

This is an automated discovery of the common points or patterns among the samples or the production lots: what do the best ones have in common? What do the worst ones have in common? Is it specific to a particular group? And this information is not only numbers, it can be qualitative too. So we are extracting explanations from a set of observations to answer a problem or a phenomenon that seems difficult to predict.

For example, say product X (a medication) works for some people (let’s call them group A) and not for the other (group B). The question is: is there something specific I see in the descriptions of group A that I don’t see on group B? That’s what the software will tell you. “The drug works on these people and here is what they have in common which explains the success (certain genes for example).”

That’s a fact-based reasoning that helps when the theoretical model isn’t enough to fully represent life. So, from observation, you draw rules that say: “when you’re within that pattern, your chance of having this or this problem is that much”.

When you combine this technology with other existing modeling techniques available across all DS brands, you end up with a model that is even more lifelike than with simulation alone!

4/ So what’s the plan for the Intercim team now? What are your objectives?

To grow of course! We were “only” 70 people and after last summer, all our customers and the new ones went out of the economic crisis and all projects re-started at the same time. We needed to find a way to quickly increase our resources and extend our footprint so we had two options.

First one would have been organic growth, by raising money and hiring people. It takes time. Or we could have looked for people and channels ready to go. That was much faster so we chose this one. Dassault Systèmes was an obvious solution for all of us.

Now we’re transferring our expertise to more and more people inside DS to be able to serve more customers in parallel and leverage the existing channels for that new DELMIA domain. The acquisition of Intercim is also the starting point of a new DELMIA with a larger footprint and a much bigger community of users. And that is just the beginning. Stay tuned!

5/ Would you like to add something?

Well, on behalf of the whole team, thank you for welcoming us! We have received a tremendous welcome from everybody here and great feedback from customers so this was definitely the right move for both Intercim and Dassault Systèmes.


So what do you think? I was personally stunned with the whole logical approach to it!

And again, thanks a lot Romain, it was a real pleasure to meet you! :)



Three questions to Toshiko Mori

By Remi
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Toshiko Mori Dassault Systemes Board Administration architecture design award

I met Toshiko right after her introduction to the board of administration of Dassault Systèmes. She held a conference here at the Vélizy Campus the same day and I thought you’d like to hear her thoughts on Design and its near future…

You’re now member of the board of administration of Dassault Systèmes, congratulations! It’s a first of a kind for you… how does it feel?

That’s true yes! I served in non-profit boards in the past, mainly focused on arts and architecture. I’m currently part of the board “Architecture for Humanity”, advising them on design excellence quality.

So this is my first time in a corporate board.  It’s a very humbling experience, I’m learning a lot and I hope I’ll be able to contribute.

During your presentation this morning you talked a lot about how Architecture and Design will have evolved by 2050. Can you give us the three key points that will embody this revolution?

One of our major issues right now is food. We call it energy, water and food crisis as they’re interdependent on each other.  What’s underlying is the uneven distribution of population and the rapid urbanization problems. How to provide these people with food, water and energy? It’s not so much about water scarcity but how to make it available according to the population density.

So my three items would be: jobs, water and food. We already have a job shortage which triggers instability in the developing world. In Middle East and Northern Africa, young people don’t find jobs and thus rebel. It’s as simple as that and unfortunately it will not happen in 2050 – it’s already happening.

So, if you build something, it automatically brings in jobs. Then, if it attracts attention, it will also bring in tourists, which means income. So designers have to make sure that whatever they do, they make the best design, so that people notice it and want to come. Second step is to think about the opportunities your design has created for next generations, whether it is in terms of job growth, making buildings, designing a city, etc.

Native Americans say that for every act you do, you have to think about its impact seven generations down the road. So if you always think that way in design, it really is a sustainable practice but it’s also a much more global thinking.

Does this revolution in the way you think as an architect lead to a revolution in the way students learn architecture? Do we need renewed teaching models?

Definitely. We tend to think of teaching in architecture and design as a building or a product: it’s an object-based teaching. But now we’ve got to teach students the context as well.

For example, if we’re talking about a building, what’s surrounding it? Which city or town are we dealing with? What’s its relationship to nature? What’s its overall location? What about the geopolitics? How does it relate in terms of global issues?

The world we’re living in is very complex and consequences can affect much larger parameters. I’ve been teaching a course called Global re-Design Project for the last two years. I’m also about to teach another course centered on Global Risks and Management, i.e. how can design have a built-in resilient system so that buildings can withstand natural catastrophes for example.

The way you think about contextual issues, away from designing objects, is to know the parameters of different possibilities for both negative things (from terrorist attacks to tsunamis, earthquakes and so on) and good opportunities (bringing educational opportunities and healthcare to the children in Africa).

The key is to turn the teaching model into something highly contextual: have larger parameters, be accessible and inclusive.


Any thought that pops up in your mind? I had a thousand ones when I interviewed her! :)



Exclusive 3D Reconstruction of the Djedi Robot Findings in the Great Pyramid

By Mehdi
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As part of our Passion for Innovation sponsorship program, Dassault Systèmes partnered with Scoutek and Leeds University, UK, in 2009, supporting the Djedi Robot Mission to explore the mysterious shafts in the Great Pyramid.

If the Passion for Innovation initiative allows us to provide financial support for this innovative project our strength lies, above all, in our ability to add our 3D engineering competency and cutting-edge 3D technology to such missions.

My team and I are proud to be a part of this cross-disciplinary and innovative team, selected by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities to send a robot probe named Djedi into the Queen’s Chamber shafts and explore parts of the Great Pyramid hidden from human eyes for 4,500 years.

Last week stories from New Scientist, Discovery, CNN and others broke the news that the Djedi robot had revealed some previously undiscovered hieroglyphs in one of the shafts and relayed these never seen before images.

These images and mission reports were published in the 84th edition of Annales du Service Des Antiquités de l’Egypte (ASAE), the official publication of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The robot has been designed and simulated in 3D to make sure it would work on the field right from the start and would be easily maintained in operations.

But 3D is not only a tool for engineers and we believe that the best way to experience this adventure for yourself is through 3D experiences we are able to deliver. We spent this weekend capturing images in real-time, in a virtual 3D world, to help the public -all publics- understand what the robot has seen.

You’ll see the robot and its environment in full context.  Without need for words, you’ll understand the technical challenge as you’ll see Djedi navigate itself through a 20cmx20cm tunnel in the pyramid.

Djedi Queen chamber great pyramid giza dassault systeme

We would like to remind the public that, as exciting as this work is, it is a work in progress.  We still have much to learn from Djedi, and Egyptologists still must interpret the meaning and significance of the hieroglyphs.

“Red-painted numbers and graffiti are very common around Giza,” says Peter Der Manuelian, an Egyptologist at Harvard University and a Passion for Innovation partner. “They are often masons’ or work-gangs’ marks, denoting numbers, dates or even the names of the gangs.”

3D has a way of turning question marks into exclamation points, and we enjoy sharing this with you.



Dassault Systemes 3DS Giza Pyramid Djedi Mehdi is the Interactive Strategy Director at Dassault Systèmes.

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