Dassault Systèmes’ Customer Support becomes Social!

By Vincent

Hi! My name is Vincent and I work for the Dassault Systèmes’ Customer Support team.

The mission of this organization is to help 3DS products’ users to ease their daily working life. Whenever they have a technical issue we need to answer correctly as fast as possible!

In April 2010, we created a @3DSsupport account on Twitter to add a new touch point with our users, to learn from their feedback and to adapt our approach of delivering Support services. This was a first step to become Social, but as Matthias said back then, we want to go further  :-)

Knowledge Centered Support as a Strategy

Indeed when you are using any application, you go to search on Forum and/or watch in a FAQ to quickly find the solution of your problem, you want to have all knowledge available at the same place and benefit about the expertise of the application company experts!

In July 2011 we made fundamental changes on our support website and on our Knowledge Base (private access) by implementing a search engine powered by EXALEAD. The results were phenomenal! Our users could find what they searched for two times more often than before and consume knowledge articles made by our 3DS products support experts.

However our users expect more and we want to deliver the best.

Support becomes Social

Today, I am happy to announce that we put at our customers and users disposal a new service, a social service, leveraging our innovative platform powered by 3DSWYM technology.

On swym.3ds.com, I and my team propose now a new support feature to our users by adding 3 support communities dealing with 3DSWYM, CATIA and CAA adding to the shared knowledge a capability to interact with your peers.

Watch the video below to get a glimpse of the featured content:

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Just experience it as Matt Wynn did and let us know your feedback, what could be improved, and your expectations!

Last but not least, if you’re attending one of the upcoming 3DEXPERIENCE Forums North America or Europe, stop by our booth for a live demo!  :-)

Here to serve you the best,

Vincent and the Online Support community team

Vincent BADIE is managing the Online Support community team

How Dassault Systèmes’ Support met Matt Wynn, CAA enthusiast

By Matthias

Matt Wynn - Magestic Systems, Inc
Matt Wynn is one of the key administrators of a LinkedIn group called “CAA V5/V6 interFace/Forum: Where CAA Enthusiasts Meet”. This is the story of how he met our experts from Dassault Systèmes Support and became an influent member of our CAA community. First of all, just to be clear, CAA stands for “Component Architecture Application”. It is a development environment for customers or partners to implement applications that are fully integrated with the CATIA, ENOVIA, DELMIA, SIMULIA and 3DVIA product lines. Matt Wynn is one of those partners.

Can you present yourself briefly?
I have two degrees in Aerospace Engineering and have been programming manufacturing automation / CAM software for over 20 years. I work for Magestic Systems, Inc. where I spend most of my time writing code and working with customers. Outside of work I race slot cars at Elmsford Raceway and teach snowboarding in the winter at Windham Mountain.

How did you meet Dassault Systèmes’ products and people?
Magestic Systems has worked with CATIA for many years and became a software partner in 2004. In 2008 I worked in Paris with Dassault Systèmes staff to perform one of the first migrations of V5 partner applications to V6.

What are the things you made with CAA you are the most proud of?
TruLASER™ View Composites CAA for a wind power applicationI am proud of anything that has been successful! Magestic Systems TruLASER™ View applications for Composites, Assembly and Paint templating are the biggest commercial success in both V5 and V6. It has also been very interesting to create some batch programs without a user interface that import to and export from CATIA and other types of data.

Why this CAA community on LinkedIn? How did you come to lead it?
The LinkedIn CAA group “CAA V5/V6 interFace/Forum: Where CAA Enthusiasts Meet” was created in 2008 by Yong Zhao, and I am only one of the managers. I found the CAA group on LinkedIn late in 2008 while I was visiting Dassault Systèmes working on the V6 migration.Somehow, knowledgeable CAA programmers that were willing to share found it and it has been a great resource. As of April 2012, there are over 1200 members, approximately 40-50% are employed as CAA programmers. It is very interesting to watch who is joining the LinkedIn groups, and I try to send each new member a welcome message. This helps them get to know me as well, which is the whole idea behind LinkedIn.

Then you naturally became a member of the CAA community on Swym.3ds.com?
I joined the 3DSwYm community several years ago when I started to use the DraftSight DXF/DWG editing tool. I was invited to the CAA community just before it opened up because I am a V6 early adopter and my leadership of the LinkedIn group.

What do you think those two communities bring to CAA developers?
There is a synergy with 3DSwYm and LinkedIn communities.Both provide important resources to the CAA developers.
The LinkedIn group is open to anyone with an interest in CAA programming. It has had steady growth, with 100 new members every 4 months for several years. It has the ‘critical mass’ required for a community of developers to be helpful to each other.
CAA Community on 3DSwymThe 3DSwYm community can do things that are impossible on LinkedIn. It has had good growth since it went public in December, but not much participation by members yet. There is more opportunity in the 3DSwYm group for difficult CAA questions to be addressed by very knowledgeable Dassault Systèmes people, especially on the topic of V6 CAA. 3DSwYm includes the ability to share documents and code and data samples, which I have found very helpful. Before 3DSwYm, this kind of support required submitting service requests, which I think many developers do not have access to.

For those of you who are interested, you can contact Matt both on Swym.3ds.com and on LinkedIn. :-)

Best,

Matthias

Matthias Vivet is a member of the Dassault Systèmes Customer Support team.

 

Mind the Gap

By Michael

Whereas virtual designs are 100% perfect – as designed, with perfect circles, perfect corners and razor-sharp edges – the real world is not.

Any manufactured part which is assembled from pieces and which consists of various materials, comes under the influence of Mr. Thermodynamics and his physical gang members Mr. Temperature and Ms. Pressure. With all those parameters and forces applied during the fabrication process the resulting product is at best close, but never fully identical with the originally designed dimensions.

Important to note: with every percentage we want to minimize these dimensional deviations, represented by gaps and misalignment in assemblies, we increase manufacturing cost due to additional investment in equipment, better materials or just more effort to optimize the machinery.

Depending on the product this will be necessary and justified: if we manufacture a submarine boat we need to take care to have the outer skin absolutely water-tight under all operating conditions and with a safety margin. Here very little deviation is allowed in order to not jeopardize security. No compromises. Building a submarine or alike is complex and expensive.

yellow-submarine-256x256

For less demanding situations the control of dimensions is less critical.

A bicycle for instance needs to meet a set of functional specifications, i.e. it needs to be durable and parts should move without friction. However the physical constraints on the product in operation are less severe than in the submarine case, which means that certain dimensional deviations of assembled parts can be accepted. This results in manufacturing process which is less demanding.

Another view is on aesthetics: we want a car to look good in every aspect. The gap between the hood and the chassis for example needs to be straight, close (but not too close) and overall needs to suite the expert’s eye. Intuitive buying decisions may depend on this feature. I am not joking. So this is important too!

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Courtesy of DCS Inc.

I guess I sufficiently hit on this point: when we manufacture a virtual model we have to expect dimensional deviations. We therefore need to understand, control and design for those deviations – preferentially before it is found out from the first product which comes off the assembly line.

dcs

This was the introduction to present the domain of competence of DCS Inc. or Dimensional Control Systems Inc., a 125+ employees company headquartered in Troy, Michigan USA, with local representations worldwide. DCS is also a Gold software partner of Dassault Systèmes and they have captured their knowhow of dimensional engineering and process capabilities into a suite of tolerance analysis software applications (3DCS CAA V5 Based) which helps designers and engineers to anticipate real life conditions put on ideal designs. Good news is: 3DCS software is fully integrated in the DS 3D PLM solution and respectively the brands CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA and SIMULIA.

What DCS does is clearly heavy duty engineering simulation with a lot of differential equations involved. Don’t try this alone at home. If you are a manufacturer who needs to control dimensional tolerances as a function of production cost, a good advice is to let DCS assist you.

One prominent project where DCS is already part of the competence team is ITER, the nuclear fusion reactor to be built in Cadarache in the South of France. ITER is a highly challenging endeavor with a long list of technical unknowns. With the objective to master fusion technology as an unlimited source of energy for man. DCS’ job is to watch over the design of the reactor vessel built to sustain the physics involved, boost the understanding of dimension tolerancing and gain a certain level of trust for predicting results. (For more general information about ITER, and some 3D virtual fly throughs, go here.)

Ladies and gentlemen, mind the gap.

To get in touch with DCS, find their information file here or directly on the PLM MarketPlace where 3DCS products are referenced. John Sienskowski is your contact to call for help.

Soon more from the beautiful world of applied engineering.

Best,
Michael

P.S. any questions or ideas for future posts in this series – let me know



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.