I had the chance to talk with … Dassault Systemes about their acquisition of MES provider Intercim. The acquisition of Intercim is a strategic move, and represents Dassault’s confirmation of the importance of linking engineering intent and manufacturing process planning to manufacturing operations (and vice versa).
What do they Do?
Dassault Systemes is one of the premier providers of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) solutions. Dassault has a very broad suite ranging from CAD (Catia and Solidworks) and simulation (Simulia) all the way through technical communications (3DVia) and enterprise systems (Enovia PLM). In the past year or so they have also added search (Exalead) and social computing (SwYm). Dassault Systemes has been redefining the boundaries of PLM and pursuing a strategy to bring “lifelike experience” to digital representations of the world. For more of my thoughts on DS, please see Reflections on Dassault Systemes Business, Strategy, and Progress at DSCC. Perhaps one of the most important assets pertaining to this announcement is DS’ digital manufacturing solution (Delmia) for manufacturing process planning.
Intercim is an MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) software company with emphasis on complex and highly regulated manufacturing companies. Intercim helps companies execute the plans from engineering in the plant. They also focus on tracking what they call “emergent processes” when execution deviates from the plan. The goal is to manage non-conformance and exceptions in in the same platform as normal operations. They also handle plant operations such as scheduling, task management, and shop floor reporting. One of the differentiators that Intercim claims is “operations intelligence” which enables their customers to analyze manufacturing results to identify areas of concern or opportunities for improvement. For example, a manufacturer may identify an operation that is running significantly differently than the digital process definition it is based on.
What do they Offer?
DS plans to offer a deeply integrated PLM-MES system. They describe an environment of “digital continuity” that delivers digitizing work instructions to the plant floor, but goes beyond to close the loop to provide feedback to Engineering on defects and other issues. Intercim will become a part of the Delmia brand within DS, giving DS an integrated digital manufacturing – MES solution.
The integration of PLM and MES has the potential to provide significant business value, as described in The Roles of ERP and PLM in Manufacturing – now with MES! The post links to a report on PLM and MES called Tech-Clarity Insight: Integrating PLM and MES – Realizing the Digital Factory, which addresses:
- Integrating the product and production lifecycle
- Automating the integrated product and production lifecycle
- Closing the Loop between designs and products
Who do they Work with?
To be clear, this is not a new relationship. Dassault and Intercim have been working together for some time as partners. They have a number of joint customers already, and will continue to penetrate the highly regulated, complex manufacturing industries such as aerospace.
So that’s what I hear from DS and Intercim, I hope you found it useful. What do you think? What else should I have asked them?