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Dassault Systèmes VP Patrick Fardeau says simulation is extremely important for a mission based design

Major reason is that we have an excellent team here and we strongly believe that they are an important shoulder for India and the aerospace and defence industry. We are here to put the right focus and bring the right help to this team as during the last 5 years this team has constantly grown in the business of A&D in the country.

Dassault Systèmes VP Patrick Fardeau says simulation is extremely important for a mission based design
Patrick Fardeau, Vice President Global Market Development A&D Industry at Dassault Systèmes. (Photo: Dassault systemes)

The Aerospace and Defence (A&D) sector in India is at the cusp of an inflection point and the companies seek to combat volatility in fuel prices, strengthen their supply chains and most importantly win customer trust. And, the government is looking to accelerate growth in the defence sector and aiming at a turnover of Rs 1.7 trillion by 2025.

Patrick Fardeau, Vice President Global Market Development A&D Industry at Dassault Systèmes, shares his views about the challenges being faced by Aerospace & Defence (A&D) suppliers in India and more with Huma Siddiqui.

Following are excerpts

In the recent past Dassault Systèmes has been visiting India. What does the Indian market hold for you?

We are here to promote new solutions, new practices and new processes. The global feedback from our customers and partners is an important way we build solutions, whether it is development, design or manufacturing. And we are travelling to countries where sometimes they do not have the physical mass of people who can quickly adopt our solutions and need some help to engage, so India is one of those countries. Another major reason is that we have an excellent team here and we strongly believe that they are an important shoulder for India and the aerospace and defence industry. We are here to put the right focus and bring the right help to this team as during the last 5 years this team has constantly grown in the business of A&D in the country.

What are the challenges in A&D in India? What kind of challenges the suppliers would face in India?

The way the industry is structured in India, it is structured differently as per different organizations. There is a separation between the designers and the manufacturers. With regard to suppliers, it all depends on the kind of job they have, it is a challenge for them to be a part of the early design phase to share some advice with the design team and be more effective as soon as the manufacturing process starts since they have to work with the manufacturing team.

While designing you have to start to think how you will manufacture and how you will ship off, is it better or is it simpler for the product. When we observe the practice, for example, with a customer like Boeing, in 2017 we designed a 10 year partnership. It was very interesting because we were part of their design and simulation activity, they were happy to adopt the 3D EXPERIENCE platform for all their divisions but they were considering the topic was more about improving collaboration for specific activities, the performance levels were better.

Photo: Dassault Systemes

One of the key challenges in this partnership was about the supply chain management, in particular the supply chain in sense of design, clarity of the supply chain, clarity on the POC testing of the supply chain, clarity on delivery of the supply chain and capacity of the supply chain. And as part of the contract we are executing right now with Boeing, is to supervise the capabilities with tight solutions between the suppliers and Boeing.

Also Read: Aero-India: We are focusing on empowering the aerospace start-ups to drive innovation, says MD, India, Dassault Systemes

What challenges did you face during Covid times?

As you have observed in the last year, the Covid times were extreme, there have been times, for example Airbus, before Covid times, Airbus was thinking of producing 75 single-aisle per month but during Covid times it went down to somewhere between 30 to 40. So when this happened with Airbus it impacted all the suppliers. It is difficult for the supplier to cope with such variations because they don’t have a sense of reliance. So for them it is a challenge in terms of cash to maintain the same level once the market rounds up again. That is the main challenge of suppliers in western countries and I think India also faces more or less the same challenge in Defence.

What is the use of digital continuity and its importance in aerospace and defence?

That’s a very important question because more airlines are touching the peak which has driven the transformation of this industry in the last 10 years. What you call digital continuity, some companies call it a digital thread, which is slowly translating into two major transformations model based engineering at the early stage of the product and model based design when it comes down to design and engineering to manufacturing, so that’s a very physical factor and obviously organization and process which help to make this process as smooth as possible from the early stage to the manufacturing, drastically helping the efficiency and reliability of the product.

Another way we are approaching this : we reconsider the MSE and design under an umbrella which we call a digital virtual twin, so it almost the same but there is another whole umbrella where basically you have a digital twin for early design, a digital twin retail design, a digital twin for manufacturing, a digital twin for support and there is a continuity to digital twin according to the progress of the design in terms of the texts, so progress in terms of manufacturing process and of course the consequences in terms of support.

One important thing behind digital twin strategy is that when you start to have reasonable good representation of your product, people who are taking care of the report can start to think about how to effectively use your own design and make recommendations on how the design should be improved, therefore they can provide a better product to the final user.

How has digital continuity evolved and what are the new trends?

When we talk about digital continuity it is extremely geometric. So I start to design at an early stage then I match the design and add features, more or less the digital version is more and more precise. Then I introduce this digital version to the manufacturing and the process begins. With the help of digital twin, we introduce a bunch of data in context to be more and more effective.

For example I need to look at the early stage of the design. What kind of matter should be introduced and what are the characteristics of the data, for example data for the supplier can also be introduced during this process. So it is a clear combination of the virtual and the real with all the data that exists in the process of development. That is what makes this digital.

 The New Frontier of Satellite Technology. (Photo: Dassault Systemes)

Solutions Dassault Systemes is offering for the safety in A&D.

If you look at our solution portfolio we have a solution called Winning-Concept, addressing everything in the concept phase, and then there is Design to Target, which addresses detail design. We also have a solution called Licence to Fly, in this solution basically it has two elements, one element is providing the means of certification and the second element is all the possible simulation that can be used during the development process in order to validate your product.

We work according to the specification and the performance you are expecting. Just to give you two examples, the solution Licence to fly, it is a platform of simulation and platform of certification at the same time. So depending on the nature of the aerospace product, you propose to develop. Both simulation and certification are important topics and simulation is extremely important for a mission based design where security takes precedence above the performance.

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