ABB and Dassault Systèmes Partner to Offer Combined Software Portfolio

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1Q 2019 | IN-5441

Since its launch of CATIA back in 1981, Dassault Systèmes has provided advanced software tools for industrial applications. It continues to deliver the design tools of CATIA and SOLIDWORKS along with DELMIA for manufacturing operations management (MOM), SIMULIA for simulation, ENOVIA for collaboration tools, and a few other brands together on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The strategy is that all these products share common data and a common interface for a unified tool chain.

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NEWS


Since its launch of CATIA back in 1981, Dassault Systèmes has provided advanced software tools for industrial applications. It continues to deliver the design tools of CATIA and SOLIDWORKSalong with DELMIA for manufacturing operations management (MOM), SIMULIA for simulation, ENOVIA for collaboration tools, and a few other brands together on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The strategy is that all these products share common data and a common interface for a unified tool chain.

In 1Q 2019, Dassault Systèmes announced a partnership with ABB. ABB, a Swiss industrial automation and robotics company, has a division in Silicon Valley dedicated to its IIoT platform Ability. ABB launched its digital strategy in 2016; it evolved into Ability, which officially launched in 2017. Dassault Systèmes and ABB will develop joint solutions. The two companies will demo joint capabilities at Hannover Messe 2019 between April 1-5. Ability will continue to operate with open application programming interfaces (APIs), meaning that it still has full interoperability with other platforms such as Siemens MindSphere and Hitachi Lumada.

A Diverse Combined Portfolio

IMPACT


When it comes to providing a portfolio of software for industrial applications, three companies currently stand out:Dassault Systèmes, PTC, and Siemens. The capabilities of the software portfolios of these three companies fulfill all three components of ABI Research’s upcoming Industrial Solution module: Virtualization, Visualization, and Simulation. For example, with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, starting in the design process, engineers can use CATIA to generate virtual visualizations of any part they need to design and put it through simulations on SIMULIA to ensure it meets all the functional requirements. CATIA can also incorporate and adjust for findings from BIOVIA, Dassault Systèmes’s material science brand. The platform also includes DELMIA for production simulations and DELMIA Apriso for manufacturing operations management when the design goes to production. Again, all these tools come together on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Coming from the OT side of manufacturing, ABB provides a base platform with docker modules and drivers for 100+ protocols, including ABB’s own OPC servers. This includes the ability to connect to ABB’s robotics and industrial equipment in addition to those of its major competitors.

Ability supports augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps, and ABB has helped customers deploy and scale apps for several use cases, such as operational and maintenance support with high-performance live data streaming. Ability Edge runs on control systems, industrial PCs, and small-footprint devices, and incorporates general algorithms with ML in its docker modules. ABB also partners with FogHorn Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and Advantech to take advantage of those companies’ edge intelligence and computing capabilities. ABB has also started to experiment with blockchain for security and energy management apps and plans to start deploying those for customers later in 2019.

Together, ABB and Dassault Systèmes help fill some of the gaps in each other’s offerings and provide an example of IT/OT integration as partners.

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RECOMMENDATIONS


This partnership differentiates the two companies by taking a relatively open platform from an OT-centric company (ABB) and fusing it with a comprehensive industrial software portfolio (Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform) for the co-development of specific joint solutions. Anyone with an interest in Industry 4.0 attending Hannover Messe 2019 should pay attention to what these two companies will present. Whether another potential partner, a competitor, or an implementer looking for reliable smart manufacturing platform options, attendees should not ignore what these companies do next. Partnerships like this present many challenges, from a lack of deep integration to cultural issues, and the demos at Hannover Messe will provide an early look at how well and deeply ABB and Dassault Systèmes can work together.

At the very least, ABI Research expects that existing mutual customers of ABB and Dassault Systèmes should see new ways to leverage data from the Ability Edge in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform whether they run the platform on premise or in the cloud at the enterprise level. The two partners should focus on delivering measurable business outcomes from any joint solution. If they can demonstrate these benefits at Hannover Messe, it will set them both up to grow much faster as more companies implement Industry 4.0 strategies.

For more insights and perspectives on manufacturing and the Industrial Internet, please check out ABI Research’s Industrial Solution.

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