Welcome to our inaugural episode of our Delmia series!
In our first episode of the Delmia series, we are talking to business development strategist Adrian Wood.
With over 20 years of experience in the field, Adrian is an expert in virtual design and how it can be applied to a business’ planning/production pipeline.
In this episode, we get to know a little more about him; first, talking about how he got into the industry and then getting into how Dassault Systems software focus on virtual design/simulation can be applied to the manufacturing industry to make your product dreams a reality.
JD: So, just to start things off I was, I always liked doing a little bit of research into my interviewees and I noticed that you are an Englishman living in Texas. Is there an interesting story behind that?
Adrian: Originally, I was born and raised in the UK and graduated with a computer science degree, which I never used.
Adrian: As soon as I came out of college, I went out on a sales call and I was like, “wow, this is what I want do! I want talk to customers, I want to connect with the people who are actually using our products versus, just developing them.” I was working for a company that was actually in the simulation industry.
Adrian: So, I’m one of the people who can actually say “back in the 1990s, I was building digital twins” but in a very different way. The company was based out of Pittsburgh and I just always wanted to go see the US. I badgered my way into an interview and they offered to bring me across and work in Pittsburgh for a year and I never went home.
Adrian: And five years after I started there, I moved to Texas and then you get a wife and a son and then, it becomes your home. Yeah, it was a big transition of me a long time ago. It does seem like a long time ago, but I became an American citizen a few years back and yeah, this is my home.
Adrian: Love the states and but happy to have a global view of the world as well.
JD: And, I was going to say, in terms of the British palette of cuisine and so forth, I bet Tex Mex is a huge shocker when you first got here!
Adrian: Yeah, you can get any sort of food anywhere in the world now.
When I go home to the UK to see my family, there’s Subway shops, (the actual Subway sandwich shop). And it’s the same here. I can get any British unique food weird and wonderful. Any number of grocery stores here. So, it truly is a global environment these days.
JD: And I figured the last question I should ask the last personal question is you got a lot of a lot of sci fi models around your office.
JD: Are you a big sci fi guy? Or are you just a big modeling guy?
Adrian: Oh, no, I’m a huge nerd. I actually took some down for this interview. I normally got something on my speaker here and stuff. I thought that was a bit too distracting, but as I say, I’ve got a computer science degree. So, I am a huge nerd at heart; it’s part of the reason I love some of the applications that we have AND – at the same – I’ve stayed in software and technology for so long. I also do some scale modeling – actually built a lot of those from, plastic kits and painted them.
Adrian: And as part of my, like I said, my, my nerd or geek side my, of my hobby.
JD: I got a lot of friends who are into model kits and so forth. Our discussion may seem far from the course, but that does lead into our questions because before doing this interview – I will admit – that my understanding on Dassault and Delmia products was very narrow.
Adrian: My understanding of Dassault was always in terms of the practical side – usually when it comes to advanced planning and scheduling and so forth. But, after researching it, it really does seem Dassault’s bread and butter is all about visualization and virtualization.
Adrian: So, just to start off the interview, (because Dassault is not necessarily a household name as, say Microsoft or IBM) can you just give us a brief rundown on Dassault systems? What is its calling card? And what is this huge focus with virtualization?
Adrian: Yeah, you’re right. So, Dassault is a household technology, but not a household name. Nearly everything that you have on your desk in front of you – your phone, your car, the plane that you flew in on, the food that you put on the table – has been touched in some way by Dassault Systems.
Adrian: And, the legacy of Dassault is around the “digital world” – in the past, this was predominantly building digital models in the aerospace industry. That’s where the company came from. Dassault Aviation built commercial and military aircrafts, developed software to actually make that process easier in terms of CAD and design.
Adrian: And, that became so successful, it spun out as a separate company, which is where we are now at Dassault Systems and grew, just exponentially. Because we were such a deep domain expert in building these virtual models – now virtual universes – where you can experiment and innovate in endless ways and unleash the creativity of the human mind to really innovate, not just, as we say, in the product world, but in human life for the planet as well.
Adrian: And so, we’ve always had a strong foothold in this concept of being able to build these virtual environments where we can do more to experiment, innovate, create and that’s grown not just from aircrafts, but to every industry on the planet.
Adrian: This leads us to today where we are a global force; providing innovation in manufacturing, construction, life sciences and in now innovating in virtual design, not just virtual twins of the product, right?
Adrian: Virtual Twins can be made for almost anything; nowadays, even the human body as well. So, you can innovate in medicine and all sorts of different ways that you could have only dreamed of, you know, not more than 10 or 15 years ago. The incredible set of capabilities that the company brings to the table across all sorts of environments and industries.
Adrian: Within the Delmia brand, we have a unique part to play in that vision because we’re actually unique in the DSO family that we actually are the brand that connects those virtual universes to the real world in terms of real world execution of manufacturing, construction, and all the rest of it.
Adrian: It’s a fantastic environment to be a part of; especially, in the Delmia brand. As I said, because we actually connect the virtual and real worlds together for our customers and bring some of those virtual worlds to life, this leads to a great learning environment as it is in a continuous innovation improvement process.
JD: So, Dassault – as a whole – creates software regarding design and visualization whereas Delmia is a suite of software to make those plans a reality, but in a practical sense.
Adrian: Correct. So, we have several major disciplines in the Delmia brands.
Adrian: The first is industrial engineering and that’s really the touch point where you start to think about taking that virtual model and then saying “I’ve designed it and I built it, but how could I engineer it? And, once I build it and if I build it, what problems, risks, or opportunities do I have to make that as efficient as possible when the time comes to build it?”
Adrian: This leads us to the second discipline, which is our Manufacturing operations. On the shop floor as things are being built – aircraft planes, trains, home goods, etc. – it’s the Delmia brand software that actually executes the steps of production.
Adrian: We also have the ability in our third domain (planning and optimization) to provide ways to more efficiently schedule all of those operations that are occurring in the shop floor and across the supply chain in general. Then, of course, we have some collaborative experiences to tile the vast array of different stakeholders and organizational departments to execute together in an orchestrated way.
Adrian: But yeah, we do have this unique sort of connection with the virtual world to say, “yeah, we’ve done as much as we can to optimize the design, the engineering aspects of it, but now we’ve got to build it and we have to do that flawlessly as well”. And that’s where, if you want to use the analogy “where the rubber hits the road”, we actually continue that digital thread and allow companies to not just execute it as a downstream operation, but then get information about how well are we executing it and what did we learn from execution?
Adrian: One of the problems people have in execution and feed that back into the virtual world to make sure that we are continuously improving the overall process.
D4M is a privately owned company specializing in leveraging digital technologies to accelerate manufacturing clients to their transition to Industry 4.0. With long tenure and hundreds or successful projects, we are confident that our approach and experience provides the roadmap to help bring clarity and efficiency to your manufacturing operation.
To find out how we can help with your SAP environment, or to learn more about how we rolled out SAP to 60 locations in 60 months, reach out to us today. Contact form and office numbers listed below.
We look forward to partnering with you!