Highlights from ESI Live 2020 – Our Global Digital Event for Industry Transformation

A recap of an open, global forum for exceptional times.

by Denise Börner
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“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday’s logic”¹

What did Peter Drucker mean when he famously wrote these words? After all, those were the good old days, before our world came to a screeching halt due to a global pandemic. Somehow, though, we find ourselves here and his words are more relevant than ever before. Today, we have been forced into becoming autonomous individuals around the world. And still, our human instinct for communication, collaboration, and survival is dominant.

Embracing Digital First

Digital transformation is the key to ensure we are not acting with yesterday’s logic. At ESI, we challenge ourselves to always stay one step ahead. During this exceptional crisis, we have developed new ways of working with and for our customers, leading to the birth of our first-ever all-digital series of events, ‘ESI Live’.

ESI Live took place in November and connected nearly 500 customers and partners from industry and research sectors live and around the world. Early adopters from the automotive, aerospace, energy, and heavy machinery industries shared insights into where they are in their digital transformation journey and how pivoting from pure numerical simulation to Virtual Prototyping increases confidence and saves time to make the right decisions.

Let’s dive deeper and look back at some highlights from our presenters and panelists:

  • One of our panelists, David Furrer, a Senior Fellow Discipline Lead for the Materials and Processes Engineering Organization at Pratt & Whitney, discussed the “here and now” and how he turned virtual prototyping technology into tangible benefits for his company and the aerospace industry overall.
  • Panelist Vincent Champain, Senior Vice President of Digital at Framatome, talked about the phases of technology and focused on the one most important to his company – consolidation. He points out that this phase is about bringing in technology that can add value to your company and make you a world-class leader in your domain.
  • Connecting to the consolidation phase, keynote speaker Atsushi Mizutani, Expert Leader, Production Engineering R&D Center at Nissan Motor Corporation, showed how the OEM took “a technology, which had been in exploration phase for quite a while, and figured out how to consolidate. They went from producing a plastic part in two hours down to two minutes! They were able to parley the time saved into production and meet their outcome of producing greater vehicles".²
  • Pascal Pancrace, Innovative Project Manager at Renault, gave insight into how Renault released a new vehicle to market with only one physical crash test. He gave us a sneak peek into the new world that Group Renault is discovering – a world with fewer real prototypes and less real tests.
  • The idea that Virtual Prototyping is mission-critical to winning in the new world is highlighted by Dr. Weiran Jiang, Simulation & Advanced Modeling at Farasis. In his presentation, he explained how a first-time bidder as themselves won a bid with a major OEM in a very disruptive setting with a little help from ESI.
  • Reflecting on how new vehicle innovations are impacting our lives and the industry, Dr. Jiri Svoboda, Coordinator of Virtual Testing and Simulation for Automated Driving Systems at TÜV Süd, concluded that “Today engineers have an inexhaustible number of virtual prototyping tools to support their decision-making process. The art is not to master one software. The art is to find an appropriate combination of them that leads to the fastest way to the final product.”
  • With regards to the impact that the CASE revolution has on the way cars are designed, Guillaume Péronnet, Performance Advisor at ESI Group / Former VP Strategy for North America at Faurecia, sees a “clear shift from powertrain to the user experience”. From his experience with new EV OEMs, “cars are like a smartphone on wheels. It has high innovation content that is very much user-driven….”
  • Looking at the next level of manufacturing in the press shop, Dr. Tomas Pilvousek, Coordinator of the Serial Press-Shop Planning at Skoda said that his company envisions that “in the future, the material will directly communicate to its presses and will adjust the optimal process parameters”.
  • Staying in the manufacturing process but switching to the heavy industry sector, Galen Faidley, Senior Engineering Project Team Leader at Caterpillar shared how immersive virtual reality is speeding up machine development.

Tomorrow’s Logic is 100% Virtual

After listening to the diverse group of speakers across various industries and territories, you feel the shift and readiness to transform traditional Product-Lifecycle Management into an end-to-end performance-focused approach – a holistic way to connect financial, social, environmental, and productivity performance aspects. You feel the collective spirit of embracing an immersive digital thread as the mission-critical backbone for any new sustainable business model. Trust that virtual prototyping will bring you confidence in the performance of your product in terms of reliability, safety, and energy efficiency, and in the process with regards to manufacturability, serviceability, productivity. Having this confidence upfront in the development cycle is game-changing for long-term success and accelerated innovation in times of shrinking R&D budgets.

A lively panel discussion between ESI experts and executives together with valued industry partners

If you want to join ESI in the transformation journey, click here. You’ll have immediate access to the on-demand video recordings of all presentations and panels. Enjoy!

Work Cited
[1] Ducker, Peter. Managing in Turbulent Times. New York: Harper & Row,©1980
[2] Cristel de Rouvray at ESI Live, November 17, 2020

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