Brief isicad-Overview of the Russian CAD/PLM Market: Jan-Apr, 2010

This is a brief overview of the news from Russian CAD/PLM market in January-April just published at
http://www.isicad.net/. A general impression is that the recession is over; at least actors of the Russian market stopped complaining and became active and hopefully productive.

I. Some topics considered traditional, or hot, or isicad-related

· Russian RRJ project became materialized and today everyone is aware or at least has heard from the media that such project was impossible without CAD/PLM
· Launch of the Russian Raptor-like 5G Fighter is one of the most impressive news of the reported months
· In April there was a big Russian conference called “PLM for aeronautical engineering: development, design, manufacturing”, see an announce (in Russian).

My conclusion: in contrast to 2006 or even to 2008, PLM in Russia is no longer exotic or considered skeptically.

Clouds: As everywhere, people in Russia are very excited about clouds. Google gives you a lot of conferences and seminars on this topic. One example is a conference organized in Moscow by HP “Cloud computations: education, research, software development”. See also my English blog post Clouds in Russia.
COFES Russia Seminar: The seminar together with isicad-2010 Forum will be held on 21 September 2010 in Moscow (http://cofes.com/Russia , http://isicad.ru/2010). Brad Holtz, President of Cyon Research and COFES, will be the keynote speaker. Among other participants well-known experts and bloggers Deelip Menezes and Oleg Shilovitsky. See the press release Cyon Research announces COFES Russia Seminar in partnership with LEDAS and my blog-posts:
· COFES-Russia Seminar and Multi-vendor Forum isicad-2010 in Moscow
· HP and PTC support COFES-Russia Seminar in September 2010.
www.isicad.ru has definitely become a leading Russian CAD/PLM portal. Frankly, if we mean actually CAD/PLM then it’s the only professional portal with its own strict selection of publications. Along with everyday news and press-releases, the portal publishes more and more analytical articles and reports. PLMpedia is a unique collection of articles related to CAD/PLM and presenting information on companies, products and solutions, media, persons, etc. Today, this electronic encyclopedia contains about 1200 very carefully selected articles. Traffic of both web sites is steadily growing, now being around 1000 attendees per day.
II. Some news from CAD/PLM vendors at the Russian market

ARAS: now – in Russia RUPLM company (with unidentified location but a sounding name!) presented to the Russian market a Russian version of ARAS Innovator.
AVEVA: its Russian business thrives AVEVA Group, a well known provider of engineering lifecycle solutions to the plant, power and marine industries, reports that sales of its AVEVA NET Information Management solution have surged in Russia. The company gives some names of big Russian enterprises that have recently become AVEVA customers.
ASCON, the Largest Russian CAD/PLM Company, presented its 2009 results and plans for 2010. In 2009 the company attracted 650 new customers, while the overall number of the companies using ASCON solutions exceeded 5400. Sales reached 544.2 million Rubles (approx. $18 million); in comparison with 2008 the level of revenue decreased by 28%. On the whole, the company closed 2009 with operating profit and positive net profit margin. More details (in English) about ASCON report can be found in my blog.

As for reports in Russian, isicad.ru published detailed illustrated interviews with ASCON top managers: V.Zakharov, director of software development, and D.Osnatch, marketing director.

Autodesk changed the head of its Russian office. As everywhere globally, the key Autodesk action during the reported period was a release of its 2011 series. Autodesk Russia office kindly and timely provided isicad.ru with all necessary materials so that we could promptly publish overviews for Russian readers: on AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit. The first paper was reflected in my blog post: AutoCAD 2011: Marching to the Masses with 3D and a Pleasant Make-up.
Among other Autodesk-Russia news note that Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief has chosen Autodesk 3ds Max for building a full data base of 3D Geo models for Russian cartography, see my blog post.

A big Ukrainian gas company “UzhNIIGiproGas” has recently purchased 200 licenses of AutoCAD MEP after it decided to use the Autodesk solution instead of «Bentley PowerDraft».
Dassault Systemes and JSC AVTOVAZ officially confirmed successful implementation of DS CATIA software for designing new car models. AVTOVAZ, best known to the world for its LADA brand, is the leading car manufacturer in Russia. More than a quarter of the cars sold in Russia are manufactured by AVTOVAZ. Every year the company enriches its product line with new car models or modifications as well as with multiple new configurations of the existing ones. Despite the economic crisis, AVTOVAZ intends to continue renewing its product line.

(Note that in February 2008, AvtoVAZ and Renault signed a strategic partnership. The aim was to accelerate the growth of AvtoVAZ, to renew and expand its vehicle range, to develop the Lada brand in order to consolidate its leading position on the Russian market and finally to create value for the Renault group. According to “Auto-rumours” website, Avtovaz and Renault plan to produce five new joint models based on Logan; the web site reports that the management will be done by Nissan).
IRONCAD officially came to Russia. After 13-year existence of its 3D modeling system IronCAD LLC announced that “3D Industry group” would from now on be the first official IRONCAD reseller in Russia. The Russian website of 3D Industry group does not provide any information on the status and location of this reseller.

LEDAS announced RhinoDirect, a new plug-in that parametrically edits history-free 3D geometry in Rhinoceros, implemented (together with Open Design Alliance) parametric drawing tools compatible with the DWG 2010 file format, shipped LGS 3D v3 to take a major step towards full-scale variational direct modeling – technology that creates design intent by combining the simplicity of history-free geometric editing with the power of constraints, and added movie recording and localization to RhinoAssembly, the ultimate tool for assembly design and kinematic simulation of mechanisms downloaded by more than 5,000 Rhinoceros users worldwide.

Initially Nanosoft became sensationally known by its policy formulated as “Native Russian CAD-for-free instead of expensive CAD from abroad” (see for example Ralph Grabowski’s notes on his meeting with Nanosoft). This business direction is still pursued in a somewhat more realistic way but at the same time Nanosoft has step by step extended its policy based on patriotic slogans by becoming a distributor of ArchiCAD (a virtual building solution from Graphisoft) and Altium (CAD-for-radio electronics).

PTC also as Autodesk changed the head of their Russian office and during a couple weeks in April organized PTC Innovation Forum’10 in four big Russian cities: Moscow, St-Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk. PTC and its Russian business partners (Solver, Pro/Technologies, PTS, and IRISOFT) presented updates of PTC key products, explained company business approaches, and demonstrated successful applications including those in the space industry. The isicad photo galleries give impressions about forums in Moscow and Novosibirsk. It seems that PTC has a good potential to increase considerably its share on the Russian market: of course, the company has objectively interesting solutions but I believe that one of the factors is that after several years of relative silence today PTC is considered in Russia as somewhat fresh:).

SAP: Gazprom decided to pay SAP 80 000 000 Euros for its software. It’s not very clear to what extent the software is PLM related but Gazprom’s name and the amount of money make the deal worth mentioning.

Siemens PLM Software organized in late March its traditional Moscow Forum “Siemens PLM Connection 2010”. According to its organizers “the event was very successful, however, since it was intended especially for customers, no press-reports should not be expected”.


LEDAS Adds Movie Recording and Localization to RhinoAssembly

Today LEDAS announced version 1.1 of its RhinoAssembly plug-in module for Rhinoceros 3D which introduces the ability to record movies of animated 3D mechanisms, support for seven languages, integration with several Rhino commands, and general improvements in stability and performance.

See detailed sections
- New Features in RhinoAssembly v.1.1
- Availability and Price
- About RhinoAssembly, Driving Dimensions and LGS 3D
- About LEDAS
in today's press-release of LEDAS.

YouTube channel demonstrates LEDAS parametrization plug-ins

Based on its successful technological solutions - geometrical solvers LGS 2D and LGS 3D as well as its original technology of variational direct modelling LEDAS is building a Driving Dimensions (LDD) product line which aims at making advanced mechanical CAD technology available to all users of popular 3D software at an affordable price.

LDD-products have already been downloaded by ten thousands users from several dozen countries. One of the main products - LDD RhinoAssembly has been localized for six languages in addition to English.

Results of the LDD projects are best illustrated by video clips so LEDAS has just initiated a YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ledasgroup where you can see live versions of some pictures shown below:

See also today's press-release LEDAS Adds Movie Recording and Localization to RhinoAssembly .


Increasing interest in Russia to open source solutions

There are symptoms of increasing interest in Russia to open source solutions. I have recently mentioned this in Russian Parliament Promotes Domestic Linux. Now one more example: a conference «Russian Open Source Forum 2010» to be held on 25th June in Moscow.

The conference organized by VDEL – a Russian distributor of Red Hat – aims to discuss:
· How efficiently open source software (OSS) can satisfy the typical needs of Russian state and commercial organizations?
· The truth and myths around OSS: what are typical risks of deployment and how to minimize them? What are the final advantages?
· Business models of OSS: what are the real costs of free software?
· How to reasonably combine OSS with proprietary software?
· What are business advantages of OSS and how to justify a migration project?
· What is stopping open source in Russia?

The conference includes two sections: OSS for the state and OSS for the commercial sector. Among other topics, state section is going to discuss “Can global experience be applied for transition of Russian governmental offices to OSS?”, while one of the topics at the commercial section is “whether transition to OSS brings some visible cost savings”.

Well, open source and clouds (see Clouds in Russia) are perhaps the best way to overcome illegal software.

Source: http://events.cnews.ru/events/14_04_10.shtml (in Russian).


With LGS 3D v.3.0 LEDAS takes a major step towards full-scale variational direct modeling

Yesterday LEDAS announced the availability of version 3.0 of its LGS 3D geometric constraint solver. LGS 3D permits users to express their design intent through a combination of geometric constraints and driving dimensions.

Version 3.0 contains many improvements in stability and performance; as well, it implements new features requested by developers of history-free 3D geometry editing applications.

Version 3.0’s primary new feature is its ability to adjust the radii of circles, cylinders, and spheres automatically to satisfy constraints. This function allows users to modify fillets, blends, and round holes in their models parametrically. By default, the radii are fixed so that existing assembly design and kinematic simulation applications implemented with previous versions of LGS 3D continue to work as expected.

Version 3.0 of LGS 3D brings LEDAS significantly closer to the implemention of the company's strategic program announced in October 2008 in the white paper Variational Direct Modeling: How to Keep Design Intent in History-Free CAD.