Francis Bernard, the Founder of DS and Inventor of CATIA

In my life I was fortunate to have quite close acquaintance with several really outstanding persons. In most cases when it's about mathematics and computer science, my references would not be very convincing for the readers of this blog. Francis Bernard is likely also not a popular guy among today's young engineers who discuss their everyday problems in technical forums or in Facebook. However, the keywords are so obvious and even surprising: Francis is just a co-founder of Dassault Systemes and just the inventor of CATIA.

A reason for this post was yesterday's publication of a very interesting and detailed article "The Dassault Systemes Success Story" written by Francis - as far as I can understand - in particular thanks to the request from Deelip Menezes who has put the article in his blog which guarantees a broad enough access to the memoirs in question. Francis was very kind to simultaniously permit this publication also at isicad.net and I am proud to see his article here as well. (see also a Russian translation). Few introductory words to this isicad.net publication say: Francis Bernard is well known in Russia as the founder and first director of the office of Dassault Systems Russia. Francis have had a great personal influence on the dissemination of ideas of PLM in the Russian market. This professional and human influence was also implemented in Siberia where Francis actively participated in three isicad forums: 2004, 2006, and 2008.

When we speak about such persons, intelligence goes without saying. But above this, Francis makes me think about unique human qualities of intelligentsia in the old Russian meaning of the word...


A More or Less Optimistic Update on BIM

As promised in my previous post A Hot Discussion around BIM at isicad.ru, yesterday, isicad.net published in English a rather detailed summary of the isicad.ru-BIM-discussion. The English article was written by one of the active disputants - Alexander Bausk, a practical and qualified actor of the AEC-BIM market from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.

In his publication which contains several sections (A Doubt to Begin with, A Less Optimistic Definition of BIM, Update on BIM: the Complexity Challenge, Where do we go with BIM) Alexander not only gives an overview of seven related articles and many dozens of related comments but presents his own viewpoint on the subject.

I recommend to read A More or Less Optimistic Update on BIM by A.Bausk and invite English-language readers to join the isicad-BIM-discussion.


A Hot Discussion around BIM at isicad.ru

This discussion was initiated by the article Revolutions in Design published in late September. Alexander Yampolsky, a practical and experienced engineer from Tula, a city close to Moscow, argued that collaborative work at integrated 3D-model is something unpractical for real-life AEC or at least premature. By today, the article got 40+ comments - most of them substantial and profound. People explained that BIM is today already broadly applied, that one should not consider BIM as artificial intelligence, compared BIM with PLM, gave some examples of successful approaches and technologies from MCAD that is hardly a more simple domain than AEC.

The discussion promptly continued by a series of bright and very well illustrated articles by Vladimir Talapov, a professor of Novosibirsk AEC University who is known as a strong supporter and practical promoter of BIM:
BIM is actually Based on Whale (related to Frank Gehry’s sculpture of whale constructed in 1992 in Barcelona).

These articles provoked a not less stream of comments (about 50) than that of the article of A.Yampolsky – mostly supporting BIM but not always and not completely. One of the discussion lines was whether and why people today often identify BIM with Revit and Autodesk.

The Talapov’s series was followed by an article of Alexander Bausk from Ukraine entitled A less Optimistic Viewpoint at BIM in which a somewhat balanced opinion is presented.

At last (but not finally) isicad.ru published an article of Vladimir Malukh How MCAD is Used in AEC. Vladimir gives illustrated examples of how CATIA, SolidWorks, Pro/Engineer, Inventor, and KOMPAS-3D are fruitfully used in some serious industrial AEC projects. I believe that far beyond such examples AEC could adopt a lot from both design project decomposition and collaborative integration that by today are well developed and became common in MCAD. I would not be surprised to know about a profound isomorphism between design phases in MCAD and similar design actions directly or indirectly are or should be applied in AEC. To say nothing about a more or less recognized correspondence between BIM and PLM.

Note also that most of the people that contributed into the BIM discussion are professionals working in the domain for a long time. Also, it is worth noting that according to Google Analytics most of the recent isicad articles on BIM attracted a record number of the web site visitors.

Those who can read Russian or trust automatic translations can take a look at the above mentioned links. On the other hand, Alexander Bausk who, above all, contributed the AEC-BIM working group at COFES-Russia by his synchronous translation, plans to write for isicad.net a summary of our BIM discussion in English.

The picture above was originally drawn by children from a Russian orphanage, then was reconstructed in a Revit model, 3D-printed in Moscow by Consistent Software Distribution, and at last presented to the children who made the picture. NB: besides Revit, it obviously could be modelled in many other systems!:).


Oleg Shilovitsky unveils his Inforbix to arrange and maintain mixtures of chaotic product data

Thanks to my Siberian time difference I have an unusual chance to publish this news before Deelip Menezes:). And probably - before Oleg himself.

The new company is Inforbix.

Note that
- Oleg have been working for 10+ as a key technological specialist at DS/Smarteam,
- approximately the same competence has Vadik Vaksin - the chief developer of a new company,
- Oleg's co-founder is Anatoly Savin - a very experienced expert and businessman,
- among the advisors we can see Brad Holtz.

Therefore probably we will not wait 20 years:) to see a revolution in processing of product data.

Well, I invested all available early morning resources into my more or less detailed Russian post. here I just want to congratulate Oleg, his partners, and (future) customers.

This is a summary Oleg gave to me:

"1. Product data are located in many "data sources" in an organization (CAD files, Excel, databases, enterprise systems-PLM, ERP,CRM...)
2. Product data belongs to different "functional domains" - sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, support etc.
3. We want to provide an easy way to retrieve product data in a meaningful way, which means:

-- combine pieces of information coming from multiple places
-- search across multiple data sources
-- allows navigation between connected pieces of data (i.e. 3D CAD, Excel with BOM, 2D drawing in manufacturing, emailmentioning, BOM in PLM, sales order, support request in CRM)
-- allow slice & dice data in different forms - mashup data (i.e tables).

Our current phase is "design partnership". We work with design partners. For the moment, we are not saying names. We plan to provide this information later. We are looking for additional design partners (there is a form to submit on the website). We have few candidates inthe pipeline. The next phase will be a beta version. You can mention that system will be available first on cloud with additional components installed inside of company network.

We want to avoid two potential misinterpretation of what we do:
- This is NOT yet another "search system"
- This is NOT yet another "PLM"

PLM Think Tank and Beyond PLM will continue to be industry blogs completely independent of Inforbix and everything I will write on Beyond PLM / PLM Think Tank is my opinion and not represents my employment in Inforbix".