Sunday, June 4, 2023

Interview with Carlo Poloni, President of ESTECO

We met Carlo Poloni, President of ESTECO, to learn more about how their technology helps engineers to capture the simulation process, generate data out of virtual models, interpret engineering data and define the metrics for informed decisions, with the goal of
designing better products, faster.

As virtual models are becoming the norm in all stages of product design, and the benefits of simulation are extended beyond the domain experts, the amount of data at the hands of engineers has grown exponentially. How can we ensure an effective decision-making process in this fast-changing environment?

First and foremost, the models and measurements used to make the decision must be reliable. The same goes for the process that generates them. In most cases, too much information is equivalent to no information. Being able to filter, synthesize and validate generated or
accessed data is a crucial part of any business process with a strong impact on the consequent decision. Engineering is not an exception. In this case, the complexity grows as the data might be generated not only from agnostic observations but also from physics-based numerical models that inherit half a century of research and validation activity. Effective management of the enormous quantities of simulation data makes all the difference when it comes to turning that data into actionable insights, which ultimately translate into more effective decisions earlier in the process.

Evolving an idea into a product is a collaborative task that needs the contribution of many specializations cultivated by different people and teams. How can ESTECO technology help break silos among engineering departments?

While in the past the dialogue between teams was based on requirement satisfaction, the future will offer the opportunity to share predictive models capable of identifying what can be achieved at which cost. Also, there is a cultural (and organizational) shift to be made: parametric models should be built upfront and subsequently maintained to allow the following design adaptations to be evaluated almost in real-time, leveraging the highest competencies encapsulated in the predictive models. Our simulation data management technology is already designed for real-time collaboration among cross-functional teams. It allows you to safely capture, version and share interdisciplinary engineering knowledge across the enterprise. Engineering teams can then successfully take a step towards the digital twin vision by bringing simulation data and processes in their product development management system. And this is where our VOLTA innovative
enterprise platform for Simulation Process and Data Management (SPDM) and design optimization comes into play. It enables organizations to take full control of the engineering design process from simulation workflows to high-level business decisions.

The adoption of accepted standard process representation is fundamental to guarantee interoperability between different systems. How does ESTECO Technology respond to these challenges?

Products are of multidisciplinary nature by definition, so it is necessary that each specialistic area represents their process in a way that others can understand and execute. Our technology supports the Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) and Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) standards to enhance integration and to facilitate enterprise-wide collaboration. This enables people to take advantage of software interoperability and connect with multiple tools. Standardization and integration are also key to making the engineering process a collaborative enterprise experience, enabling effective data management and sharing. We also want our technology to reach non-expert users, with the intention of spreading the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools within the company.

AI and machine learning are at the heart of your optimization-driven design approach. Can you tell us a bit about how this approach allows for a dramatic reduction of time-to-market and development costs?

Traditional engineering design based on trial and error implies a time-consuming and costly method of manually conducting simulations until the optimal solution is found. Optimization technology to autonomously explore and select promising configurations is
essential in limiting the search of the design solution to a focused area of interest, maintaining the efficiency of the design process. Our 20+ years of experience in numerical methods allows us to continuously deliver intelligent and autonomous algorithms to handle hundreds of design parameters simultaneously, balance complex tradeoffs and quickly identify a set of optimal solutions, even for the most elaborate and constrained design problems.

Talking about unlimited computing resources (Cloud-HPC) and consequently issues of data sharing and protection, which is your opinion about this current trend in the simulation market?

Nowadays, nearly unlimited computing resources are available through cloud computing and the available data centers can adapt to the need for resources. Still, some issues with software licenses and related costs may limit in practice the number of parallel instances being executed. Last but not least, security and system resilience to support large ecosystems are of key importance for efficient and effective decision-making in the digital world. Engineering organizations need to be able to share knowledge in real-time breaking silos both across departments and geographically. But they also must protect their intellectual property according to the highest security standards. Allowing for role-based tiered access to company knowledge in a secure web-based environment enables for a more efficient collaboration throughout the design process.

With regard to the Indian market, which is the current plan of ESTECO there?

ESTECO started in India almost 10 years ago and now we have established a good customer base. Though we initially attracted larger companies in the Automotive industry, now Indian Aerospace and Defense companies are using our MDO platform – modeFRONTIER. In the ever-changing technology arena, collaboration and democratization have become key, so our customers are starting to see the great
potential of a collaborative SPDM platform like VOLTA, to support simulation data management, automation and optimal usage of MDO. Our idea is to provide a holistic and comprehensive framework that will not only support MDO processes but also help manage the entire flow of data. Democratizing the decision-making process allows companies to leverage their investments and maximize benefits, as they can easily experience with VOLTA. From a software development point of view, our Indian office supports our global teams for development as well as testing routines. We have invested substantially also in the customer support and training activities in India so as to impart the latest knowledge and best practices to our customers worldwide. We foresee to continue adding to our headcount in India and expand our development as well as technical support in the coming years.

The ESTECO International Users’ Meeting will take place on 29-30 June 2022, what can we expect from this year’s edition?

Our Users’ Meeting in 2022 will be an online event only. We expect a broader audience to attend and learn more about how companies such as Arrival, General Atomics, Nihon Sekkei, Volvo, Ford Motor Company and many more employ VOLTA and modeFRONTIER software to solve their engineering simulation challenges. Our rich agenda this year also counts several speakers from important Indian companies like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra and the online choice makes it an event available no matter the timezone.
Please join us on the 29th and 30th of June.
Registrations for the event are still open at this link.

I would like to thank Mr. Carlo Poloni for taking the time to answer my questions. If you have any questions for Mr. Carlo/ESTECO or for DailyCADCAM, please leave a comment below or mail me on and we will be glad to answer.

Sachin R Nalawade
Sachin R Nalawade
Founder and Editor DailyCADCAM. A highly-driven astute professional and avid marketer; equipped with a solid foundation in Academia; Manufacturing, CAD, CAM, CAE industry and Implementing Marketing Initiatives for Global Brands (All Design Software and Hardware Vendors).
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