Blog post

The journey to zero lead-time in product design with collaborative digital engineering solutions

Written by Alessandro Viola

December 20, 2023 · 5 min read

ESTECO Users' Meeting North America 2023

Zero lead-time was one of the key topics at the 8th biennial edition of ESTECO Users’ Meeting North America held in Plymouth, MI in October. This year’s event was particularly special as it marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the ESTECO North America office. Over 100 ESTECO software users and technical managers had the opportunity to learn how industry giants like EATON, Cummins, Honda, SLB, and Lockheed Martin have been using ESTECO VOLTA and modeFRONTIER to enable their engineering teams to collaboratively optimize product designs, make faster decisions and reduce time-to-market for products.

ESTECO Users' Meeting North America 2023

Key takeaways from the ESTECO Users' Meeting North America 2023

Jason Carroll, Vice President of Global Technology at Eaton Corporation discussed how to enable machines to design the products of the future by embracing zero-lead engineering approach. This refers to the ability to create a culture around simulation tool sets where you can do engineering at a rapid speed, going from months to minutes in terms of product design while maintaining quality and accelerating time-to-market. As part of their journey to “Zero-Lead Time” engineering, they globally deployed ESTECO VOLTA and modeFRONTIER to enable AI-driven design and process automation. With our software solutions, they orchestrated data and physics-informed AI models to automate and optimize the design of EV gears and reduce design time by 65%.

In light of Cummins’ Destination Zero strategy, Kevin Brittain, Technology & Architecture Manager, clarified that using simulation-based insights will be a critical enabler for understanding the potential paths of achieving decarbonization goals. With the VOLTA digital engineering platform, they put in place a collaborative Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) framework to enhance decision-making across the product lifecycle. Since cross-functional work becomes more and more model-based which needs to be codified, VOLTA’s Business Process Management (BPM) capabilities will help them to move from a static document-based approach to an interactive business workflow dashboard, bringing technical, finance and marketing/product planning function into the loop of the design process.

Another key highlight of the event was the unveiling of updates and future plans for our modeFRONTIER and VOLTA software solutions. modeFRONTIER adds API capabilities for exchanging data between Python interpreters and modeFRONTIER design space environment. VOLTA will bring your digital thread to life by providing standard and configurable connectors to integrate with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems.

Lockheed Martin, Eaton, SLB, Cummins and Ford Motor Company discuss their value-driven partnerships with ESTECO

The event provided the invaluable opportunity to connect with some of our major clients. These interactions provided deep insights into how our technology is perceived and used in the industry. We were delighted to learn that our VOLTA and modeFRONTIER software solutions are making a significant impact in their simulation-driven design and digital engineering initiatives.

Daryn Decker, Full Stack Engineer, Sr. Staff Solution Engineering & Administration at Lockheed Martin Corporation pointed out that “one of the reasons we chose ESTECO VOLTA is its container-based deployment approach. This allows us to be more adaptable by multiple programs across a variety of infrastructures and platforms that we have to integrate with. VOLTA fits nicely into our ability to be able to support our customers regardless of the environment they work in. ESTECO has really become a true partner and helps us to iterate quickly and deliver results to the customers.”

EATON: zero lead-time with digital engineering solutions

"ESTECO software (VOLTA) is the core solution that orchestrates everything Eaton does in the digital design space around the world", according to Jason Carroll, Vice President of Global Technology at Eaton Corporation. He also stated that ESTECO really helped them bring the software to Eaton, getting their user base trained and "making it usable even to a more broader set of design problems that we’re trying to solve in the electromechanical space."

SLB: daily engagement with ESTECO support and application engineering team

“It has been very interesting to observe the daily engagement between ESTECO and the SLB modeling and simulation engineers over the years", according to Laurent Alteirac, Enabling Technology Manager at SLB. "The partnership and training provided by the ESTECO team was a key for one of our research centers where we deployed and heavily used modeFRONTIER and VOLTA to develop one product line of tools which are now manufactured and commercialized. Now, we’re looking to scale up the use of ESTECO software solutions and see how they can make an impact on different product lines.”

Cummins: employing VOLTA business process management capabilities across the company

Bob Tickel, Director, Structural & Dynamic Analysis at Cummins emphasized the high value of their partnership with ESTECO. “We work with a lot of software vendors, but few are partners, and ESTECO is clearly a valued partner for us. What makes ESTECO stand out is the independent nature of their business and the ability to work with lots of different software vendors to help make those connections seamless and easy for us. Also, we find really strong collaboration and excellent communication with the ESTECO support and application engineering team. What’s phenomenal is the support we get day-to-day, just one call away or on-site when needed. A lot of times we look at someone of ESTECO like another Cummins resource who can help us develop and grow in our capabilities. Now, as we do that more broadly across the company, we are developing skills to use ESTECO VOLTA and its Business Process Management (BPM) technology. We know we’ve got a place we can go to get help and support anytime, anywhere around the globe.”

Ford Motor Company: managing vehicle architecture competing attributes in the modeFRONTIER workflow

“Vehicle architecture brings together many competing attributes like appearance, performance, range and vehicle dynamics. This includes a lot of interaction and collaboration with many teams in different departments. Our partnership with ESTECO has been really beneficial when it comes to collaborating with those groups” said Bill Dowling, Technical Expert Vehicle Architecture & Attribute Synthesis at Ford Motor Company. "ESTECO software like modeFRONTIER and VOLTA enable us to to take the tools from the experts in vehicle dynamics, range or performance, and integrate them into a modeFRONTIER simulation workflow. This allows us to develop a project that expresses the interaction between all of those competing attributes very clearly to the decision making team. As well, we established a great working and collaborative partnership with the ESTECO support and application team. To mention just one example, they worked with a group of our engineers to develop an integrated package tool that we never thought could be automated or manipulated with modeFRONTIER.”

Our next ESTECO Users' Meeting North America will take place in 2025 and we look forward to continuing our digital engineering journey together. Meanwhile, if you want to get access to the proceedings and learn more about other customer presentations like Lockheed Martin Space, Medtronic, SLB, Polaris, please contact us at marketing@esteco.com.

Alessandro Viola
Alessandro Viola
Alessandro Viola
Alessandro Viola

Alessandro Viola is a Product Marketing Specialist at ESTECO. He graduated with a Master of Science in Business Administration and Strategic Control from the University of Trieste. Prior to joining ESTECO in 2016, he worked for a consulting company that assists companies to access business opportunities in the Central and Eastern European markets. He also was part of a start-up founding team, based in Brussels (Belgium), focused on providing an innovative e-learning platform and training for European project stakeholders.

Alessandro Viola is a Product Marketing Specialist at ESTECO. He graduated with a Master of Science in Business Administration and Strategic Control from the University of Trieste. Prior to joining ESTECO in 2016, he worked for a consulting company that assists companies to access business opportunities in the Central and Eastern European markets. He also was part of a start-up founding team, based in Brussels (Belgium), focused on providing an innovative e-learning platform and training for European project stakeholders.

Enabling the digital thread with VOLTA SPDM

Overcome silos and make the best of simulation-driven product development.

Enabling the digital thread with VOLTA SPDM

Overcome silos and make the best of simulation-driven product development.

Read eBook

Enabling the digital thread with VOLTA SPDM

Overcome silos and make the best of simulation-driven product development.

Read eBook