(Quebec) The software development company InnovMetric has established itself over the years as one of the world leaders in 3D measurement, while its digital solutions are used by the 100 largest manufacturers in the world and that it has more 20,000 customers in all industrial sectors. Its CEO, Marc Soucy, explains how his innovation PolyWorks DataLoop allows companies to complete their digital transformation.
Founded in 1994, the Quebec company InnovMetric took off in the early 2000s when the automaker Toyota was the first major manufacturer to massively adopt its 3D measurement solutions to test the various parts of its car models.
“We grew up with the market,” observes Marc Soucy. We created the 3D modeling software PolyWorks which was first selected by Toyota. We then sold them 150 licenses and today they have more than 1000. Toyota is still our biggest customer. »
But the PolyWorks 3D measurement software was quickly adopted by other automotive manufacturers. All manufacturers in the world use the PolyWorks platform to test their parts in 3D measurement.
“We use our software at all stages of production, from prototyping to engineering and product development, all the way to the factory floor. We take 3D measurements until the final inspection of the product, “says the CEO.
To date, InnovMetric has sold over 40,000 licenses of its PolyWorks software to manufacturing companies that make goods as diverse as appliances, computers, phones, turbines, wind turbines, airplanes, electric vehicle batteries …
“Alone, the world’s eight largest automakers use 4,500 of our software. All the major players in aeronautics, Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, Pratt
InnovMetric, which employs 250 people, is headquartered in Quebec City, but the company has a second software development center in Puebla, Mexico, the result of an acquisition made in 2018.
The company has just opened a new technical support center in Poland after having opened one in the Czech Republic. Wherever there is a significant presence of manufacturing companies, InnovMetric is there to support its customers.
“In the Czech Republic, we have more than 700 customers and we have more than 400 in Poland. We must be able to support them in their language, in particular to carry out the various updates of our software, we are constantly doing development, “says the CEO.
For five years, InnovMetric has developed a new tool, the PolyWorks DataLoop, which allows companies to complete the loop of their digital transformation.
“We developed this new tool at the request of appliance giant GE Appliance. Like most manufacturing groups, GE had several devices for making 3D measurements, but the information generated by each of them was collected by hand, on a hard disk or on a USB key.
“It took us four years to develop software that allows free access to the information generated by the various measuring devices. All departments can have real-time access to data, there is no longer any need to wait for it to be transmitted. Excel software can communicate with design and manufacturing software, which is a huge productivity gain for companies,” emphasizes Marc Soucy.
All manufacturing companies must use several digital solutions, and the PolyWorks DataLoop allows them to communicate with each other. A Japanese user of this new tool estimates that he has reduced his measurement time by 45%, which allows for better utilization of manpower.
To date, InnovMetric has sold 150 licenses of this new digital tool, but the company anticipates growing interest from manufacturers in it. GM, Honda, Bombardier, Embraer and Volkswagen are among the companies that have decided to use this instrument.
“I just came in from meeting at the GE Appliances Digital Summit and they were excited about this innovation. This new software will generate additional growth for us in the coming years,” said Marc Soucy.
At the same time, however, PolyWorks 3D measurement software continues to grow, as evidenced by the 1,500 new customers that have been added over the past year.
InnovMetric sells directly to large manufacturers, but also has their first and second tier suppliers as customers. Their parts must comply with the client’s specifications.
“More and more SMEs with 50 or 100 employees are using our tools because we allow them to increase their productivity. We can sell only one license per company, but it can make a difference for them.
“Digital transformation is important, but many are afraid of it. People think it’s too big. You can’t change everything overnight, you have to go step by step and integrate new technologies gradually, “suggests Marc Soucy.