Exhibitor interview: SIMCON
In the latest exhibitor interview, we spoke to Dr. Bastiaan Oud, Head of Strategy at SIMCON.
SIMCON provide simulation solutions for plastic injection molding part and mold design, as well as injection parameter optimization. They have been helping customers solve their toughest injection molding challenges for more than 30 years now. SIMCON software is engineered in Germany, and they have extensive experience with many of the the most quality- and cost-obsessed customers on the planet. They have begun to internationalize and expand operations to Asia, and now they are also entering the US market.
What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?
Our solutions are designed to help customers get better part, mold and parameter designs, faster. For this purpose, our simulation engine is optimized for speed, and for exploration of many design options in parallel. You can easily simulate 10 or more simulation variants concurrently with our software and still get same-day or next-day results (depending on your hardware). You also find better solutions. For example, a large tier 1 supplier who recently upgraded from trial-and-error simulation to our variant analysis software was able to cut more than 7 weeks out of their average time to market for new parts, because the new designs were just first-time-right more often.
Are there any new technology developments that your company is working on at the moment?
Machine setters and metrology engineers are typically first involved during try-outs. That’s too late, because by then, if you realize something’s wrong, it’s expensive to fix. So, we’ve created compatibility with metrology software. You can export warped part geometries to metrology software. This way, metrology can design their measurement plans and provide feedback before the mold is built. We’ve also developed compatibility with several kinds of injection molding machines. You can send simulation-optimized parameters to the machine with nothing lost in translation. Finally, we’re always working to further expand our speed advantage. From version 14 to 15 alone, simulation speed has increased by about 50%. Our next version will be even faster!
What are the biggest challenges facing the injection molding industry today, and how can this be overcome?
The most immediate challenge facing the industry right now is obviously exploding energy and material prices – initially due to catch-up effects after the receding impact of the pandemic, and now due to the war in Ukraine and geopolitics. With our simulation tools, we can help customers explore feasibility with alternate materials and design parts that require less energy and less material, through lightweighting, reduced wall thicknesses, foaming, etc. But beyond the immediate price pressures, we will need to work on sustainability. We need to design parts that are built with the entire product lifecycle in mind. We need to work more with recycled materials and build parts that are themselves recyclable. Our software helps customers to achieve that.
How do you see the sector developing in the next five to ten years?
We believe that agility is key to success. You need to be able to adapt faster than the competition, when materials become unavailable or prices or exchange rates shift unexpectedly, or when new regulation forces change, or when customers quickly need to modify part designs to adapt. This requires agility not just on the business side, but also on the technical innovation side. You need to be able to (re-)design parts and molds, faster. We think working with the right kind of software is a big enabler for agility. It needs to help you to very quickly explore many alternative designs, so that you can explore your options quickly, when requirements change. But it’s more than that. It takes a mindset, the right culture and way of working.
You are exhibiting at the Injection Molding and Design Expo, what are you most looking forward to?
We’re excited to meet our customers face to face. It’s great that we have video call technology, but it’s just better to meet in person. You connect in a different way. We’re excited to show people the new stuff that we’ve been working on. We really invested a lot into our products in the past few years and it’s really become something different, new and exciting. We can’t wait to show and tell! We also think it’s a great platform to listen. The industry is facing a lot of change, and we like to stay very close to our customers to see how their needs evolve. We’re successful only if they are successful, and we want to do our part to help them succeed.
SIMCON will be exhibiting at Injection Molding and Design Expo 2022.