May 12, 2008, DENVER, CO (ESPRIT World Conference 2008) Walking into ESPRIT's user conference, I feel like Christopher Columbus, having discovered a new land --never mind all the natives who seem to have preceded me. The natives number 325 at this annual event, by DP Technology estimates, and that includes resellers and DP employees.
The DP in DP Technologies stands for Dan and Paul, a kind of homey start for what is now a multi million dollar software giant that vies with CNC Software (of Mastercam fame) for the lead in US CAM market. (Gibbs is the other home grown product, but as it has been bought by an Israel's Cimatron, we can conveniently not count it).
"It's a fractured market," explains Chuck Mathews, DP's VP of Marketing and R&D. Chuck sees ESPRIT as a leader among independant CAM vendors. The CAM market is split 3 ways: independent CAM vendors (like DP), integrated CAD/CM vendors (PTC, Siemens, Dassault) and strict NC adherents who program directly into their CNC machines. Who is leading depends how you slice and dice the data. Though one research firm does claim to sort out the billion dollar CAM market, (CIMdata) with an annual ranking, Chuck doesn't see their numbers as gospel as their rankings are based on unaudited data. What about Missler? Not much US penetration, says Chuck. Delcam? Big into molds, still not much US penetration -- except what they have done with acquisition.
I was hoping to bring back some news about ESPRIT 2009 but that won't be released til Q4 of this year. But a glimpse of it promised it to be an absolute whiz at 5 axis machining. In fact, Dan Frayssinet, CEO (the D in DP) says it made him fall in love with CAM software all over again, despite a 5 year absence of hands on practice.
I am now far better educated in CAM and DP Technology than before, with several misconceptions of ESPRIT now put to rest. I had thought this was a French company, first of all but it had been founded in US and is headquartered in Camarillo, CA. The founders were French, hence the name ESPRIT (French for liveliness and spiritedness, as in esprit de corps). And it took seeing the logo on the big screen to see that the spiraly thing was actaully a metal chip.
Sheesh, I've got to get out more.