Featured Image

La Bonne Vie: 40 Years and Going Strong

We recently spoke with Paul Ricard, co-founder and president of DP Technology Corp. about his career, the growth of the company, and its recent acquisition by Hexagon AB. DP Technology is a leading developer of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)...
by AMT
Jan 20, 2021

We recently spoke with Paul Ricard, co-founder and president of DP Technology Corp. about his career, the growth of the company, and its recent acquisition by Hexagon AB. DP Technology is a leading developer of computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software for CNC programming, optimization, and simulation that supports the entire manufacturing process. 

Paul Ricard was born and raised in France, where he received a master's degree in engineering and discovered his passion for programming. After engineering school, he began a one-year internship at a software company that asked if he would like to work on a two-year assignment at their branch office in Chicago. He’d never been to the United States before but accepted the offer and flew to Chicago with a one-way ticket. This was 40 years ago in 1980. 

In Chicago, Ricard met Dan Frayssinet, also an engineer from France, who later became his business partner and the co-founder of DP Technology. They founded DP Technology in 1982, and promptly moved to Southern California to escape the cold Chicago winters. 

“Starting the company let me combine my passion for software development, my engineering background, and my desire to be in business for myself. It was the perfect combination,” said Ricard. “It seemed like a no-loss proposition to Dan and me. We’d put all our efforts into developing our product, and if we were not successful, we'd pack up and go back to France and find jobs there.” 

The rest is history because DP Technology did make it and grew to become a global CAM software company. 

In its early days, DP Technology focused largely on wire EDM machine tools, a small niche market that allowed them to grow steadily. They expanded into milling and turning, and by the early 2000s, started working with multitasking machines, an area of the market that was about to explode. 

We asked Ricard how he has defined success along the way, and at what point he felt that DP Technology had “made it.”

“The way I looked at business and the growth of the company, I never really felt that we’d ‘made it’. I'm a bit relentless when it comes to business, and always saw ways to improve the product, to bring the company to the next level of growth, to make the organization stronger, and to acquire another customer. I tend to view business a little bit like a game with no ending, because I love to play that game,” said Ricard. 

That said, in 2008, DP Technology signed a major five-year contract with Japanese machine tool company Mori Seiki (now DMG MORI) to ship a license of their ESPRIT software with every mid-range and high-end Mori Seiki machine, and it opened the door to working with other large machine tool builders such as Mazak, Okuma, and Citizen. Name and brand recognition increased exponentially after that. Company growth really took off, and DP Technology made several strategic acquisitions to complement and expand their offerings; staff grew, and the company increased investment in software development. 

Knowing what you now know about business, what, if anything, would you have done differently regarding company strategy or products? 

“Perhaps our biggest fault, but also our biggest strength, is that Dan and I are both engineers at heart, so we love to solve problems to meet customers’ needs. We've always focused on developing products that provide better solutions than anything else on the market. But the flip side of this is that because we love to solve problems, we were always eager to move onto the next problem, the next challenge. In retrospect, I think we could have spent more time and resources marketing existing products and solutions to a broader customer base. But I don’t have regrets; we have been very successful,” said Ricard. 

Hexagon AB, headquartered in Sweden, is a large multinational with multiple divisions that recently acquired DP Technology. As a result, DP Technology joined manufacturing intelligence, Hexagon’s largest division, which boasts approximately $1.5 billion in sales and 8,000 employees. 

What changes can we look forward to, given the acquisition by Hexagon? 

Ricard said, “I see this as very positive for our customers for many reasons. We have the strength and financial backing of a large multinational company from the product development point of view, and given Hexagon’s global reach, ESPRIT usage will expand in manufacturing facilities around the world. ESPRIT customers will also have access to Hexagon’s suite of integrated products. There's true synergy between our companies and products, so both companies stand to benefit. Lastly, employees will have more opportunities for growth working for a larger company.” 

Recent technology News
Apple, like Thomas Edison, has essentially created a business model in which they take the ideas of others (like almost every iteration of the light bulb), take credit, and get away with it.
Discover how MTConnect bridges the innovation lag between consumer tech and manufacturing. As a unifying open-source standard, MTConnect streamlines machine communications and fuels emerging tools like digital twins.
For once, history is useful. Hope we are not still paying for that. Is faster better? Printing the big stuff. Barriers to tech adoption.
Do you have a plan to prevent malware from infecting your computer system? Would you plug a random USB into a machine? Find out how to address these issues by watching Season 2 Episode 1 of “Smart(er) Shop,” an IMTS+ Original Series.
One of the biggest threats to a company’s cybersecurity is its employees. Promoting cybersecurity means focusing on reducing human error and promoting cyber hygiene.
Similar News
Featured Image
By Kathy Keyes Webster | Aug 08, 2019

With more than 36,000 manufacturing firms employing 1.3 million people, California is among the fastest-growing manufacturing regions in the United States. Los Angeles has been home to WESTEC for the past few decades....

3 min
Featured Image
By Amber Thomas | Mar 05, 2019

The Arthur G. Russell Company, Inc. (AGR), a provider of state-of-the-art automatic assembly equipment, announced that it has launched a new logo to better reflect the company's vision for the future ...

3 min
By Amber Thomas | Jan 30, 2019

Tom Sheridan has been promoted to President of Royal Products. He has been with Royal for 28 years. He has risen through the ranks within the company from Applications Engineer, Design Engineer, Director of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of...

3 min