Chris Wilkes, President & CEO of Sigmetrix interviewed at SOLIDWORKS World 2016

Sanjay Gangal of MCADCafe sits down with Chris Wilkes and discusses the history of Sigmetrix, the capabilities of CETOL 6σ software and what differentiates it in the marketplace, as well as the industry trend towards Model-Based Definition. He also asks the question we are all wondering — “what’s with the golden outfit and the hat?” Watch the video to learn the answer.


chris-gold-jacketSanjay: Hi there Sanjay Gangal from MCADCafé and I am here with Chris Wilkes, President and CEO of Sigmetrix. Hello Chris.

Chris: Hello.

Sanjay: Chris, how is the show been going for you?

Chris: It’s been a great show so far. We’re happy to be here, this is our 10th time to be at the SOLIDWORKS World show so we’re excited about it.Sanjay: That’s great! Tell us briefly about Sigmetix.

Chris: Ok, Sigmetrix was started about 23-24 years ago as a division of Texas Instruments in the advanced weapons systems group, the forward looking infrared radar. That group was then spun off to Raytheon and then we became a standalone company. Texas Instruments partnered with Bingham Young University Mechanical Engineering to develop a tolerance analysis software package. So they needed something that was very precise in order to manage the optics that were involved and so between the two they created what was back then called TITOL and then when we spun out it’s now called CETOL and it’s for for advanced tolerance analysis.Sanjay: Ok, and what is with your golden outfit, and the hat?

Chris: Ok, so the show is in Dallas, and we are headquartered in the Dallas area, so the hat is actually a normal part of what I do wear from time to time. But the gold jacket, and the gold boots that you can’t see on camera here, is something they dressed me in because we just got awarded the gold level integration with SOLIDWORKS and we’re really excited about that. Three to four days ago we did a press release announcing that we were now gold level certified with SOLIDWORKS and so we are dressed in gold and giving away gold coins, chocolate gold coins, and our entire booth is done in gold so we can celebrate this fairly big accomplishment.

Sanjay: Congratulations.

Chris: Thank you very much.

Sanjay: Tell us about your software product.

Chris: So the software product is about tolerance analysis, and for those people that are less familiar with tolerance analysis think about whenever you develop a design of course everything is perfect. But at some point you need to make that design, you need to go into manufacturing and you’re going to tell manufacturing, “I want this surface flat,” and they are going to say “ok, how flat?” “What do you mean how flat? You gotta give me a little bit on each side, how flat can I get?” So that’s a variation. Well what our software does is analyze all those different variations that manufacturing is allowed to have and then determines if this product is still going to work.  Now if you’re making something like a table it’s not a big deal, but if you’re making a car engine or making a Rolex watch or if you’re making medical devices, which are very common at this show here, it is important that the product work all the time, so our software is used to do the analyses and make sure they have a robust design that can be manufactured time and time again.

Sanjay: Are you primarily looking at the design itself or the manufacturing process that is going to be used to manufacture the design?

Chris: So we integrate directly into SOLIDWORKS, so when they have a SOLIDWORKS model we’re pulling all the data from the SOLIDWORKS model and analyzing it there. Their manufacturing processes come into play when they’re determining what type of tolerances they can hold. So we might tell them, “you need to tighten the tolerance over here,” and they are going to tell us “ok, well, that’s a million dollars to change to that particular equipment; let’s go for our second option that I can tighten.” So we’ll let them take a look at that one, and they can do that all within the software as we are interacting directly with the model that’s in SOLIDWORKS.

Sanjay: What makes your product unique and differentiated in the market?

Chris: Well ours is some very precise mathematics. So when Texas Instruments partnered with BYU to create the software they did so on a mathematical basis. You know, another way you can do tolerance analysis is something called Monte Carlo. You could just randomly move things around and get a nice distribution curve, and that works ok, but it’s not as precise. So a good example would be I could toss a coin ten thousand times to determine that the odds are 50/50 but it wouldn’t be exactly 50/50 or I could just do one divided by two. So if you know the math you don’t need to do Monte Carlo analysis, you can have a precise answer. Making our product very fast because it’s a direct solver for the mathematics as well as more accurate.

Sanjay: Ok and what are the latest industry trends you are seeing?

Chris: We’re seeing a lot of companies moving more and more to model-based definition, and so MBD is a big push at this show for SOLIDWORKS and it’s something that we are fully embracing because the increase use of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T). At some point the GD&T is needed to communicate properly to manufacturing how you want to build something, but the ‘T’, being the tolerance value needs to be computed properly. So the big push in the industry for MBD is something we are not just embracing but we believe we are helping lead that industry in order to have more robust design.

Sanjay: Ok and how can people find out more about Sigmetrix on the internet?

Chris: So of course they can follow us on Twitter, they can see us on our website at and they can just google Sigmetrix or CETOL and they will find us.

Sanjay: Check out for a lot more information about Sigmetrix products. Thank you very much Chris for coming over and talk to us, have a great show.

Chris: Thank you very much.