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Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »
MCADCafe Weekly (11/8/2012): Siemens PLM Software Acquiring LMS
November 8th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe
Siemens is expanding its portfolio of industry software by acquiring LMS International NV (Leuven, Belgium), a leading provider of test and mechatronic simulation software including model-based systems engineering to the automotive, aerospace and other advanced manufacturing industries. With this acquisition, Siemens will become the first product lifecycle management (PLM) software company to provide a closed-loop systems-driven product development solution extending all the way to integrated test management. The integrated solution will increase simulation accuracy, which improves decision making and enhances customers’ ability to design the product right the first time. The decision making process is underpinned by a deep and accurate virtual analysis linked to the physical world.
Siemens is the leader in next generation product development, through a strategy that unites the virtual and real worlds and is well positioned in integrating virtual product development with physical manufacturing. The complexity of today’s products demands a systems driven approach to product development. A key element of this approach is systems engineering which requires the merging of the virtual and physical domains for product development. With the acquisition of LMS, Siemens can provide a complete suite of virtual design, simulation and physical performance testing applications intelligently integrating all aspects of the product development process.
“With the acquisition of LMS, we are expanding our portfolio of industry software in an area that is critical for many customers. They will now be able to simulate, test, optimize, and produce their products in a unified, consistent data environment. This will make them faster, more efficient, more flexible, and more cost-effective,” explains Anton S. Huber, CEO of the Industry Automation Division.
“By acquiring LMS we continue to deliver on our goal of providing the full breadth of product development solutions, from the virtual to the physical. This will enhance our core competencies by adding model-based simulation, design, test and measurement capabilities to both the virtual design and physical test process. Integrating the full environment gives our customers the ability to bring together information from the logical model, physical model and functional model to refine and optimize designs and measure results, which transforms decision making in product development. It’s something our customers appreciate today and will even more fully appreciate tomorrow. We are committed to investing both organically and through acquisitions to achieve our vision, which includes providing world class simulation solutions,” said Chuck Grindstaff, CEO and president of Siemens’ PLM Software Business Unit.
“We will continue to focus on our core strength of test and mechatronic simulation,” said Urbain Vandeurzen, Chairman and CEO of LMS. “In combination with the entire Siemens PLM Software portfolio we plan to further expand our leading position in the automotive, aerospace and other advanced industries. We are confident that the strong market recognition of LMS’ engineering excellence will continue to be visible and to appeal to customers in all industries.”
The manufacturing industry faces a significant challenge of efficiently developing the right products while mastering the growing complexity of next generation products. One aspect of this growing complexity is the rapid expansion of products integrating mechanical systems, electronics and software, referred to as mechatronic systems. With the acquisition of LMS, Siemens is well positioned to deliver PLM solutions where the mechatronic systems in a new design will simultaneously be optimized.
This acquisition builds on Siemens’ HD-PLM vision of providing an immersive, decision-making environment to help customers make smarter decisions resulting in better products. Siemens and LMS are both committed to providing open solutions, which allow customers the flexibility to integrate with existing systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their product development and manufacturing processes.
Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor
In what has been a banner year for acquisitions in the engineering software arena, yet another notable acquisition is about to go on the books for 2012. This time it’s Siemens PLM Software acquiring LMS, a leader in test and mechatronic simulation widely used in the automotive and aerospace sectors. With a unique combination of mechatronic simulation software, testing systems and engineering services, LMS addresses diverse engineering attributes, ranging from system dynamics, structural integrity and sound quality to durability, safety, and power consumption.
We have followed LMS for several years and have been impressed by the breadth, depth, and uniqueness of its product offerings. Based on what LMS has to offer and what Siemens PLM Software has been looking for to expand its offerings in CAE and simulation, this looks like a good deal for both parties.
For several years, we have considered one of the most prominent aspects of LMS to be its Virtual.Lab, LMS’ simulation environment for functional performance engineering. LMS Virtual.Lab is an integrated software suite that simulates the performance of mechanical systems with regard to attributes such as noise and vibration, durability, ride and handling, and dynamic motion. LMS Virtual.Lab covers virtually all the critical process steps and required technologies to perform an end-to-end assessment of designs in key disciplines that are especially important to the automotive and aerospace markets. The last time I checked, LMS Virtual.Lab suite’s modules were based on CAA (Component Application Architecture), the open architecture PLM system from Dassault Systemes. Whether this is still the case and/or will continue into the future remains to be seen.
Virtual.Lab provides a digital engineering process for refining critical functional performance attributes before committing to physical prototyping. For example, LMS Virtual.Lab lets users accurately assess such things as the radiated noise of a new engine design, the vibration handling and associated comfort levels of a complete vehicle, or the fatigue resistance of an aircraft landing gear. Using Virtual.Lab, you can analyze a multitude of design options, and drive major design choices from the perspective of key performance attributes.
As it has for some time, Virtual.Lab offers application-specific modules for areas, such as powertrain acoustics, powertrain dynamics, vehicle dynamics, full-vehicle noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), component and system-level durability. Some of the modules available with LMS Virtual Lab include:
LMS Virtual.Lab Finite Element Method (FEM) Acoustics — LMS Virtual.Lab FEM Acoustics offers an advanced method for simulating acoustics using FE meshes while still modeling the propagation area. Since these types of models tend to be large, advanced computing techniques and solvers are essential. With LMS Virtual.Lab Rev 9, FEM acoustics provides more solver options and high-tech routing features to solve practically any application regardless of size or frequency range.
LMS Virtual.Lab Boundary Element Method (BEM) Acoustics — Time domain BEM is a new time-based method for acoustic wave propagation applications. Users can see how the acoustic waves spread throughout an acoustic field. It is a way to efficiently solve problems such as high-frequency acoustic structural radiation issues.
LMS Virtual.Lab Source Identification — Source identification is an inverse acoustic technique that accurately determines vibration sources for a better understanding of noise problems and ultimately better noise and vibration system optimization. By coupling a near-field measurement with Inverse Numerical Acoustics, users can simulate vibration sources to use as loads for accurate forward acoustic predictions (near field measurement applied for far field simulation).
LMS Virtual.Lab Aero-Acoustics — Enhanced for aero-acoustic applications, LMS Virtual.Lab Aero-Acoustics now contains a variety of features to reduce flow-induced noise, including conservative mapping, quadrupoles including truncation, and confined fan.
LMS Virtual.Lab Motion — Addresses real-world problems, such as driving dynamics, aerospace, wind, powertrain, tracked vehicle and functional and physical (1D/3D) co-simulation.
LMS Virtual.Lab Durability — Thermal fatigue methodology analyzes the impact of changing temperatures on fatigue behavior both by modeling the effect of temperature on the fatigue material properties, as well as accounting for the influence of temperature cycles on fatigue performances. This is a good way to accurately evaluate fatigue for engine parts, exhaust systems, turbo chargers, and other parts that are influenced by cyclical temperatures.
For some time, LMS Virtual.Lab has integrated Design of Experiments (DOE), Response Surface Modeling (RSM) and advanced optimization techniques. These capabilities let Virtual.Lab users automatically assess several design alternatives, and use design methodologies to assess the influence of real-world variability in a search for safer, higher-quality, and better performing products.
For automotive and aerospace design simulation, the LMS Virtual.Lab suite remains one of the most comprehensive, capable, and versatile packages we have seen. Of course, Siemens is acquiring much more than Virtual.Lab, and this should be an excellent addition and complement to its high-end NX CAD line. As good acquisitions (mostly) should, this one will let each organization continue to do what they do best, hopefully in the best interest of each other’s customers.
The Week’s Top Stories
At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the news items that were the most viewed during last week.
A new module has been made available for the latest version of Delcam’s PowerINSPECT inspection software that allows the software to create efficient inspection sequences for use on dual-column CNC coordinate-measuring machines (CMMs). The combination of a dual-column CMM and PowerINSPECT enables inspection times to be reduced by allowing the simultaneous measurement of different features on larger parts. Using this new module provides the ability to measure parts on these devices in a single coordinate system without repositioning. In general, the dual-column mode works in a similar manner to the single-column CNC version of PowerINSPECT: models are loaded in the same way; inspection items are created using the same methods and so on. An additional programming operation is needed to distribute the various items to be inspected between the two columns. Additions to the offline-programming and program-running capabilities provide tools for moving inspection items between the two columns to balance the inspection time needed for each one. The user can switch columns in much the same way that they switch probes or tools.
Red Cedar Technology has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Comet Solutions to integrate HEEDS multi-disciplinary design optimization technology with the Comet Performance Engineering Workspace. The Comet Performance Engineering Workspace leverages a proprietary Abstract Engineering Model to enable both process automation and multi-fidelity models. By linking this with the revolutionary technology in the HEEDS multi-disciplinary optimization software, the design space of a complete CAD and CAE system model can be quickly explored and the design can be efficiently optimized.
Granta Design announced a new software product to provide vital materials data for simulation engineers, developed through Granta’s partnership with ANSYS. The new GRANTA MI:Materials Gateway for ANSYS Workbench enables validated materials property models to be quickly and consistently accessed and applied from within ANSYS software, providing full traceability of the materials inputs to simulations. Working with some of the world’s top engineering enterprises, Granta has developed GRANTA MI, a system to capture, analyze, and manage all of a company’s corporate materials data – for example, from testing, R&D, or previous design experience. This data is complemented by Granta’s catalog of materials property reference data, which covers metals, plastics, ceramics, composite materials, etc. With the new MI:Materials Gateway any authorized ANSYS Workbench user can browse and search all of this information resource within their routine workflows. They can then select approved CAE models and apply them directly to their simulation projects.
GstarCAD released GstarCAD MC PRO for Android provides users many functions, such as browsing, editing, sharing and saving CAD drawings on a mobile device. GstarCAD MC PRO adds some innovative functions, including reading .dwg drawings directly without conversion and complete offline functionality.
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