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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 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 … More »

Dassault Systemes Acquiring Exa for CFD

 
October 5th, 2017 by Jeff Rowe

It seems that a lot of CAD companies have taken a greater interest in digital simulation the past several years. Case in point — the recent MSC Software acquisition by Hexagon. That high level of interest was again evidenced this week as Dassault Systèmes and Exa Corporation with its simulation software for product engineering, announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement for Dassault Systèmes to acquire Exa. Under the terms of the merger agreement, this represents a value for Exa of approximately $400 million. Exa’s fiscal year ended January 31, 2017 and its revenue was $72 million.

With the addition of Exa, Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform will provide customers with a mature, diverse portfolio of combined Lattice Boltzmann fluid simulation technologies, as well as Exa’s fully industrialized solutions and approximately 350 experienced simulation professionals. Because of its solving method, Exa’s solutions can solve fluids problems faster and more accurately than traditional methods for aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, and thermal management.

Lattice Boltzmann methods (LBM) or thermal Lattice Boltzmann methods (TLBM)) is a class of CFD methods for fluid simulation. Instead of solving the Navier–Stokes equations, the discrete Boltzmann equation is solved to simulate the flow of a Newtonian fluid with collision models. By simulating streaming and collision processes across a limited number of particles, the intrinsic particle interactions evince a microcosm of viscous flow behavior applicable across the greater mass.

Exa’s software is used by designers and engineers at more than 150 companies in transportation and mobility, as well as aerospace and defense, natural resources, and others to evaluate highly dynamic fluid flow throughout the design process. Customers include BMW, Tesla, Toyota, NASA, Embraer, British Petroleum, and others.

Simulation of fluid flow, such as the cooling of an engine or the lift of a wing, is a necessary component of simulating the physical behavior of products, nature and life. For the many situations where fluid flow conditions change rapidly, simulation of dynamically variable flows is critical to accurate assessments of a product and its behavior in its environment. For these applications, the combination of Exa’s accuracy and timeliness provides results can be superior to those of alternative CFD methods.

“Exa’s unique Lattice Boltzmann simulation technology combined with our extensive professional and industry expertise has enabled us to deliver significant value to the leading companies in the global transportation and other flow-based product industries,” said Stephen Remondi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Exa. “We can solve the most challenging fluids problems faster and more accurately than traditional methods for aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, thermal management and other fluids-related applications. The combination of Exa with Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform will provide Exa with the critical mass of manpower and technology required to accelerate the delivery of our shared vision of driving the value of digital engineering knowledge, enabling everyone in the value chain to access the power of simulation for critical business decisions.”

“Both Dassault Systèmes and Exa believe in the value of an integrated focus on science and industry. It is a critical part of our commitment to delivering 3DEXPERIENCE universes that harmonize products, nature and life. Simulation of dynamic fluid flow is an important part of our multiphysics and multiscale simulation strategy,” said Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dassault Systèmes. “With Exa’s valuable application knowledge in transportation and mobility and other industry verticals, we will accelerate our delivery of industry solution experiences to benefit our existing and future customers.”

Completion of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2017.

I think this is a good move at the right time for the right reasons. DS has been trying to add CFD to its simulation family through acquisition, but failing in its attempt to buy CD-adapco  that has been brought into the Siemens fold. While the DS Abaqus and SIMULIA teams have been working on an in-house solution for quite some time, Exa will bring a tried and true  CFD solution along with its development team. It will be interesting to see how the Exa acquisition dovetails and fits with Dassault’s SIMULIA brand, but I think it will work out.

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