May 01, 2006
PTC to Acquire Mathsoft
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this acquisition, PTC will expand its computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) solutions with unique predictive engineering capabilities that will help customers deliver optimized products sooner, with higher quality and improved knowledge capture. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in early May.
"Mathsoft will be an important addition to PTC, as it will expand both our product offering and our addressable market," said C. Richard Harrison, president and chief executive officer of PTC. "CAE is one of the faster-growing segments of the product lifecycle management market. PTC is staking out a unique position within this market segment by arming engineers with tools used upfront in the engineering process. This approach delivers greater value to customers because it helps optimize the entire engineering process."
Mathsoft's approach to CAE, which helps predict engineering parameters before design begins, will enable customers to optimize designs and will complement PTC's existing structural, thermal, fatigue and mechanism analysis solutions used to validate Pro/ENGINEER designs.
Computer-aided design solutions are excellent for documenting design geometry, but without an understanding of the underlying calculations that drive critical parameters, they do not completely capture engineering intent. By complementing and extending PTC solutions with those from Mathsoft, PTC will be the first company to address this customer challenge to improve product quality, knowledge reuse and traceability of engineering calculations and turn them into corporate assets. This is particularly important for organizations with development processes that are complex, global, highly regulated, or those whose critical calculation knowledge base resides solely with individual engineers.
and improve key engineering processes across our product lifecycle."
become richer and deliver greater value when calculations, text and images are assembled and published dynamically with Arbortext.
benefit our customers."
"Mathcad is a strategic engineering design and analysis tool for us," said Andre Pavlov, assistant state structural design engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation. "We are delighted to see that Mathsoft's market leadership has been recognized by such a large and well-known leader in engineering design and development software. We expect that the combination of Mathsoft's ingenuity and PTC's strength and scale will benefit users of Mathcad in all areas of engineering."
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mathsoft has 130 employees in seven countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. In addition, Mathcad is sold and supported in more than 50 countries through the Mathsoft international distributor network. The transaction has been approved by the requisite vote of Mathsoft shareholders, including its largest investor, Edison Venture Fund.
The consolidation of the technical software market continues with PTC's acquisition of Mathsoft, and is probably a good thing for both parties involved, as well as their respective customers.
Admittedly, a niche product, Mathcad is maybe not as "niche" as you might think. The company's flagship product has been around over 20 years and has quite a following for automating mathematical notation and calculations.
In the past, like many other engineers, I'd used spreadsheets as my primary means for entering engineering calculations, because, well, it was inexpensive and was adequate as long as the calculations weren't too complicated. In other words, spreadsheets were okay for listing calculation results, but were really lacking when it came to formula and knowledge capture, especially for more than a couple of engineers - things got confusing, or worse, misinterpreted.
Historically, CAD, CAM, and CAE have gotten the majority of the attention in the eyes and minds of most engineers. Generally, engineering calculations took a back seat, even though they can be critical in some aspects of the product development process. Thus, enter Mathcad
Mathcad is an engineering calculation management tool that extends far beyond spreadsheets. It is a comprehensive collection that includes a computational engine that is accessed through conventional mathematical notation (that expresses technical facts or quantities) with a full-featured word processor and graphing capabilities. You can combine computations, text, programs, and graphs in a single worksheet. It is designed with two goals - problem solving and presentation of mathematical solutions.
Mathsoft's underlying XML architecture provides an open and accessible engineering data model with publishing, collaboration, integration, and search capabilities - especially noteworthy if implemented on an enterprise basis. It also plays well with Microsoft Word, PDF, and, yes, Excel spreadsheets.
So, the acquisition of Mathsoft should prove beneficial for PTC. The trick, however in successfully absorbing Mathcad into the product mix will be determined by how well it looks, feels, behaves, and interacts with other PTC products. This has proven troublesome with some past acquisitions, but has been better addressed with more recent acquisitions, so hopefully, things will go relatively smoothly with Mathsoft.
The Week's Top 5
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Through Acquisition, Adobe Further Extends 3D Visualization And Collaboration Technology For Manufacturing Industry
effort. The key technology and expertise we gain from TTF will help enable Adobe to provide manufacturing organizations even more comprehensive solutions for 3D visualization and collaboration that extend across and beyond the enterprise." TTF is a privately held company headquartered near Lyon, France. Along with the strong industry expertise of its staff, TTF's technology includes CAD software interoperability translators and software libraries for high-end 3D visualization.
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.
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