PLM SIMULATION THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

TECHNIA CEO Quests for an Acquisition That Sharpens Simulation Competence

TECHNIA CEO Quests for an Acquisition That Sharpens Simulation Competence

This article was written by Verdi Ogewell and first published in Swedish at PLM-ERP News and in English at engineering.com

Why is Dassault Systèmes’ PLM channel partner TECHNIA acquiring another simulation company? I examine the matter in today’s article.

As recently as the end of 2018, TECHNIA completed acquisitions of UK-based Strategic Simulation & Analysis (SSA) and Dutch SIMULEON. Both companies are known as specialists on Dassault’s CAE portfolio, the SIMULIA suite. Today, they are part of the “Simulation Centre of Excellence” which TECHNIA is investing heavily in building.

Today brings another acquisition to the table. TECHNIA has just announced the procurement of Dassault-oriented simulation expert, Scanscot Technology, which is a leading Nordic player in advanced simulation and based in Lund and Gothenburg, Sweden.

“They are the region’s largest reseller of SIMULIA, but also have a very good reputation as a provider of consulting services in advanced simulation,” says TECHNIA’s CEO, Jonas Gejer.

scanscot acquisition

A Good Business. The acquisition of Scanscot is a good deal for both parties, claims TECHNIA’s chief, Jonas Gejer (right). This is because there is the potential for growth for both parties based on a growing acceptance of the framework represented by the Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Simulation is becoming more and more important, both as stand-alone solutions, and as part of a platform that can deal with simulation in broader contexts than just product development and manufacturing. “At the same time, this area is addressing maybe 20 percent of our market. It says something about what the potential looks like. 80 percent remains, and they will most certainly also be drawn into the use of the digital simulation and analysis tools as the democratization of these ‘tools’ continues,” says Gejer. The picture also shows Johan Kölfors, who is the CEO of Scanscot.

TECHNIA has been out early and often, working hard to realize the value of simulation as a growing part of product realization processes. This sub-PLM area has, in recent years, had the strongest increase in ability to generate sustained revenue – with annual growth figures of just over 10 percent, according to CIMdata market studies. This in turn reflects the greatly expanded use of these types of tools.

The importance of simulation and analysis solutions is accentuated by the fact that today’s product development has become increasingly virtual and 3D-based. It follows that this requires digital tests and validations of products that do not exist physically.

In parallel, we are also seeing another important trend: that simulation tools are more often used earlier in the product life cycle.

“Absolutely, the value of simulation is greater the earlier in the development process it is introduced. These tools are already used advantageously in the concept phase,” says Johan Kölfors, CEO of Scanscot. “A consequence is that simulation is beginning to be used by more and more engineering categories. Previously, the area was reserved for advanced experts, but today we see that a growing number of ‘regular’, designers and engineers have started to use the tools.”

“Yes, exactly,” Gejer confirms. “We believe that CAE software today addresses perhaps 20 percent of the market. This really speaks a clear language about the potential of the technology. 80 percent remains and they will most certainly be drawn into the use of digital simulation and analysis tools as the democratization of these technologies continues.”

A Natural Part of Product Development Processes

Gejer notes that, in this context, simulation processes have tended to become natural parts of product realization work. In parallel, the software has been made much more user-friendly. You do not need a PhD to understand how the programs should be handled, or how the results should be interpreted, in order to make the best use of them.

Furthermore, these tools even begin to be utilized by end users to optimize products use in the field, especially when it comes to advanced products and facilities. This may, for example, involve managing flows for optimal efficiency in a refinery or in more complicated pumping stations. Extrapolate the potential as you wish, but the reasoning always comes back to the core of usability.

It can be added that areas such as electromagnetic and antenna design have become increasingly important in product development work as more products are becoming connected products. Securing and validating the communication functionality is a cornerstone of development work. In this, simulation solutions which are within the scope of Scanscot’s expertise – such as Dassault’s CST – are of the utmost importance. Sensor-equipped products, IoT-monitored manufacturing lines, 5G and autonomously controlled vehicles, are all areas that will require extended capabilities from S&A software on the CAE side.

scanscot acquisition

Johan Kölfors and Jonas Gejer.

30 Percent Annual Revenue Increases

So, when it comes to Scanscot Technology, what is it that Jonas Gejer and Johan Kölfors, together with their respective teams, want to integrate?

As mentioned above, Scanscot is the leading Nordic reseller of SIMULIA, which is Dassault Systèmes’ program portfolio for simulation software. The company has also developed the solutions BRIGADE/Standard and BRIGADE/Plus, which are Abaqus/SIMULIA-based standalone software packages for analysis and design of bridges and other civil structures. In addition, the company has developed extensive knowledge and experience around advanced simulation services for a wide range of industries such as civil infrastructure, “big science” and nuclear power.

“Scanscot specializes in technically advanced projects that are often related to extreme and accidental load events, optimization, evaluation according to specific standard requirements and in-depth technical investigations,” says Kölfors.

The company was founded in 1992 and the 20-plus employees in the company are divided into three business areas:

  • The marketing and sales of the SIMULIA tools.
  • The consulting business.
  • The development, sales and support of in-house developed software.

In total, this group has a turnover of just under $5 million – a good figure in the specific segment in which Scanscot is located. It is clear that Scanscot has also shown rapidly expanding sales of simulation tools, with a 30 percent annual revenue increase in recent years.

“Scanscot has achieved significant growth over the past six years by focusing on Dassault Systèmes’ simulation portfolio,” commented Kölfors. “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform opens up new categories of users and enables simulation functions on every engineering desk. Together, we will be the clear Nordic leader and support the majority of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform domains. Our goal is to deliver even greater value to our customers and enable further growth with new customers.”

scanscot acqusition

A Strong Combination. Together, TECHNIA and Scanscot will present complete solutions for their customers, platforms and expertise that contain all important aspects of product development, based primarily on the tools on Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the SIMULIA Suite on the simulation side. “It is important to be able to show world-class in all parts. That is where our ambitions lie, and the purchase of Scanscot is a reflection of this when it comes to simulation and analysis,” states Jonas Gejer, TECHNIA CEO. Left-to-right: Ola Jovall, Head of Engineering Services, Scanscot. Johan Kölfors, CEO, Scanscot. Jonas Gejer, CEO, TECHNIA. Jan-Anders Larsson, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Scanscot. Patrick Andersson, Technical Expert and Team Leader, Scanscot. Håkan Gustavsson, Director Nordics / Benelux, TECHNIA.

3DEXPERIENCE, Simulation and Deep Expertise

Kölfors adds gratefully that Scanscot has done well through the coronavirus crisis; just like TECHNIA, who do not rely so heavily on the automotive and aerospace areas which have been among the hardest hit areas during the pandemic.

“We have also collaborated with the company before,” says Gejer, adding that the discussions about an acquisition and a merger began this spring.

“Above all, this deal is about the value of being able to present complete solutions for our customers: platforms that contain all important aspects of product development. Dassault’s PLM platform 3DEXPERIENCE creates such a whole, with fantastic opportunities to handle everything that is the core of product development and manufacturing. But it is important to be able to provide world-class expertise in all areas. That is where our ambitions lie, and the purchase of Scanscot is an expression of this when it comes to simulation and analysis,” explained Gejer.

simulation grahic

Non-linear Analysis in SIMULIA/ABAQUS 2020. Abaqus has tools for creating, editing, monitoring, diagnosing and visualizing simulations related to advanced analysis. The solution has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, which integrates modelling, analysis, and visualization of results in a single environment. This allows users to quickly learn the software and become productive. The solution is one of the specialties in Scanscot’s practice.

A Logical Business Step

The fact that Scanscot is now merging with TECHNIA is not in itself surprising. TECHNIA has worked with a global strategy for several years, which has resulted in a strong expansion of business spanning the entire PLM area. TECHNIA’s sales in 2019 came close to around $150 million, with a plus-10 percent profit. The majority profit is focused around Dassault’s PLM platform 3DEXPERIENCE, with all its applications included, such as ENOVIA (cPDM, collaborative Product Definition management), CATIA (high-end CAD), SOLIDWORKS (mainstream desktop 3D CAD), SIMULIA (CAE) and DELMIA (Digital Manufacturing).

But simulation has been given a priority role, which is manifested in the newly established TECHNIA Simulation Centre of Excellence.

“The goal with this is to give all 3DEXPERIENCE customers access to world-leading delivery capacity and expertise in the CAE area,” says CEO Jonas Gejer. “In addition, the latest expansion of the company’s portfolio with Dassault Systèmes’ desktop 3D CAD solution, SOLIDWORKS, has enabled TECHNIA to offer focused expertise and support for SIMULIAworks.”

What Will the Merger with Scanscot Add?

“As I mentioned earlier, as a clear Nordic leader in advanced simulation, they can add a lot. We know the company well since we’ve worked side by side with many of our customers over the past decade. Now, the combined team will provide world-leading simulation capabilities to our entire customer base and undisputed knowledge of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to Scanscot’s customers. We share the values of exploration in frontier technology and a relentless focus on customer value creation. Simulation technology and knowledge play important roles in fulfilling our purpose: to make production creation sustainable,” Gejer sums up the announced business deal.

Scanscot’s CEO, Johan Kölfors, emphasizes the holistic approach as an important shared value:

“The merger has components that provide a strong value in this perspective,” he claims, adding that, “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform covers most things and holistic thinking is becoming increasingly important. But simulation software and expertise alone is not enough, as products are getting more complex and you need to add context to extract the full value of digital product realization.”

cst example

Example of Dassault’s CST Studio Interface. Dassault Systèmes’ CST Studio Suite is a high-performance 3D electromagnetic (EM) software package for the design, analysis and optimization of EM components and systems. Dassault bought the solution two years ago and it is one of the dominant softwares in its area with almost half of the market for the EM area. It is also one of the main tools for Scanscot’s analysts and consultants. Electromagnetic field solvers for applications across the EM spectrum are available in a single user interface in CST Studio. The solvers can be connected to perform hybrid simulations, giving engineers the flexibility to analyze entire systems consisting of several components in an efficient and simple way. Co-design with other SIMULIA products allows EM simulation to be integrated into the design flow and drives the development process from the earliest stages. Common areas for EM analysis include performance and efficiency of antennas and filters, electromagnetic compatibility and interference (EMC / EMI), exposure of the human body to EM fields, electromechanical effects in motors and generators and thermal effects in high power devices.

The Purchase Saw Addnode’s Share Prices Rise

Finally, Dassault Systèmes also welcomes TECHNIA’s purchase.

“Yes, I’m pleased to see the further strengthening of TECHNIA’s and Scanscot’s commitment to Dassault Systèmés. So many of our customers need much more capacity in the field of simulation much earlier in the product design life cycle and this investment will encourage and ensure that together we become a trusted advisor in this domain, using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Many thanks to the TECHNIA and Scanscot team, and we are really looking forward to driving fast acceleration together in the market,” John Kitchingman, head of the EuroNorth region within Dassault Systemés, commented on the deal.

But Dassault’s Nordic manager was not alone in being happy with the affair: the stock exchange also reacted positively. A few hours after the acquisition was announced, Addnode’s stock – the group that owns TECHNIA – had increased by five percent.

In this ongoing journey, it is now up to the integrated team within the framework of the TECHNIA Simulation Centre of Excellence to turn the market potential into growing revenues.

At present, TECHNIA pulls in just under 10 percent of its revenues from the simulation business. In line with market growth and the capabilities and values that Scanscot can add, this should be able to grow substantially in the coming years, not only as a share of total revenue, but also to an even greater extent as a separate growth factor for the company’s total revenue.

 

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