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Editor’s Pick: Altair Engineering Acquires ACUSIM Software

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

My colleague Kenneth Wong in his industry-best “Virtual Desktop” blog for Desktop Engineering was among the first to actually write about Altair Engineering’s acquisition of ACUSIM Software rather than just run the press release. I found the news of this acquisition fascinating. For that matter, I find Altair fascinating.

Altair has quietly built itself up into a powerhouse engineering software, services, and technology development company. It offers everything from MCAD and industrial design in the form of its solidThinking subsidiary to world-class CAE in its HyperWorks platform. It has on-demand cloud computing technologies, business analytics solutions, and a product development consulting division. There’s even a subsidiary doing solid-state lighting.

Still, what Altair really did not offer was CFD technology that competed toe-to-toe with that offered by other top-level developers. With ACUSIM in its quiver, Altair can scratch that off the to-do list.

ACUSIM’s CFD technologies are highly regarded in the field. Its clients list is the engineering world’s who’s who. In the marketers’ eyes, ACUSIM’s flagship AcuSolve is what the MBAs call “a brand,” meaning that the competitors’ sales engineers have to be ready to parry questions about it because AcuSolve has a reputation for being fast, accurate, and robust. In short, Altair gets immediate creds in the CFD market with this acquisition.

Creds aside, what does ACUSIM bring to Altair? Well, in a word, multiphysics. See, ACUSIM’s AcuSolve is a fully coupled general-purpose FE-based CFD solver, meaning that it is something of a toolkit that you can wield in multiple CFD-required scenarios like acoustics, radiation, laminar and turbulent diffusion, and, of course, flow and thermal concerns. It plays well with other analysis applications and, from what I can tell, AcuSolve is easy enough to be used by you designers who occasionally need to run CFD analyses as well as you analysis gurus.

But it’s really multiphysics, the analysis trend of today and tomorrow. HyperWorks is a comprehensive, open-architecture CAE platform that works with most major CAD, CAE, and PLM systems. In many circles, its modeling, analysis, visualization, and data management solutions are always listed among the elite solutions for things like structural optimization, FSI, and multi-body dynamics applications.

So, now add to that Altair’s announced intention to fully integrate AcuSolve and ACUSIM’s CFD technologies with HyperWorks. Spice it up with Altair’s goal of incorporating ACUSIM’s CFD developers into the HyperWorks development team. And, what do you get? Top-drawer, A-number one multiphysics capabilities. Read more in today’s Pick of the Week and from the links we’ve assembled. The possibilities are fascinating.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.