MSC acquires FFT, Actran
MSC Software today announced that it has acquired the Belgian company Free Field Technologies (FFT), a provider of acoustics and NVH simulation software for the automotive, aerospace and other industries. MSC’s press release says that “bringing FFT together with MSC’s existing NVH solutions family in MSC Nastran, positions MSC as a powerhouse to deliver robust acoustics and NVH solutions to customers worldwide.”
Dominic Gallello, MSC CEO, said laid out the rationale for the acquisition: “Passenger comfort and increasing noise regulations are driving a rapid increase in the need for acoustic simulation technology in the automotive and aerospace and other industries. Further, perfecting customer-pleasing sound is simply a must in consumer products. FFT is the best in the world at satisfying both of these needs and we are excited to bring these technologies to the MSC global user base and beyond. We are delighted to have such a talented team join MSC.”
FFT was founded in 1998 by Jean-Pierre Coyette and Jean-Louis Migeot and today operates three areas of business: developing the Actran software suite; providing services such as training, engineering consulting, methods development and CAE process automation; and research in acoustic CAE and related fields. Nearly half of its staff of 39 is dedicated to engineering services.
FFT will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of MSC that will continue to operate from its Belgian, French, US, and Japanese offices, with sales, support, and R&D departments remaining unchanged. FFT says that “new product integration roadmaps will bring FFT technology together with MSC’s structural analysis solutions in order to deliver a comprehensive acoustics and NVH simulation platform. Our integration within the MSC group will help us provide a larger customer base with our constantly enhanced acoustic CAE solutions and offer related services in more regions.”
John Janevic, MSC’s Vice President, Strategic Operations, tells me that FFT’s founders have joined MSC and that the FFT team is “completely intact”. He also provided a bit more detail on why the acquisition happened now, given the long partnering history between MSC and FFT: “It was great timing. They have been growing very nicely, they are an “easy” acquisition because of the affinity between Actran and Nastran, and had reached the point where they would have needed to scale up a sales organization to sustain their growth. They have also completely rebuilt their product line from the ground up over the last few years and it is ready for prime-time.”
Finally, Mr. Janevic reassured FFT’s non-MSC customers: “We have no plans to change FFT’s partner relationships.”
Actran is in use at over 250 companies, most with nameplates that are instantly recognizable leaders in automotive, aerospace, consumer products and other industries. With this acquisition, MSC claims ownership of a leading acoustics simulation technology and access to new customers for its Nastran and other brands; FFT gets much wider distribution and the support of a large, global company. “Sounds” like a win.
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