MSC Software just announced that it has acquired Simufact, maker of Simufact.forming and Simufact.welding, nonlinear simulation software technology for manufacturers. Yes, for forming and welding — it costs a lot of money to trial these manufacturing processes, and Simufact’s solutions have been used for years to simulate these processes rather than physically testing them. MSC’s press release says that Simufact users report reducing physical testing up to 50% by using Simufact’s software. That, in turn, reduces cycle times and, presumably, improves accuracy and repeatability.
MSC CEO Dominic Gallello said that, “customers tell me that poorly-understood manufacturing processes result in products that don’t function as designed and simulated. By connecting Simufact’s manufacturing process oriented tools to design simulation, we can better assist our customers with their drive for ‘first time right’.”
Dr. Hendrik Schafstall, Co-founder and CTO of Simufact talked about the benefits of combining the companies: “Being a direct member of the MSC family offers additional advantages: We will be able to accelerate the technology development; our customers can look forward to greater innovation.” Simufact’s software solutions have been noted within the manufacturing engineering community for their ease of use, their ability to simulate a broad range of physics with great accuracy (thermal/materials/ mechanics), and for being uniquely well suited for process chain simulation.
I first became aware of Simufact years ago, when it was known as FEMUTEC Engineering and offering consulting services to German metal-forming processes to major automotive OEMs. FEMUTEC became an MSC distributor in the late 1990s or early 2000s and built its own capabilities on top of the commercial MSC.SuperForm and MSC.SuperForge. In 2007, the company acquired MSC’s manufacturing simulation software and became a software supplier; in 2008, the company changed its name into Simufact.
Simufact.forming and Simufact.welding are often used for methods planning and process development because they help engineers and manufacturing planners better understanding their process. Traditionally, companies would trial the materials, tools and processes to get a handle on the best production process for a particular scenario; simulating can help them discover forming flaws, tool forces and the related tool life without actually getting any metal involved until the very end.
This acquisition brings it all back home, and returns an important capability to MSC’s portfolio. We often think of simulation as centered on the design process, and for many people, that’s true — but to really get the best possible product to market, we need to simulate how we make it, too. We need to ensure that production uses the most effective and efficient processes, and discover and promote forming best practices across manufacturing facilities and individuals. Simulation makes this possible as, in manufacturing as in design, we can try out alternatives and document what works.
MSC didn’t release details about the acquisition.
Image courtesy of Simufact.