EarningsDassault Systèmes today announced that it has acquired SIMPACK (formerly INTEC), developer of the SIMPACK general purpose multi-body simulation software that’s been used for decades to analyze the motion, coupling forces and stresses on mechanical and mechatronic systems.

SIMPACK AG is a cool little company that I’ve followed for 15 years. CEO and founder Alex Eichberger spun INTEC out of the German Aerospace Centre, where SIMPACK’s early development took place.  He and his team (including my old boss from Computervision, Bob Solomon) have grown SIMPACK globally, and outwards from aerospace into road and railway vehicles, engine simulation, wind turbine design, vehicle NVH and fatigue studies, and more. Today, SIMPACK says it has more than 130 customers, including many global brands. Transaction details were not disclosed.

Not surprising, SIMPACK will be operated under the SIMULIA brand. Dr. Eichberger said in the press release about the deal that SIMPACK and DS  “have similar technology-driven cultures and a shared long-term commitment to scientific excellence. We will join forces and technologies to provide superior virtual and physical experiences, expanding industry solution experiences for transportation & mobility, aerospace & defense, and other industries.”

My take: SIMULIA knows the gaps in its offering and is aggressively going after the best technologies to build out its portfolio. SIMPACK is solid technology whose broader adoption was hampered by the company’s size — it’s very hard for a relatively small German company to compete on a global scale with the likes of MSC Software and Altair, who have bigger budgets, presence and reach. At this level of sophistication, customers want local training and support, hard for a smaller company to provide. SIMULIA has done a good job with earlier acquisitions, integrating them into the fold where it make sense but recognizing the technical expertise that made them acquisition targets in the first place, and leaving them alone to do what they do best.

I have a call with SIMULIA to discuss this later today and will update after the call.  Nope. DS canceled the call because it’s in the quiet period preceding its earnings announcement. Don’t read anything sinister into this — they probably don’t want to run into trouble by foreshadowing the earnings. We’ll learn more soon enough.