Hexagon to acquire CADLM for AI-powered CAE

Apr 1, 2021 | Hot Topics

Hexagon announced that it will acquire CADLM SAS, a “pioneer in powering computer-aided engineering (CAE) with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to revolutionise the impact of simulation in product development processes and lifecycles”.

CADLM’s ODYSSEE applies AI to sensor data and simulation results to “enable faster, more efficient simulations of dynamic, multi-physics phenomena – such as automotive crash and safety – that fully characterise and understand real-world product behaviour”.

I first became aware of CADLM a few years ago, when MSC Software (already a Hexagon company at the time, I believe) partnered with CADLM to make Odysse available to MSC customers. At the time, MSC selected CADLM because ODYSSEE “allows for numerous machine-learning solutions whose exploitation is central to real-time CAE design exploration”. MSC planned to Integrate Odysse with its tools, to bring AI into traditional CAE workflows, and to “create autonomous connected ecosystems as we move towards the convergence of the physical with the digital world, and intelligence is built-in to all processes.” I’m not sure what happened with the latter, but it’s important to realize that this is a redo of a longstanding relationship between MSC and CADLM.

At the time of that announcement (2018?), I was told that Odysse allows simulation users to use CAE as they normally would, building high-fidelity models and putting them through the preprocessing and solvers as per normal. Odysse would then enable users to extract reduced-order surrogates from these results, creating the opportunity to tweak the model’s fidelity and conduct further optimizations without rerunning the simulation. The point: speed, agility, less reliance on big computing resources.

Hexagon CEO Ola Rollén said of the transaction, “The convergence of CAE with advances in data management, AI, machine-learning and an increasingly connected manufacturing lifecycle is transforming the industry’s ability to address increasingly complex design challenges with rapid innovation and increased productivity. CADLM’s AI knowledge and technology further strengthen our Smart Manufacturing solutions portfolio, putting data to work beyond the early design phase to improve product design innovation, manufacturing productivity, product quality and environmental sustainability through reductions in material waste.”

.Details of the transaction were not announced, nor was the reason for a change from partner to acquisition. Hexagon implies that the deal is not yet closed, but says that CADLM will be part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division when it does.