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5 on a Friday: celebrations, acquisitions, investments & charges

5 on a Friday: celebrations, acquisitions, investments & charges

Jul 1, 2022 | Hot Topics


Before anything else: Canadians, happy Canada Day! Americans, get that barbecue ready and have a great 4th of July! Everybody else, have a restful weekend – or join us. We’ll put a vegan hot dog on the grill for you. On to the news:

First off, Altair confirmed that its acquisition of Concept Engineering, the electronic systems visualization company, changes nothing in its third-party relationships. Good news for users of OEMed versions.

Moving to newly announced deals. Siemens AG is acquiring Brightly Software (fka Dude Solutions — really) for $1.575 billion in upfront cash and a further $300 million in cash earn-out payments, for a total of $1.875 billion. Brightly makes a SaaS and cloud-based enterprise asset management and facility operations management solution that, according to Brightly’s announcement, is in use at over 12,000 clients across education, public infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, and commercial real estate clients.

Matthias Rebellius, CEO of Siemens Smart Infrastructure said, “Brightly will enable us to leapfrog to the next level of performance for buildings. With seamless data exchange between our offerings, our customers can expect enhanced efficiency, lower downtimes and maintenance costs, shorter lifecycles, better data-driven decisions and more satisfied tenants. The acquisition will speed up our target of becoming a leading software company also in infrastructure and support our vision of creating fully autonomous buildings that continuously learn from and adapt to the needs of their tenants.” The important bit (for longtime Siemens software watchers), is “leading software company also in infrastructure“ — clearly, those ambitions are no longer just in PLM.

Next, Autodesk has invested in CloudNC, a SaaS-based NC-assist technology. Users upload a 3D part model, then CloudNC’s technology figures out what tools are needed, optimizes toolpaths and other details, and creates the G-code for the CNC machine. CloudNC raised £36 million in the series B funding round, which was “led by Autodesk”, though we don’t know how much Autodesk contributed.

This is fascinating. CloudNC’s tagline is “the company developing advanced software that enables factories to autonomously manufacture precision parts” — the promise being a design-to-finished part workflow that requires no/limited human intervention. That’s a positive given that we’re losing manufacturing expertise by the day, but a negative in that not all parts should be produced as designed. But perhaps that’s the secret AI sauce that CloudNC brings to the party. And we can’t really knock CloudNC’s endgoal: manufacture more parts, with higher quality, faster, and with less waste. (Hat tip to Develop3D magazine, where I first found out about CloudNC.)

NAFEMS announced that it has acquired ASSESS in a merging of two groups aiming to expand the adoption of simulation technologies. I’ll have more on this in a full-length post but for now, know that ASSESS will continue to operate as a thought-leadership group but now with the backing of the very practical NAFEMS.

And, finally, here’s something to look out for as we head into earnings for the April to June quarter. Sandvik said this week that it expects to take a SEK 1 billion (about US$97 million) charge for Q2 related to exiting its business in Russia on 28 February. Recall that just about every public company talked about this during the last round of earnings — now we’ll start to learn the real impact. Sandvik said, “the wind down process is ongoing and … controlled.” The company announces full results for Q2 in a few weeks. In the meantime, keep in mind that these charges affect the balance sheet and profitability but not revenue; this info is disclosed to make it easier for investors to compare 2022 performance to prior years. Sandvik reported that 3.6% of revenue in 2021 was from Russia, but the company was confident in its last earnings call that it could make up the shortfall from other regions.

That’s it – enjoy your weekend!

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