July 19, 2010
ANSYS turns 40!
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This month's EDA WEEKLY article by this writer features
ANSYS, Inc. 
Hello? Are there not at least two paradoxes in that opening sentence?
First of all, how does a series of articles that appears monthly, wherein each article initially gets posted in IBSystems' EDACafe.com for a fortnight, ever get called a “WEEKLY”?
Secondly, this is
EDA WEEKLY in
EDACafe, right? Isn't ANSYS that hoary old
Mechanical CAE finite element analysis software vendor that you write about in your
MCAD Commentary every quarter, in
MCADCafe.com no less?
The answers, my friends, are written in the wind…but I digress.
The answers to those two paradoxical questions are: (1) I don't know, and (2) Yes and no!
Let's deal with the SECOND, more relevant of the two paradoxes. It is certainly true that
ANSYS, Inc. is easily the oldest of the previous five companies  singularly featured by this writer since his latest series of EDA WEEKLY articles began to appear last Fall; see
Table 1 below:
But ANSYS, Inc. at age 40 is hardly ready for a rest home! Rather, it is arguably one of the best positioned software & services entities in existence today for enabling modern product development among its customer base via multiple real world engineering simulations.
Gone are the days when ANSYS software tools were aimed solely at Mechanical CAE.
II FOCUS OF THIS ARTICLE:
Because of its age and accomplishments, a full history of an active and robust 40 year old company such as ANSYS, Inc. would take a several-hundred-page book. So the focus in this article is on ANSYS' more recent activities, such as:
(1) Multi-physics engineering simulation, &
(2) The role of the current CEO in leading ANSYS to its remarkable success over the last decade.
Accordingly, the sequel is organized into the following sections:
By the way, the writer of this article has been frequently involved at arms length in one way or another with SASI/ANSYS from 1970 onward, mostly during SASI's first dozen years, but not altogether infrequently since then. See Footnote .
 Numbers in brackets refer to Footnotes provided at the end of the article.
III MULTI-PHYSICS IS KEY:
The ANSYS transition has occurred by building on the foundation of the company's first thirty years and relentlessly executing over the last ten years a strategy of assembling a powerful collection integrated software tools for real-world simulation of modern industrial products across multiple physical environments, including not only mechanical and structural influences, but also fluid dynamics, electronics, electro-magnetics, thermal, dynamics & vibration, drop testing, etc. ANSYS' breadth across many forms of physics appears truly unique; it's hard to find any other vendor that offers the same range and depth of electro-magnetics, mechanical and
And all these applications are knitted together and organized with user-friendly, enabling software tools, including ANSYS Workbench TM that accelerates the customer adoption curve and integrates the technologies that ANSYS either builds or acquires, and also eases the installation of third-party technologies within ANSYS' customer environments.
A modern automobile is a perfect example of the evolution of a relatively straight-forward, mostly mechanical & structural vehicle design 25 years ago to today's complex product that demands multi-physics for its proper engineering design and simulation. Each bubble in the illustration below requires electrical, electronic, thermal, or fluid dynamics to be correctly considered.
IV CEO PIVOTAL:
The 10-year transition has been carried out by the team assembled and led by CEO Jim Cashman while simultaneously producing along the way what many consider to be spectacular financial growth and profitability.
Skillful selection and absorption of key acquisitions over the last decade combined with vigorous organic growth have also been exemplary, along with deft leveraging of scores of software partners and modern high performance computing resources.
V ANSYS TODAY:
So these days ANSYS, Inc. globally markets
experts can now be effectively used by a far broader group of senior analysts and design engineers.
ANSYS and its global network of channel partners provide sales, support and training for customers. Headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania with more than 60 strategic sales locations throughout the world, ANSYS and its subsidiaries today employ approximately 1,700 people and distribute ANSYS products through its channel network in over 40 countries.
VI JUST HOW GOOD ARE ANSYS' FINANCIALS?
ANSYS is today one of the fastest growing and profitable companies in the world. (Its financial performance reports have been included in all the quarterly MCAD COMMENTARIES by Henke Associates since 2003).
Here is one illustration that tells the story of the last several years:
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-- Russ Henke, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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