ANSYS turns 40!

- WORKS IN PROGRESS: The Economy & EDA, posted 06/21/10

[2] Footnote: SDRC & SASI/ANSYS Interactions

Early contacts were inevitable between SASI and the writer of this EDA WEEKLY. Early in his corporate career, the writer had joined Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) Cincinnati in March 1969, charged with initiating the SDRC computer operations and services business. Up to then, SDRC had offered consulting and testing services only, and sported all of 20 employees. While SDRC promptly began in mid-1969 developing its own software for static and dynamic analysis of structures, autos, farm and construction equipment, etc., by 1970 the company needed access to more advanced 3D finite element analysis right away to successfully execute its customer consulting projects. Having just arrived in the marketplace, both ANSYS and Cosmic NASTRAN were identified by SDRC and usage licenses quickly arranged.

SDRC also had begun its Engineering Services Activity in 1969, holding scheduled seminars to teach customer executives and engineers the ROI of finite elements and system dynamics. Readers must remember that the use of such analysis software was not widespread in 1969-70. Time sharing networks were rare and large mainframe computers of the day (GE 635, Univac 1108, IBM 7094, CDC 6600) needed for running programs like NASTRAN and ANSYS were also rare and expensive, requiring huge decks of keypunched cards for input and batch alphanumeric printouts for output.

SDRC and its customers were delighted in the early 70's when SDRC (and others) began offering Tektronix storage tubes and Calcomp or Houston digital plotters for input/output. SDRC worked very closely with SASI to not only help implement these capabilities in ANSYS, but also to help John Swanson debug his actual analysis software code. (Bugs in new software were/are also inevitable).

SDRC also began using MSC NASTRAN in the same way, in lieu of the public Cosmic code. While more expensive, MSC NASTRAN was better maintained than Cosmic NASTRAN.

Over the decade of the 70's, SDRC built a fast-growing profitable worldwide company of well over 300 people. SDRC usage of ANSYS grew as well. It was early in the 70's that an intelligent young man named James E. Cashman III was hired by SDRC in as a co-op student from the University of Cincinnati; a person who was later to become very important to ANSYS, Inc., as seen in the main body of this article.

The mutually-beneficial working relationship between SASI (which changed its name to ANSYS Inc. in 1994) and SDRC continued for decades, long after the writer had left SDRC for Boston in 1982. Who knows, the SDRC/SASI usage arrangement may well have survived the 2001 UGS/SDRC merger, and even the 2007 UGS acquisition by SIEMENS.

One other anecdote related to this issue of EDA WEEKLY that is arguably worth mentioning: In 1995-96, the writer was serving on the Board of Directors of the MacNeal Schwendler Corporation (MSC - Los Angeles), when the MSC CEO and the Board asked the writer to determine if the MSC Electromagnetic Division based in Wisconsin might be sold to raise much needed cash for the MSC parent company. It was also desired that the purchaser represent a well-intentioned home for the subject division and its people. To keep the story short: The MSC Electromagnetic Division was sold in mid-1996 for a healthy multiple of its then-current divisional revenue to Ansoft, which at the time was a relatively small independent electronics software company in Pittsburgh PA. The sale followed a successful negotiation between the writer (acting on behalf of MSC)

Henke 1996

and Nicolas Csendes, CEO of Ansoft. Over the intervening years, Ansoft made other acquisitions and grew steadily to a company of $100,000,000 in annual revenue just prior to its 2008 acquisition by ANSYS! Small world.

[3] Footnote: Volkswagen Signs Master Agreement with ANSYS

German Car Manufacturer to Rely on Multi-physics Engineering Simulation Solutions from ANSYS

On February 10, 2010 ANSYS, Inc. announced that Volkswagen AG, one of the world's largest car producers, had signed a master agreement with ANSYS and intends to widen its use of the most comprehensive engineering simulation solution available today. The strategic decision to use ANSYS(R) software was due both to the bandwidth of applications that can be addressed as well as to the innovative ANSYS(R) Workbench(TM) platform that allows for a substantial process compression.

In its research and development, Volkswagen uses structural mechanics, fluid dynamics and explicit analysis tools from ANSYS to perform, among other applications, studies on climate control, headlights and engine internal flow.

"Simulation Driven Product Development(TM) is applied in nearly every industry to drive product development and accelerate time to market," said Dr. Albrecht Gill, regional sales director at ANSYS Germany. "Mere experience and prototyping is not sufficient in today's dynamic environment. Forward-looking companies like Volkswagen are increasing their use of simulation technology to lower their development costs and gain more confidence in designs."

"The automotive market is highly competitive, and technological advances are being incorporated in modern cars at an ever-faster pace. To stay at the top, there is no way around applying simulation tools to drive product development and innovation. Our decision for simulation software from ANSYS is based on the depth and breadth of the solution we needed to cover our simulation needs," said Dr. Ralph Sundermeier, head of the Department for CAE-methods at Volkswagen AG. "The ANSYS Workbench concept is convincing because we can easily do coupled simulations and, in this way, accurately account for the entire range of physics."

Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen Group, headquartered in Wolfsburg (Germany), is one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. In 2008, the Group increased the number of vehicles delivered to customers to 6.257 million (2007: 6.190 million), corresponding to a 10.3 percent share of the world passenger car market. In Western Europe, the largest car market in the world, just over one in five new cars (20.3 percent) comes from the Volkswagen Group. Group sales rose in 2008 to 113.8 billion euros (2007: 108.9 billion). Profit after tax in the 2008 financial year amounted to 4.69 billion euros (2007: 4.12 billion). The Group operates 61 production plants in fifteen European countries and a further six countries in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Around the world, nearly 370,000 employees produce more than 26,600 vehicles or are involved in vehicle-related services each working day. The Volkswagen Group sells its vehicles in more than 150 countries.


Products from ANSYS are used by innovative companies all over the world in a variety of applications:
  • ANSYS products are used around the world by 97 of the top 100 industrial companies on the FORTUNE Global 500 list.
  • ANSYS products are used by 16 of the top 20 most innovative companies in the world today, according to a Business Week report prepared by The Boston Consulting Group.

ANSYS has been recognized as a strong financial performer by a number of sources:
  • FORTUNE's Fastest-Growing Companies list (2009) includes profitable, publicly traded companies with at least $50 million in annual revenue and a market capitalization of at least $250 million, with yearly revenue and earnings per share growth of at least 20%. In 2009, ANSYS ranked number 33 overall, the only engineering simulation provider and the only Pennsylvania-based company to make the list. Of the 24 companies in the technology sector, ANSYS was in the top 10, ranked at number eight.

  • The Wall Street Journal Shareholder Scoreboard (2007), an annual ranking of 1,000 companies in 75 industries based on their stock performance over the past year and other time periods. In 2007, ANSYS ranked number nine on the best performers' 10-year list, with a 36.8% average annual return for a decade. In addition, ANSYS was ranked number one in the Software Industry Group with a one-year return of 90.7%, as well as number 14 on the Scoreboard's Honor Roll, a compilation of companies that earned straight-A ratings, ranked on five-year average compound annual total returns through year-end 2007.

  • The CRO (Corporate Responsibility Officer) (2009), an annual ranking of Russell 1000 companies using publically available data, considering financial, employee relations, governance, philanthropy, human rights, environment and climate change issues

  • Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 (2009), a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America based on percentage of fiscal year revenue growth during the previous five-year period. In 2009, ANSYS ranked at number 443, with GAAP revenue growth of 256%.

  • Oliver Wyman's Shareholder Performance Index SM (2010, 2009, 2008), a ranking of the top 450 publicly quoted companies worldwide in the communications, media and technology sectors. In 2008, with an overall SPI score of 317 - three times the average - ANSYS placed 21st out of the 450 CMT companies on the list. In the technology sector, ANSYS ranked fifth, just behind well-known computer and consumer electronics manufacturers.

  • CIOZone list of 40 Fastest-Growing Big Software Vendors (2007), based on revenue and profit of publicly held software companies in the United States. Ranked fifth in 2007, ANSYS was one of only two engineering simulation software companies that made the list.

  • Forbes magazine 's Fast 15 list (2008, 2007), a compilation of attractive companies with potential to become rapidly growing technology businesses (in anticipation of qualifying for Forbes' America's 25 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies list)

  • Forbes magazine's 200 Best Small Companies (2009, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000), for which businesses must clear a series of exacting hurdles, including five-year sales and earnings-per-share (EPS) growth rates of at least 5% and net income of more than $1 million during the past four quarters. ANSYS ranked 85th in 2009, the seventh time the Company made the list over the past nine years.

  • FORTUNE Small Business Fastest-Growing list (2006, 2005, 2004), compiled by financial research firm Zacks by screening annual reports for public companies with annual revenue of less than $200 million and a stock price of more than $1; companies are ranked based on earnings growth, revenue growth and stock performance over the past three years. In 2006, ANSYS ranked number 63, advancing significantly from its position on the previous year's list (90). It was the third consecutive year that the Company made the list.

  • Baseline magazine's 40 Fastest-Growing Software Companies (2007), a survey that amounts to a health check on the enterprise software industry. In 2007, ANSYS ranked 63rd out of 84 organizations that made the list.

  • 01consulting (2008), which specializes in evaluating the CAE industry in Europe, cited ANSYS as the continent's leader in engineering simulation software sales

  • Business 2.0 magazine's B2 100 (2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002), which ranks the fastest-growing technology companies based on a review of 2,000 publicly traded companies. In 2006, ANSYS made the list for the fifth consecutive year, ranked 61st overall.

  • Business Week magazine's list of 100 Best Small Hot Growth Companies (2004, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1999), which evaluates organizations based on sales growth, earnings growth and return on invested capital

  • Software Magazine's Software 500 (2009, 2008, 2007), a ranking of the world's largest software and service providers. In 2009, ANSYS ranked number 99.

  • Software Top 100 (2009, 2008, 2007), the leading and independent online overview of the world's largest software companies compiled by the Netherlands-based Top 100 Research Foundation. Companies are ranked according to their revenues coming from “prepackaged” software sales. In 2009, ANSYS ranked number 75.

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