TASS Acquisition Makes Siemens a Tougher Competitor for Dassault in the Automotive Industry
Verdi Ogewell posted on August 31, 2017 | 6529 views

Today’s big news in the PLM world is that Siemens Digital Factory division is acquiring TASS International, a Dutch based global provider of simulation software aimed primarily at the automotive industry. TASS' solutions are focused on autonomous vehicles, integrated safety, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and tire modeling. 

With this acquisition, Siemens is not only strengthening its position as a supplier of software tools for the automotive industry, but also its extensive portfolio of simulation solutions.

This acquisition also shines a spotlight on Siemens PLM’s strategy, where CAE tools seems to be a prioritized area in terms of investments. Furthermore, it is a hint as to where the company’s new leader, Tony Hemmelgarn, and his team believes product realization is going. Siemens appears to be betting that simulation will play an increasingly important role in all parts of a products life, from the early phases of product development, through manufacturing, and in many cases as a product in the hands of end-users. 

INCRISINGLY IMPORTANT. “TASS International is a proven leader in both integrated safety and autonomous driving, two fields of engineering that are increasingly important for the industry,” said Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Factory Division.
INCRISINGLY IMPORTANT. “TASS International is a proven leader in both integrated safety and autonomous driving, two fields of engineering that are increasingly important for the industry,” said Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Factory Division.
As often is the case, automotive is leading the way. “It does”, said Dr. Jan Mrosik, CEO of Siemens’ Digital Factory Division. He continued, “The automotive industry is a core focus for us and our acquisition of TASS International is another example of our commitment to offer a complete digital enterprise solutions portfolio, enabling automotive companies to realize their digital transformation and fully benefit from all opportunities of digitalization.” 

CAE software (S&A, Simulation and Analysis) has been the star of the PLM market for the last several years with consecutive years of strong double-digit growth. In 2016 the upward curve was slightly less steep — just under 10 percent (9.1 percent) – however, investments in simulation and analysis software continued growing at a high level. According to analyst firm CIMdata, the simulation and analysis market showed the second-largest increase of all the PLM tools sub-sectors during last year. 

With around $5.3B, these CAE tools represented 13 percent of global PLM investments, smaller only than cPDm (collaborative Product Definition management, generally meaning PDM solutions), which reached $5.6B and 13.9 percent. 

A RACE TO DELIVER MORE SUSTAINABLE CARS. CAE-tools and simulation solutions will play a grewing role in product development. That’s the firm conviction of Siemens PLM’s management. Driven by the twin demands of evolving customer expectations and increased emissions regulation, the global automotive industry is in a race to deliver ever more sustainable vehicles that offer an uncompromised driving experience. Simulation will be one important way to secure these demands.
A RACE TO DELIVER MORE SUSTAINABLE CARS. CAE-tools and simulation solutions will play a grewing role in product development. That’s the firm conviction of Siemens PLM’s management. Driven by the twin demands of evolving customer expectations and increased emissions regulation, the global automotive industry is in a race to deliver ever more sustainable vehicles that offer an uncompromised driving experience. Simulation will be one important way to secure these demands.

The CAE market: Hard bets on simulation tools

Given the growth potential, it is no surprise that simulation is one of the areas where the big PLM players are making big bets. Siemens PLM has been investing to build the strongest hand at the table. A few years ago, Siemens bought LMS to bolster the company's capabilities on the systems engineering side. In 2016, Siemens followed up with two large acquisitions: CD-adapco (for CFD, Computational Fluid Dynamics) and Mentor Graphics (PCB and IC design and related simulation tools).

Both companies are significant players in the CAE area and as a result, Siemens’ related revenues increased sharply. Siemens grew almost 28 percent last year (without Mentor’s revenues considered). The 2016 acquisitions plus the recent acquisition of TASS International should ensure continued steep growth in 2017.

If nothing unexpected happens in the form of acquisitions or massive organic growth for Dassault Systemes, Siemens will pass the French PLM developer and enter the S&A market's third position in 2017.

ANSYS was the undisputable CAE market leader in 2016 with revenues in the neighborhood of $ 1 billion, followed by MathWorks and then Dassault in third place. All the main CAE players showed growth number during 2016.

A PHYSICS-BASED SIMULATION PLATFORM. PreScan is one of TASS International’s software tools. In its version 8.1 it has a physics-based simulation platform for ADAS applications. Thie new release also included things like a new segmentation sensor, support for FMI/FMU, and updates to the Model Preparation Tool, Generic Models and infrastructure models inside of the software.
A PHYSICS-BASED SIMULATION PLATFORM. PreScan is one of TASS International’s software tools. In its version 8.1 it has a physics-based simulation platform for ADAS applications. Thie new release also included things like a new segmentation sensor, support for FMI/FMU, and updates to the Model Preparation Tool, Generic Models and infrastructure models inside of the software.

Bridges a gap in Siemens’ portfolio

Why specifically did Siemens buy TASS International? The simple answer is that it bridges a gap in Siemen’s offerings to the automotive industry. Dr. Mrosik asserted, “TASS International is a proven leader in both integrated safety and autonomous driving, two fields of engineering that are increasingly important for the industry.”

By combining its strengths with Siemens’ PLM offerings, he claims that they will be able to, “respond even better to today’s challenges in the automotive industry.” 

Here are the important products in TASS’ portfolio:

* The PreScan software: A solution for car manufacturers, suppliers and government agencies, that can simulate complex traffic scenarios and virtually validate automated driving solutions and advanced driver assistance systems. PreScan is a physics-based simulation platform that is used in the automotive industry for development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that are based on sensor technologies such as radar, laser/lidar, camera and GPS. PreScan is also used for designing and evaluating vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication applications as well as autonomous driving applications. PreScan can be used from model-based controller design (MIL) to real-time tests with software-in-the-loop (SIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems.

* The Madymo solution in which you can model for occupant safety. The impact of a car crash on the human body can also be simulated. The company claims that using Madymo, researchers and engineers can model, thoroughly analyze and optimize safety designs early in the development process. This reduces the expense and time involved in building and testing prototypes. 

* TASS International’s Delft-Tyre software provides highly accurate tire models for vehicle dynamics and ride and handling simulations. The tire is a complex and difficult to understand component, yet it has a significant effect on the behavior of any vehicle.

THE SIMCENTER VISION. Siemens Simcenter platform is charactrarized by a vision to provide engineers a full comprehensive portfolio of simulation software and test solutions. Today the overall Simcenter portfolio includes Simcenter 3D, an integrated CAE platform, LMS Imagine.Lab products for 1D simulation, the STAR-CCM+ solution, and the HEEDS products from the recent acquisition of CD-adapco.
THE SIMCENTER VISION. Siemens Simcenter platform is charactrarized by a vision to provide engineers a full comprehensive portfolio of simulation software and test solutions. Today the overall Simcenter portfolio includes Simcenter 3D, an integrated CAE platform, LMS Imagine.Lab products for 1D simulation, the STAR-CCM+ solution, and the HEEDS products from the recent acquisition of CD-adapco.

TASS’ solutions will become a part of the Simcenter Platform

Siemens has announced that TASS International’s simulation software will be combined with the Simcenter platform of advanced simulation offerings and its electronic design automation (EDA) solutions from the recently acquired Mentor Graphics organization. The combination will, “provide a unique fully integrated solution to frontload the verification and validation of ADAS and autonomous driving systems, providing Siemens with the world’s most complete systems-driven product development offering for autonomous vehicles”.

SELF-DRIVING CARS. Jan van den Oetelaar, CEO of TASS International, shares his vision on Automated Driving and E-mobility during IAA Cars meeting in Frankfurt, Germany.
SELF-DRIVING CARS. Jan van den Oetelaar, CEO of TASS International, shares his vision on Automated Driving and E-mobility during IAA Cars meeting in Frankfurt, Germany.
TASS Internationals CEO, Jan van den Oetelaar, was on the same track in his comments, broadening the perspectives by mentioning the advantages it brings to the table to become a part of Siemens global customer network. “Siemens PLM Software portfolio offers a significant opportunity for TASS International and its customers to accelerate the development of safety-critical applications in the field of automated and connected driving. Our engineering and test services will reach a larger audience through the extensive Siemens global footprint,” he said, adding that, “The integration of TASS International into the Siemens organization is expected to create a stable long-term environment and allow access to a vast knowledge base. This can help to build an integrated toolchain for verification and validation of complex automotive functions that should benefit both the automotive industry as well as government organizations worldwide.”

The financial details were not disclosed other than that Siemens will acquire 100 percent of the share capital of TASS International and integrate the business into its PLM Software Business Unit, which is part of its Digital Factory Division. 

TASS International has approximately 200 employees and has an annual revenue of €27m, or approximately $32M.  Closing is expected in early September 2017.

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