ANSYS, Inc. headquarters building in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania.
|Traded as||NASDAQ: ANSS
S&P 400 Component
|Founded||Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, United States (1970)|
|Headquarters||Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, United States|
|James E. Cashman III, Chairman
Ajei S. Gopal, President and CEO
|Products||ANSYS suite of engineering simulation software|
|Revenue||$988 million (2016)|
|$376 million (2016)|
|Total assets||$2.8 billion (2016)|
|Total equity||$2.2 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
Ansys, Inc. is a public company based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. It develops and markets engineering simulation software. Ansys software is used to design products and semiconductors, as well as to create simulations that test a product's durability, temperature distribution, fluid movements, and electromagnetic properties.
Ansys was founded in 1970 by John Swanson. Swanson sold his interest in the company to venture capitalists in 1993. Ansys went public on NASDAQ in 1996. In the 2000s, Ansys made numerous acquisitions of other engineering design companies, acquiring additional technology for fluid dynamics, electronics design, and other physics analysis.
The idea for Ansys was first conceived by John Swanson while working at the Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory in the 1960s. At the time, engineers performed finite element analysis (FEA) by hand. Westinghouse rejected Swanson's idea to automate FEA by developing general purpose engineering software, so Swanson left the company in 1969 to develop the software on his own. He founded Ansys under the name Swanson Analysis Systems Inc. (SASI) the next year, working out of his farmhouse in Pittsburgh.
Swanson developed the initial Ansys software on punch-cards and used a mainframe computer that was rented by the hour. Westinghouse hired Swanson as a consultant, under the condition that any code he developed for Westinghouse could also be included in the Ansys product line. Westinghouse also became the first Ansys user.
By 1991 SASI had 153 employees and $29 million in annual revenue, controlling 10 percent of the market for finite element analysis software. According to The Engineering Design Revolution, the company became "well-respected" among engineering circles, but remained small. In 1992, SASI acquired Compuflo, which marketed and developed fluid dynamics analysis software.
In 1993, Mr. Swanson sold his majority interest in the company to venture capitalist firm TA Associates. Peter Smith was appointed CEO and SASI was renamed after the software, Ansys, the following year. Ansys went public in 1996, raising about $46 million in an initial public offering. By 1997, Ansys had grown to $50.5 million in annual revenue.
In the late 1990s, Ansys shifted its business model. It focused less on selling software licenses and corresponding revenue declined. However, revenue from services increased more dramatically. From 1996 to 1999, profits at Ansys grew an average of 160 percent per year. In 1999, Ansys acquired Centric Engineering Systems, a private company based in California that developed fluid, structural and thermal analysis software.
In February 2000, Jim Cashman was appointed CEO. Later that year, Ansys acquired ICEM CFD Engineering software for $12.4 million. ICEM was focused on mesh simulations for aerospace, automotive and electronics engineering design. In 2001, Ansys acquired a French computer-aided design company called Cadoe. Ansys acquired CFX, which developed fluid dynamics simulation software, two years later. In 2005, Ansys acquired Century Dynamics, a developer of hydrodynamics simulation tools, for $5 million. Later that year, it acquired Harvard Thermal Inc., which focused on simulating the cooling time and temperature of electronics.
In 2006, Ansys acquired Fluent Inc. and its fluid dynamics tools for $299 million. Before the acquisition, Fluent was the second-largest fluid dynamics company, followed by Ansys. Ansys acquired Ansoft Corporation, an electronics design provider, for $387 million two years later. In 2011, Ansys paid $310 million to acquire former competitor Apache Design Solutions, which was focused on semiconductor simulation software.
In 2012, Ansys acquired Esterel Technologies, a French-based company focused on simulating interactions between software and hardware, for $53 million. The following year, Ansys acquired EVEN (Evolutionary Engineering), a cloud-based software company for engineering composites, for an undisclosed sum. EVEN became a subsidiary of Ansys called Ansys Switzerland.
Ansys acquired a 3-D modeling company called SpaceClaim in 2014 for $85 million. This was followed by deals for the analytics company Gear Design Solutions (2015), The systems analysis company Delcross Technologies (2015), and an automotive design company called KPIT medini Technologies AG (2016). Current CEO Ajei S. Gopal was appointed in early 2017.
Ansys develops and markets finite element analysis software used to simulate engineering problems. The software creates simulated computer models of structures, electronics, or machine components to simulate strength, toughness, elasticity, temperature distribution, electromagnetism, fluid flow, and other attributes. Ansys is used to determine how a product will function with different specifications, without building test products or conducting crash tests. For example, Ansys software may simulate how a bridge will hold up after years of traffic, how to best process salmon in a cannery to reduce waste, or how to design a slide that uses less material without sacrificing safety.
Most Ansys simulations are performed using the Ansys Workbench software, which is one of the company's main products. Typically Ansys users break down larger structures into small components that are each modeled and tested individually. A user may start by defining the dimensions of an object, and then adding weight, pressure, temperature and other physical properties. Finally, the Ansys software simulates and analyzes movement, fatigue, fractures, fluid flow, temperature distribution, electromagnetic efficiency and other effects over time.
The first commercial version of Ansys software was labeled version 2.0 and released in 1971. At the time, the software was made up of boxes of punch cards, and the program was typically run overnight to get results the following morning. In 1975, non-linear and thermo-electric features were added. The software was exclusively used on mainframes, until version 3.0 (the second release) was introduced for the VAXstation in 1979. Version 3 had a command line interface like DOS.
In 1980, Apple II was released, allowing Ansys to convert to a graphical user interface in version 4 later that year. Version 4 of the Ansys software was easier to use and added features to simulate elctromagnetism. In 1989, Ansys began working with Compuflo. Compuflo's Flotran fluid dynamics software was integrated into Ansys by version 5, which was released in 1993. Performance improvements in version 5.1 shortened processing time two to four-fold, and was followed by a series of performance improvements to keep pace with advancements in computing. Ansys also began integrating its software with CAD software, such as Autodesk.
In 1996, Ansys released the DesignSpace structural analysis software, the LS-DYNA crash and drop test simulation product, and the Ansys Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulator. Ansys also added parallel processing support for PCs with multiple processors. The educational product Ansys/ed was introduced in 1998. Version 6.0 of the main Ansys product was released in December 2001. Version 6.0 made large-scale modeling practical for the first time, but many users were frustrated by a new blue user interface. The interface was redone a few months later in 6.1. Version 8.0 introduced the Ansys multi-field solver, which allows users to simulate how multiple physics problems would interact with one another.
Version 8.0 was published in 2005 and introduced Ansys' fluid-structure interaction software, which simulates the effect structures and fluids have on one another. Ansys also released its Probabilistic Design System and DesignXplorer software products, which both deal with probabilities and randomness of physical elements. In 2009 version 12 was released with an overhauled second version of Workbench. Ansys also began increasingly consolidating features into the Workbench software.
Version 15 of Ansys was released in 2014. It added a new features for composites, bolted connections, and better mesh tools. In February 2015, version 16 introduced the AIM physics engine and Electronics Desktop, which is for semiconductor design. The following year, version 17 introduced a new user interface and performance improvement for computing fluid dynamics problems. In January 2017, Ansys released version 18. Version 18 allowed users to collect real-world data from products and then incorporate that data into future simulations. The Ansys Application Builder, which allows engineers to build, use, and sell custom engineering tools, was also introduced with version 18.
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