Simulation has become an integral part of the engineering software market. When we talk about return on investment (ROI) from simulation software implementation, cost and time savings are two easy and accurate measures. Relevance of simulation has increased and is expected to further penetrate into micro-vertical industry solutions due to the positive short- and long-term benefits realized by end users. End users are able to test designs in a virtual environment that mimics almost all the physical conditions including natural forces acting on the product, temperature variance, space requirements for motion studies, etc. The virtual environment enables designers and engineers to test the product design without either creating a physical prototype or even being present at the physical site where the proposed product is proposed for installation during its useful life. These factors obviously translate to cost and time savings, but also lead to higher product-process quality and innovation that can be measured.
To remain competitive, simulation software vendors need to both introduce new offerings and refine existing real-life attributes in their offerings either organically or by acquisitions of niche software vendors. AVEVA made a strategic move to acquire the entire intellectual property of Global Majic Software (GMS) to augment its existing simulation capabilities. Recently, Siemens Industry Automation also acquired VRcontext to make it part of its COMOS solution for plant lifecycle management.
Global Majic’s 3DLinX environment enables 3D models to interact with other objects in immersive design, which is governed by set of system-defined laws of physics. Its real-time graphics engine is based on Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM). This windows architecture opens up opportunity for developers to quickly deliver new applications on PC. The solution can be used for development of applications in verticals such as game development, media and entertainment, architecture, and precise engineering simulation. AVEVA’s acquisition of smaller GMS group opens up its options to expand into these industries. But AVEVA made it very clear that GMS’s software complements AVEVA’s existing offerings to deliver advanced virtual 3D interactive software for plants. AVEVA is positioning this acquisition to deliver applications that simulate industrial plants, especially in the hazardous, difficult-to-access sites and safety training. This is in line with AVEVA’s sweet spot of providing engineering software in plant, power, and marine industries, but AVEVA now has the opportunity to expand its industry coverage and increase its revenue footprint.
AVEVA’s end users can expect simulation packages that provide real-life details of their industrial plants in a virtual environment. Utilizing this virtual environment, end users can provide off-site training to new operators, as well as robotic inspection and maintenance of plants. And irrespective of the planned or existing industrial site, end users can create a virtual model of their plants or digital plant to improve placement of machines and operator efficiency. Though these are measurable and tangible benefits for any plant or manufacturing facility, end-user ROI increases many fold if the site handles or operates under hazardous conditions such as for offshore oil rigs, and hazardous chemicals treatment and manufacturing plants. End users can definitely expect precise surveying output with AVEVA’s Laser Model Interface and GMS’s technology.