Siemens rounds off design platform with Mentor expertise

November 14, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) has announced to acquire design tool vendor Mentor Graphics (Wilsonville, Oregon, USA) in a transaction worth $4.5 billion. With the move, Siemens is accelerating its transformation towards digital business models. Why is this relevant for electronics engineers? The takeover is a major building block in Siemens’ plans to provide a comprehensive product creation that spans the entire product life cycle.

The acquisition would give Siemens a broader footprint in the electronic design automation (EDA) space. “Siemens is the first company to offer all EDA domains in a single platform,” said Siemens Chief Financial Officer Ralf P. Thomas in a telephone conference.

 

The company already offers the NX software, a CAD/CAM/CAE platform that covers engineering processes from mechanical and electric design to manufacturing and version management. This platform is widely used in the automotive industry. For instance, carmaker Daimler AG replaced Dassault Systeme’s Catia design software with NX as standard platform a couple of years ago. With cars increasingly changing their character from a mechatronic system to a “system of systems” that include electronic and software-defined functions, a comprehensive design platform for all engineering disciplines within one customer company is in high demand. Siemens hopes to meet this demand with Mentor’s broad spectrum of software tools.

 

“The Mentor takeover allows us to go deeply into electronics, systems and software development with just one engineering software suite”, explained Chuck Grindstaff, Executive Chairman of Siemens PLM software.

 

Mentor’s development tools however are not only increasing Siemens’ stronghold in the automotive industry, but also are addressing the typical design and development processes (including modelling, simulation, test, and design-for-manufacturing aspects) in the aerospace industry, as well as IoT-based products and wearables, Grindstaff said. Siemens’ strategy “Vision 2020” calls for an all-digital product definition, design and production process, including the creation of “Digital Twins” – virtual copies of the actual products enabling engineers to perform any kind of simulation, modification and testing without the need to create real prototypes. Vision 2020 includes digital product concepts like “Industry 4.0” that enables manufacturing of highly individualized and personalized products.