Siemens has entered into an agreement to acquire Sheffield, United Kingdom-based Lightwork Design, a computer software and technology licensing company specialising in 3D rendering software development and virtual reality (VR) experience generation. With the addition of Lightwork Design, Siemens PLM Software will provide customers with enhanced 3D data visualisation, high-end rendering and VR capabilities via its comprehensive suite of 3D product lifecycle management (PLM) applications.
In addition, the acquisition expands Siemens’ ‘open business’ strategy with a commitment to continue to provide software toolkits for 3D data pre-processing for visualisation, rendering and virtual reality, helping continue Siemens’ market-leading position in technology licensing to independent software vendors. The offerings of Lightwork Design will be combined with Siemens‘ existing PLM Components business, which includes Parasolidsoftware, D-Cubed software and Kineo software, where more than 240 companies integrate Siemens PLM Software technology into 350 commercial applications for the benefit of six million end-users.
“With this acquisition, we increase the accuracy of the digital twin by adding advanced visualisation, rendering and virtual reality technology into all phases of the virtual product development process,” said Tony Hemmelgarn, CEO, Siemens PLM Software. “The visualisation and virtual reality space is continually changing and growing, and Lightwork Design has the advanced 3D data visualisation, rendering and virtual reality technology required to help keep us in the forefront of the marketplace.”
This latest acquisition builds upon previous investments in software offerings for the digital enterprise, which connects virtual product development and production planning with the real production environment and lifecycle support. Lightwork Design capabilities are already embedded into NX software, Siemens' 3D design application, and will also be added to other offerings across the Siemens portfolio. This enhances the digital twin by adding critical visualisation information to the virtual product: from the initial product design and sophisticated product engineering, to simulation and test and through design visualisation. Using more realistic imagery, simulations and VR environments can help customers identify and address potential product problems early in the lifecycle, saving both time and cost.
“The demand for high-end, interactive and consistent product visualisation in design and manufacturing is growing quickly,” said David Forrester, CEO, Lightwork Design. “Combining our Iray technology and virtual reality collaborative design review software with Siemens PLM Software’s business will enable us to provide world-class solutions to the design and manufacturing industry on an even larger scale. We look forward to the opportunities for further development and integration of our visualisation technology with existing Siemens software to contribute to Siemens’ broader digitalisation strategy.”