French CAD/CAM specialist Dassault Systemes SA has added to its portfolio the ability to digitally simulate not just products but manufacturing processes with the acquisition of Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Deneb Robotics Inc. The move follows on from the company’s entry earlier this year into lower end of the market, expanding from its traditional high-end Unix systems with the acquisition of SolidWorks Corp, a specialist in 3D design systems for Windows-based operating systems. Dassault will pay $105m cash for Deneb, and its subsidiaries, which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dassault trading separately under the brand name Deneb, the digital manufacturing company of Dassault Systemes. Founded in 1985, Deneb started life with its IGRIP, Integrated Graphical Robotic Instructional Programming software for modeling the design and layout of robotic workcells for robot-aided manufacturing. The software computes all motion and detects potential collisions in real-time, enabling off-line programming of the robots. While Deneb has been growing into most of the important growth areas abroad the majority of its business has been within the US. The company believes the combination of its technology and that of Dassault will significantly extend the CAD/CAM market, and Dassault’s relationship with IBM Corp, under which IBM distributes its CATIA products worldwide, should help extend Deneb’s market coverage. Dassault, whose main product is the CATIA line of computer-aided design applications for mechanical engineers, is on target for a very successful financial year, with third quarter profits to September up 50.3% to the equivalent of $18.3m on revenue up 44% to nearly $81m.
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