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Ansys acquires simulation software company Zemax

Ansys acquires simulation software company Zemax

Ansys, an engineering simulation software company based in Canonsburg, is working to improve how its users can simulate light.

As part of that effort, Ansys announced Monday it would acquire Zemax, LLC, a 30-year-old company based in Kirkland, Wash.

As more products rely on embedded optical systems — like self-driving cars or robots that assist with surgeries — it becomes more critical to accurately image the physical world and predict the performance of these imaging systems, the companies said in a release Monday.

A spokesperson for Ansys could not disclose financial details of the deal but officials said in a release Monday it is not expected to have a material impact on the 2021 financial results.

Together, the two companies hope to "simulate the behavior of light in complex, innovative products," officials said.

"Simulating the behavior of light — from creation to illumination — is becoming critical for the development of next-generation products," said Shane Emswiler, the senior vice president at Ansys. "With the addition of the best-in-class technology from Zemax, Ansys' customers will benefit from a complete, end-to-end solution for simulating light."

The technology Ansys makes has been used in a range of applications, including cars, computers, rockets, cellphones, wearable technology and 5G-enabled laptops.

Zemax's technology has been used to develop applications for biomedical research, consumer electronics, Mars exploration, self-driving cars and virtual reality, according to its website.

Its software helps streamline workflow and communication between different types of engineers — from optical to mechanical to manufacturing — to help companies develop products faster.

Ansys entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zemax with EQT Private Equity, the company's current owner, officials said. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Ansys has 5,100 employees and Zemax has 100, with offices in Seattle, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and China. Asked if Ansys will take on Zemax's current employees, the spokesperson said "the specifics are still being evaluated."