Altair To Acquire Mass. Modeling Software Maker

TROY — Altair Engineering Inc. Friday announced the intent to acquire Westford, Mass.-based Visual Solutions Inc.

Price and terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of July. Altair said the Massachusetts office would remain open and all five Visual Solutions employees will become Altair employees.

Visual Solutions is the maker of VisSim, a visual language for mathematical modeling, simulation, and model-based embedded system development used by scientists and engineers around the world.

VisSim has been used in projects in process control, the aerospace industry, mechatronics, electric motor control, pulp and paper, nuclear, wind and hydro power, data communications, economics, HVAC, and biomedical applications.

VisSim is known for its ease of use, attractive user interface, efficient simulation engine, high-quality C-code generation and responsive customer service team. VisSim simulations with built-in optimization methods let users experiment without risk to tune controllers, optimize parameters and perform what-if scenarios for large-scale projects. VisSim has an extensive library of hydraulic, electro-mechanical, digital power and communication blocks to speed simulation creation.

The automatically generated C-Code is tight, readable, and fast and can be targeted to specific microcontrollers like Texas Instruments C2000 and ARM Cortex. Use of automatic code generation shortens software development time and lowers project cost by removing or reducing the need for a C programming staff. The designer gets to a robust, error-free design faster.

The rapidly growing practice of using a single tool chain for modeling and simulation of the controller and plant being controlled, along with automatic code generation of the controller, is known as model-based embedded development. With its simulation capability and advanced code generation, VisSim is particularly well suited to this development method.

VisSim add-ons for OPC, CAN, RS232 serial, UDP, and National Instruments-based analog and digital input-output aid in the development of real-world control systems. To facilitate collaboration, the free VisSim Viewer lets anyone open and run a VisSim diagram.

“Product innovation is increasingly driven by embedded systems, prompting higher demand for powerful development and testing tools,” said Michael Hoffmann, senior vice president of math and systems at Altair. “Visual Solutions has been at the forefront of this domain for over 20 years. Altair is in the business of helping customers drive innovation by the use of computer-aided engineering in the product development process. A move to expand our portfolio in the direction of embedded systems is a logical extension of the company’s commitment to simulation-driven design.”

Added Visual Solutions president and owner Peter Darnell: “Partnering with Altair will bring current and future VisSim users many benefits, including integration with a world-class engineering organization and software portfolio. Moreover, Altair’s steadfast commitment to elite customer service and technical support mirrors our own and bodes well for the future.”

Altair offers a variety of engineering, design and computer system management software products. The Troy-based company is privately held and has more than 2,300 employees in 40 offices across 22 countries. It has more than 5,000 customers. More at

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