Blog considering whether mergers and acquisitions in the Digital Manufacturing sector are positively or negatively effecting industry growth.

Are business acquisitions damaging the Digital Manufacturing sector?

Ben Marum, Digital Manufacturing Account Manager at FMC Global Talent
Ben Marum, Digital Manufacturing Account Manager at FMC Global Talent

Mergers & acquisitions of start-ups & SME’s and global leading software innovators have quickly become the norm across the Digital Manufacturing sector with Siemens, ANSYS, PTC and Dassault Systèmes the usual suspects.

New technology and maturing software are being targeted to broaden a company’s portfolio and reduce competition in a market. But are these companies proving a barrier to growth for the sector?

Once a company has been acquired, they no longer possess control over making major strategic decisions which gained their organisation so much hype previously. Instead, they become a small cog in a large wheel.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. In fact, some organisations benefit significantly from increased financial investment, software development and a broader client reach.

Digital Manufacturing Acquisitions

Here are 5 recent mergers and acquisitions which could reshape the Digital Manufacturing landscape.

  1. ANSYS kicked off 2018 with the acquisition of OPTIS, strengthening their solutions portfolio for autonomous vehicle simulations and scientific simulations of light.
  2. ANSYS also significantly advanced their portfolio after acquiring Granta Design thanks to the increasing importance of materials engineering within the product development phase.
  3. 2017 marked Siemens acquisition of Mentor Graphics, strengthening their electronic systems and integrated circuit (IC) design tools.
  4. The recent merging of CADTEK, NT CADCAM & Solid Solutions has improved the Solid Solutions Group’s portfolio of clients whilst offering a stable platform for future growth.
  5. Siemens resellers Majenta and Cutting Edge merged to create the UK’s largest provider of Siemens Digital Manufacturing software.

Setback or success for Digital Manufacturing?

On the surface, many acquisitions are successful from a business and software user perspective. Here’s how the Digital Manufacturing environment has benefited:

  • Engineers have greater access to cutting-edge software which will further improve under the umbrella of a larger R&D budget.
  • Solutions will become more sophisticated and efficient as integration with 3rd party software becomes more accessible.
  • Workflows are continuing to digitise, and businesses are becoming cultured in handling and leveraging data.
  • Vendors now offer software solutions for every stage of the manufacturing process which means all software can be accessed from the same place.

The industry has evolved and now inhabits large hubs of software providers as oppose to the wide-spread SME technology market we previously experienced. Here’s how the Digital Manufacturing environment has suffered:

  • Start-ups are drying up and are being discouraged by larger vendors who have strengthened their grip on the industry.
  • Less start-ups means less variety of software, innovation and ability to advance existing solutions offered by established vendors.
  • Some leading software talent prefer and thrive off developing and working with new solutions and start-ups which could see many professionals leave Digital Manufacturing.

Effects on the talent landscape

New management can often result in corporate restructuring and consequently redundancies which severely impacts culture.

For example, this encourages larger amounts of stress, fear of job loss, a decrease in performance and increased competitiveness with colleagues.

It’s a period of uncertainty for many employees and I experience a greater number of active candidates during acquisition periods as a result.

Has an acquisition effected your employment status? Disagree with any of the above? Contact me on +44 (0) 1522 812 461 or email me at