From a 2-man start-up to global development leader in computer-aided engineering (CAE): TECOSIM celebrates its 25th anniversary on 8 February 2017. The engineers are able to look back over a quarter century of success with an average yearly growth rate of ten percent, geographical expansion in five countries and innovations such as the TEC|BENCH virtual benchmarking process. During TECOSIM's first two years, the founding team carried out development projects for just two major automotive manufacturers. Today, TECOSIM works with some 300 clients in the transport, energy, industry, technology and healthcare sectors worldwide.
From two to 460 in 25 years
It all started with three computers and a small team of CAE engineers in company founder Ulrich Rusche's living room in Rüsselsheim in 1992. Computer-based product development aided by numerical calculation and simulation was still in its infancy at the time and design engineers in particular were sceptical towards its benefits. Exponential growth in computer performance and falling prices for workstations enabled virtual development to make major advances. Today, modern product development would be hard to imagine without the help of virtual development. The TECOSIM Group's steady growth went hand in hand with these advances.
The early years at Moselstrasse 73 in Rüsselsheim were followed by a management buy-out in 1999 with Udo Jankowski and Jürgen Veith succeeding as the new CEOs. Both men continue to manage the TECOSIM Group holding company today together with Dr Torben Birker, who completed the executive board in 2008. The new executive management team promoted geographical expansion over the following years: the first branch in Cologne was founded in 1999 followed by locations in Stuttgart and Basildon, near London, for the millennium. TECOSIM hit the 100-employee mark in 2005 and the company was employing a workforce of 300 five years later. Today, 460 employees work for TECOSIM, mainly assisting international automakers and their suppliers in product development.
Cross-location sources of inspiration: CAE-driven module development
TECOSIM's company headquarters are still in Rüsselsheim. As a global market leader in numerical calculation and simulation, the engineering company now operates at twelve locations in five countries worldwide: besides its six locations in Germany, TECOSIM is also represented by locations near Tokyo, in the thriving cities of Pune and Bangalore in India and in the Austrian city of Graz. In addition to Basildon, TECOSIM also has another site in the UK: in Coventry. The TECOSIM Group generates more than half its total sales of 34 million euros outside Germany.
TECOSIM's international locations not only serve manufacturers locally, but also provide inspiration across borders, even for the German market. For example, TECOSIM's British subsidiary has been operating as a full engineering services provider for some time now. This business model is to be applied to the German market from 2017. "In the future, we want to expand our portfolio with CAE-driven module development. More specifically, this means that, in the future, we will offer services such as design, project management, prototype building and supplier management alongside calculation and simulation," announces Martin Westerwald, member of executive management for the German company TECOSIM GmbH.
Adapting to dramatic change with innovations
"The automotive sector is facing a dramatic change," states Dr Torben Birker, Member of the TECOSIM Group Management Board. "The industry has known about challenges such as electrification, alternative drive systems, connectivity and driverless vehicles for some time now. However, pressure to find solutions has increased significantly in some fields over recent months. We are providing responses to future requirements on a continuous basis and see potential to assist our clients in this respect."
TECOSIM has been developing new software tools, calculation methods and processes in-house for over 15 years. An in-company innovation process was also established within the organisational structures a few years ago. "One focus of our innovation activity is on the development of tools to manage rapidly increasing data volumes and perform analysis of such data efficiently," explains Udo Jankowski, responsible for technology on the TECOSIM Management Board. "Our consistent aim is to speed up processes – development goes into simulation in real time, where the behaviour of complex products and systems can be mapped without any limitations."
The company is also involved in research and develops computer-based methods and processes which are able to speed up and optimise procedures such as vehicle development. "Computer-aided engineering has significantly helped to reduce development costs and accelerate processes and development times over the last 25 years. CAE will become even more important in the face of upcoming challenges," says a convinced Martin Westerwald. This is because each change to a product’s architecture requires development and that is where TECOSIM's management sees ample opportunities for growth.
The upcoming change will provide TECOSIM employees with many exciting projects over the coming years. The company has received an award as a Top Innovator among German medium-sized companies not just once, but twice. The CAE specialist invests some 500,000 euros in advanced and further training every year in Germany alone. Employees from 31 countries work together in an international team for the development partner worldwide.
An employee celebration will be taking place at each location to mark the 25th anniversary on 8 February 2017.