Siemens strengthens digital twin efforts with U.S. grid protection software acquisition

ATLANTA, Georgia (Oct. 3, 2018) — Siemens is acquiring the specialized software company Electrocon International Inc. (EII) to uniquely enhance simulations of power grids and strengthen the company’s electrical digital twin efforts. EII, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, develops and markets CAPE (Computer-Aided Protection Engineering) software which focuses on the protection of electricity systems and enables detailed protection modeling for grid analysis and simulations. The CAPE software—designed for transmission and distribution systems in utilities, industry, and infrastructure—will help ensure the safe and reliable operation of large electricity grids.

The portfolio and experts of the U.S.-based technology company will complement Siemens’ leading Power System Simulation software suite (PSS®) to more precisely uncover conditions of potential protective device misoperation and resulting avoidable power outages. This capability will be a key feature to integrate renewable energy resources efficiently and to ensure reliable and efficient grid operation.

The addition of Electrocon’s software to Siemens existing suite of grid simulation planning tools will also further strengthen the company’s electrical digital twin efforts—the ability to build a digital representation of the grid and the major assets in it. The digital twin facilitates the simulation of all technical and economic aspects relevant for reliable, efficient and secure electrical system planning, operation & maintenance.

“The rising interconnection of traditional energy using sectors such as e-mobility, buildings, industry and the growing importance of renewables and energy storage, requires high-quality data and powerful and efficient software. This acquisition strengthens our already leading portfolio in the area of Operational Software for Smart Infrastructure and the Electrical Digital Twin,” says Thomas Zimmermann, CEO, Siemens’ Business Unit Digital Grid.

CAPE offers the largest and most detailed library of relay models available. With more detailed and more accurate models, protection engineers can study real life conditions, perform wide-area reviews, predict protection system performance, and much more. EII provides ongoing technical support and CAPE-related services for its customers all over the world, which include transmission utilities and engineering firms of all sizes.

Paul McGuire, President at Electrocon International, Inc., says: “This is a perfect fit which marries our unique expertise and long-standing customer relationship with expanded customer value by providing unmatched capabilities in the market.”

Today, with a master library of close to 6,000 manufacturer-specific relay styles and supported by a true database management system, it is common to see CAPE network models of 2,000 to more than 30,000 buses and protection system models of 5,000 to 50,000 relays. The product and related services are very successful with more than 200 customers in 51 countries, particularly in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. CAPE will be an extension to the Siemens´ PSS® suite which is deployed at over 1,000 customers in over 140 countries. Electrocon International, Inc.´s experts will join the Digital Grid software and consulting team.

Closing of the transaction is expected to be effective October 2018. Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details.