Actran 2021: Simple to use, yet complex to outclass

Actran 2021 embeds fast and accurate acoustic simulation tools into a redesigned and more intuitive Actran VI graphical user interface.

Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, December 12, 2020Free Field Technologies, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division, today announced the Actran 2021 suite comprising new acoustic, vibro-acoustic and aero-acoustic technologies wrapped into a redesigned Actran VI graphical user interface. With these improvements users will be able to build more efficiently accurate noise prediction models.

Acoustic CAE engineers can leverage the new design of Actran VI 2021 based on a ribbon approach to ease the acoustic model definition, and the post-processing of their numerical computations. Concentrating all available functions into one location, the ribbon provides a complete and organized view of the available functions. All major functions required for both pre- and post-processing are at the user's fingertips while the viewport area is increased for better visualization and focus on the numerical model and results.


Actran 2021 - New Actran VI Design

Figure 1 - Actran VI 2021 - Overview


Automotive manufacturers can address their NVH challenges in a more efficient way with a reduced time spent on the CAE model set-up. Mid- and high-frequency models can now be built with limited efforts from the user thanks to a new solver-based approach automatically transforming existing Finite Elements models into SEA models based on the Actran Virtual SEA approach. Furthermore, the new SEA solver implementation, distributing the workload based on the SEA model characteristics, allows a 50%-time reduction for parallel computations scenarios. The Actran 2021 Virtual SEA innovative fluid-structure coupling implementation allows a x2 faster SEA model building for mid- and high-frequencies analyses assessing vehicle interior acoustic performances.


 Actran 2021 - Actran SEA NVH metrics

Figure 2 - Actran SEA module - Key Metrics


Tyre manufacturers and ground transportation OEMs can better control the tyre geometry to be extracted from their transient rolling simulation to accurately account for horn effects and acoustic resonances in tyre treads. The possibility to extract transient rolling information using parallel computations, speeds-up the exchange of information between structural non-linear and acoustic simulation.


 Actran 2021 - Tire Noise Radiation

Figure 3 - Tyre noise radiation - Horn Effects Visualisation


The perspective of innovative mobility, providing people convenient services using airspace above cities, requires new technologies to deliver safe, sustainable, and comfortable solutions. One of the main challenges will come from the noise emitted by these new transportation platforms. The prediction of aero-acoustic noise sources induced by rotors and airflow turbulences is facilitated thanks to an embedded fan blade CAD to noise interface detecting fan blade profiles and computing their noise contribution using reduced CFD model and aero-acoustics analogies. Additionally, the new Actran SNGR solver intelligence automatically accounts for the turbulent flow spatial dependency to compute aero-acoustic sources. This leads to a more efficient process in terms of time and memory consumption when ranking aero-acoustic performances of multiple designs.


 Actran 2021 - Urban Air Mobility

Figure 4 - Actran 2021 - Helping the innovation in Urban Air Mobility


Actran 2021 suite welcomes a new utility: the Actran Workflow Manager. designed to be a container of vertical solutions that define specific workflows to follow. In Actran 2021, one vertical dedicated to vehicle pass-by noise analysis is embedded in the utility. Automotive manufacturers will be guided step-by-step from the definition of the different acoustic sources to their contributions to the total pass-by noise level. Identification of the pass-by noise contributors, their relative importance, and the best strategies to achieve both regulations limits and noise pollution mitigation is now optimized.
Further releases will see additional verticals added within it as for instance a vertical dedicated to electric motor noise.
All demos and introduction files related to this new Actran utility are available from the MSC Simcompanion platform


 Actran 2021 - Pass-by Noise Vertical Workflow Manager

Figure 5 - Actran 2021 - Workflow Manager, Pass-by Noise Vertical Overview


Aligned with previous releases, the Actran 2021 suite integrates a panel of HPC strategies including multithreading and message passing interface parallelism (MPI). Alongside with the multiple MPI parallelisms options available in Actran (frequency, matrix, load case or axisymmetric order parallelism) and solving strategies (single-precision arithmetic, Block Low Rank (BLR) Factorization, compression graph analysis, mesh adaptivity) the update of the MUMPS (Multifrontal Massively Parallel Solver) solver now offers GPU acceleration for in-core direct frequency responses. The GPU acceleration is the perfect solution to further boost up to x10 your computation time performances if you have already reached the edge of your HPC strategy.

“Actran 2021 is an exciting new release containing breakthrough capabilities for NVH and aero-acoustic applications. ” said Jonathan Jacqmot, Free Field Technologies leader . “ Additionally, the user experience is considerably improved by enhancing and simplifying our graphical interface. Important performance boosts have also been implemented on many different parts of the code to serve even better our existing user base.”

Discover more about the Actran 2021 release by watching the Release Highhlights webinar.

Supported Platforms and Productline Installation

Access the list of operating systems supported by Actran 2021 on the dedicated Actran platform definitions webpage. Would you have any questions related to the Actran installation and licensing, please refer to the Actran Productline Installation webpage.

Donwload Actran 2021 on the MSC Software Download center


About Free Field Technologies, part of Hexagon

Hexagon is a global leader in sensor, software and autonomous solutions. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, and quality across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, safety, and mobility applications. Our technologies are shaping urban and production ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future.

Free Field Technologies (FFT) is a leading global company focused on acoustic simulation and engineering services. Actran, FFT’s software product, leads numerous technology trends of vibro-acoustic and aero-acoustic modeling since 1998, when the company was founded by Prof. Jean-Pierre Coyette and Prof. Jean-Louis Migeot, two renowned pioneers in the domains of numerical acoustics. Learn more at

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that utilize data from design and engineering, production and metrology to make manufacturing smarter. For more information, visit

Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 20,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 3.8bn EUR. Learn more at and follow us @HexagonAB.