Dramatic reductions in physical testing are happening & putting strains on simulation
For years manufacturers have relied on physical testing of their products to ultimately prove the readiness of that product for full production startup. While testing has provided these companies with confidence in their product’s ability to perform as planned, it also presents challenges in terms of time and cost. Physical testing is an expensive and time-consuming process which places additional strains on today’s global competitive pressures.
Because of these issues many companies have dramatically reduced the number of physical tests which has caused the need for an equal and opposite reaction in the area of simulation. The simulation workload for many of these companies has accelerated exponentially while at the same time they are looking to keep from expanding or even reduce their simulation headcount. With current analysts already working at maximum capacity there is virtually no way to overcome this dilemma without bringing automation into the equation. As products are validated using simulations (rather than testing), a comprehensive analysis and review of the simulation results is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the design validation process.
Current simulation processes rely primarily on many manual tasks performed by the analysts. In addition to the high value tasks of setting up and running the simulation models, the analyst must spend several hours creating dozens of PowerPoint slides which contain 2D images of the simulation results from various points of view. This collection of images is often referred to as the CAE Report and, in creating it, these highly valuable analysts are spending hours of their time doing much lower value activities…. making slides.
Furthermore, without the additional physical testing that was once part of the process, there is the critical task of manually going through the myriad of CAE Report slides to find and identify the precise hot spots in the product that may be cause for concern. Adding automation to this process is critical in quickly and confidently finding these areas before they make their way into the product in production.
So, what happens if a product flaw isn’t discovered until months after the product has been launched? At that point the manufacturer is notified of the problem and can begin the process of determining the source of the problem. This process can take weeks or months as the company will likely have to go back and rerun the simulation model to get new results in the area of interest. But while they are investigating the root cause of the issue, they continue to manufacture the product with problems.
Bringing automation to this entire simulation problem is critical to address these issues. By evolving from traditional CAE reports, made up of 2D PowerPoint slides, to fully interactive 3D Digital CAE Reports companies are able to reach new levels of productivity and product quality. The 3D Digital CAE Report relieves the burden on the analyst of creating tens or hundreds of slides by automating the process of creating and modifying the report. Additionally, the 3D Digital CAE Report has automated hot spot identification so that potential problems are quickly identified early in the development process.
With the 3D Digital CAE Report several critical items are addressed. The highly valued analyst’s time is optimized allowing for more time to be spent on additional simulations through automated report generation. Design stakeholders can use the 3D Digital CAE Reports to review, assess and understand product performance and make faster and more informed design decisions.
Potential product problems are identified early reducing the risk of releasing them into production through automated hot spot identification. And if a problem is identified once the product is in production, the 3D Digital CAE Report eliminates the need to reconstruct the original simulation work because the report is a live 3D model which can be interrogated directly from any viewpoint.
VCollab has been developing and delivering the technology to deliver these Digital CAE Reports over the past 20 years. With VCollab, companies are able to eliminate the strain on their simulation processes and people that has been driven by these dramatic decreases in testing. And VCollab can be used to create these 3D Digital CAE Reports no matter what major CAE solver a company is using. Transforming the process of simulation is not just a good thing to do, it is essential for companies to remain competitive in today’s complex product environment.