The time and mounting expense associated with physical testing is prompting manufacturers and product development organizations to explore other design validation options – and expanding the use of simulation is the obvious choice. But how do companies increase simulation throughput without adding resources or further overloading their current staff of analysts? Glad you asked…
Manufacturers and product development organizations rely heavily on the expertise of their engineering analysis and simulation resources. Feedback from this department is essential to validating design concepts, ensuring product integrity, driving innovation, and ultimately contributing to a healthy bottom line. The challenge and opportunity for these companies is how to maximize the availability of these resources to take greater advantage of their expertise and input.
For years, companies have targeted an expanding and evolving role for simulation in their product development processes. Themes such as Simulation-driven Design, Simulation Democratization, and several others, envisioned simulation as a core of each phase of a product’s lifecycle. However, several obstacles have prevented, and continue to plague, the realization of this vision. The increasing complexity of products, along with the mounting demand for skilled analyst resources are two major factors that challenge a company’s ability to maximize the value they achieve from simulation.
What’s the Answer?
There are several specific areas where new simulation technologies can help to overcome today’s challenges and allow companies to extract greater value from the simulation investments and assets that currently exist within their organizations.
The increased interaction of multi-domain physics in today’s products requires the integration of multiple types of simulation data (e.g., mechanical, electrical, thermal) to optimize product performance and to identify and eliminate any hotspot areas in the product’s design. New technologies can now create a common environment where these heterogeneous data types can be integrated into a single model for rapid and informed system-level decision-making.
The inability to retrieve and archive simulation data due to the size of these native CAE files and the increased number of simulation studies is another significant factor in preventing companies from extracting maximum value from simulation. By delivering highly compressed CAE results files that intelligently extract the detail needed for critical decision-making companies can quickly retrieve the information necessary to resolve problems that arise in released products and create a jumpstart of critical product understanding for new products.
The demand on IT in today’s companies to deploy computer resources sufficient to maintain simulation information while also providing availability to this information throughout the extended enterprise can be challenging to the cost structure as well as the complexity of the corporate network. Technologies that take advantage of modern web-based architectures remove the burden of expensive computer resources and complex deployment processes while also making critical simulation data easily accessible on multiple devices.
These widely available technologies can impact the value that simulation can provide across the product lifecycle while also enabling companies to transform current simulation processes into a competitive advantage.
The Bottom Line
Engineering simulation will continue to expand its strategic role throughout today’s accelerated development cycles. And with already overloaded resources, this can be a critical challenge for some CAE managers.
Simulation is quickly becoming one of a company’s most valuable assets – but the size of its contribution to overall company success hinges on the ability to move beyond traditional methods and best leverage the people and technologies for maximum value.