Don't just simulate. Innovate.
In order to design better products, engineers need to predict the consequence of any design changes on the real-world performance of their product, for better or for worse. Historically those predictions came from hand calculations or from the experimental testing of physical prototypes. Today, engineering simulation offers comprehensive predictions that are usually more accurate and always less expensive than experimental testing. Deployed effectively, these can be used to improve a design through multiple iterations. Ultimately this results in higher quality and more robust products that better fulfill customer expectations. Unlike other methods, engineering simulation also offers the benefit of exploring the performance of a product over the full range of operating conditions that it is likely to face in its working life, rather than just at a handful of carefully chosen “design points.” However, not all engineering simulation tools are created equal. In order to provide a constant stream of relevant engineering data, simulation software must be:
Solving complex industrial problems requires simulation tools that span a multitude of physical phenomena and a variety of engineering disciplines. Real-world engineering problems do not separate themselves into convenient categories such as “aerodynamics”, “hydrodynamics”, “heat transfer” and “solid mechanics”. Only multidisciplinary engineering simulation can accurately capture all of the relevant physics that influence the real-world performance of a product, and can be used to automatically drive the virtual product through a range of design configurations and operating scenarios. By minimizing the level of approximation, engineers can be confident that the predicted behavior of their design will match the real-world performance of their product.
Your business is facing tough competition from all quarters. You need to consider conflicting challenges, such as improving the quality and increasing the range of your products while simultaneously reducing both their cost and time to market. Your customers are demanding smart products that are not only customized to meet their current needs, but will continue to evolve as they use them. The government and other regulatory bodies are passing increasingly stringent legislation that requires your products to be more energy efficient, more environmentally friendly and safer than ever before.
This highly competitive landscape is driving a golden age of innovation in which your products either evolve rapidly to meet the demands of the market, or are replaced by smarter, better, cheaper alternatives from your competitors. The choice is simple, either innovate or stagnate. As you innovate new, improved products, your design evolves through a large number of incremental changes. You need to be able to predict how these intended improvements influence real world performance, for better or for worse. This is the challenge of engineers today: to efficiently navigate that infinite tree of potential design changes, making those choices that improve the product and rejecting the far more numerous “wrong choices” that would make it worse.
Engineering simulation allows engineers to see into the future, predicting the consequence of any design change on the real-world performance of their products. Deployed effectively, it can be used to improve your design through multiple iterations, providing data to guide the design process from its earliest stages, through to production and beyond. Engineering simulation offers comprehensive predictions that are more accurate and less expensive than experimental testing.
Beyond that, simulation gives engineers the opportunity to glimpse at “all possible futures,” by exploring the performance of a product over the full range of operating conditions that it is likely to face in its working life, rather than just at a handful of carefully chosen design points. By considering the complete performance of a product, rather than only a handful of worst-case scenarios, engineers can almost always uncover and eliminate multiple inefficiencies. Ultimately, all this results in the delivery of higher quality and more innovative products that better fulfill your customer expectations.
Solving complex industrial problems requires simulation tools that span a variety of physical phenomena and engineering disciplines. Real-world problems do not separate themselves into convenient categories such as “aerodynamics,” “hydrodynamics,” “heat transfer” or “solid mechanics.” Failing to account for important physical interactions leads to uncertainty, for which the usual remedy is over-engineering to ensure additional factors of safety.
Only multiphysics engineering simulation can accurately capture all of the relevant physics that influence the performance of your product. By minimizing the level of approximation and the number of assumptions, you can be confident that the predicted behavior of your design will match its real-world performance. Much more than a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, STAR-CCM+ is a best-in-class simulation tool that provides the most comprehensive set of physics models of any industrial CAE tool. By adopting a compromise free approach to physics modelling, you will have confidence that your predictions match the real-world behavior of your product across its full operating envelope.
No matter how “realistic” your simulation is, the data it provides is useless if it does not influence the final design of your product. For simulation to be a useful tool in the engineering design process, predictions must be delivered on time, every time. A late simulation result is not much better than no result at all. Ideally, simulation should generate a constant stream of data that guides and informs the design process through every decision. This is only possible when the simulation process is a robust and automated one. Once an engineer has invested in the creation of a multidisciplinary simulation model, that model should be easily redeployable to investigate a full range of design configurations and operating scenarios, with little or no manual effort from the engineer.
Used effectively, engineering simulation consistently delivers a high return on investment (ROI). It provides far more in terms of reduced development costs and increased product revenue than it costs to implement. However, traditional engineering simulation licensing schemes can make the transition from an experimentalist’s mindset of “testing just a few design points” to “investigating the whole design space” prohibitively expensive. This is because most engineering simulation software vendors base their licensing model around the broken paradigm of “the more you use, the more you lose,” charging you per core instead of per simulation and tying customers to an almost linear relationship between the cost of their license and the maximum number of cores that they are allowed to utilize in their simulations. Innovative licensing schemes such as Power Sessions (giving you unlimited cores for a fixed price), Power-on-Demand (enabling you to run on the cloud) and Power Tokens (giving you unprecedented flexibility and facilitating design exploration) render the cost of using engineering simulation affordable.
Backed by experts
An uncomfortable truth about modern engineering is that there really are no easy problems left to solve. In order to meet the demands of industry, it is no longer good enough to do ‘a bit of CFD’ or ‘some stress analysis’. In order to design truly innovative products, engineers are often “pushing back the boundaries of the possible”. This is something that is difficult to achieve in isolation, and often requires competences outside an individual engineer’s immediate area of expertise. In order to be successful, an engineer should have ready access to a community of simulation experts, and ideally an established relationship with a dedicated support engineer who not only understands the engineer’s problems, but can approach the right expert help whenever needed.