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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

Aras + ANSYS = More Than Sum of Parts?

January 31st, 2020 by Jeff Rowe

Recently, Aras announced a strategic OEM partnership with ANSYS for enabling the digital thread and digital twin that includes licensing the Aras Innovator platform technology intended to provide a new generation and method of digital engineering practices. The partnership will enable better processes and data management of simulations for digital thread traceability across the product lifecycle.

ANSYS Minerva will leverage the Aras Innovator platform technologies such as configuration management, PDM/PLM interoperability, API integration and add simulation-specific capabilities for delivering scalable and configurable products that connect simulation and optimization to product engineering — creating new ways of exploring and improving product performance.

Aras for ANSYS AIM — An Example of How Aras and ANSYS Technologies Work Together

Engineering and manufacturing organizations are increasingly leveraging simulation throughout the product lifecycle to interoperate with their existing PLM, ALM and ERP applications. Additionally, customers are addressing complexity challenges with data and process management, traceability, and availability of simulation results across the product lifecycle.

ANSYS is licensing Aras’ Innovator platform services combined with its simulation domain expertise for new product offerings for improving productivity and maximizing business value from simulation. ANSYS will deliver commercial offerings for simulation process and data management, process integration, design optimization and simulation-driven data science.

When asked about the real significance of the strategic partnership, Peter Schroer, president and CEO of Aras said, “We believe that simulation is essential to developing tomorrow’s next generation products, and that better data and process management of simulations is required to enable the digital processes of the future which will support these products. We see the ANSYS and Aras partnership as a potential game changer in connecting simulation to engineering processes for traceability, access and reuse across the product lifecycle.”

Aras Simulation Management and Expanding the Digital Thread

Aras Simulation Management offers simulation process and data management (SPDM) technology to scale simulation best practices across the entire product lifecycle. Aras Simulation Management powers accurate and consistent multi-physics, multi-fidelity analyses; returns fast, understandable results; and ensures input data and simulation findings are fully connected to the latest product configuration, completing the digital thread of product data to advance strategic initiatives.

Connecting simulation data and results to the digital thread—a complete digital record of product information—lets engineering teams immediately access accurate simulation insights for timely decision-making. Automated configuration-aware simulation processes also provide vital inputs for machine learning.

Aras Simulation Management connects simulation data, processes, and results with the right version of product data in a traceable digital thread, supporting robust, effective simulation automation at scale throughout an enterprise.

Enforced connections between simulation results and related inputs, including their configurations, improves accuracy by offering context for findings. In other words, for correct interpretation, you must know what was simulated.

Simulation in the digital thread offers enterprise teams better traceability:

  • Improved compliance, with access to all data, including simulation
  • Executable, repeatable processes across engineering teams, to ensure consistency and compare “like vs. like” during iteration
  • Faster, easier access to accurate, up-to-date performance insights from test and simulation, supporting better, faster decisions.

The Aras Platform Approach for Supporting the Digital Thread and Digital Twin

Other benefits of the digital thread include:

  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Automated simulations mean less time spent searching for the right data, preparing it at the right fidelity, and waiting for multiple teams and tools
  • Reduced time spent in non-value-added work, since results are sent faster and in context with requirements, improving decision-making
  • Eliminating redesign, rework, and discarded work by eliminating manual data exchange, and parallel design paths, across multiple teams.

Realizing the benefits of current and next-generation applications for simulation requires automated, multi-physics, and multi-fidelity processes. Scaled across the enterprise with Aras Simulation Management, these promise to improve performance and accelerate efficiencies. But they can also front-load tomorrow’s strategic initiatives. Aras Simulation Management offers a unique, enterprise-class solution to scale the use of simulation to more teams and processes throughout the product’s lifecycle.

The Ongoing Relationship

The Aras/ANSYS partnership and collaboration has been ongoing for approximately two years. Last September, the first commercial release of ANSYS Minerva was 2019R3, but with little fanfare from either company.

Powered by Aras, ANSYS Minerva is a knowledge management product for critical simulation expertise. ANSYS Minerva improves productivity and maximizes business value from existing engineering technology investments by providing model-based system engineering, simulation process and data management, lifecycle traceability, process integration, design optimization and simulation-driven data science capabilities. ANSYS Minerva is critical for managing the volume of simulation data required for testing complex systems, such as autonomous vehicles.

ANSYS Minerva, powered by Aras, is a centralized knowledge management application that improves multi-physics collaboration by making data, project plans and analytics easily accessible in one place so team members in different locations and functional silos can work with the same, most current information.

“With our open ecosystem approach, this unique collaboration combines the strengths of ANSYS’ industry-leading multi-physics portfolio and the resilient platform from Aras for digital connectivity to dramatically enhance customer value,” said Navin Budhiraja, vice president of cloud and platform business unit, ANSYS. “As simulation technologies impact every product decision, we see the ability of ANSYS solutions to interoperate and link with heterogeneous systems as an important step to accelerate the digital transformation for our customers.”

How the Aras Platform Works

Minerva improves productivity and maximizes the value of existing engineering technologies by providing simulation process and data management, life cycle traceability, process integration, design optimization and simulation-driven data science capabilities.

Available for both on-premise and cloud deployment, Minerva connects to all leading product life cycle management systems. Somewhat surprising, but reasonable for an “open” approach, Aras is not the default PLM system, but could be if desired by customers. In any event, according to ANSYS, customers could derive immediate benefits by connecting simulation and optimization with their existing ecosystem of tools and processes.

With ANSYS Minerva, both ANSYS and Aras have a vendor neutral and open approach. ANSYS Minerva leverages the underlying Aras platform, but not the PLM offerings from Aras. For e.g. ANSYS Minerva leverages the core platform capabilities such as configuration management and PDM/PLM connectivity, and not Aras PLM.

ANSYS Minerva provides:

  • Simulation process and data management that connects simulation for lifecycle traceability and enables collaboration and decision support
  • Access to multi-physics process integration/automation of chained data flows and design space exploration for optimal performance parameters
  • Interoperability with standards-based connectivity to engineering applications and lifecycle systems
  • Hybrid deployment with composable on-premise and multi-cloud management for optimized simulation workloads.

According to ANSYS, some of Minerva’s benefits include:

  • Structure simulation/optimization data, processes and projects
  • Accessing insights and information for informed decision making
  • Tracing the “who, when, where, and what” for approvals and resources
  • Applying data search and reuse
  • Access light weight 3D visualization and meta data reports
  • Integrating ANSYS and non-ANSYS tools and processes for interoperability
  • Executing and monitoring high-performance computing (HPC) jobs.

This Aras/ANYSYS partnership and open ecosystem is an interesting development in the complex area of managing simulation and analysis. In the end, Aras + Ansys may end up equaling more than A + A. It may end up equaling A2 with regard to simulation and the product lifecycle. It’s still early in the game, but this strategic partnership seems like a serious commitment by both parties for the long haul.

Editor’s Note: Are you attending 3DExperience World (formerly Solidworks World) in Nashville? If so, stop by the MCADCafe booth (#201) and say “hello,” we’ll be there all week. If you would like schedule a video interview during the event, contact MCADCafe publisher, Sanjay Gangal at 408-221-0982 or Hope to see you there!

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Categories: ANSYS, Aras

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