June 28, 2004
Ashlar-Vellum's Cobalt Helps Launch Rutan's SpaceShipOne Design
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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With the introduction of LMS Virtual.lab Rev 4, LMS continues to add new functionality and to extend the application reach of LMS Virtual.Lab. The LMS Virtual.Lab Structural Analysis configuration provides users of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools, like CATIA CAE, MSC.NASTRAN or ANSYS, extended FE manipulation tools and pre-/post-processing capabilities for numerous types of FE analyses. LMS Virtual.Lab transparently accesses the modeling and results data, and makes the structural solver an integral part of the Virtual.Lab simulation process. LMS Virtual.Lab Rev 4 introduces a new Morphing module that enables engineering teams to quickly morph or modify an existing FE model into new FE
models corresponding to the target new design. This allows engineers to perform a multitude of analyses before complete CAD or new FE models become available, and to deliver better design directives much earlier in the process. LMS Virtual.Lab Morphing also enables the engineering team to rapidly implement design changes, and to study more variants in the same time window.

LMS Virtual.Lab Acoustics enables engineering teams to minimize the radiated noise or optimize the sound quality of new designs before prototype testing. With Rev 4, LMS Virtual.Lab Acoustics offers a complete process solution that combines convenient modeling capabilities with powerful solver technology and easy interpretable visualization tools. It tightly links acoustic prediction to structural design, which supports users in easily modifying the structural FE model to assess the effect of design modifications. It even allows them to automatically optimize the acoustic performance of the design, while systematically updating the FE models. With the New Virtual.Lab Interior Acoustics solution, engineers can accurately model the vibro-acoustic behavior of a vehicle body, and realistically simulate the interior sound of the vehicle. This allows users to study the effect of increasing the structural damping of the body, stiffening the roof or the floor panels, changing the volumetric absorption from vehicle seats, or adapting the trim thickness of specific body panels. LMS Virtual.Lab Interior Acoustics includes unique cavity meshing capabilities that allow users to start from a structural full vehicle or trimmed body model and automatically generate the Finite Element mesh for the cavity. LMS Virtual.Lab Interior Acoustics supports the full simulation process
in a single user environment - from the creation of the acoustic vehicle model, over the prediction of system-level transfer functions, up to the refinement and optimization of the acoustic performance long before running prototype tests.

LMS Virtual.Lab Noise and Vibration Rev 4 offers unique system synthesis techniques for vibration predictions that dramatically increase the speed of simulation runs. This, in combination with path, modal and panel contribution tools, allows users to efficiently analyze the root cause of specific noise and vibration problems. The unique modification prediction capabilities support them in assessing the noise and vibration performance of a design variant in a couple of minutes, and in quickly exploring multiple options. LMS Virtual.Lab Noise and Vibration Rev 4 also offers extended tools to validate the accuracy of full-system simulation models. These tools compare the dynamic
characteristics of virtual sub-system and component models with test models and validated virtual models. They allow users to make comparisons between any combination of model types, including FE-FE, test-test and test-FE correlations.

LMS Virtual.Lab Motion offers a complete and integrated solution to realistically simulate the dynamics of mechanical systems, and accurately determine the resulting internal dynamic loads and stresses. With Rev 4, LMS Virtual.Lab Motion introduces four new application-specific solutions, with dedicated modeling and simulation capabilities for full-vehicle, suspension, gear system and track vehicle simulation. LMS Virtual.Lab Motion Rev 4 further extends its CAD compatibility, rigid and FE modeling capabilities and graphic post-processing tools. A powerful design sensitivity analysis solution, built into the motion solver, enables users to efficiently analyze the sensitivity of their
design to specific parameters, and to quickly perform optimization studies. LMS Virtual.Lab Motion Rev 4 offers extended capabilities for designing and simulating systems' controls and hydraulics, providing a complete solution for mechatronic system analysis.

To further increase the efficiency of durability simulation and optimization processes, LMS Virtual.Lab Durability Rev 4 introduces specific solution configurations for MSC.NASTRAN users. These component and system-level durability configurations provide integrated process flows that facilitate and automate all interactions with FE solvers such as ANSYS, MSC.NASTRAN and CATIA CAE - covering static strength, dynamic strength and fatigue-life prediction analysis. LMS Virtual.Lab Durability further improves the accuracy of fatigue-life and structural strength predictions by offering enhanced seam weld capabilities.

LMS Virtual.Lab is a unique hybrid simulation approach, because it combines physical test and virtual simulation disciplines. This engineering process can move faster, and can also be more accurate, because test-based validation is built in. LMS Virtual.Lab is an integrated CAE environment for the functional performance engineering of several critical design attributes, such as noise and vibration, crash, ride and handling, durability, etc. It is an open environment with links to the diverse CAD, CAE, and test worlds. It minimizes much of the non-value added time from the typical engineering process, and lets engineers reuse models rather than rebuilding them for each application. It
integrates the different attribute simulation disciplines, eliminating unnecessary data transfers and translations for cross-attribute product optimization. LMS Virtual.Lab captures the simulation process, and automatically "remembers" particular engineering tools and workflows, enabling engineers to analyze multiple design options for a specific set of performance attributes. As you might imagine, for a product suite of this type and range of capabilities, the main customer base is currently automotive and aerospace, but other market segments are emerging that can exploit LMS Virtual.Lab's ability to simultaneously handle physical test and virtual simulation.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 408.850.9230.

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