June 30, 2003
High-Powered Users Demand More from Analysis and Simulation Tools by Ira Breskin
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
High-Powered Users Demand More from Analysis and Simulation Toolsby Ira Breskin
Big users of finite element analysis software are demanding that vendors help them more quickly and efficiently design increasingly complex products.
That's the predominant theme that emerged after discussions with users at Daratech Inc.'s Digital Product Simulation conference near Detroit last week, said Bruce Jenkins, the consulting firm's executive vice president. The goal "is to pull the use of the tools forward to leverage simulation to test products as soon is feasible," Jenkins said during a telephone interview on Tuesday.
To do so, customers want vendors to make the tools easier to use or more intuitive by offering features such as "wizards," without introducing commensurate performance penalties. Why? Because this will generate wider uptake and acceptance of the software beyond core users, generally concentrated in design engineering departments, Jenkins said.
However, the bigger goal: "help the serious user better understand the complexity in order to meet project objectives." This, in turn, will help users make a stronger case to management to justify the cost of buying and installing this specialized software.
Using the software ultimately allows designers to replace costly and time consuming physical tests with quicker and cheaper data analysis, directly addressing top management's costs reduction and quicker time to market mandate. An added benefit: quicker analysis gives engineers more time to consider design options throughout the product development cycle.
Moreover, vendors ideally will seize on users. calls for increased after sales service and support and move "from technical marketing to business case marketing," Jenkins aid.
Specifically users want help in determining how to optimally transfer these powerful tools throughout their organization and track the resulting workflow to ensure that resulting analysis data are used in a design feedback loop.
"Ideally, vendors will provide more analysis so more engineers can get involved in computer-aided engineering," Jenkins said.
That scenario assumes that users can readily share simulation data that they can correlate with physical test results, still a significant challenge. Also high on users. wish list is the ability to correlate electronic and electro-mechanical simulation data, according to Jenkins.
Moreover, users continue to request dedicated product data management software for CAE data. Given the difficulty tied to managing this data by addressing its unique structure, as well as providing underlying workflow, traditional PDM vendors haven't taken up this challenge, according to Jenkins.
However, FEA vendors such as Ansys Inc., LMS International and MSC Software recently have stepped to the plate to address the concerns of this niche market, one that they know well. Their solution: so-called simulation data management packages.
Finally, users continue to call for CAE middleware that will help transfer analysis data between CAE engines, or solvers. The need for such a tool emphasizes the fact that discrete solvers tend to address specific design areas such a noise, vibration and hardness or computation fluid dynamics, for example.
However, several vendors, including LMS International, recently have introduced process integration and design optimization tools designed to foster sharing of solver-specific data, according to Jenkins.
Comments? Feedback? Tell us what you think about this topic or if you have additional information you'd like to share on this subject! Submit your comments to:
Ira Breskin, a freelance editor/writer specializing in business and technology issues, is a frequent contributor to Business Week, Newsday, and the New York Times. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism, Columbia University Business School. He may be reached at
commentary: The Loss of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs [26 Jun 2003]
Autodesk Expands Manufacturing Solutions with Introduction of Autodesk Inventor Professional 7 [24 Jun 2003]
MSC.Software Announces Release of MSC.Nastran 2004 [24 Jun 2003]
Oracle Expands Product Lifecycle Management Applications [24 Jun 2003]
SolidWorks Ships a Quarter of a Million Licenses, Dominates 3D Mechanical Design Market [23 Jun 2003]
Product and Company News
ATI Ships ALL-IN-WONDER 9800 PRO [26 Jun 2003]
Delcam to show Total Modelling CAD solution in Japan [23 Jun 2003]
Elysium Announces Cadporter Version 8 [26 Jun 2003]
iBaan for PLM Now Embeds AutoVue [25 Jun 2003]
IBM and Dassault Systemes' Worldwide Academic Program to Develop Elite PLM Engineers Exceeds $100 Million Contribution Level [26 Jun 2003]
Materialise Adds CAM to its Automated Tool Design Solution, Boosting Toolmakers' Productivity [25 Jun 2003]
Moldflow and Kistler Sign Distribution Agreement [23 Jun 2003]
PTC(R), web2CAD(TM) and Thomas Register(R) Build World's Largest 3D Component Portal for Pro/ENGINEER(R) Wildfire(TM) [25 Jun 2003]
Resinate Announces VAR Sales Program [24 Jun 2003]
Roland Offers Three New SRP Materials [24 Jun 2003]
Stratasys Introduces FDM Vantage - Rapid Prototyping System Designed for Extended Life [23 Jun 2003]
Sun Microsystems Announces MSC.Software's Plans to Integrate and Support Sun(TM) ONE Grid Engine Software [25 Jun 2003]
Columbia University, IBM and the University of New Orleans Announce First 3-D Assembly of Magnetic and Semiconducting Nanoparticles [25 Jun 2003]
Pro/ENGINEER WILDFIRE Hands-On Day Huge Success [27 Jun 2003]
Delcam's PowerMILL gives BS Tooling a triple time saving [25 Jun 2003]
EBZ Engineering Chooses Tecnomatix as Primary Supplier of its Manufacturing Process Management Solutions and Services [25 Jun 2003]
MSC.Software Completes Multi-Phase Full Vehicle NVH Process Services Engagement for Hyundai [26 Jun 2003]
PTC Pro/ENGINEER Accelerates 'Time to Track,' Powering Victory For Team Bentley at Le Mans [24 Jun 2003]
(Note: $$ - denotes premium content. Article is available via a trial subscription or for a nominal fee.)
You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.
To read more news, click here.
-- , MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.
Be the first to review this article