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.

Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

guest commentary

High-Powered Users Demand More from Analysis and Simulation Tools

by 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

Top Stories
  • Product and Company News
    • Special Notices
      • Customer Wins
        • [

          Recommended Reading

          (Note: $$ - denotes premium content. Article is available via a trial subscription or for a nominal fee.)

          A new technology developed by Advanced Ceramic Research uses freeform fabrication to build bone implants.

          www.cadcamnet.com , June 26, 2003 $$

          1 | 2  Next Page »

          You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

          To read more news, click here.

          -- , MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.

          Review Article Be the first to review this article
          SolidCAM: Program your CNCs directly inside your existing CAD system.

          Autodesk - DelCAM

          Featured Video
          Jeff RoweJeff's MCAD Blogging
          by Jeff Rowe
          Apple Adding To Computer Product Line Minus Ports
          Currently No Featured Jobs
          Upcoming Events
          3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress at 1310 Washington Ave. Golden CO - Oct 25 - 26, 2016
          Electric&Hybrid Aerospace Technology Symposium 2016 at Conference Centre East. Koelnmesse (East Entrance) Messeplatz 1 Cologne Germany - Nov 9 - 10, 2016
          Autodesk University Las Vegas at Las Vegas NV - Nov 15 - 17, 2016
          TurboCAD pro : Limited Time offer

          Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
          595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
          +1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
          AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
            Privacy Policy Advertise