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Simulation for Everyone Who Needs It!
What if in order to drive a car you were required to be an expert in the dynamics, principles, and physics involved in exactly how a collection of parts interact to propel you down the road? The overwhelming majority of us would be walking. While this may appear to be an exaggerated example, one could argue that the product simulation world has operated in this way for nearly fifty years.

The Advent of CAE

Today’s product development environment employs Computer-Aided Design (CAD) models to drive new product development. This is certainly no revelation; it’s been this way since the 1980s. In the 1970s the engineering community began to investigate ways to analyze product designs in order to investigate failures in the field. By the 1980s, simulation began to be used to validate parts and sub-assemblies more quickly during the design process and help lower the cost. The intention was to reduce (or even eliminate) the number of physical prototypes that are built and tested before a product goes to market.

This created a need that was quickly filled by engineers who had developed an expertise in the field. Simulation (CAE) tools emerged enabling these experts to essentially replicate real-world movement, stresses, strains, heat transfer, and failures. Manufacturers throughout such industries as automotive, aerospace, construction and off-highway quickly embraced simulation as an integral part of the design process and continued to invest in the tools and resources to support its on-going development.

Today the ability to apply these advanced tools, techniques, expertise, and experience is as much an art as it is a science. Consequently, there remains a relatively small fraternity of CAE experts - many early pioneers, or direct disciples of them. These are the custodians of a high level of expertise and experience relied upon to perform key analysis and to extract useful data out of tools that are inherently difficult to use and highly manual.

Today the dilemma is threefold. Limited expert resources create unnecessarily long analysis processes, reducing the number of design alternatives that may be evaluated. Secondly, as this generation exits the workforce in growing numbers there is a serious and valid concern that much of their hard-earned knowledge is retiring with them. The reality is that analysis/simulation, including the expensively verified and validated product analysis models that are specific to each company, is a critical competitive advantage for those who possess it. Finally, as simulation is limited to the experts, not only do they become a bottleneck in the design process, but the other engineers in the product teams who could use simulation in their design explorations cannot.

What’s New: Simulation Applications

What if there was a way to capture and reuse this expertise? What if a way existed to embed such tangible knowledge and intangible judgement into a reusable template extending this simulation capability throughout the product development team? The solution lies in software like Comet Solutions' Simulation Applications (SimApps), a new application software approach based not on custom programming but rather on the rapid graphical creation of robust templates that work across highly varying designs and even across an entire product family.
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Published 2015-09-02 00:00:00