Simulation apps are the latest development in making advanced CAE capabilities safely and easily available to engineers and designers. As we explored last month (New frontiers in simulation process automation), simulation apps provide sophisticated functionality packaged as easy-to-use, tightly focused apps that automate the design, analysis and verification of a specific type of product, often tailored to the needs and best practices of a specific user company. First the company’s engineering knowledge is captured as rules in a set of templates that automate the design of the targeted class of product. Then, in use, the templates call on general-purpose simulation and analysis software to drive automated CAE model preparation, physics calculations in the various disciplines involved, and presentation of results in the form of an optimized, validated design.
One company putting this new approach into practice is BWAY Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of rigid metal and plastic packaging containers for industrial, commercial and retail markets in North America. In a recent webcast hosted by the CAE professional association NAFEMS, BWAY’s Engineering Manager for Plastics, Forrest Burney, described how the company is using simulation apps to save project costs and shrink time-to-market for new products, as well as to gain more control over the design process by no longer needing to rely on outside CAE service providers. Furthermore, Burney says, “Because we can analyze more design iterations faster, we can do a better job optimizing the design up front and have a higher confidence level in the performance of the finished package.” Continue reading