All posts by Bruce Jenkins

New Simcenter 3D v12: Scale, depth, speed of integration progress unsurpassed

Siemens’ newest version of Simcenter 3D, its flagship environment for multidisciplinary computer-aided engineering, offers new comprehensive solutions across multiple simulation disciplines. Key features:

  • Powerful generative design workflows support fully integrated topology optimization and Convergent Modeling for efficient design and simulation.
  • Advanced solutions deliver on Simcenter’s strategy for structural dynamics, motion and acoustics, delivering superior functionality and performance.
  • Improved industry workflows include universal connections support for efficient modeling of large assemblies.

Simcenter 3D is an advanced standalone CAE application for analysts and discipline experts that works with data from any CAD source. Being built on the Siemens NX platform, it of course works seamlessly with NX CAD. With more enhancements than any previous release, the newest Simcenter 3D—part of Siemens’s Simcenter portfolio of simulation and test solutions for predictive engineering analytics—looks to revolutionize how simulation engineers can help drive design direction in industries such as automotive, aerospace and industrial machinery.  See our Predictive engineering analytics: Simcenter unifies, advances Siemens PLM’s simulation/test portfolio.

Technology Results Viewer: Newly integrated workflows in Simcenter 3D v12

The new release integrates significant capabilities that were previously available in legacy simulation tools such as LMS Virtual.Lab and Samtech Samcef. Integration and expansion of these capabilities into Simcenter 3D’s unified, scalable and open environment aims to help engineers, analysts and designers improve their overall productivity, and give their organizations access to a broad yet deep array of simulation technology.

Scale, depth, speed of integration work all impress

The scope, scale, depth and—perhaps above all—swift, determined execution of Siemens’ work to intelligently integrate its many CAE-related acquisitions over the past handful of years is unsurpassed by anything comparable we can recall anywhere else in the industry. The latest Simcenter 3D release, and Siemens’ continued progress in realizing its overall Simcenter vision, is testament to the high caliber of both its technologists and its senior management—few companies in any industry can boast the same number of truly world-class executives and experts shepherding and coordinating the various Siemens PLM Software businesses and product families. Continue reading

MapleSim Explorer advances MBSE democratization through organization-wide sharing of MapleSim models

MapleSim Explorer, part of Maplesoft’s recently released MapleSim 2017 system-level modeling software, is a new “cost-effective deployment solution” that enables product development organizations to “make the knowledge embedded in their MapleSim models available to more people,” the company says. MapleSim Explorer “powers informed decision making throughout the organization” by helping systems modeling leads within engineering organizations “make the knowledge embedded in their MapleSim models available to other engineers to support informed decision making.” Continue reading

Siemens PLM Software awards first Platinum Level STAR-CCM+ user

Siemens PLM Software awards first Platinum Level STAR-CCM+ user

Stewart Bible, of Resolved Analytics in Durham, North Carolina, has become the first Siemens PLM Platinum Level Certified STAR award recipient. Stewart was presented with his Platinum certificate in an online ceremony attended by Global VP of Customer Success, Stephen McIlwain, Training Manager and Global Support Team member Aaron Bird, and Dedicated Support Engineer, Chandraprakash Tourani. Continue reading

What Makes a Parametric Modeler Tick?

What Makes a Parametric Modeler Tick?

By Neil Cooke / August 24, 2017

Parametric feature-based solid modeling is almost 30 years old. In that time, not much has changed. Sure, there have been plenty of CAD systems with their own take on how to model in 3D, but the basic principles remain the same: Create a sketch → Create a feature → Repeat.

One of the main benefits of parametric modeling systems is being able to make changes quickly. Every sketch and every feature is driven by dimensions, so all you have to do to make a design change is to change the value of a dimension, right? Yes, in most cases, but if only it were that simple all of the time.

When you create a sketch, you are capturing design intent by adding dimensions, constraints and references to other model geometry. This design intent helps you predict how your models will update when changes occur. However, if you’re not careful, you can easily get yourself into a pickle. Making too many careless references to other geometry in your model can make your model very fragile. If your model has dozens of features, you could end up chasing errors for hours. A lot of this heartache can be avoided if you have a basic understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes.

Every geometric element created by a parametric modeling system has a unique internal ID number. This number is referenced by subsequent sketches, features, assembly mates, and drawings to work out where things should be placed relative to the rest of the model. So if that ID number no longer exists, guess what? That’s right, the feature doesn’t know what to do and fails. If a design change makes an edge or face disappear, it is likely that some downstream features will fail. It’s not the features themselves that are the problem, it’s the references you make between them. References can be your biggest ally, but also your biggest enemy.

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TASS International acquisition propels Siemens to forefront of automated driving solutions engineering

Siemens announced an agreement to acquire TASS International, a global provider of simulation software and related engineering and test services primarily to the automotive industry focused on autonomous driving, integrated safety, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and tire modeling. Based in Helmond, The Netherlands, TASS has developed what Siemens terms “a rich family of solutions that will further strengthen Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software portfolio, and add to its position as the leading supplier of systems-driven product development offerings for the global automotive industry.” The combined offerings, Siemens says, will provide “a fully integrated solution to frontload verification and validation of automated driving systems.”

This move puts Siemens PLM Software squarely in the vanguard of the industry’s accelerating trend of deep investment in technology platforms for engineering modeling and simulation of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, especially their onboard sensing and decision-making systems. See for example our VIRES acquisition by MSC Software accelerates Hexagon’s simulation portfolio and autonomous X strategy, and ESI Pro-SiVIC 2016 models how sensors perceive scenes and smart products make decisions.

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TASS PreScan model of autonomous emergency braking system in Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) test scenario.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator: Developing a revolutionary elevator system for tall buildings

Commercial building designs from today’s architectural engineering industry are growing ever taller and more elaborate. Currently the world’s tallest skyscraper is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, standing at 828 meters (2,717 feet). This commanding height brings a unique set of engineering challenges, one being how to transport people efficiently from the ground floor to the top.

Most elevator systems raise and lower the elevator cabin by means of a motor-driven cable system installed at the top of the building. However, such systems generally afford a maximum ride length of 400 meters (1,312 feet)—just half the height of the Burj Khalifa, meaning passengers would have to board two, or possibly more, elevators to reach the top level.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s electromagnetic drive enables unprecedented freedom of travel.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator, a unit of ThyssenKrupp Corporation, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of elevator systems, with annual sales of €6.4 billion and more than 50,000 employees at 900 locations. To meet the challenge of efficiently transporting occupants within the Burj Khalifa, the company’s design and engineering teams conceived and developed a novel design that uses electromagnetic drives attached to the frame of each elevator cabin for propulsion. This eliminates the need for roof-mounted cable systems and lets a single elevator traverse the Burj Khalifa’s full 800-meter height. In addition, it allows the elevator cage to move horizontally as well as vertically. But this new concept also brought new challenges, chief among them being that the cabin would not be able to carry as much passenger weight as a traditional elevator. Continue reading

Design Manager, STAR-Innovate add fully integrated design exploration, optimization to Siemens’ STAR-CCM+

Two new, seamlessly integrated features in the latest release of Siemens’ STAR-CCM+ software for multiphysics computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation and analysis enable automated product design exploration and optimization. One is Design Manager, a capability in STAR-CCM+ version 12.04 that lets users easily explore multiple design options within their CFD simulations. The other is STAR-Innovate, built on the proven technology of HEEDS, the multidisciplinary design exploration (MDX) software that Siemens came to own through its 2016 acquisition of CD-adapco, which had previously acquired HEEDS and its developer, Red Cedar Technology. STAR-CCM+, now developed and managed by Siemens PLM Software, is part of the company’s Simcenter portfolio, a robust suite of simulation and test solutions. See our Predictive engineering analytics: Simcenter unifies, advances Siemens PLM’s simulation/test portfolio.

Design Manager in STAR-CCM+

“I firmly believe that single-scenario engineering simulations are about to become a thing of the past,” says Siemens PLM Software senior vice president of product management Jean-Claude Ercolanelli. “If you know how to use STAR-CCM+, then you will instinctively know how to use Design Manager. This means that every engineer who installs STAR-CCM+ v12.04 can now conduct design exploration studies with ease to discover better designs, faster.”

“STAR-CCM+ is the only multiphysics CFD offering that seamlessly enables engineers to perform design exploration studies backed by an industrial-strength optimization tool like HEEDS,” Ercolanelli adds. “As a result, engineers can spend less time setting up and monitoring simulations, and more time assessing the outcomes to determine what makes good designs great. This is a game-changer.”

HEEDS: The Pro/E of design space exploration

Our firsthand research among users in global automotive, aerospace, gas turbine and other manufacturing industries confirms HEEDS is a breakthrough technology that at last makes multidisciplinary design exploration easily and readily usable by engineering discipline leads, without their having to become experts in the arcana of design space exploration (DSE) tools and methods—design of experiments, response surface models, scatter plots, Pareto frontiers, stochastic optimization, on and on. Or, as is more often the case, hire an engineering service provider with specialized expertise in DSE in order to gain access to the technology’s benefits.

Indeed, we believe it is not too much to deem HEEDS the “Pro/ENGINEER of design space exploration”—bringing to DSE the same generational leap forward that PTC’s then-revolutionary technology for parametric, feature-based 3D modeling represented over the cumbersome, not very usable or practical solids modelers available to that time. HEEDS is the first in a new wave of software tools that promise finally to bring design space exploration out of its two-decade history as a niche technology applied only in extreme situations, and at last make it a practical everyday engineering tool. Other new-generation DSE tools of this ilk include DATADVANCE pSeven, ESI MINESET, ESTECO modeFRONTIER 2016, Noesis Solutions id8, Phoenix Integration’s newest iteration of ModelCenter, and more. Continue reading

Industrial IoT Acceleration Plans from GE Digital: “Maximize the return on your IIoT investments—accelerate your path to ROI”

“Digital industrial transformation requires more than just installing new software—it requires the adoption and utilization of new tools and solutions across your enterprise,” says GE Digital, developer of the Industrial IoT platform Predix. “Built by industry for industry,” says GE, “Predix is the Industrial Internet platform that connects your organization’s physical and digital worlds.” For background, see our ANSYS, GE partner to bring simulation to the Industrial IoT.

A new series of “Acceleration Plans” from GE Digital were developed specifically to address this need and drive outcome attainment. “These plans offer a comprehensive set of service capabilities to help you maximize value from your software investments and capitalize on your digital industrial transformation,” the company says. “Acceleration Plans address critical product support, end-user training and education, data health, and overall organizational adoption needs.” Continue reading

ESI Virtual Seat Solution helps JSP improve automotive seat manufacturing accuracy

JSP is a global business serving the automotive, construction, civil engineering and packaging markets with a range of expanded polymers. When the company first began to embed plastic and metal components into its automotive seat designs fabricated in ARPRO® expanded polypropylene (EPP), its engineers discovered that this made post-fabrication shrinkage of the product more difficult to predict. The modeling and simulation methods they were using at the time failed to account for thermal effects during shrinkage, making simulations of the manufacturing process unrevealing and unreliable. Consequently, additional physical trial and error were required to achieve the correct final form, stretching out development schedules and driving up costs.

JSP automotive seat fabricated in ARPRO expanded polypropylene (EPP)

To overcome that problem, JSP adopted ESI Group’s ESI Virtual Seat Solution (VSS). With this new technology, JSP engineers found they can now—reliably and recurrently—define a target shape that includes plastic and/or metal molded inserts, select the density of their ARPRO® foam, then calculate the mold shape that will deliver the required geometry for each component upon completion of the molding and curing process. Continue reading

Thermal shrink simulation—distorted shape.