Category Archives: Research brief

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.

ANSYS acquires CEI: Faster, smarter product decisions through engineering simulation visualization

ANSYS acquired Computational Engineering International, Inc. (CEI), the long-established developer of a suite of products that help engineers and scientists analyze, visualize and communicate simulation data. Headquartered in Apex, NC, CEI has 28 employees and more than 750 customers worldwide. Its flagship product, EnSight, is a premier solution for analyzing, visualizing and communicating simulation data.

“The merger of the physical and digital worlds is resulting in products that were once unimaginable,” ANSYS observes, “and companies are faced with an overwhelming number of design decisions compared to previous product generations. That is something only engineering simulation can feasibly provide in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Users need to quickly analyze the immense amount of data that simulation generates to make the right engineering and business decisions. By bringing together the world leader in engineering simulation with the top simulation visualization tool, ANSYS is offering the industry new insight as companies increasingly rely on simulation to develop tomorrow’s products.” Continue reading

Altair acquires Carriots IoT platform in bid for IoT leadership in PLM

Joining the industry-wide race for dominance in tools to engineer the Internet of Things, Altair last month acquired Carriots S.L. The Madrid-based IoT technology company is the developer of Carriots, a complete IoT application enablement platform (AEP) to rapidly connect and manage devices, collect and analyze data, and build intelligent applications together with enterprise business systems. The addition of an IoT platform to Altair’s CAE, cloud analytics and HPC portfolio, the company says, “offers customers a highly scalable software stack to develop, enable, manage and optimize devices throughout their lifecycle.” Continue reading

MapleMBSE from Maplesoft radically expands accessibility of model-based systems engineering

Maplesoft’s just-released MapleMBSE, designed to help engineers create, maintain and validate product requirements efficiently and with fewer errors, is a technological breakthrough that for the first time lets engineering organizations adopt a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) approach to requirements management without forcing every engineer on the project to be an expert in complex MBSE tools.

Using an Excel-based interface, MapleMBSE makes collaboration on requirements accessible to all project stakeholders, not just the MBSE tool experts, and provides streamlined interfaces for each task in the MBSE project. This enables and fosters system-wide collaboration on the project, while slashing the time and errors almost always associated with conventional, complex MBSE tool usage. Continue reading

MapleMBSE enables and fosters system-wide project collaboration while slashing the time and errors associated with conventional MBSE tool usage.

Democratizing AM: Formlabs Fuse 1 makes SLS 3D printing accessible

Accelerating the additive manufacturing (AM) revolution, Formlabs—a designer and manufacturer of 3D printing systems that it differentiates as being both “powerful and accessible”—unveiled Fuse 1, its first selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer. At the same time, it launched Form Cell, an automated production solution for additive manufacturing that uses the Form 2, which Formlabs bills as today’s best-selling professional 3D printer. Continue reading

MSC Apex Grizzly: Structural analysis for massive assemblies

MSC Software just announced MSC Apex Grizzly, the seventh release of its next-generation CAE platform and an unprecedented breakthrough in engineering modeling and simulation of mega-structures.

Very large structures such as cranes, ship hulls, shipyard ramps and the like are typically massive assemblies that often include thousands of parts welded together, and thus present unique challenges in finite element modeling, model validation and simulation. Due to the sheer number of parts, users have traditionally taken from weeks to months to build finite element models—where this was possible at all—and thus found it a struggle to have time to model and simulate more than a small handful of design iterations. As a result, engineers were often forced to rely on rougher, lower-fidelity approximation methods to evaluate these massive fabricated structures. Continue reading