Ford Motor Company adopted ESTECO’s SOMO as a tool to enable what it terms an enterprise multidisciplinary design optimization (EMDO) system, announced Dr. Yan Fu, technical leader of business strategy and engineering optimization at Ford. SOMO is an enterprise collaboration and distributed execution framework developed by ESTECO and customized to meet Ford’s engineering processes and IT requirements.
Ford’s move affirms two key points we have long observed:
MDO is a strategic capability for engineering organizations, not just tactical.
To have strategic impact, MDO needs to be institutionalized at the enterprise level, not implemented as just a departmental or workgroup capability.
The power of numerical optimization in engineering design is its ability to rationally and rapidly search through alternatives for the best possible design(s). Parameters in a design that can be varied to search for a “best” design are design variables. Given these, design can be structured as the process of finding the minimum or maximum of some attribute, termed the objective function. For a design to be acceptable, it also must satisfy certain requirements, or design constraints. Optimization is the process of automatically changing the design variables to identify the minimum or maximum of the objective function while satisfying all the required design constraints. [This survey of design optimization methods is in complement to our recent review of design exploration techniques. See also Design exploration vs. design optimization.]Continue reading →
Discussions of how to simulate early in product development fixate too often on FEA, overlooking the power of systems modeling and 0D/1D simulation for studying, exploring and optimizing designs at the beginning of projects, when product geometry is seldom available for 3D CAE but engineering decision-making can have its greatest impact and leverage on project success. Continue reading →
If you use design space exploration software, we invite you to take our five-minute survey of satisfaction with your software and vendor, and the benefits you’re realizing, via one of the links below. In return you’ll receive a report of the findings that will let you benchmark your experiences against those of your peers and competitors. Your participation and responses are strictly confidential. Findings will be discussed in aggregate only; no information about individual responses will be released. This survey is our own undertaking and is not commissioned by, nor executed in cooperation with, any software vendor or other party.
To take the survey, click the link for the software you use. If you use more than one brand, take the survey for each brand you use. If you don’t see your software here, click the Other brand link and write in your brand where the survey asks for it. We value your input and look forward to sharing the findings with you.
Automating the search for solutions to engineering problems can take either of two broad approaches: design exploration or design optimization. Practitioners making technology choices need to understand which tools do one, which do the other, and which approach best fits their needs. A global roster of commercially available design exploration and optimization software appears at the end of this post.Continue reading →
Technology business strategy for 21st-century engineering practice