Four Companies That Use Simulation Software to Speed Design

Written By: Beverly Spaulding
  • 5/30/2018

You put hours into modeling that prototype. You sent it off for analysis, and then you got the call you were dreading--the prototype failed, and you’re back to the drawing board.

broken drill bit

Simulation software might have prevented this.

The good news is, there’s an alternative. Engineers at these four companies receive a lot fewer of those calls because they simulate their products under operating conditions using finite element analysis, before ever sending their models off to analysis. Here’s a closer look at what the software does for them and their designs:

Strength, Reliability, and Performance from Simulation Software

Hensley Industries specializes in attachments and wear parts for earth-moving equipment used in mining, construction, trenching, and reclamation.

Consider the bucket on an excavator. After scooping up enough rocks, the teeth on the bucket wear down to nubs and have to be replaced. Sounds simple enough, but if you’re the engineer who designs those wear parts, you will have multiple concerns.


Can you design the tooth so that the operator or technician can replace it quickly in the field without specialized skills, strength, and tools? How will the part wear over time? The better the “consumption ratio,” the more life the operator will get out of the part, the less the lifetime cost, and the higher the likelihood Hensley has a winning product.

Tooth wear patterns

The higher the consumption ratio, the more of the tooth is used.

Engineers at Hensley answer questions like these by running simulations during the design process. With Creo Simulate, the engineer can apply static and dynamic loads to a CAD model right withinCreo and see how it will do in real life—long before real-life prototyping.

Custom Products

Demand is on the way up for video walls—those arrays of monitors you see at stadiums, control centers, and airports, looming larger than any human that stands before them. If you’ve ever bought home a TV too big for your entertainment center, you know you can’t just hang it on a picture hook. SmartMetals Mounting Solutions knows that too.

Mounting stands from SmartMetals

A selection of SmartMetals video mounts

The brand promises easy-to-install, high-quality audio visual equipment mounts that need to bear weight, withstand whatever heat the electronics generate, and be very easy to position. SmartMetals often gets requests for custom products. Customers approach the company with projects like the following:

●       An enclosure for monitors in the departure hall of a train station that could protect the equipment against vandalism.

●       A ceiling solution for a call center that could hold 4 displays on a tube.

●       A stand for a portrait-style digital sign for the entrance of a grocery store.

SmartMetals engineers use Creo Simulate to conduct standard CAE analyses, like linear static, modal, buckling, contact and steady state thermal. Engineers see how their models will perform in the real world, without translating the files or outsourcing the work to analysts.

30% Less Rework

Kontec GmbH is in the business of designing tools and machinery for manufacturing OEMs. Their projects have included complex assembly systems, robotic packaging equipment, welding equipment, measuring and testing devices, and plastic injection molds.

Model on Kontec device

Kontec assembly for a 180° turning device

Kontec uses Creo Simulate early and often during their design process. Because they are able to identify potential problems much sooner, they have eliminated about 30% of the rework their team typically performs on models.

According to Wolfgang Reichrath, Kontec’s CEO and director of engineering, “By using Creo, we’ve been able to achieve at least 40% time savings for our design projects.

Understanding Product Performance

When your windshield is covered with slush, you probably don’t give that much thought to the nozzles that send out clean washer fluid. Bowles Fluidics has taken care of the thinking for you. Bowles provides nozzles to all major automakers, supplying them to 85% of the vehicles built in North America.

Nozzle flow

Nozzles can be designed to deliver water in various motions.

The nozzles Bowles builds use fluidic technology--one stream cleans the lower portion of a vehicle’s windshield, and the other stream cleans the top.  Creo Simulate lets their designers see how their products will perform before physical prototyping begins. And they can use the Creo interface, workflow, and productivity tools they are already familiar with, which saves them the time it would take to learn a new software product.

Are you empowered?

Are you evaluating the structural and thermal performance on your digital model before physical prototyping? Download our free “Top 5” infographic and see what you might be missing.


  • CAD
  • Retail and Consumer Products
  • Connected Devices

About the Author

Beverly Spaulding

Beverly Spaulding is a Director of Demand Generation for PTC’s Service and Retail divisions. She is a Boston University alumni with a background in digital marketing, demand generation and B2B marketing. She has a curiosity for technology, data and the science behind marketing.