Despite our best design and engineering training, it’s difficult to know how a design will perform under real-world conditions until it’s built. That’s why most companies use computer-aided engineering (CAE) software to conduct finite element analyses (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies before models go to production. But there’s a problem, says Beth Stackpole. “Not only does the simulation work happen later in the cycle, it’s usually handled by dedicated CAE experts.”
That means that the analysis experts return the models to the designer to fix—with each iteration costing the team time. So, you would imagine that if the engineers and designers who create the 3D models could also carry out their own analyses, at least some of the time, they could speed up the design cycle.
It makes sense, and lately many design teams have begun running their own studies for just that reason. But with what outcomes?
Meet four very different organizations, in four different parts of the world, working in four very different industries. Each has enlisted Creo Simulate to perform analyses as they design. Here’s what they told us.
About 120 miles east of Moscow, Vladimir Electromotor Plant (VEMP) is the largest manufacturer of induction three-phase electric motors in Russia. You find the company’s name in oil pumps, refrigerators, hoists, and even nuclear plants.
As an AutoCAD customer, VEMP found that it took about a year to develop a new motor. The company thought it could do better. So it switched to Creo Parametric and Creo Simulate.
With Creo Simulate, designers can conduct a full range of CAE analysis, including linear static, modal, buckling, contact, and steady state thermal evaluations. By analyzing and modifying their work as they model, engineers reduce errors, decrease weight, and ensure cost-effective manufacturing processes and choice of materials.
“With the first project of design of the new motor with PTC Creo, it took us to the final design stage in 1.5 months! says Oleg Kruglikov, Deputy General Director on Business Development, VEMP. “Creo and Creo Simulate have definitely optimized our product development cycle.”
That amounts to an 87.5% decrease in design time.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Bierens produces custom gears, accurate up to 2 microns, for well-known brands such as DuPont, Rolls Royce, and Bosch. Bierens’ parts are used in mining, construction, energy, and just about any other application that calls for mechanical movement.
Traditionally, the company outsourced the analysis phase of product development. But Bierens recognized that led to lengthy waits for the external team to return results of the tests. That in turn discouraged engineers from trying new things. So, Bierens began using PTC Creo Simulate to do much of the work themselves, and here’s what happened:
Dr. Ir. Noud van Roosmalen, Head of the Technology & Development Center at Bierens, says “Now we save 30 to 40% of our development time by using PTC Creo Simulate to analyze capabilities.”
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American Wave Machines makes wave pools, wave systems, and surf centers so that land-locked thrill-seekers can surf an authentic ocean- or river-like wave.
In the lab, designers focus on creating products that deliver low lifecycle costs to the operator, a fun and authentic experience to users, and a completely safe experience for everyone involved. And with PTC Creo Simulate, they can test their ideas before they ever become prototypes.
Bruce McFarland, company president, says that while a design is still underway, his team is checking the strength and margins on the model components. That way, the model can be optimized before changes become costly—and long before installation.
“PTC Creo allows us to design rapidly and include redundant safety,” says McFarland. “I can look at a design in its entirety and see the bigger picture. This saves time, money and keeps the project on schedule.”
Finally, researchers at the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering in the medical school at the University of Tokyo want to better the odds for heart patients who typically wait an average of 981 days for a transplant–that’s more than two and a half years. So, using PTC Creo Parametric and PTC Creo Simulate, they began prototyping and testing a series of innovative mechanical heart models. The result is a total artificial heart that operates with remarkable efficacy and durability. In fact, researchers say they may be just months away from producing an implantable solution that could completely replace the human heart for much longer than anything in the industry to date.
“PTC Creo Simulate saves us a lot of time and rework as we identify and solve issues early,” says Isoyama, assistant professor. “Using the software, we can take an analysis-led design approach, constantly optimizing the model as we get feedback from our digital testing.”
Product Development Can’t Wait
“Today’s complex products demand integrated design and simulation,” writes Stackpole. ”Given current time-to-market pressures across industries, no development team can afford to sit around and wait until CAE specialists are available for simulation work nor can they risk running into design problems at a late stage when it’s expensive and time consuming to initiate changes.”
VEMP, Bierens, American Wave Machines, and the University of Tokyo understand the value of integrating design with simulation. And today they’re changing the bottom line and the world because of it.