Preventing Product Failure With Simulation Software

In response to competitive pressures, manufacturers constantly strive to reduce the cost of their products. However, these efforts typically have a direct impact on the risk of product failure. To combat this risk, many companies are looking to simulation software to find the ideal balance between reducing part cost and protecting product reliability.

Moreover, new materials, manufacturing processes, and integrated technologies are challenging the existing processes that companies use for managing product lifecycle. Simulation allows companies to evaluate the implications of these new influences in a virtual design context where application experience is simply not available.

Kaylie Duffy, Editor of Product Design and Development, recently wrote an excellent article on the use of simulation in product development.  Here are some highlights.

Today’s products – whether a smartphone or construction machinery – are expected to perform more flawlessly at broader operating parameters and in harsher environments than ever before. With the power of today’s hardware and software, companies can include a far broader range of operating conditions and other design variables into their design assessments to greatly reduce the risk of product failures.

A motorcycle rotor undergoes a validation test using SIMULIA Abaqus simulation software

A motorcycle rotor undergoes a validation test using SIMULIA Abaqus simulation software. (Image credit: SIMULIA)

In the past, simulation software was designed strictly for users that were specialists in their field. But with market growth in low-cost computational capability, high-speed networks, and the emergence of global digital financial systems, the stage has been set for a period of innovation in the CAE market.

Traditionally, simulation has been relegated to the role of validation – to confirm the integrity of a design after-the-fact. But to truly get the most value from simulation, it has to be deployed during the design process, which means it needs to be squarely in the hands of the design engineer. That places much greater demand on ease-of-use for simulation software, and demands a seamless collaboration between the designers and the simulation experts within a company.

By using simulation to study and optimize the manufacturing process, any warpage can be reverse engineered out of the part and the maximum manufacturing speeds can be reached. Not only do companies need to produce parts that are within geometric tolerances, they want to maximize production speeds. Balancing these often competing objectives is no easy task, and simulation tools are ideally suited to solve this complex problem.

>Read more detail by Kaylie Duffy at Manufacturing.net, August 2016