A Tenfold Revolution in Engineering Simulation

Using simulation to test and explore the design space early is the key to unlocking innovation.



By Walid Abu-Hadba, ANSYS


The Industrial Revolution began because innovators in all types of industries sought to use improvements in production processes and technologies to gain a competitive edge. Steam engines—and later combustion engines—made it possible to produce and distribute goods faster than ever before. Ford dominated the early automobile industry when it introduced the assembly line. Over the past few decades, computers and the Internet have triggered a revolution in virtual services. Each of these revolutions led to new businesses and revenue streams. Now the smart and connected devices that typify the Internet of Things (IoT) are igniting the next revolution. Success in this revolution will depend more than ever on a company’s ability to innovate—and any winning strategy must be grounded in engineering simulation.



In the early stages of the product development cycle, the cost of making design changes is at its lowest. As the product development cycle evolves, there is more commitment and investment to design decisions and the cost to change rises by a factor of 10 with each phase. To verify engineering decisions and manage cost, leading engineering organizations in every industry have adopted engineering simulation.


While cost and efficiency gains provided by simulation are understood, its role to innovate and develop high-potential products is often overlooked. Experimenting early and frequently with computer models, simulating 10, 100 or even 1,000 design permutations, gives teams early insight into ideas that pose high risks but also offer potentially high profits. With the advent of trends like the IoT and increasingly smarter and more complex products, using simulation to systematically test and explore the design space early in the development process is the key to unlocking innovation while maintaining cost and schedule objectives.


Ten Times the Performance, Insight and Productivity


Our customers are constantly seeking to break new ground, developing products that are lighter, stronger and more efficient. The companies that enable their engineers to iteratively test their designs throughout the process are winning their markets. But to achieve these types of results, they need to be able to model simulations faster and capture results more effectively. ANSYS is helping its customers see magnitudes of innovation by taking advantage of advanced processor technologies, high-performance computing (HPC) architectures and cloud environments. These technologies are enabling our customers to run more simulations in less time. With our new release, ANSYS 17.0, we’re incorporating new solver improvements and simulation workflows so that engineers can collaborate throughout the production process and achieve results faster. We’re also helping our customers to create more reliable systems by introducing solutions that enable faster, more comprehensive simulations of products at the systems level.


As companies embed more and more smaller electronic components into products ranging from controllable toys to entertainment and safety systems in cars, they need to be able to test and make design decisions both for individual components and the assembled systems. New-generation printed circuit boards (PCBs), for example, have smaller form factors and contain chips with increasing power densities that give rise to thermal cycle failures, but accurately testing them for thermal stress, deformation and fatigue can be impractical given time and production constraints. With ANSYS, engineers can now import an ECAD geometry, model the intricate layers and traces of a PCB, and perform thermal, power integrity and cooling analysis in less time, allowing more frequent testing and ensuring more reliable electronics systems.


Given the evolution—or rather revolution—of technologies, the pressure on production design and manufacturing will not be slowing down any time soon.






This commentary is the opinion of Walid Abu-Hadba, chief product officer at ANSYS. Send e-mail to him about this commentary via [email protected].


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