Editor’s Pick: Multi-system simulation

Elements from Hexagon can examine multiple physics and logic elements in one simulation.

Elements from Hexagon can examine multiple physics and logic elements in one simulation.

Elements allows simulation teams to quickly assemble pieces for a multi-discipline simulation, for early-stage testing of multiple physics causes and effects. Image courtesy of Hexagon .


Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division introduces Elements, new simulation software to help engineering teams understand the behavior of systems. It is meant for early-stage simulation to help evaluate performance of feasibility of new design concepts. 

Hexagon says Elements addresses the growing importance of integrated multidisciplinary system development. Elements can examine multiple physics and logic elements in one simulation. By integrating all relevant engineering disciplines, Hexagon says Elements can tackle challenges such as mechatronic system design “in a robust way.” 

The company says Elements is easy to use, thanks to a drag-and-drop approach to model development. Elements then can model electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems as a whole to solve system-level engineering problems. 

The company says Elements is easy to use, thanks to a drag-and-drop approach to model development. Image courtesy of Hexagon.

As little information is required in the early design stages to model systems, the company says Elements can speed up engineering development because it can ensure that system-level models compute quickly and efficiently by optimizing equations and code for fast calculations without loss of fidelity. 

Elements supports the FMI data standard as well as Hexagon’s proprietary SmartFMU for functional mock-ups, allowing changes in Elements without having to go back to an originating CAE software such as Adams multi-body dynamics.

Examples provided by Hexagon on the use of Elements: 

  • Helping automotive engineers find solutions to vehicle range optimization by considering a vehicle’s energy use under various driving conditions. 
  • Improving the flexibility and accuracy of industrial robots by designing control systems that take detailed mechanical system vibrations and interactions from multi-body dynamics simulation into account. 
  • Right-sizing heavy battery systems in new eVTOL aircraft by helping engineers understand the power draw during take-off and landing. 
  • Implementing safer and more sustainable long-life battery systems by designing control systems that balance improved performance at elevated temperatures with the impact heating has on cell degradation. 

Hexagon says Elements was developed “in close cooperation” with Maplesoft, building upon its math engine to optimize systems equations for more efficient simulation. 

Elements is now available from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence division. For more information, visit hexagon.com/products/elements.  

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website. 

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