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Elements: An Engineering Simulation Blog

Serving the engineering simulation community and ANSYS and Rocky DEM users by sharing news, workshops, seminars, training, webinars, tips & tricks, and more.

SimuTech and ANSYS Help Solar Startup Tessolar Accelerate

Thanks to SimuTech and ANSYS, Inc.’s Startup Program, solar startup Tessolar is simulating its solar mounting systems more quickly and accurately—at a lower level of financial investment and with full support of SimuTech experts.

Yang Jin – Tessolar – Lead Product AnalystYang Jin
Lead Product Analyst
Tessolar is developing the world’s first structural composite solar module mounting system.The company’s engineers needed to reduce parts, lower costs, simplify installation while maintaining structural integrity, and understand the failure and load-bearing capabilities under various wind and snow conditions. They also needed to simulate materials property changes that may happen across 25 years of exposure to UV light, temperature, and moisture.

To help Tessolar solve their challenges, SimuTech led Yang Jin, Tessolar lead design analyst, to Discovery Live for Topology Optimization--something Jin didn’t realize was part of the Startup Program. “I gave her temporary access to SimuTrain where she could view our videos and tips and tricks. Yang also connected regularly with our engineers as she was getting more familiar with ANSYS FEA and Discovery Live. We also sent her timely info on relevant ANSYS webinars for Mechanical and Discovery Live updates,” says Steven Lee, SimuTech Business Development Manager.

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SimuTech partners with Ontario and Tech Leaders on a Virtual Reality (VR) CAVE

SimuTech was honored to partner with ANSYS, Inc., the Ontario Centres of Excellence, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, Barco, and Advanced Realtime Tracking (ART) to help build Canada’s largest publicly available Virtual Reality (VR) CAVE. The CAVE opened with a celebratory ribbon-cutting on May 29, 2019 at Windsor’s Institute for Border Logistics and Security.

The CAVE for Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technologies, located at Windsor’s Institute for Border Logistics and Security, allows companies to test, prototype, and research parts and full-size vehicles--including large trucks--in a state-of-the art VR space.

SimuTech’s Toronto office project-managed the CAVE and developed the driving cockpit, providing computers and virtual reality components. “Without SimuTech’s involvement and leadership in bringing Canada’s largest Cave Automatic Virtual Reality (CAVE) to fruition, the project would have never been completed in such a timely and successful manner,” says Stephen MacKenzie, President & Chief Executive Officer at WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation.

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ANSYS Provides an End-to-End Simulation Workflow for Additive Manufacturing

Charles SimoneauCharles Simoneau
Primary Additive Mfg Engineer
Additive manufacturing (AM) joins materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer (ASTM F2792). In this way, AM allows levels of hierarchical, shape, material and functional complexities unequaled by conventional manufacturing technologies.

In the metal industry, AM successes are many:

Aviation: GE 3D-printed their 30,000th fuel nozzle tip for their LEAP engine in October 2018. Better fuel efficiency, weight reduction, and part consolidation were some of the benefits of using additive technologies;

Biomedical: Stryker offers implants integrating their Tritanium® In-Growth Technology, which features an additively manufactured porous structure that promotes bone in-growth and biological fixation;

Aerospace: Relativity Space has built Stargate, the largest metal 3D printer in the world that will be used to produce entirely 3D-printed rockets in a matter days instead of years;

Dental: 3DRPD has 3D-printed over 150,000 patient-specific removable partial dentures made of biocompatible cobalt-chrome alloy using the laser powder bed fusion process.

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Now Available: ANSYS 2019 R2

More automation, improved functionalities, and better collaboration with new ANSYS 2019 R2 release.

The ANSYS 2019 R2 update, released on June 4, 2019, offers several significant improvements in the ANSYS Mechanical™ user experience, ANSYS Fluent® workflow meshing, Granta material capabilities, and much more.

Here are some highlights of the new update.

ANSYS 2019 R2
  • Discovery™ Live’s automation is even better, and electrical conduction simulation, coupled multiphysics, and instant validation and resurfacing of topology optimization results have been added.
  • Discovery™ SpaceClaim® has new interactive meshing tools that enable you to create high-quality mesh directly on your model. The Mesh ribbon uses the SpaceClaim tools paradigm to set up meshing parameters, generate a mesh and interrogate the mesh within SpaceClaim.
  • Discovery AIM adds nonlinear springs and a sharing tab for shared topology to aid in conformal meshing.
  • Workbench Additive now has options for powder elements, building on existing geometry, and performing stress-relief heat treatment simulations.
  • Several new capabilities for electromagnetics, including accelerated Doppler processing in ANSYS HFFS SBR+ for radar in ADAS and autonomous vehicles, new TAU flex meshing technology, RF defense for wireless products, and a 3D component model library.
  • Tool qualification data for all ANSYS SCADE Suite testing activities.
  • Enhanced ANSYS Fluent now has a “wrapper” layer of mesh to significantly speed up non-watertight geometries, such as with a car’s external aerodynamics.
  • The Granta Materials Data is now embedded in ANSYS Mechanical.
  • New physics-based GPU rendering, sound software, and a Driving Simulator in ANSYS VRXPERIENCE.
  • ANSYS Cloud now supports the HFSS solver in 2019R2. Icepak and Maxwell are available in beta. These solvers join the Mechanical and Fluent solvers which were already available.

For more information on this update, read the ANSYS press release, contact local SimuTech Office, or download the capabilities matrix brochure.

ANSYS 2019 R2 is available for download on the ANSYS Customer Portal.

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Digital Twin Technology: Reduced Order Modeling In the Field

Alan McKim, SimuTech Group’s Vice President of Test Engineering and QAIn a recent blog post, SimuTech Group’s President, Rick James, wrote a high-level overview of Digital Twin, and explained its significant economic impact. Today, SimuTech Group’s Vice President of Test Engineering and QA, Alan McKim, takes a practical view, discussing how--with help from Reduced Order Modeling (ROM)--Digital Twin works in equipment testing. He also illustrates how SimuTech Group used Digital Twin technology to help a customer gain insight and resolve performance concerns.

Though there’s a lot of discussion about Digital Twin technology, some engineers and designers find it difficult to understand how it can economically impact them. Here’s an analogy that might help illustrate the digital twin concept: equipment used in the field could be compared to staff working in a remote location. You need to communicate regularly with these staff members to solve issues. Imagine a staff member dealing with an issue, but not communicating information back to you. This would cause delays, reduced performance, or potentially even ultimate failure of the offsite effort.

your employee on a deserted islandYou wouldn’t place your employee on a deserted island with no means of communication so why do it to your equipment?In a similar way, equipment has generally been left on its own in the field. However, technology has simplified the ability to gain information about equipment during its operation. Sensors can easily be installed to gather data about temperature, vibration, or load indication--all valuable in determining how the system is performing in its environment. Going back to the analogy: the communication with offsite humans is relatively direct; their communication is understood directly. However, when equipment sends sensor data, this must be interpreted.

This is where mathematical Reduced Order Models (ROMs) come in. With an ROM, you can take the critical aspects of a detailed model and reduce them down to simpler equations or algorithms that can be used in real time. Most engineers are familiar with detailed computer simulations that take hours or days to run. However, with field information, you do not want to wait hours or days to understand the implications. An ROM is the simplification of the input to output of a complex model. You still need the detailed model to generate this relationship, but once it is known, the ROM can be used.

While a Digital Twin is often perceived as a massive undertaking, it doesn’t have to be. Referring back to the analogy of staff working in the field: you may need to deploy a single person, or a group of 100. The same is true for Digital Twin technology, which can be large and broad with lots of details, or narrowly tailored.

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