Simulation has been an integral part of the design and development of new components and systems at large corporations for several decades now. In our experience, small and medium-sized businesses are characterised by ambivalent behaviour. An experienced look at the simulation of structural mechanics shows that there are companies that do a lot in this field. Again others do nothing. Anything is certainly possible in between. But why simulation?
The fact that the world is becoming a bit more complex every day and that systems are increasingly interacting with each other is as much a truism as the fact that companies are facing cost pressure and scheduling problems. In the context of simulation, points such as product quality and product safety requirements come into play. The question arises sooner or later in the design or development process: Does the product have the properties it should have? Or simplified: Does it work? There are two ways to answer this question today: You can either rely on trials and prototypes or rely on calculation and simulation.
If you rely on trials and prototypes, you have to estimate the effort, time and material costs. Surely you will then only have one kind of "sample", namely your test result. In addition, some experiments are difficult or not economically feasible. Statements on fatigue strength should be mentioned as an example.
By calculation and simulation you have the possibility to determine the behaviour of your structure during the construction process. This enables you to secure your construction without having to invest a single cent in steel and iron. As a rule, you can evaluate and optimize new variants and load cases much faster. This drastically reduces the time for optimization loops compared to a trial. In addition, you will usually learn about your system and its behaviour from a completely different angle.
The simulation solutions available on the market today make it possible to solve a multitude of problems. And simulation is for the most part no witchcraft today, or just something for nerds. In many technical courses of study, simulation methods are nowadays an integral part of the curriculum. A variety of software packages are available on the market, so that everyone can find something suitable for their application. Features such as model reusability, libraries, rapid variation of design parameters and automated reporting make it easy, fast and secure for users to get their first results.
In order to become active in the field of simulation, you must surely invest one or two bucks in licenses, employees and training. But don't forget to sum it up in the end. A flaw discovered in the design costs you many times as much when it is discovered during assembly or by the end customer!
If you you find this article interesting there is more to experience on our company website: