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How cloud compute is playing a bigger role in manufacturing simulations

Cloud software has become key to helping manufacturing design explore and engineer new ideas quickly to avoid opportunity cost, according to cloud analytics and simulation specialist Altair Engineering.

Speaking to SME Media, Altair’s CTO of solvers, optimisation and multi-physics solutions Uwe Schramm said all 60 or so of its titles are now developed in-house by a team of more than 1,000 software developers to meet the changing needs of manufacturing environments. Core applications include HyperWorks and OptiStruct.

“Workloads are more dynamic than ever, and organisations that can supply compute-on-demand via the cloud, rather than having to source or build out on-premise infrastructure for every project, are at a distinct advantage,” he says. “Resources can be spun up in the cloud to make discoveries in days that might have come months later if they had to wait on building out infrastructure.”

In addition, usability and user experience enhancements have made high-end simulation more accessible.

James Dagg, CTO of design and simulation solutions at Altair, agreed in the same article that simulation-driven design is one of the biggest trends that Altair sees in product development. To give a wider base of engineers and designers the same insights once reserved for analysis specialists, it built efficient and intuitive workflows to meet their needs without losing features and solver accuracy.

“The result is a reimagined Altair HyperWorks that brings all applications under one common user experience, leveraging domain knowledge and AI with advanced solutions for NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), crash, CFD (computational fluid dynamics), manufacturing, and more — from concept design to detailed product development, through manufacturing simulation and system-level digital twins,” Dagg said.

That said, cloud solutions require integration skillsets as well as considerations of cost, so there’s a need for technical and professional services as well — an increasingly important part of Altair’s business.

According to Schramm, advanced manufacturing simulation is critical in optimising manufacturing processes. Engineering applications are complex systems that involve multiple physical phenomena interacting together. Physical try-outs are cost prohibitive and must be replaced with virtual try-outs — today often making use of Big Data straight from the field and machine learning.

“The optimisation of a casting and mould-filling process, like the best positioning of gates and number of parallel parts, can be easily simulated and key indicators for manufacturing efficiency, like cool-down times, can be rapidly optimised,” he was reported as saying.

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