ANSYS Adds System Engineering and Virtual Prototypes
Shawn Wasserman posted on August 11, 2015 | 12148 views

ANSYS Simplorer Brings System Level Analysis to CAE Software

With ANSYS 16.2, simulation experts will now be able to produce virtual prototypes of their designs. This will allow them to incorporate complete systems into their CAE models.

The importance of system engineering increases as smart connected products become more ubiquitous and multi-disciplinary designs become industry standards. As a result, ANSYS 16.2 will allow engineers to simulate the complete system using virtual prototypes that will piece together subsystems to ensure they work together as intended.

The systems level approach is brought to ANSYS through enhancement of Simplorer, their platform for multidisciplinary systems modeling. With the new release, reduced order modeling (0D and 1D simulations) will be used to verify system level performance and 3D modeling (CFD and FEA) will be available when needed. Simplorer will also be able to assess electrical, electronic, thermos-fluid, mechanical and embedded software.

“ANSYS customers are already solving component and sub-system problems… But with today’s release of ANSYS 16.2, they expand to the system level,” said Jim Cashman, ANSYS president. He adds that the new release will allow engineers to predict real-world product performance using simulation based technology, ensuring a competitive edge in the market.

ANSYS AIM Simulates Multiphysics 

Contours of temperature on a CPU water cooler are shown for a case solved using ANSYS AIM and conjugate heat transfer.

Contours of temperature on a CPU water cooler are shown for a case solved using ANSYS AIM and conjugate heat transfer.

Earlier this year, ANSYS released AIM, an integrated multiphysics simulation environment. It is designed to bring simulations of various applications and domains into one platform.

With ANSYS 16.2, AIM will now be able to perform heat transfer, thermal stress, gas flow, structural deformations and stress analysis. These improvements will allow an engineer to better predict the performance of systems like heat exchangers, where the fluid and solid temperatures should be assessed to optimize the heat transfer of fluids and thermal-stress on the device.

Other improvements to AIM include:

  • Conjugate heat transfer analysis
  • One-way fluid-structure interaction
  • Flow field predictions
  • Density and thermal behaviour of compressible flows
  • Nonlinear contact and automatic contact surface detection for fits, bolts, welds and joined parts
  • Automatic nonlinear solution control

Workflow Automation key to ANSYS 16.2

A conjugate heat transfer calculation followed by a thermal stress calculation in ANSYS AIM results in the contours of equivalent stress shown on this exhaust header.

A conjugate heat transfer calculation followed by a thermal stress calculation in ANSYS AIM results in the contours of equivalent stress shown on this exhaust header.

Due to the complexity of system engineering, workflow automation is a critical asset. As a result, ANSYS 16.2 offers a few improvements to automate their workflows.

First, users can automate the development of embedded software in aerospace applications. This is performed with the ANSYS SCADE System Avionics Package. The software will be able to produce code that is compliant with industry protocols such as:

  • ARINC 653
  • ARINC 429
  • AFDX

Additionally, new abilities of ANSYS Workbench and ANSYS Customization Toolkit allow users to customize their simulation tools, design process and workflows using a wizard interface. The tool allows users to customize simulation instructions, interfaces and integrations.

Users can also add custom templates to AIM to produce highly automated simulation processes. The templates will be able to use all of AIM’s workflows from geometry, results and the simulation process. To learn more about ANSYS custom templates follow this link.

It seems ANSYS is doing a lot to democratize their workflows using simulation app-like technology.

How ANSYS Fits into Industry Trends

Contours of displacement are shown for a robot arm modeled using ANSYS AIM.

Contours of displacement are shown for a robot arm modeled using ANSYS AIM.

Much of the announcement by ANSYS follows the recent trends of the CAE industry. Like the recent release by ESI Group, many simulation tools are venturing into linking system level engineering technology with detailed 3D FEA or CFD models. To learn more about the industry’s move to systems engineering follow this link.

Additionally, ANSYS AIM sounds a lot like the multiphysics tools created by Dassault Systèmes, COMSOL, CD-adapco, Siemens PLM Software and even ANSYS themselves. In reality there is only one physics, the trend in the industry is to take the arbitrary physics silos created in the past due to computational limitations and connect solvers together, often behind the scenes.

"The next generation simulation product from ANSYS extends the value of simulation beyond single engineering disciplines by providing a full array of physics in a unified, immersive user environment readily deployable across the organization,” said Steve Scampoli, product manager for ANSYS AIM. “Whether it’s a structural, fluid, thermal, electromagnetic, or multiphysics, all aspects of simulation workflow are supported in the single-window design, thereby reducing training and deployment costs typically associated with fragmented tool chains.

“Moreover, AIM’s all new simulation process paradigm guides engineers through single or multiphysics workflows while automating tedious tasks to free-up engineering time and resources."

Even the workflow automation sounds a lot like the trends to democratize simulation with the use of apps, which pass on the analyst’s expertise to other users. This trend appears to be a growing force behind the industry, allowing non-experts to have the ability to create simulations using pre-set simulation apps created by experts.

As all of the simulation companies play catch up to these trends, it will be interesting to see what is next over the horizon. Nano simulation perhaps? If so, then someone already has a leg up.

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