There are many reasons a company might choose consultancy as the way to couple simulation to the design process, rather than take the software purchase route. SSA has a long track record with simulation projects of all types.
A simulation project has many aspects, needs many decisions to be made, and delivers its benefits in a variety of ways. Simply sending a report by email doesn’t cover many of these bases. At SSA we like to work collaboratively, ensuring that the customer understands what we did, how we did it, and what we think the simulations tell us. If we do that that customer gains the maximum from the project and critically; if a software purchase is seen as a sensible next step, this knowledge has already been transferred to the customer.
SSA runs an ISO9001 Quality system for consultancy projects.
Working with Simulation
Simulation technologies don’t just radiate goodness like some information fairy godmother. Projects need a set of well defined aims, relevant and useful input data, and a thought out way of applying the results in a realistic manner. SSA have been involved in simulation for many years, and have the experience to help at the project definition and planning stage, and can interface with a customer customers, helping to ensure that the delivered project provides the information and deliverables required by the project.
Structural: This is the traditional FEA application. It can provide answers to questions like “Is this part strong enough?” “What is the factor of safety?” And obviously it’s possible to then play games with the design, and ask questions like “if I make this section thicker how much stronger will it be” and “can I drill lightening holes in this without compromising factors of safety?” in many situations models can be based on existing, largely unmodified CAD geometry, but sometimes it is necessary to create idealised versions of geometries to enable studies to be carried out in the most efficient manner.
Structural analyses can be linear using simplifying assumptions, or consider non-linearities such as contact, plasticity, shape change or dynamics.
Vibration: Using an approach very similar to that used in structural analyses the vibrational response of parts and structures can be predicted using FEA.This allows us to determine what the resonant frequencies are, and how externally applied loads and inputs drive these resonances. The dynamic response can be plotted in ether time or frequency domains, and the likelihood of structural failure assessed.
CFD: This is a technology, closely related to FEA, in which the flow of fluids is modeled. This allows us to determine flow velocities, pressures and temperatures in a wide variety of situations. SSA has carried out external aero projects for both aeronautical and automotive customers, internal flow studies for industrial applications and many other CFD projects. We have also carried out numerous projects where the efficiency of rotating turbines and impellors was investigated using advanced moving mesh approaches. SSA use the Star CCM+ system from CD Adapco for their CFD work.
Thermal Analysis: How heat travels through and around an object will often play a critical part in its operation. Both FEA and CFD technologies can be used (and often combined) to simulate and predict this aspect a designs operation. Heat sink design is one area in which SSA has extensive experience, however thermal management is an area which simulation has much to offer.
Crash and Droptest: Modelling rapid events, which often result is extreme behavior, is generally undertaken using an explicit solver. This technology has been used for many years in mainstream aviation, marine and automotive industries, however it offers many opportunities for novel and innovative simulations in less traditional marketplaces.
Multi-Physics: Once only relevant to academics and software developers multi-physics solutions are now a realistic proposition. From fully coupled thermal structural to highly challenging fluid structural interaction, SSA has a wide experience of applying these techniques in real industrial scenarios.
Composites and other materials: SSA has extensive experience in the simulation of composite structures, considering both the usual deformation and stress behaviors, and the critical delamination and debonding effects which in many cases limit the realistic performance of these structures. Other materials such as polymers, elastomers and even metals need accurate definition, especially in highly demanding applications and projects which investigate the impact of this material response can be extremely useful in product development projects.
Optimisiation: Coupling optimisation routines to a finite element program is nothing new. SSA has widespread experience of both parametric and non-parametric optimisation techniques, using either TOSCA for topology and shape optimisation and Isight for parametric type studies.
Process Automation and Integration: Understanding how variability affects the function of a design or system is often a critical part of its IP. Automating analysis processes using Isight allows the impact of variability to be explored by connecting CAD, simulation and other software to create a full picture of the design space and its topology.