Virtual prototyping of products on the component level is something many manufacturers do to validate designs without the costly and time-consuming burden of physical testing via real prototypes. Building prototypes requires a lot of time and significant resources so typically it’s a one-and-done scenario that takes place at the end of the design cycle.
If products fail, it’s back to the drawing board or in this case to the CAD program. What’s more, all engineers know is that it didn’t work. They don’t necessarily have any insight as to how to improve upon the design and how those changes will be ultimately reflected in its behavior in the real world under normal operating conditions.
Using simulation software to prove out designs–without the need for physical prototypes–saves valuable cycle time and reduces overall design costs and facilitates more of an iterative design process, one in which designs can be optimized before physical parts are created.
Making things more challenging is the fact that as products become more complex in the era of increasingly “smart” products, the engineering challenges become harder to solve. Simulation tools and methods that work on the components and subsystems are inadequate when you want to evaluate an entire system. Virtual systems prototyping is infinitely more complex because it must take into consideration not just the physical parts and components but the entire system. This requires the simulation to include electronics, mechanical and embedded software engineering.
Partnership aims to make virtual systems simulation easier
To make this task easier, ANSYS has partnered with Modelon, a global supplier of solutions for model-based systems and control design that provide a unified picture of subsystem interaction and performance. Combining Modelon’s systems behavioral modeling tools and solutions, based upon the open standard Modelica modeling language, with ANSYS’ system simulation platform and experience in 3D multiphysics and embedded software will enable users to explore product designs from the complete system all the way down through detailed designs.
The goal of this multidisciplinary, integrated approach is to help companies arrive at better designs earlier, reduce their reliance on costly physical prototyping and virtually eliminate system integration failures.
Model-based design has traditionally focused on a single systems modeling language, but now ANSYS has expanded that definition to include electronics, mechanical and embedded software engineering. ANSYS will incorporate Modelica, an open standard for the behavioral modeling of mechanical, thermal and thermofluid systems, with ANSYS’ existing IEEE-backed, VHDL-AMS modeling technology for electrical systems and its SCADE technology for embedded software.
“This agreement with Modelon breaks down the remaining barriers to full virtual system prototyping,” said Walid Abu-Hadba, chief product officer at ANSYS. “ANSYS users will be able to fully explore how their product will behave – not at the component level, but as a complete system. This quantum leap forward will pay amazing dividends for customers in the future by enabling them to create more innovative products faster than ever.”
ANSYS will enter into an agreement with Modelon that will give ANSYS customers access to Modelon’s Modelica compiler and its Modelica solutions within the ANSYS Simplorer product line. The Modelica language and Modelica-based libraries are used across a range of industries for designing and optimizing the performance of multi-domain systems for such applications as active safety, engine control, thermal management, power transfer and environment control.
Additionally, ANSYS customers will gain access to Modelon’s leading Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) technology, which is used by a range of industrial companies to exchange simulation models among their suppliers and assemble them into virtual system prototypes that can be tested before physical prototypes are available.
In addition to offering a multi-language system simulation environment, ANSYS Simplorer can also replace behavioral models often used during concept design with detailed 3D multiphysics results to provide a macro view of system performance. Engineering teams can virtually verify and optimize their product designs at all stages of systems engineering–from conceptual and system design to detailed engineering and complete system verification.
For more, check out the ANSYS web site here.