Robustness Evaluation – Why Bother?

This article will explain how ANSYS optiSLang can be used for robustness evaluation in virtual product development.

A successful product. Isn’t that the goal for every product company? It begins right from the step where engineers come up with world class product innovations to getting the right marketing mix that brings commercial success. Is every product successful? No. Is every product with a great design successful? Maybe.

The Symptom
Robustness Evaluation - Why Bother?
Courtesy: Android Authority

More often than not, we find market leaders stumble with product failures. The infamous Samsung’s Note 7 will come to your mind instantly. Hundreds of users were at the forefront of dangerous incidents where phones caught fire due to short-circuiting. Samsung conducted severe internal testing and several independent investigations. They found that, in certain extreme situations, electrodes inside each battery crimped, weakened the separator between the electrodes, and caused short circuiting. In some other cases, batteries had thin separators in general, which increased the risks of separator damage and short circuiting. Economics-wise, the incident caused Samsung to recall 2.5 million devices, lose over $5 billion and damaged its reputation.

Faulty Takata airbags’ inflators contained a defect that cause some of them to explode and project shrapnel into drivers and passengers. 50+ people worldwide lost their lives due to this design failure. 70 million Takata airbag inflaters were to be recalled at a cost of $9 billion to its automaker customers. For a Tier-I supplier, this liability was so huge that they filed for bankruptcy.

Such glaring errors after product launch, with severe economic implications, aren’t limited to Samsung and Takata alone. Honda, Michelin and many more companies have been involved in product recalls due to design failures.

Obviously, such design flaws need to be mitigated. Isn’t it?

The Probable Solution

To preempt design failures, today’s engineers use state-of-the-art engineering technology. Traditionally, product development teams used extensive prototyping and testing to validate design variants during the design life cycle. Of course, this is cumbersome, expensive and time-consuming.

Over the past few decades, engineering simulations have opened up a whole new range of possibilities for the design engineers. ANSYS, Inc., the market leader for engineering simulations, provides state-of-the-art technology to simulate systems involving mechanical, fluid, electrical, electronic and semiconductor components. With added insight, design engineers are able to test a lot more design variants on a virtual platform using this technology.

Consequently, the benefits – innovation, lowered cost of product development, higher product profitability and faster time-to-market. The staggering economic benefits and tremendous value on the offer have prompted several product companies to introduce simulations upfront using a Simulation-Driven Product Development approach.

Companies like Samsung and Takata were power users of engineering simulations. They used technology extensively in their design phase and perform virtual tests to validate designs. Only validated designs were put through production, QA and then sent off to the market. Despite simulating and validating designs, these companies witnessed monumental product failure in the market that caused loss of life, led to economic losses and damage to their reputation.

If they used simulation-driven product development, what went wrong?

The Cause

While the probable solution can mitigate and even eliminate design failures, there are other forces at play that you will need evaluate carefully. Hence it is imperative to understand the root cause for occurrence of design failures despite conducting extensive state-of-the-art simulations.

Many design engineers often undermine or do not consider one important aspect due to lack of proper understanding. Variability. Just as design parameters such as thickness or physical loads can be varied to test different design variants, some parameters display inherent variability.

Let me explain it with a material parameter: Young’s Modulus. If you’re an engineer by qualification, you would’ve come across the Universal Testing Machine (UTM) in your freshman or sophomore year of college. To test the Young’s Modulus of any given material (say steel), the UTM pulls a material specimen at extreme ends to create tension. Using mathematical calculations, you’ll arrive at a number close to 210 MPa as the Young’s Modulus of mild steel. Let’s say you repeat this test for 99 other specimens of the same material. Each test result will be different and it will never be the same. Other than the odd case of a faulty UTM apparatus, there’s only one reason for that. Natural Scatter.

The Hero: Robustness Evaluation

Such variability (statistical) will lead to variability in the performance parameters of the product. Obviously this is quite important and engineers need to assess designs for variability well ahead of product launch. For variability, you have only one way to assess designs for product failure or risks: Robustness Evaluation.

Robustness Evaluation with ANSYS optiSlang

The preferred choice of tool for robustness evaluation is ANSYS optiSLang. For better understanding, there is a lot of material available in more detail. Instead of reading, you may also want to consider watching these webinars here and here.

Can you attribute lack of design robustness to any other product failures that you have witnessed? Do you have alternate views? Please let me know in the comments section.

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The Decade That Was …

In the CADFEM Journal (previously Infoplaner; in German), an announcement was made in the first issue of 2007 about the commencement of India business. This March, CADFEM Engineering Services India (CADFEM India) celebrates its 10th birthday – a decade in business. The company started out as a four person team with the vision that it could help customers in India recognize and realize the benefits of simulation-driven product development. 10 years on, the company has evolved into a confident engineering business, with over 50 colleagues, that has helped hundreds of engineers to realize their product promise.

The Decade That Was …

During this time so much has changed. The world has got smaller, faster and ever more changing. Technology has both been an enabler and a challenge to small businesses and large enterprises alike. As a responsible business, the company’s constant endeavour has been to offer customers the best-in-class solutions to their engineering problems. Today CADFEM India is proud to have gained trust from several local and global companies whose engineers rely on its products, services and know-how on a daily basis.

CADFEM India is a strong channel partner to ANSYS in India by offering the full range of physics (structural, fluids and electronics) across India. This partnership is helping CADFEM increase the rate of adoption of simulation in the country. The organization is structured towards providing and supporting customers with ANSYS software. Today the company has more than 40 engineers comprising of the core technical team, sales and marketing that engage customers in multiple areas of engineering analysis. The team is highly skilled to offer training programs for novices and experienced engineers on a plethora of engineering topics. Several customers, with origins in Germany, are long standing customers of CADFEM in India. CADFEM is the preferred simulation partner for customers owing the nature of strong and high-quality support. Deepak Joseph, the Head of Development (Truck) at Knorr-Bremse Technology Center India, and his team in Pune have been recipients of CADFEM’s technical support regularly. While thanking CADFEM for offering “extended support” to his team, Deepak recently said that CADFEM ”helped us understand ways to achieve accuracy.”

Listing of milestones of CADFEM India

All tools which are critical for success

CADFEM India offers several complementary solutions such as optiSLang (of Dynardo GmbH), Rocky DEM (particle simulations) and simulation-ready hardware. Since engineering simulation requires more than just software, CADFEM India supplies all the tools which are critical for success in simulation – all from one source. As a result, customers in India not only benefit by receiving leading software and IT-solutions, but also obtain support, consultancy and transfer of know-how. The core philosophy ingrained within every colleague is to ensure that customers realize the most return of their simulation investment. Dynardo’s CEO, Dr. Johannes Will, says “Over the last 7 years, CADFEM India has become an important partner for Dynardo to serve the optiSLang business in India as well as to support the Dynardo consulting activities. I personally enjoy that relationship and look forward to intensify the joint business success over the next years.” Since 2011, CADFEM India has organized the Indian edition of the Weimar Optimization & Stochastic Days. In 2016, over 80 attendees came together to discuss the topics of optimization and robust design for sixth year in a row.

In addition to the software business, many customers consider CADFEM India as a reliable engineering consulting partner. Several customers choose to contact CADFEM to seek simulation on demand. CADFEM India’s Managing Director, Madhukar Chatiri says that “this offers a good opportunity for us to demonstrate the power of ANSYS to the customer.” Over the years, CADFEM has solved many engineering problems in automotive, aerospace, consumer appliances, rotating machinery, watches, food & beverage and many more industries. One such example of a strong customer relationship is with Traunreut-based Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH). For over two years from 2008, BSH worked intensively with two engineers from CADFEM India. As a result, there has been a strong partnership between BSH and CADFEM India. Speaking about this, Dan Neumayer, Head of Pre-Development at BSH said “we could have a mutual cultural understanding and a common way of thinking and working. This intensive learning forms a particularly important basis for our long-term cooperation and we see this as one fundamental success factor.”

Group Photo in the decade that was
Mrs. & Mr. Guenter Mueller while visiting CADFEM India in 2015
esocaet program starts in September 2017

One of the top most challenges for employers in India is the low number of engineers skilled with simulations. To bridge this demand-supply gap, CADFEM India has invested in ANSYS Authorized Training Centre that started in September 2015; over 50 engineers have graduated from this centre. Furthermore, CADFEM has partnered with PES University in Bangalore to bring the much-acclaimed esocaet Master Program in Applied Computational Mechanics to India. The esocaet program offers tremendous opportunities to engineers for continuous learning. The first course will begin in September 2017.

CADFEM India has been operationally profitable since many years – this has allowed the company to scale its investments in India consistently. The company has a long-term orientation, offers employees a lot of independence but functions as a responsible partner to customers. This allows the company to respond with agility to the dynamic needs of the market.

The company has geared up for the next decade of business in the Indian subcontinent. Having recognized the needs of the market, the company is betting big in the areas of Additive Manufacturing, Electronics and Digital Cities. CADFEM India has made another significant investment into the newest partner of CADFEM International – CADFEM SEA Pte. Ltd. in Singapore.

In 2016, the company was recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Engineering & Design Solution Providers in India by the popular CIO Review magazine. Madhukar still fondly recalls the day when he formulated the vision for the Indian business in his mind. He adds “What a journey it has been for many of us! While waiting for our connecting flight at Mumbai airport, Guenter Mueller discussed the idea of a joint company in India. We thank our customers and partners for choosing to work with us. It has been and is our pleasure to serve the engineering market in India in the past decade.”

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ANSYS 18.0 – The latest release is here!

Banner for ANSYS 18.0 software release

The day has arrived!! Most of our customers would’ve received announcement of the latest release – ANSYS 18. It’s time to rejoice and celebrate this new release.

ANSYS 18.0 ushers in the era of pervasive engineering simulation – an era where all types of engineers use simulation throughout the entire product lifecycle. While simulation was once the primary domain of experts and used mainly for verification, it is now moving upfront in the development process to quickly evaluate changes in design. At the same time, it’s also moving downstream of the product lifecycle process to analyze real-time operational data from connected machines in the industrial internet.

By incorporating simulation into all segments of a product’s lifecycle, ANSYS 18.0 adds tremendous value by spurring innovation, reducing development and operational costs, and improving time to market. Whether your field is structures, fluids, electromagnetics, semiconductors, systems, embedded software or some multiphysics combination of these areas, ANSYS 18.0 is the simulation platform to achieve your engineering and business goals.

Digital Launch Event

To learn more about pervasive engineering simulation and ANSYS 18.0, we invite you to the digital launch event on January 31. During this event, the ANSYS CEO, Ajei Gopal, and numerous technology leaders from industry will talk about this exciting new release from ANSYS. Here’s the line-up of the speakers from ANSYS:

  • Ajei Gopal, President and CEO, ANSYS, Inc.
  • Andre Bakker, Senior Director Fluids Development, ANSYS, Inc.
  • Dale Ostergaard, Senior Director Software Development, ANSYS, Inc.
  • Larry Williams, Senior Director Electronics Products, ANSYS, Inc.
  • Sergey Polstyanko, Senior Director, Research and Development, ANSYS, Inc.
  • Eric Bantegnie, Vice President and GM Systems Business Unit, ANSYS, Inc.

In addition, you can also learn more about ANSYS 18.0 by visiting the “What’s New” section of the Customer Portal.

Current Customers – Next Steps

Current customers can download ANSYS 18.0 from the Download Center on the ANSYS customer portal.

You need a license manager upgrade to run ANSYS 18.0 products. Your current license keys will continue to function with the new 18.0 license manager. Support for operating systems, graphics cards, third-party CAD products and more is available on the Platform Support page.

If you need any support, please feel free to contact us.

Together with ANSYS, we are excited to bring you this latest release. This comes as the result of countless hours of work by 1,000+ professionals in the research and development organization. We believe it will exceed your expectations and provide considerable value in your engineering processes and product lifecycle.

May the force always be with you! 🙂

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Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 5

Banner for Weekly Simulation Roundup

Welcome to a brand new edition of Weekly Simulation Round-Up. As usual, we present you the most interesting articles from this week. As you will notice, electronics is changing the game for product development.


Internet of Things – The Man Who Coined It

Today, Internet of Things is well-discussed as a topic that will revolutionize the way we live and design products. Kevin Ashton, the man who coined the phrase “Internet of Things,” explains what it is and why it matters in less than two minutes.

If you are further interested, do watch a longer version of his talk at 2015 Microsoft’s Future Decoded conference.


Using DEM to Improve Transfer Chute Design

Chutes are commonly adopted in conveying systems as a method of transferring bulk materials from one conveyor belt to another. A poorly designed chute or even the application of a chute out of its original design conditions (higher tonnage, different particle material, wet material, and so on) often lead to problems. This can result in  lower productivity, increased maintenance costs, higher wear rates, or even shut downs.

Rocky DEM, a state-of-the-art discrete element particle simulator, helps engineers design and/or optimize transfer chutes by simulating different scenarios, which reduces the costs of building and testing different configurations (read more).


Simulation Powering Wirelessly Charging Electric Vehicles

Qualcomm Inc, a global leader and innovator in wireless and mobile technologies, is committed to pushing the frontiers of innovation. As a validation of this statement, Qualcomm spent USD 5.5 billion on research and development in wireless and mobile technologies in 2014 alone — and USD 34 billion over the company’s life.

One team, headquartered in Munich, Germany, focuses primarily on making the incremental improvements and technology customizations. This will lead to broad adoption of the first-generation Qualcomm Halo WEVC (wireless electric vehicle charging) technology (read more).


Schiaparelli Mars Lander – What Went Wrong?

Recently the martian lander crashed on the red planet prompting the European Space Agency to summon an investigation. Mission scientists recovered data from the lander before its untimely demise. By performing simulations of Schiaparelli’s control systems using this lander data reproduced this fatal cascade of events (read more).


Turbulence – What a Drag It Is When You Drive

Turbulence is a nightmare for several air travelers. It can spill your drink, bounce you off the roof of the cabin if you haven’t fastened your seat belt—and even bring a plane down. Airline pilots are super aware of it. Turbulence refers to the swirly chaotic movement of fluid particles. While most feared and destructive in air travel, turbulence is all around us and occurs every time you drive. Here’s an article from ENGINEERING.com talks more about this phenomenon. (read more).

Image of a racing car with streamlines around it and a stress contour plot on its surface.


So, folks, that was all for this week. We will be back again with a new edition next week. Do feel free to share your feedback or questions with us.

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Happy New Year – 2017!

2017 is here! Happy New Year, everyone.

2016 has gone by, and we are extremely thankful to our customers and partners for a fantastic year.

For many of us who are involved in sales, support and services structured around products of ANSYS, Inc.  had a great year. Release 17 was a very important release that helped our customers to perform their jobs faster and with greater accuracy.  With Christmas gone by, I hope that Santa has rewarded the well-deserving ANSYS developers around the world.

In 2016, CADFEM India has seen growth of business from new customers purchasing ANSYS simulation tools, as well as the customers who have sought our support to do simulation or training for them. Every year such as this helps us get closer to the over-arching goal of simulation for every engineer.

New Year Resolutions, any?

Over the past few years, there is a tremendous move towards adopting simulation-driven product development in the industry. While we have seen the emergence of the Digital Twins (read this and this) on one end, we’re inching closer to democratization of simulation on the other end.

If you’re an ANSYS customer, what are your resolutions for the next year? Are you looking to evaluate a new physics in your product or combine the effects of multiple physics? If you haven’t embraced simulation-driven product development yet, then it is the perfect time to start realizing benefits of this approach. Even if you don’t believe in making New Year resolutions, that’s alright! You can still talk to us, and we’ll get you started in no time! 🙂

Looking Ahead

The new year will see us expanding our offerings to a whole new set of interesting simulation topics and activities.. all of them aligned very much with the growing interests of our customers. Release 18 of ANSYS should also be around the corner. So watch out for this space.

So with that, everyone at CADFEM India wishes you a fantastic, prosperous, simulation-rich and simulation-driven year ahead!

Happy New Year 2017 poster with snow laden field in the background

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Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas time, folks. When the year draws to a close, two things come to my mind. One is festive mood from the holiday season and the other is the year in review. Review, being retrospective, allows us to look back and celebrate the highs and ponder over the lows.

Recently CADFEM India was named to the 20 Most Promising Engineering Design & Solution Providers in India by the popular CIO Review magazine.

CIO Review logo with the listing of 20 Most Promising Engineering & Design Solution Providers 2016

These are exciting times ahead for everyone at CADFEM! While the reward was extremely fulfilling for all of us, it made us reiterate our commitment to our customers. This recognition gives us a greater responsibility to fulfill our promises.

With this, I sign off this post with the entire CADFEM team wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!Christmas greetings showing a snowman holding a gift

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Hello World!

Hello World! This marks our foray into the world of blogging.

Starting new is always exciting, isn’t it? The uncertainty of future outcome is the primary cause, I reckon. The feeling today isn’t any different.

Those who know CADFEM well will vouch for its technical superiority and strength. CADFEM in India started in 2007 and has developed into a regional powerhouse of talent and technical competence in a wide variety of topics.

As we near our tenth anniversary, this blog will act as a testament to our company’s long-standing tradition of helping companies and engineers to simulate their tomorrow. In a modest way, blog posts on this platform will aim to contribute to the knowledge to the community. In giving and sharing, there is great joy!

For it is in giving that we receive. (Francis of Assisi)

We hope you’ll enjoy reading! As is usual with our customers, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to meet and greet you.

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