Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 5

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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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Electromagnetic Simulation for Antennas

In this first part of a multi-part series, I will discuss many aspects of antenna design & analysis with the underlying theme of electromagnetic simulation-driven product development. In this part, I will briefly talk about performing stand-alone Antenna Design, Analysis & Optimization using Electromagnetic Simulation.

Increasing Importance of Electromagnetic Simulation (EM)

While still in university, I imagined antenna design to be very simple. Based on the given frequency, we will need to calculate dimensions and then fabricate the design. That’s it. A decade ago, I found simulation to appear like dark art or black magic. If the fabricated antenna did not work well, I needed to iterate the physical design till it gave good results.

During the recent years, several EM simulation tools have emerged to evaluate the exact solution of Maxwell Equations for estimating the electromagnetic behavior of the devices. These tools used underlying methods like Finite Element Method (FEM), Method of Moments (MoM) and Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD). Generally, we can divide the part components of the electronic design into active and passive devices. The modelling of the active devices is based on nonlinear measurement data parameters like S-parameters and X-parameters. When we come across modelling of passive devices, they are very simple because of their linear nature. However, it is important to understand the limitations of those devices.

The main role of the simulation is for to engineers to be able to accurately predict how complex products will behave in real-world environment enabling the complete virtual prototyping. ANSYS HFSS, a state-of-the-art high-frequency electromagnetic simulation, helps to estimate the radiation characteristics of the antenna and optimize the design as per requirement.

Parameters To Be Considered For Antenna Simulation

In general, engineers know that dimension can be reduced by increasing the substrate dielectric constant. Using standardized equations, we can estimate the size of the patch. However we cannot estimate radiation characteristics among a few other quantities. Using simulation tools, we can replace physical iterations with virtual iterations; we can identify the optimal design that matches the required specifications.

Why do some engineers get different results? Is there anything else that needs to be considered? Yes, engineers who focus only on model dimensions and not on boundaries and excitation will obtain inaccurate results.

Modeling and Setup

Let me consider the example of a GPS antenna that needs to have a gain of 3.5dB. For this gain, we’ll need to identify a antenna design with the smallest possible antenna dimension.

Let’s look at three substrates RT Duriod 5880, FR4 and Alumina. Using ANSYS HFSS, you can model the full antenna by using in-built modeling options or import the design from external CAD software. Initial dimensions of the patch are calculated using standard formulas available in academic literature.

Image of 3D CAD model of a patch antenna before performing electromagnetic simulation
Antenna Model

Patch antennas can be fed power by various methods such as microstrip line or coaxial/SMA. While using coaxial input, many don’t consider the dimensions of the coaxial. A good engineer initially checks for the dimensions of the coax in order to get the characteristic impedance, which directly affects the frequency of operation and voltage standing wave ratio or VSWR.

For assignment of different materials for model, HFSS has an inbuilt material library where you can select the required material for substrate, conductors, etc. If you want to use a material which is not in the library or if you want to add some frequency-dependent properties, then you can modify or create a new material.

Image of Materials available in HFSS before performing electromagnetic simulation
HFSS Material Library
Image showing addition/modification of materials before performing electromagnetic simulation
New Material Creation

For antenna design, radiation is another important boundary in order to accurately estimate the EM emission. As a good practice, the distance of at least λ/4 or λ/8 must be maintained between the antenna and the boundary. For example, λ/4 will be a good distance for radiation boundary and λ/8 for PML boundary. This is an important aspect that many engineers fail to consider. Upon completion of the initial setup, I ran the simulation to check for its performance.

Parameterization of Antenna

After simulation, check the input electric field in coaxial and the impedance of the transmission line/coax in order to verify the expected excitation. In post-processing, do check important parameters for radiation characteristics like pattern and gain. Even the near field data, which is complex to obtain from measurement, can be estimated with simulation.

Since we are not considering any fringing field and probe effects, there will be variation of results. To further improve the design, I suggest using optimization algorithms such as Optimetrics or ANSYS optiSLang. Such tools also permit sensitivity of the design due to fabrication tolerances.

The available optimetrics options in HFSS
Optimetrics in HFSS
Image describes the effect on resonance frequency due to probe position variations while performing electromagnetic simulation
Probe position effect on resonance frequency
Optimal Design of Antenna

Finally, the best design can be selected after evaluating the gain characteristics of the all variations. For the three substrates, I evaluated the optimized dimensions of the patch using Optimetrics:

  • 12.5 x 10 cm² for Duroid
  • 9.5 x 7.5 cm² for FR4
  • 7 x 5 cm² for Alumina
Image shows the estimated gain plot for different substrate materials while performing electromagnetic simulation
Gain Variation vs Substrate

Per this, antenna with FR4 substrate meets the required gain of 3.5dB with the least possible dimension. Better performance can be obtained by varying other parameters such as height of the substrate, etc.

The next time you perform electromagnetic simulation of antenna, do remember to consider all the boundaries.

This concludes the first part of a multi-part series on antenna design & analysis. In the next part, I will discuss about antenna placement analysis.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or fill out the contact form.

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Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 4

Banner for Weekly Simulation RoundupWelcome to this edition of Weekly Simulation Round-Up. As usual, we bring you the most interesting articles from this week.

Computational Fluid Dynamics for Patient-Specific Surgeries

In this article, a researcher of Cardiothoracic Surgery from the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center talks about simulation-driven medical surgeries. He states that “the long-term prognosis for babies born with single ventricle heart defects can depend on the location of vascular connections made during corrective surgery”. Based on the babies’ cardiovascular anatomy, the medical center researchers employ ANSYS CFD to determine the optimal personalized surgery for improving surgical effectiveness and to obtain a better quality of life for children (read more).

Simulation of “Material Other Than Grain” Separation Process

For farmers engaged in grain production, separation of stones, straw and dust from grains is a regular activity. Can simulation techniques help such farmers to reduce cost and time-to-market, and increase grain production ramp-up? The answer is yes!

Using Rocky DEM, a state-of-the-art discrete element particle simulator, along with computational fluid dynamics performed using ANSYS Workbench, the material other than grain (MOG) separation process can be simulated. There’s potential for the MOG equipment makers to redesign or improve for higher separation efficiency.

Optimus Prime, anyone? 

Antimon is a BMW 3-series car that transforms into a robot in under 30 secs. It converts from a BMW into a grand robot completed with powerful arm movements and a Transformers-like face. It took the company eight months to complete Antimon using an actual car (Watch on YouTube).

Diamonds Convert Nuclear Waste into Clean Energy

British Scientists have developed a method of turning nuclear waste into batteries using diamond. By encapsulating a short-range radioactive material in an artificial diamond, small electrical charge can be generated even after insulating harmful radiation. Researchers estimate that a carbon-based battery would generate 50% of its power in 5,730 years (read more).

Structural Design Optimization of Electrical Transformer Tanks

One of our customers, Crompton Greaves Ltd., presented their experiences with optimizing structural design of their electrical transformer tanks. To achieve this, their engineers used the state-of-the-art tool for optimization and variation analysis – optiSLang and ANSYS Mechanical. Through this exercise, they were able to obtain ~10% weight reduction and over 17% reduction in Equivalent Stress (read more).

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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Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 3

Welcome back to the Weekly Simulation Round-Up. I hope you had a good start to the new year. Are your sticking to your new year resolutions so far? Either way, I hope this week’s posts provide you motivation to your resolutions.

CAE simulation opens up untold opportunities and it allows engineers to advance in many more areas of application. In this weekly simulation round-up, you will learn about CADFEM’s contribution to the world of simulation.

ANSYS: The IoT and the Economic Data

The economics of the internet, marketplace design auction theory, the statistical analysis of auction data, and the intersection of econometrics and machine learning are all interesting topics to ponder over. In this article, the author says that “there is so much uncertainty about big data that most companies have become risk-averse — so afraid to make a mistake that they fail to do anything at all. This is the single greatest error executives can make (read more).”

Virtual Test Analysis System

ViTAL is a software tool created by CADFEM on behalf of AIRBUS for the fast generation and fully nonlinear analysis of fuselage skin panel within the FE solver ANSYS. This case study says, “simulation is used to reduce the number of necessary tests, perform parametric studies and get additional information on loaded structures which are inaccessible to measuring devices. ViTAL provides boundary conditions to simulate shear pressure tests and frame bending tests performed at AIRBUS (read more).

esocaet – Master’s in Simulation

Since several years, CADFEM has been committed to transfer know-how to the community. Sharing our experiences allows us to grow the industry because better-qualified and better-equipped simulation professionals enter our industry. CADFEM offers extensive education and training, stimulates the global exchange of knowledge among simulation experts, and promotes a strategic rapport between companies and research institutes. Learn about our Master’s Program in Simulation (read more).”

Hardware & IT Solutions

We recognize that Simulation is more than Software®. To ensure that our customers derive RoI faster and in an effective manner, CADFEM offers a comprehensive range of services, from installation and configuration to maintenance and hardware support for individual components, planning, implementation, and support of entire CAE data centers. Since performance of a simulation also depends on the hardware, we offer workstations and servers that function robust to scale up your simulation speeds. Learn more about what we can do to help you! (read more)

Image showing a 3D city model and contour plot depicting the impact of a detonation inside the city model. This image is being used while discussing an article in the Weekly Simulation Round-Up.
Revolutionary Applications – Cities of The Future

We constantly work on tailoring existing solutions to meet specific customer needs and applications. City Simulations are an area of particular interest to CADFEM. While we possess the competency to address the needs of the cities, disaster risk reduction is the reason for our foray into this revolutionary application. To build cities of our future, we are at the forefront of applying simulations and building digital city twins (read more).

Thank you! Hope you liked this edition of Weekly Simulation Round-Up.

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Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 2

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I wish you a Happy New Year! Hope you had a great start to 2017. In this edition of the Weekly Round-Up, I’m sharing my favorite posts on how simulation has helped in thermal drying of automotive body-in-white, reconstruction of historic Berlin City, PCB support design and design & development of smart cities.

Simulation-Driven Development of a Drying Oven (Case Study)

High-quality standards apply to the drying process of car body paints. In this case study, you will understand how “with simulations of the oven behavior in the design phase, an optimized oven design was found which fulfills the required criteria of the drying process.” In the process of applying simulations, the customer said “virtual technology helped to avoid expensive changes after the oven is built, and to gain more insight into the manufacturing process (read more).”

Optimization of PCB Supports During In-Circuit Testing

Current automobile industry is driven by interacting electronic controls for which electrical verification tests needs to be carried out. This presentation by Robert Bosch, one of our oldest customers, at the 6th Optimization and Stochastic Days 2016, explains lots of interesting things. Their work explains that “engineer uses judgement and experience to place the supports, and does trials in simulations! Can this be eliminated.” The article then goes on to describe how optiSLang was used to optimize the number of PCB supports to aid the engineers (read more).

Role of CFD in Reconstruction of Berlin City Palace

The Berlin City Palace was a royal and imperial palace in the centre of Berlin. It was heavily damaged in World War II and later destroyed during conflict. Today this important historic site is being rebuilt and ANSYS CFD simulation has played and important role in helping “engineers optimize the many, and often conflicting, requirements of the climate-control system. Engineers are confident that the palace will meet all requirements, including energy conservation, comfort, artistic preservation and costs (read more).”

University of Cape Town uses Rocky DEM to Simulate Particle Behavior

University of Cape Town is gaining multiple advantages using Rocky DEM. In this interview, Dr. Indresan Govender says how “Rocky DEM will be instrumental in extending theories to include realistic shapes.” In addition, he adds by saying that “Rocky is the only DEM package that handles proper shapes. Other packages artificially achieve this by clumping spheres together. Rocky’s main advantages are realistic particle shapes and extension to GPU computing. (read more).

Building Digital City Twins

The combination of semantic 3D city model with numeric simulation offers a great potential for risk reduction. With the 3D City Model, you achieve illustrative scenarios for many applications, such as the analysis of dangerous situations and the planning of necessary preventive measures. Also complex consequences like climate change in the city are getting clearer and more visible (read more).

Thank you! Hope you have found this week’s posts interesting.

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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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Weekly Simulation Round-Up | Issue 1

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Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up! In this, we’re sharing posts that start from the importance of the Big Data, Healthcare to the breaking medical pills. We hope you’ll enjoy this post.

Maintaining Power and Signal Integrity

The article from ANSYS Advantage Magazine says that “the ever-changing hardware that supports big data and the Internet of Things must be fast, reliable and quickly developed. Simulation is important to ensure first-pass success by keeping pace with Big Data & Internet of Things, PCB/Chip Speed & Reliability are paramount (read more).”

CFD Modeling for Cardboard Packaging Ventilation

CFD simulation is used to model cardboard boxes to regulate temperature during pre-cooling, transport and storage. According to this article, “packaging ventilation must therefore be designed keeping in mind various parameters such as: type of packaging, type of holes, external and internal packaging structure, type of product, product shape and size, etc (read more).”

Patient-Specific Hip Implantation Methods

ANSYS software simulates the stress and strain on bones of individual patients to study a new hip implantation method. In an ANSYS Advantage magazine article, they say that “increasing numbers of patients are suffering from pain, stiffness or difficulty in moving due to osteoarthritis in their hips.”

The article goes on to add saying that “doctors typically recommend hip replacement surgery for patients with pain so severe that it limits everyday activities or reduces their range of motion. In hip replacement surgery, a damaged hip joint is surgically replaced with an artificial implant. The surgeon removes the head of the femur with a saw and then attaches a ball that is anchored by a shaft extending into the femur. A mating cup is attached to the pelvis (read more).”

Great Molasses Flood of 1919

Live Science brings an article from the archives. Apparently “a bubbling flood of molasses sent a towering wave of goo down the streets of Boston in 1919. It caught everything from horses to humans in its sticky grasp, killing 21 people, injuring 150 more and flattening buildings in its wake. Now, scientists have figured out why the deluge of viscous sweetener was so deadly (read more).”

Studying Breakage of Medical Pills

Simulation of material fragmentation is easier than ever now! Rocky DEM can simulate the division of a pharmaceutical pill (or any other particle) and then analyze of the behavior of the material. Such complex breaking phenomenon is possible with Discrete Element Modeling using Rocky DEM (read more).

That’s it for this Weekly Roundup! See you next week.

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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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