The engineering simulation community is getting used to the role of ANSYS products behind bleeding-edge technologies, be it serving the exorbitant performance demands of F1 racing cars or extreme precise modeling of the nonlinear elasticity curve of dipole coils or designing entrance window for LHC Beam Dump Line at CERN. But I don’t usually drive a F1 car to the office nor does the existence of Higgs Boson affect my morning breakfast taste, despite being the building block of everything. As one of many tech-hungry people working, or rather living, on the edge and always anticipating what is next, I started thinking about where it all started and where are we now?
Have you ever thought the technology that was born more than 40 years ago, out of Astro Nuclear Research Labs, that has now penetrated into our routine life at such levels that we usually fail to think twice about it? The use of engineering simulation in the design or development of home appliances, cell phones, toys, etc. is well known. So let me draw your attention to a few very routine examples where we usually do not think that simulation matters.
Bleeding Edge Technology and a Toothbrush?
The first thing that comes to my mind is a toothbrush! Let me put it in a techie’s way: how could simulation help optimize the performance of a handheld mechanized device when used along with a carrier fluid containing abrasive particles? The goal of course is to achieve better oral health with an advanced resonant power toothbrush. Philips Oral HealthCare performed transient analysis using ANSYS Mechanical (release 7.1) to come up with an optimal resonant structure that provided both the expected performance and specified clinical experience. A similar technology (from Altair) has been in use by other toothbrush makers (Lion Corporation).
And, think about those lovely contoured shampoo bottles or food & beverage packages that are not only designed for better aesthetics. Designing those attractive containers must have gone through various engineering simulation tests such as modeling for fluid structure interaction (FSI) to ensure easy dispensing, explicit and drop tests modeling of the container to ensure durability so that it survives transportation and routine usage. So the next time you sip a Tropicana juice or flavored milk from a container anywhere in those 170+ countries that Tetra Pak supplies to, you should also praise the engineering that goes into it. Tetra Pak is the world’s leading food processing and packaging company that extensively employs engineering simulation solutions and is an ANSYS customer too.
For an even more personal, yet rarely mentioned look at engineering simulation in every day life, give thought to a Portuguese manufacturer of the toilet flushing valve that used ANSYS CFX, along with the experimental validation, to optimize the washing efficiency in the toilet bowl by increasing the average water discharge velocity.
No, I won’t say that with time, this highly-sophisticated technology has deteriorated/downgraded or become cheaper now, rather it has upgraded our standard of living and is doing it more regularly with each passing day. You may not realize it but it’s there in most every product — from your automobile to nuclear rockets to yes, even your toothbrush!