On top of intensifying global competition, shifting consumer preferences and ever-shrinking time-to-market schedules, the growing need to address climate change is increasing the pressure on businesses to improve their machine efficiency and effectiveness with greater urgency than ever before. To meet these challenges, companies are finding that they need to revamp their product lines or even develop totally new products. Pump and fan manufacturers especially are seeing a need to for rapid innovation and design breakthroughs to increase machine efficiency. Continue reading
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a tool with amazing flexibility, accuracy and breadth of application. But the tools need to be properly applied in order to deliver insight and value. Nobody starts out as an expert in CFD software. Instead, we all progress from beginners to experts over time.
For example, when I first became interested in cycling, I went shopping for a new bike. I needed something better than the old junker I was riding at the time but was a bit intimidated by cycling technology. Those small, hard saddles looked plain uncomfortable! Skinny tires! And clipless pedals were a mystery. So I ended up with a “cross” bike. Continue reading
I don’t know about you but I want the best I can get — whether I’m doing CFD prep and meshing or just living my life. It had better be good and speedy and easy — I want it all! Unfortunately, life doesn’t work always that way.
For example, I have a beautiful wrought iron fence in front of my house. The problem is that the fence is made of steel and as we all know, steel has the unfortunate property of rusting as the paint ages and loses integrity. So, this summer I have a big project to scrape, brush and repaint the metal. I’m not looking forward to the many hours of hands on time that will take! Continue reading
There’s an old project management adage that goes “Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick any two.” There are tons of websites and blogs about it. I’m particularly fond of this one about the designer’s holy triangle. Unfortunately, this holds true in the engineering simulation world. With “good” meaning “accurate,” you’re stuck with suboptimal choices: Good + fast = expensive; good + cheap = slow; fast + cheap = inferior. Product designers are stuck with good results that take too long or “directional” results fast. Good and fast just was not on the table. Continue reading
Did you know that NASA has shown that 45 percent of the first-day spacecraft electronics failures were due to damage caused by vibrations during launch? That American consumers have spent over $6 billion repairing and replacing smartphones after they’ve been dropped? With the Internet of Things (IoT), electrical devices and systems must be more resilient than ever, resistant to changes in temperature, dust infiltration, electromagnetic interference, vibration, impact, and fatigue. Continue reading
Turbomachinery can be the most rewarding of CFD simulations. At the same time, it can be the most challenging.
Turbomachinery covers a broad range of products including compressors, turbines (gas, hydraulic, steam, wind), turbochargers, pumps, fans and more. And turbomachinery users demand ongoing improvements, such as increased efficiency, reliability and durability while reducing emissions (for those involving combustion) and noise. Continue reading
Fidelity and accuracy is critical in CFD simulation. After all, physical prototyping and testing can only be reduced and even replaced by CFD if one can expect accurate results. Up to now, high fidelity, high accuracy results came with a price. Complex geometries — the realistic, no holds barred type — required hours of manual effort to clean up the model and then prepare the mesh. Users were tempted to cut corners and take short cuts that sped up prep but took a toll on accuracy and fidelity. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing just how those inaccuracies skewed the results, putting any recommendations in doubt. For example, if you don’t resolve a boundary layer correctly then any aerodynamic drag figures could be highly inaccurate. Continue reading
Winter has arrived in the northern hemisphere and with it comes snow. Snow complicates our lives — roads become slick with ice and drifts can block our way. When it piles up high on mountains, avalanches can wreak havoc.
Extrusion is a high-volume manufacturing process in which any of a multitude of polymers are melted, formed into a continuous profile and then cut to length. The process results in a wide variety of low cost, high volume products that show up in every aspect of our lives from drinking straws, medical tubing and piping to weather stripping, deck railings and window frames. But because they are so common, profit margins can be slim and manufacturers are looking at every angle to find ways to lower costs and increase their margins. Continue reading
Who said that CFD simulation was only for “hard” problems like jet engines and race cars? It is easy to dismiss CFD as overkill for something as familiar as a showerhead — weren’t they optimized long ago? After all, millions are made and sold annually. But Nebia’s founders had a better idea. According to Innovation by Design Magazine, Philip Winter, co-founder and CEO of Nebia says, “Showers are something that people really care about but people have no freaking clue that they can do anything to change [the experience.] You move into an apartment and you get whatever you get.” Continue reading