Automated Design System Speeds Pump Development

Advanced simulation tools are essential for contemporary and competitive product design. But it is the assembly of these tools into an effective, automated design system that gives leading companies an additional advantage. One such company is Denmark-based Grundfos, one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers.

Grundfos estimates that pumps currently account for 10 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption. This fact provides ample incentive to improve pump efficiency, given the current drive for energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. Grundfos produces pumps for a wide range of applications: circulator pumps for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry as well as pumps for water supply, sewage, boiler, and other industrial applications and for inclusion in the equipment of other OEM’s. With such a broad line of products, it is clear that there is plenty of potential for putting an automated design loop system to work.

The recent ANSYS Advantage article, Pumped, provides insights into why and how Grundfos invested in such a design system, and the benefits that resulted. The company will reveal more in their November 18th presentation in the ANSYS Convergence webinar series.

The company’s engineers continually focus on optimizing pump efficiency and structural integrity, to reduce energy consumption, enhance reliability and provide a positive impact on the environment. They have assembled an automated design system known as PumpIt which enables Grundfos engineers to meet their objectives in a timely manner.

The time to automate is now

For most companies such a system evolves over a number of years. But certainly the time is ripe for most companies to adopt such a system. Simulation tools have matured and offer the advanced physical models and productivity-enhancing features that provide reliable results and make them easy to use. Computing has evolved to the point where speed is consistent with allowable design cycle times, particularly when taking advantage of available high performance computing (HPC) capabilities.

I recall first working with Grundfos hydraulic engineers about 20 years ago. In the pump world, that made them an early adopter of CFD. At that time, CFD simulation was typically on a single component at a time, such as the inlet, the impeller or the volute. Usually simulations were performed at only a few critical flow rates. Since then, the improvements have been many. ansys-pumped-vectors-g+In ANSYS CFX, cavitation capability enables prediction of range and possible damage at low flow. Multiple frame of reference capability provides more realistic simulation of the whole pump. Automation enables simulation across full speed lines and at multiple operating speeds, with associated pre- and post-processing. Multiphysics provides the convenient link to the structural world, where pressure loads can be readily passed to the mechanical solver. HPC reduces solve time and allows for multiple simultaneous solutions. Combined with modal analysis, fatigue capability, preliminary design tools, other experienced based empirical information and an optimizer, one has all the ingredients required for a modern design system.

As Grundfos points out in the article, and in the short video below, the benefits are real. In one case, a couple points improvement in efficiency plus significant reduction in design time and prototyping costs. Yet, as they explain, there is more to do, and more to be gained. Optimization is a multiphysics and multi-component process, and as they extend their design system further, even greater benefits will result.

Please make sure you join us on November 18th and bring your questions!

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