Magnetoelasticity: A 20-Year Journey from Cornell to Michigan Tech to ANSYS INC.

I was reminded of Professor Francis Moon, Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering Emeritus, when I visited Cornell University this summer for the 2014 Engineering Development Forum. You see, 20 years earlier I had just completed my PhD dissertation in the area of magnetoelastic buckling, a topic that was initiated by Professor Moon in 1968. His breakthrough research created immense interest around magnetoelasticity in the research community. Continue reading

Expanding System Simulation with Modelica

System Simulation.  It is an activity that can be defined broadly, and for many organizations it represents an aspiration for a type of engineering analysis that spans departments and disciplines and doesn’t fall into the familiar buckets of 3-D structures, fluids and electromagnetics. In contrast to 3-D multiphysics simulation, which seeks to understand coupling effects of different physical phenomena in the detailed design of individual components, multi-domain system simulation is used to analyze the interactions of many components operating together as a system, including software components describing embedded control and user interfaces. Continue reading

The Convergence of Drones and 3D Printing

images of dronesDrones have been in the news a lot recently. The near miss between a commercial flight and an unidentified drone in Florida has been broadcast around the world and has opened lots of questions about how the issue of drones in civilian airspace will be handled as the number of drones increases exponentially. This has spawned discussion regarding the safety of aircraft in the event of a collision with a drone. What is for certain is that the FAA have got their work cut out to ensure the safe management of the exponential growth of the drone phenomenon. Continue reading

A New Model Exchange Standard – The Functional Mockup Interface

Nearly every industry today deals with issues of an increasingly complex supply chain, representing interconnected relationships between OEMs, and their Tier 1, 2 and 3 suppliers. Customers who perform simulation driven product development are acutely aware of the supply chain issues, because simulation tools used by various companies are usually different and often not interoperable. This is where standards come in — modeling standards like the IEEE VHDL-AMS language provide a clear modifiable description of behavior and all tools that support this language are expected to behave the same way. However, since each tool provides its own implementation of the language compiler (typically converting from the standard modeling language to C++ code), there can be some differences in behavior. Continue reading

Software Tools for the Development of Embedded Code

In today’s ultra-competitive environment, product differentiation increasingly depends on embedded software. From automobiles to airplanes to medical devices, systems architecture and embedded software are important parts of product development cycles. Being able to manage these processes effectively so that you get the desired results is becoming a differentiator.

Today, the cars that we drive have more that 10 million lines of code! Can you imagine the hours it takes to come up with the definitions of what the car should do and how it should do it — let alone implement all this correctly through software code? It’s a time-consuming process, and getting it right the first time is challenging. We’ve all seen examples of what happens when the code isn’t correct. Incorrect code can cost companies millions of dollars, and more importantly, it erodes customers’ trust in that brand.

By using model-based, production-proven software tools for the development of embedded code, products can be developed in a faster and safer manner. And, when coupled with a certified automatic code generator, compliance for standards like DO-178B/C in aerospace, ISO 26262 in automotive and EN 50128 in rail is more rapidly achieved. Continue reading

ANSYS Welcomes Esterel Technologies

Today is another very exciting day for ANSYS – we have completed our acquisition of Esterel Technologies, a leading provider of solutions that simulate the behavior of embedded software code. Our joint solution will enable customers to gain greater insight into the behavior of the embedded software as it interacts with the overall product – including electrical, mechanical and fluidic subsystems. This combination will accelerate development and delivery of innovative products — smart products — to the marketplace.

How do smart products get smart?  Some of it comes from the design; a lot of it comes from intelligence that’s functionally built in — largely captured in the software that helps control and work with the microprocessors and all the electronics inside it. Continue reading