I was reminded just how complicated and expensive it is to develop a jet engine when I came across a video describing GE’s recent $26 million Cdn investment to upgrade its Winnipeg test facility. That is on top of even bigger investments by Rolls-Royce ($50 million) and GE ($40 million) and in recent years. Physical testing is not only expensive, it is time consuming and can lengthen design cycles.
Meanwhile, it has become easier than ever to simulate engine performance prior to any physical testing. Improved techniques like harmonic analysis, turbomachinery-specific workflows and better validation coupled with faster, more capable high performance & cloud computing are quickly expanding simulation so engineers can be confident in their designs before the first prototype is ever built. While physical testing is not going away anytime soon, ANSYS is working on digital prototyping with leading turbomachinery companies and helping them to cut it down to size. Continue reading