When complicated interactions of stress, pressure distribution, and fluid flow make "back-of-the envelope" calculations difficult or impossible, a finite element analysis (FEA) program will consider hundreds of formulas and numbers in arriving at an answer. But while design engineers can utilize FEA to optimize component design, the technology or resources isn't always available in-house.
Not all companies, whether manufacturers or users of complex equipment, are in a position to perform FEA for all components. A company may have very sophisticated modeling capabilities, but may lack the resources to test prepare and run programs to test out all products.
That's when a supplier can play an important role in the design effort. Increasingly, vendor companies such as LEEM Filtration Products (Ramsey, NJ), supply FEA and other analysis software as part of the component package. Companies that perform their own FEA may also be interested in verifying their results. LEEM can also perform a backup analysis to be sure the results agreed.
By factoring FEA into the purchasing equation,the purchasing agent can get more than what the specifications call for, at a better price, and even sooner.
The advent of FEA and computer modeling improves the ability to consider all parameters of a design. Instead of a physical model, FEA allows designers to build a computer model of a component, simulate the interactions of stress, pressure distribution, fluid flow, velocity and other factors and determine--for instance--the exact point where material yield signals the onset of failure.
One of our customer's design groups performs sophisticated FEA modeling of gaseous flow in the systems they supply. However, the company lacked the staff to prepare and run programs to test out vessel components. By supplying FEA of the critical filtration products as part of the contract, LEEM Filtration was able to provide a better product at lower cost--saving the customer valuable design time.
Specifiers and purchasers for manufacturers of complex equipment should put finite element analysis on their priority list. By performing a full analysis of a specific situation it is valuable in identifying potential problems and aiding designers in coming up with the optimal solution. Where correct equipment operation is of extreme importance (and when isn't it?), FEA modeling can help provide a better product at a lower cost.
And FEA actually improves testing rather than replace it. It eliminates the need for unnecessary tests, or tests that would otherwise be repeated because of a design change or the need for more data.
To speak with a LEEM representative, call (201) 236-4833 or fax (201) 236-2004.