Blue Ridge Numerics
has released CFdesign 2011, the latest version of its CFD software packed with
an array of new capabilities officials say help compress the simulation
process, expand the reach of CFD, and provide a rich team environment for
complex design studies.
Built on the Design Study environment that debuted in
CFdesign 2010, the latest release offers a lightweight environment that lends
itself to multiple design studies all while compressing the design process so
engineers have time to run additional simulations. "This release is all about
enabling engineers to get more done in 24 hours," says Luke Mihelcic, product
marketing manager at Blue Ridge Numerics. "Traditionally, there are one or two
analysts or gurus in a company who do all the simulations. What we've done in
CFdesign 2011is make it more accessible to new and casual users so they can set
up simulations very repeatedly."
A number of new tools added to CFdesign 2011 foster what the
company is calling "one-click simulation," making it accessible for so-called
casual CFD users. Specifically, the software supports CAD-entity groups,
allowing users to assign the settings they need for the flow simulation (things
like inlets or solids) inside a CAD package where they are more comfortable. In
addition, a new rules manager inside the program lets users create associations
between CAD part names, CAD material names, CAD entity groups and a CFdesign setting,
so users can assign settings to frequently recurring CAD components, greatly
automating the process. "This eliminates a lot of anxiety that new users have,"
The Design Study environment has also been enhanced to make
it easier and less repetitive to set up multiple simulations. The new release
includes a powerful automation tool that allows for variation of multiple
parameters such as materials, flow and thermal conditions, and new templates
give engineers the ability to define standard processes and reduce the need to
start over for every simulation, Mihelcic says.
To help compress the simulation process, CFdesign 2011 has
been architected to harness all of the computational horsepower available on a
network. Via its new remote solving manager, users can set up and allocate
simulation workloads across multiple workstations, while mobile alerts will
send users notifications via e-mail or text messages, updating them on the
status of their design studies. "Folks are used to babysitting simulations," Mihelcic
explains. "With mobile alerts, we'll tell you it started, meshed and finished,
and if something happened along the way, we'll e-mail you. It lets you know
what's happening with your simulation without having to sit and watch it."
In terms of new team capabilities, CFdesign 2011 supports a
model-centric workflow that maximizes screen real estate while delivering
access to all functions directly on the model. There are also twice as many
materials available in the material library, and material databases can be
shared with other team members. Other collaboration enhancements include an
expanded customer portal to allow the secure viewing and sharing of simulation
results; the ability to use the CFdesign 3D Results Viewer inside a standard Web
browser; and improvements to the suite of visualization tools, enabling users
to identify optimal designs more readily.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.