Along with the smorgasbord of advanced capabilities in each of its multi-physics disciplines, ANSYS 12.0 ushers in a new Workbench paradigm designed to seamlessly integrate the individual applications, while establishing enhanced workflow that addresses multi-physics simulation in a more holistic manner.
As the centerpiece of the upgrade, ANSYS' Workbench 2.0 introduces the concept of a project schematic to easily set up, visualize, connect and manage simulations. Engineers work with the schematic metaphor to link multiple disciplines, and the simulation platform automatically establishes the relationships and performs the requisite data exchanges without intervention. "Rather than have to shed the blood, sweat and tears to link all the codes together, the workbench environment takes care of all of the steps," says Dipankar Choudhury, ANSYS' vice president of corporate strategy.
Another time-saving feature within the revamped workbench is the Parameter Manager. With this capability, engineers set up geometry parameters using a familiar spreadsheet-like interface and ANSYS 12.0 automatically launches the simulation runs, as well as handles the post-processing results analysis. In the past, engineers would manually have to create parameters and subsequently run dozens of simulations to test out possible designs. "The application has typically been brute force - there was a lot of effort, including human time, to make those runs," Choudhury says. "(With ANSYS 12.0), instead of manually saying go run, A, B, C, users simply specify a range and the software will automatically handle it."
The new DesignXplorer feature, which was previously not part of the main package, builds on the automation capabilities of the Parameter Manager. Using built-in design optimization tools, engineers can search for and establish parameters to perform parametric analyses across all physics available, including structural (both implicit and explicit), fluid flow and multi-physics. "This helps reduce the number of simulation runs by smartly searching for an optimum set of parameters that satisfy a range of constraints an engineer is looking for," Choudhury adds.
To help engineers better manage workflow and data between the multi-physics modules, ANSYS has also enhanced its Engineering Knowledge Manager, the simulation software's process and data management component. ANSYS EKM, now offered in a desktop, workgroup or enterprise version, helps engineering teams better manage, share and reuse simulation data via its data search, retrieval and reporting capabilities.
ANSYS also integrated its ANSYS Fluent fluid flow solver into the workbench environment, allowing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) practitioners to leverage a parametric and persistent modeling environment while taking advantage of such capabilities as bi-directional CAD integration, advanced meshing and powerful post-processing functions.