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Breaking down silos with Business Process Management

Business Process Management maximizes the scope of SPDM software solutions by ensuring full traceability and interconnectivity in the engineering design processes.


Solve complex MDAO studies in a fraction of the time using a validated advanced panel method

ESTECO and Research in Flight showcase the optimization of a propeller geometry to meet stakeholders' goals in a complex, changing environment of multiple competing requirements and key performance metrics.

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Balancing multiple disciplines in AEC

ESTECO Technology helped Bouygues Construction automate the simulation process to identify appropriate designs quicker.

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Success Story
Takenaka Corporation: from Integration to Collaboration in the simulation process
Discover how designers, engineers and managers benefit from ESTECO Technology to simplify their DESIGN&BUILD process. Using VOLTA simulation process & data management, and design optimization capabilities, they collaboratively assessed the performance of structural elements of a new company building to maximize office space capacity. ## Why Design&Build and Simulation Process and Data Management Collaboration between design and construction has traditionally been playing an important role in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Takenaka Corporation, one of the top construction companies in Japan, ensures certified process and construction quality at the highest levels with its integral DESIGN&BUILD system. This methodology integrates architecture, building technology, and construction in a unified flow of work from concept through completion, replacing the traditional approach where the design and construction phases of a building project are carried out in a sequential manner. The DESIGN&BUILD system leads to many advantages: effective communication, unified quality, effective timing and cost overruns, and reduced completion time. In fact, architects and engineers collaborate with each other, share data, and are updated on various requirements to deliver innovative building solutions and meet clients’ expectations. When Takenaka Corporation embraced the DESIGN&BUILD system, it looked for a reliable Simulation Process and Data Management (SPDM) platform. That is why they partnered with ESTECO to simplify the whole simulation design process, manage a huge amount of data across teams, and shorten product development time. Designers, engineers and managers involved in the architectural projects access ESTECO VOLTA from a web browser and intuitively interact with the simulation process. From running 3D building simulations to applying design optimization techniques, analyze results and share data on the internal cloud for collaborative decision making. ## Expanding 3D building modeling and design optimization techniques across the enterprise Conducting manually parametric studies on 3D building models can become a time-consuming process leading to delays in project schedules. Overcoming these challenges for designers and engineers at Takenaka Corporation translate into an extensive use of ESTECO process automation, integration, and design optimization technology to significantly accelerate the architectural simulation design process. By combining modeling solvers as Rhino3D/Grasshopper, Abaqus, Midas iGen, or other in-house design software in modeFRONTIER powerful workflow, they can execute complex simulation chains and evaluate thousands of complex geometries in a short time. On top of that, applying ESTECO state-of-the-art design exploration and optimization algorithms to assess the correlation between several requirements (room size, thermal comfort, structural design to name a few) and maximize the building performance. At Takenaka, they had to make a step forward to expand the usage of 3D building modeling and design optimization techniques across teams with different expertise. Indeed, designers and engineers usually perform simple data analysis and are not necessarily confident in simulation and workflow set-up execution. Moreover, the DESIGN&BUILD methodology requires effective collaboration between the different actors involved in the simulation process to make changes and update their models for further analysis. This gap has been filled by scaling up modeFRONTIER desktop solution capabilities across the enterprise with the ESTECO VOLTA collaborative web platform. It enables simulation experts to create and make the simulation workflow ready to be executed via web. Then, designers and engineers can use these simulation models, apply design optimization techniques, and analyze results in the VOLTA platform. Since the simulation data are accessible in their internal cloud, it is easier for them to quickly interact with the simulation experts asking for updated CAD/CAE models when design changes are required. In the end, managers can log in to the VOLTA web platform, access product performance metrics, and monitor the whole simulation product development advancements. This scenario has been successfully applied in the early design phase of a new office building project. VOLTA made simulation usable by different teams to optimize structural elements in order to guarantee maximum office space capacity. Use case: rationalize the slab shape of an office building with VOLTA web collaborative platform Expanding the usage of simulation and optimization became a true fact when Takenaka’s designers and engineers had to collaborate in order to assess the performance of structural elements for a new office building. The subcontracted project required to drastically reduce the number of columns to make the most of the office space. However, the expected distance between the columns is about 17 meters, which is quite a lot according to the Japanese regulations. This has an unavoidable impact on the flat surface of a slab, a common structural element used to construct floors and ceilings. The slab needs a proper curve in order to guarantee the stiffness. Although, a side effect of the increased curvature may unbalance the floor forces and cause local additional bending moments. The solution is not just filling the curved slab shape, rather including massive amounts of ribs in some areas. To achieve this, the company’s designers and engineers combined the use of 3D building modeling techniques with ESTECO VOLTA collaborative web platform to explore reasonable volume amounts and coverage of the slab. First, they used Rhino3D/Grasshopper to create and model the shape of the office building and then converted it (in Grasshopper) to be meshed in Midas iGen to perform structural analysis. In the end, the several outputs from finite element analysis such as maximum displacement and the stress were extracted by using a python script. The interaction between the different simulation solvers was automated in the modeFRONTIER workflow coupled within the ESTECO VOLTA platform environment. This enabled simulation experts to upload the modeFRONTIER workflow and execute it through a web interface. Then, the structural engineers benefited from the VOLTA Advisor, a web environment for advanced post-processing and data visualization, to assess the simulation results from the finite element analysis model and validate the deformed shape of the all structure. For the same project, they also performed additional analysis through the VOLTA Planner dashboard, a modular interface to apply several optimization strategies in an intuitive way. This allowed them to easily create new simulation plans, change parameters bound, objectives and constraints with the aim of finding the best designs with minimized both the building weight and the maximum displacement of slab. “Thanks to the VOLTA HPC & Cloud capabilities, we were able to evaluate more than 700 designs in just four days. The VOLTA Player interface allowed to execute these computational heavy multi objective optimization analysis on the cloud without having to think how resources are used remotely”. Toru Inaba, Computational Design Group at Takenaka Corporation, also said that one of the key benefits of using VOLTA is to make simulation data accessible to a broader team of designers and engineers. “In particular,” concluded Toru Inaba, “our simulation experts could share the best practices on how to use the VOLTA Advisor, the web environment for advanced data analysis and visualization, with the structural engineers. The VOLTA web platform and its apps enabled us to truly democratize our DESIGN&BUILD simulation process. Designers and engineers can now access to the simulation results in one click and collaboratively take decisions without only relying on siloed reports of data”.
Success Story
American Magic perfects AC75 design for the 36th America's Cup
The America’s Cup isn’t just the first sailing competition in history, it’s also the first when it comes to innovation. Learn how American Magic engineers partnered with ESTECO to prepare for their next challenge. Using modeFRONTIER in different phases of the design process, they integrated geometry changes, performed hydrodynamic CFD simulations and explored different optimization strategies. ## New design challenges: monohulls that fly The America’s Cup is the oldest and most important trophy in sailing. What makes it unique is that the reigning champion gets to decide the rules for the next edition, like the date and the location. More importantly, it defines boat class and design rules. The 33rd America’s cup in 2010 pushed the boundaries of boat design by introducing new technologies, design concepts and materials. When BMW Oracle pitted its 34-meter trimaran and 55-meter high rigid wing against Alinghi in the first regatta, it won by 15 minutes, sailing at more than 18 knots in 8 knots of wind. The 36th America’s Cup builds on changes to previous edition class rules with a new boat concept: a monohull racing boat that doesn’t sacrifice the concept of flying boats. Two t-shaped side foils guarantee that the boat flies above the water. Engineers can’t rely on previous experience and now find themselves having to design a completely new boat. Moreover, competition rules allow teams to design only certain parts of the boat, like foil wings, sails, hulls and systems, while others must be designed by third parties. Whereas the foil wing structure and profile can be designed by teams, the arm structure is determined, designed, and built by a supplier company. American Magic is using ESTECO technology in each phase of the design process, from concept to the refinement of foils and sails. Specifically it uses modeFRONTIER. Its process automation, intelligent algorithms and advanced post-processing capabilities enable engineers to deliver optimized solutions faster. ## Complex simulation studies on foil and mainsail geometries The AC75 has two t-shaped side foils. The arm is attached to the hull with a moving joint which allows the crew to move the foils in and out of the water according to the sailing mode. On the other end of the arm is the foil itself. The foil has a main airfoil profile section coupled with moving flaps. Internally, enough space must be guaranteed for the systems to operate the flaps. Foil design is challenging because it involves the simulation of myriad geometries in different configurations and under multiple operating conditions - all of which determine boat performance. Foils need to create low drag but generate enough force to enable the boat to lift at the start and fly during the race. Righting moment is required to balance the heeling moment of the sails. At higher speeds, cavitation can cause significant loss in performance. Stability is fundamental, especially during maneuvers. In the first stage, hydrodynamic performance is computed using a low-fidelity solver that takes into account the different operating conditions - namely speed, sailing mode and position in the water. In the second stage, the full 3D geometry is designed and evaluated using CFD simulations. High-fidelity simulations can’t be used directly in the first stage of development due to lengthy computational times. The sail plan is composed of the mainsail and a jib or code zero, which are interchangeable. All dimensions are restricted by rules, so engineers can optimize the shape within specific limits. The mainsail is a twin skin sail that acts like an airfoil. By adjusting mast rotation, twist and boom position, the 3D geometry of the mainsail can be tuned for different wind speeds and sailing modes foils, the aerodynamic forces are tuned to generate lift, maintaining momentum and low drag. ## Getting foil and sail design just right American Magic engineers are using several simulation software for the foil and sail design which consists of three steps: geometry definition, force computation and boat speed estimation. The entire process is automated in modeFRONTIER. Multiple workflows handle input modifications, the execution of different tools and file and data exchange. Mares, developed by Airbus, handles the geometry generation of the airfoil and the flap, considering different combinations. Hydrodynamic forces generated by the foil, lift, drag and momentum, as well as cavitation speed are obtained through CFD simulations. The designers use a low fidelity 1D potential-based code in the initial phases to evaluate multiple configurations in a small amount of time. American Magic uses a RANS-based tool to perform high fidelity 3D simulations in the final refinement and optimization phase. Both Mares and the CFD tools are coupled with modeFRONTIER using Easydriver nodes. This enables them to couple their in-house tools using input and output files and customize execution scripts. Geometry consistency is guaranteed by constraints that filter out weird shapes and meet requirements for internal cabling and mechanisms as well as cavitation limits. The main goal of the optimization is to minimize drag for specific lift values. It isn’t enough to understand the efficacy of a foil shape. It’s important to understand how the boat behaves. An in-house Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) software estimates the overall boat performance at different wind speeds and sailing modes. The software uses forces generated by foils and sails to find the overall boat equilibrium and predict boat velocity. A nested modeFRONTIER workflow handles different operating conditions. These are sequentially run, using internal loops to compute the global performance of the design. Multiple operations are handled in parallel to make the most of computational resources. Once the forces are solved, these are passed on to the VPP calculation. Foil and sail design share most of the process and simulation tools but defining the geometry is more complex. The mainsail is divided into several sections where each section can have a different shape based on input values. On top of this, optimal adjustments for every shape need to be calculated. This results in large numbers of configurations which are run to find the best design. It’s fundamental to formulate constraints based on maneuverability, considering adjustments that are feasible for the crew - optimal solutions have no meaning if they are too complex to be performed during the race. Each design phase requires a different optimization strategy. In early stages, genetic algorithms guarantee robustness to find the global optimum in a large design domain. In the last phase, it’s important to cut optimization time - conventional techniques aren’t feasible. Therefore, multi-strategy algorithms are used in combination with advanced initialization techniques to speed up the whole optimization process. ## American Magic and ESTECO - partners in innovation The American Magic design team relied on ESTECO technology in the design and optimization of the boat. Paolo Motta, Performance Prediction Engineer says, “The AC75 is a complex racing boat with interacting subsystems. This makes the design process a challenging and time-consuming task. Using modeFRONTIER process automation, intelligent algorithms and decision making capabilities enables us to decrease foil optimization time from 3 weeks to 4 days. This gives us time to discuss and think about present challenges and develop new solutions”. According to Arthur Rozand, Performance Prediction Engineer, “The key benefit of using modeFRONTIER is to have a suite of tools in one place. In this way it’s easy to manage design and optimization from the exploratory phase to post-processing and decision making. Time is a constraint in development. With modeFRONTIER, we have the flexibility to tailor the strategy. For example, in the early stages of development, DOE strategies and the sensitivity analysis tool help us understand which design variables are the most important. In the final stage of development we use multi-strategy algorithms and advanced charts to select the best design.” “Our partnership with ESTECO is bringing in great results.” says Giorgio Provinciali, Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) Lead, “Working side-by-side with ESTECO engineers enables us to pool our respective expertise to get the most out of modeFRONTIER”.
Ensuring product performance with Robust Optimization and Quality Engineering technology
This webinar presents how modeFRONTIER robust and reliability-based optimization capabilities can be applied to avoid opting for designs that perform well on paper, but under-perform in real life. Danilo Di Stefano (Product Manager) and Alberto Clarich (Technical Manager) introduce the Quality Engineering module available in modeFRONTIER. They present how robust and reliability-based optimization can be applied to leave out designs that perform well on paper, but under-perform in real life. Quality Engineering allows to perform a robust analysis in those cases where the variable is affected by a non-probabilistic deviation, or noise. Agenda: ROBUST DESIGN & RELIABILITY - Manage uncertainties with ESTECO technology QUALITY ENGINEERING - A new Robust Design method available in modeFRONTIER modeFRONTIER PLANNER - A modular interface to set-up design exploration, optimization and robust design campaigns easier
Optimizing kinematics and compliances of vehicle suspension using Adams Car and modeFRONTIER
This webinar presents a methodical way of optimization of Kinematics and Compliances (K&C) performance by linking the models developed in Adams Car with modeFRONTIER for end to end process automation and numerical optimization. Experts from ESTECO and MSC Software explain vehicle suspension systems which are made up of many components including springs, dampers, bushings, hardpoints, etc. Each of these components plays a critical role in Kinematics and Compliances (K&C) of suspension systems. Manually evaluating K&C of a system is also a tedious task considering multiple number of events that must be considered i.e. parallel wheel travel, roll, etc. Thanks to ESTECO's design optimization and simulation process integration and automation technologies, the coupling of Adams Car and modeFRONTIER accelerate and ease the process, leading to an optimal combination of these parameters which results in the desired K&C results for all events.
Getting started with parametric optimization
This webinar showcases how to perform Parametric Optimization in modeFRONTIER. Parametric optimization is a computer algorithm driven automated process that modifies the problem parameters to find the optimum, or Pareto set of optimums, within a predefined design space, taking objectives and constraints into account. This iterative method allows simulation based design processes to be driven to achieve predefined targets, or to minimize or maximize certain performance characteristics. Watch this webinar and learn more about the importance of parametric optimization, the different algorithms used, strategies and some representative industrial cases.
Server-based MDO using an SPDM framework
This webinar demonstrates the benefits of a server-based Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) approach and Simulation and Process Data Management (SPDM). With a server-based approach, large MDO workflows can be easily managed and collaboration can be stimulated through a modern web interface which is accessible anytime, anywhere. On the execution side, a server-based approach offers many advantages related to distributed execution enabling hybrid compute infrastructures. SPDM is an important aspect of server-based MDO since it manages the ownership, version control and permissions of all the data and models needed to build and execute complex workflows. With SPDM, MDO becomes a team effort instead of an ‘expert-only’ exercise. Workflows can be quickly upgraded or rolled back to a known state, simplifying the debugging and editing process.
Fundamentals of Response Surface Modeling
This webinar explains how to create a response surface or mathematical model that can be used to predict the results of a new set of experiments, without having to execute those experiments. This technique is especially useful for computationally expensive simulations such as 3D FEA or CFD, where runtimes of hours or even days can be reduced to seconds. Watch this webinar and learn more about the importance of response surface modeling in simulation based design, the various algorithms and strategies of implementation.
Accelerate aircraft design with model-based design automation and collaborative MDO
This webinar hosted by ESTECO and TXT company PACE, demonstrates the added value of combining their technologies for a server-based optimization of an EXPEDITE (EXPanded MDO for Effectiveness Based DesIgn TEchnologies) derived preliminary aircraft design. Taking an EXPEDITE-like modern aircraft conceptual design as a baseline, the webinar showcases the advantages of creating a smart, reconfigurable aircraft model with PACE's preliminary aircraft design platform Pacelab APD and integrating it in modeFRONTIER parametric optimization to identify the optimum solutions, based on constraints and performance requirements. Watch this webinar and learn more about how to implement this methodology in an international context, consisting of distributed teams and the extended enterprise.
Enhancing the design process in biomedical industry with engineering optimization
This webinar explores the possibilities of the use of modeFRONTIER and DEP MeshWorks to accelerate the design process in the biomedical field. Medical devices community needs to adopt faster go-to-market strategies to go from conceptual design to market deployment. Virtual engineering and virtual testing become one of the key factors that enable this speed of development. Engineering simulation enables design, development, and analysis of these complex medical devices with great accuracy. Mathematical techniques such as numerical optimization and machine learning further enhance the design process by allowing the identification of robust and optimal solutions in a short time. ESTECO North America and Detroit Engineered Products (DEP), specialized in model parameterization, explain the value of optimization and response surface modeling in simulation-based medical device development.
Success Story
Best performance of blast furnace with material charge optimization
Using modeFRONTIER coupled with Rocky DEM to design a better deflector while saving up to 130 hours of computational time The Arvedi Group turned to the University of Trieste to find a solution to the uneven material distribution inside the hopper of the blast furnace in Trieste, Italy. The Mechanical Engineering Department investigated the problem and used modeFRONTIER to optimize the design of a new deflector ensuring a better distribution of the materials. Exploiting the ESTECO integration and process automation technology they coupled modeFRONTIER with Rocky DEM software to accelerate the simulation process of the material distribution. Using the proprietary algorithms available in modeFRONTIER, they were also able to find the optimal design for a new deflector. ## Challenge The project concerned the charging process of coke coal and iron ore inside the hopper. The different materials formed piles and pitches, leading to a lower performance of the plant. The uneven material distribution inside the hopper caused variations in the temperature profile, gas flow, and gas composition. To solve this problem modeFRONTIER was coupled with Rocky DEM to get a better understanding of materials behavior and optimize the design of the deflector. The integration with modeFRONTIER also allowed to meet the time constraints, reducing the computational time for each simulation. ## Solution This project was developed in two phases. The first phase concerned the calibration of Rocky DEM parameters and the simulation of hopper charge. The second phase consisted in optimizing the geometry of a new deflector for the charging process.For the calibration process, they used the parameters of Discrete Element Method as inputs in modeFRONTIER, such as particle- particle static friction and rolling resistance. The repose angle of simulated material was used as output. For the device optimization, a sensitivity analysis with Uniform Latin Hypercube allowed to run 90 designs and identify the most important design variables. Engineers then optimized three different geometries, taking these geometrical variables as inputs. The outputs were based on the material distribution, calculated by virtually splitting the hopper into 12 sectors and performing statistical analysis on the particles found in each. These values were used to define the two objectives and the constraints of the optimization. They used the ESTECO proprietary pilOPT algorithm to run the three optimization studies. Thanks to the autonomous mode they could evaluate more than 1000 designs in just a few weeks, without having to set any parameters and with remarkable benefits in terms of time. Benefits Thanks to a user-friendly graphical user interface, modeFRONTIER helped automate the simulation process. Without modeFRONTIER, engineers would have had to manually change the geometry of the deflector for every simulation, with significant waste of time. With modeFRONTIER they were able to save up to 130 hours of computational time. Finally, by automating the process, design engineers could launch the optimization and avoid the painstaking process of manually combining the output from multiple applications.