Users of Dassault Systemes must have seen the following image multiple times in last few years. In this article, I am talking about what this image means from simulation perspective.
The image above is the brand logo of Dassault Systemes next generation innovation called 3D Experience platform. This image is called 3D Compass and its four quadrants symbolizes four major offerings available in an integrated fashion with the platform. The north quadrant symbolizes collaboration, the east quadrant symbolizes 6W Tags, the west quadrant symbolizes designer applications and the south quadrant symbolizes our favorite simulation applications. The idea behind its introduction is very clear from simulation environment.
“BREAK THE SILOS”
The word silos may seem unpleasant to hear at times but that’s exactly how FEA or MBD simulation community has been since many years. These are small departments of very specialized people in large organizations that mostly work in isolation. The reason of working in isolation has been simple and justified till now. The complexity of products these specialists use has been an overwhelming task for other departments such as design, production, marketing, procurement, IT etc. that are a part of overall product lifecycle management. Moreover simulation forms a process of product lifecycle only when a new concept design is launched that has to be virtually tested either to save cost, reduce time or meet certain requirements imposed by regulatory boards such as NHTSA, FAA, FDA etc. This is not always the case.
The 3D Experience platform integrates and brings together all the departments involved in product lifecycle including simulation experts. The integration happens at base level by a data management and collaboration server called ENOVIA that allows users with different roles to create, modify, share, manage or propagate data from one person to other without using share drives, emails or any sort of data migration. In terms of T&M and A&D companies these roles might be product designers, design engineers, manufacturing engineers, FEA specialists, material experts, method developers etc. The platform offers roles for users. Each role is a collection of apps just like we see in our mobile phones. However, in case of 3D Experience platform, these roles are divided in four different categories based on four corners of the 3D Compass. These are 3D Modeling apps, Social and Collaborative apps, information intelligence apps and simulation apps. Few of these apps serve as pre-requisites to any user who wish to be a part of platform. But others such as simulation apps are assigned only to those users who wish to perform simulation.
With the 3D Experience platform, a simulation expert works on the same data that is created by a designer to perform simulation without any manual data transfer. No more specialized product formats such as Abaqus CAE, Tosca, fe-safe that have their own file architecture not compatible with designer products such as CATIA, Creo, Solidworks etc. Once the simulation is complete, results are stored in the same database that can be instantly viewed by engineering managers, product designers, R&D head or any user who is not actively using simulation. So no more specialized output file formats such as odb, conf, ldf, stlx etc. A simulation role armored with simulation apps allows a specialist to get into the platform, access the data created by designer, create simulation model in same environment, perform the analysis on user machine or on cluster and publish and share the results. Simple it is! Once the silos are broken, there is yet another aspect of 3D Experience platform that makes it unique in the way it works.
“ELIMINATE FILE BASED FOLDERS FROM THE SYSTEM”
Everything created or imported in the platform is saved within the ENOVIA collaboration server. The data can reside either on-premise or on-cloud based on chosen architecture. The user can search or access the data using advanced 6W Tags search criteria based on questions such as who, what, when, where, which etc. In case of cloud based architecture, this data can be assessed and modified from anywhere using devices such as smart phones or ipads. Can your smart phone read Abaqus odb files! The answer is perhaps no but yet it is possible to access Abaqus output data on smart phones using 3D experience platform.