Every year around this time, SIMULIA comes up with official declaration of new releases. That news is followed by discussion and buzzes around new functionalities and features. Last year we released a series of blog articles on new features in 2018 suite of products and we are following a similar pattern this year starting with Abaqus CAE.

  • Translation of parts and instances: Additional parameters have been introduced to ease this operation. Earlier CAE prompted to pick a start and end points to define direction vector. Now it possible to define the direction by picking global or local coordinate axis, datum axis as well as any straight edge. Moreover, the start and end point method is supplemented by a local coordinate system, if needed. Here is how user interface looks like:
  • CAE support for CAXA/SAXA element types: CAXA/SAXA element types are very useful in modeling structures that have axisymmetric geometry but not axisymmetric load. These element types are present in solver since long time but only option to use them was through manual keyword input. Now these element types are part of Abaqus CAE.
  • Optimization enhancement for additive manufacturing: Overhands can be difficult to print and they require support structures as well. It is advisable not to have overhand structures in the part subjected to AM process. Now an additional geometric restriction is available in optimization module of CAE to prevent overhangs formation.
  • Other optimization enhancements:
  • Shape optimization is often used after topology optimization to reduce hotspots. Earlier only controller based algorithm was supported for shape optimization that imposed many restrictions on choice of design responses. Now sensitivity based algorithm is also available in CAE for shape optimization. Moreover, for all types of optimization schemes, it is not possible to export the output in IGES format as well. Earlier this output feature was available only in form based native TOSCA GUI.
  • The envelop contours can not be created for complex stress values as well. Three types of complex stress contours are supported as shown below:
  • Another significant enhancement in viewer is the visualization of variable beam radius. This is applicable to the output of TOSCA sizing when beam elements are present in the structure. The name of field variable is BRADIUS.

This blog is a part of series “what’s new in SIMULIA 2019”. Please follow our blog site regularly for next blog article on this topic.

This year 2019 Abaqus release has seen number of potential enhancements in Abaqus explicit. Some are general purpose while others are tied to specific procedure and application. Let’s have a look at what’s new in the explicit basket.

  • Lumped Kinetic Molecular model: This model has been developed to simulate behavior of gases that can be of much use in air bag deployment simulation. The method is based on kinetic theory of gases which states that pressure exerted by a gas in closed chamber is a result of collisions between gas molecules as well as between gas and chamber surface. These collisions are perfectly elastic in nature. As number of molecules in a mole of gas is equal to Avogadro number (6.023e23) which is very large from computational perspective, lumped mass approach is used in Abaqus in which a gas particle is defined as a collection of many molecules. The method has been validated with analytical approaches. This method now replaces the Unified Pressure Method that cannot capture the change in pressure as the airbag expands. However, LKM is computationally more expensive than UPM. Best approach might be to use LKM during airbag expansion when pressure variation is large and then switch to UPM method. Switching time should be defined in such a case. Most expensive method is still CEL.

  • C3D10 element has been introduced in explicit that is a true second order element that offers larger stable time increment compared to C3D10M or linear element. It supports all the loads and BC’s supported by conventional continuum elements in explicit.
  • Limiting stop feature: It is not possible to stop the explicit analysis when a certain output parameter reaches a limiting value. These physical parameters may be node based such as reaction forces or element based such as equivalent plastic strains. The keyword is *FILTER.
  • Improved performance: Substantial decrease in solver time when performing large system level crash simulation over high performance cluster. Below is the example of a 5M DOF crash model on multiple cores.

This blog is a part of series “what’s new in SIMULIA 2019”. Please follow our blog site regularly for next blog article on this topic.

One of the noticeable change that has been made in 2019 solver is its capability to handle large models. SIMULIA has noticed that in recent past customers have shown increased interest in dealing with very large models with 2M degrees of freedom or more. There are multiple reasons for this requirement. First is scalability. More and more customers are interested in large system level simulations compared to part or assembly level. Second is fidelity and accuracy. Mesh size is getting finer to capture behavior at micro level instead of macro level.

When it comes to solving very large models, iterative solver has many advantages compared to direct solver such as less memory consumption, scalability and speed. A new hybrid iterative solver scheme has been introduced that offers more flexibility for choosing number of MPI ranks and number of threads per rank for a given node. These parameters can be defined in the abaqus_v6 environment file. This is equivalent to DMP+SMP allowing efficient memory management.

The iterative solver is available in 3DExperience 2018x FD05 and 2019x FD01 release. It supports many more Abaqus features compared to conventional iterative solver such as gaskets, friction, plasticity, creep, periodic boundary conditions etc.

This blog is a part of series “what’s new in SIMULIA 2019”. Please follow our blog site regularly for next blog article on this topic.

In Active Workspace 3.4, Siemens PLM has made some significant improvements to search capabilities. Here are some of the highlights

Numerical Range Filters

Users can now filter and narrow down search results by entering a range of values for numerical properties in the filter panel so that they  get results only in the range of what they’re have specified. For example find bolts with a length between 60 and 100 mm.  They can also use open ended ranges by leaving the lower or upper range value blank.  This is supported for both classification & object properties in both global and in-context search using  integers and real numbers.

Pre-filter for Add Objects 

Active Workspace 3.4 allows application of property based pre-filter for in-context search.  This provides a better control of allowable choices when adding related objects with the ability to retrieve context sensitive search results via configuration.  The configuration is to set a “query type” pre-filter in the XRT definition of the “Add” command, which can be based on any property value. User can always widen the scope by deactivating the filter.

Search for Business Objects based on Form Properties

Users can now search and filter on properties of Master Forms and other Forms attached to any item revision without using compound properties . Master forms are supported OOTB, other forms (including custom forms) require adding a reference to the form storage class . The properties from forms can be configured to display as Form Name.Property or  only Property . This is used in filter panel and search string syntax. This can be also used in conjunction with dynamic compound properties (DCP) to avoid making schema changes to enable search and filters for properties on related forms.

With every release of Active Workspace, Siemens PLM keeps adding more enhanced capabilities for change management process execution, Active Workspace 3.4  is no exception.

The first enhancement is a simplified overview of change that includes most relevant information pertaining to the change.  The Consolidated change overview now includes; change description, details, participants, and originating changes.  There is a new visual status bar showing change maturity progress in overall maturity process. This progress chart helps users to understand and quickly determine the change maturity.  There is also an easily accessible change summary that shows adds, removes, and replaces. The Impacted/ Solution items added or Lineage set via Active Workspace UI  or the BOM changes done via rich client from structure manager in supersedure window are reflected in the new change summary. These easy to interpret change details help users to understand the full impact of change before they make decisions on it.

The Active Workspace 3.4 relationship browser is now improved to show all associated change objects and their relationships in the interactive relations browser.  This helps users to easily understand change objects and their hierarchical relations (Implements, Implemented by, dependencies) ,   find change objects and  other business objects  relations (Problem Items, Impacted Items, Solution Items) and also relation between items (Lineage).

These new capabilities makes Active Workspace an even more preferred user interface for change management adoption.

With every release of Active Workspace, Siemens PLM keeps adding more enhanced capabilities for Schedule Manager process execution, Active Workspace 3.4  is no exception.

The most exciting Schedule Manager process execution improvement in Active Workspace 3.4 is the ability to perform a “what-if analysis”.  What-if analysis mode enables project managers to experiment on a live schedule without impacting it . This is like working with the schedule in a “sandbox” environment to perform changes  to the tasks without committing them to the production database.  This helps project managers to determine how various schedule component changes may affect the outcome of the schedule, before actually committing the changes to the schedule. Once they are satisfied with the changes,  they can promote and commit the changes to the schedule. If they are not satisfied with the outcome of the changes, then they can choose to discard the analysis.

There are also enhancements to make the Schedule Manager tool usage easier .  Now users can change the Gantt timescale using the zoom in/out feature. They can add and remove schedule deliverables, assign multiple schedule tasks to one team member using multi-select mode, add multiple tasks quickly and easily by pinning the ‘Add schedule task’ panel and also manually launch workflow on a task. These advances in schedule authoring provide project managers and coordinators greater ease and flexibility in schedule definition and maintenance.

Simulations in Aerospace and Defense companies have a well-defined workflow. They have two separate teams for composites products: one for design and other for simulation. Composites ply design is primarily done by design engineers. These are the folks that determine the composites material as well as ply thicknesses and stackings in different regions of the composites part. CATIA composites design and manufacturing workbench has all sorts of tools to help designers achieve their objectives. We have discussed these workbenches in past.

However, because of FAA and other regulations in place, design has to be validated with FEA simulation and for most of the non linear workflows, Abaqus is the right solver choice. Though CATIA does provide an environment for Abaqus pre-processing, the preferred method in Aerospace industry is to use Abaqus CAE user interface. This is because of two reasons. First reason is better meshing capabilities offered by Abaqus CAE and second is tight coupling of Abaqus CAE with underlying solver. The obvious questions that arises is “how to move the ply information from CATIA to Abaqus CAE.”

The answer is composites link in collaboration with composites modeler for Abaqus CAE. The composites link exports the ply data from CATIA in form of layup file. Based on workflow, three options are possible.

  • Export only the ply data: When mesh is already in Abaqus CAE environment.
  • Export ply data with CATIA mesh: When meshing has been done in CATIA Analysis environment.
  • Export ply with external mesh file: When Abaqus input file needs to be merged with ply data.There are further options to export data either with or without taking change in orientations due to wrinkling into account as done by composites fiber modeler. Once the mesh and layup comes in Abaqus CAE environment, it is possible to explode the shell data based on ply thickness and create solid elements from shells. Abaqus CAE automatically creates section properties and assignments based on modified ply orientations. It is further possible to visualize ply orientations on each ply as well as ply stack plots on element by element bases. Once the data transfer and visualization is complete, the entire advanced analysis set up such as bird strike, fracture or delamination can be defined in Abaqus for analysis.

In this age of disruptions, product development companies need to reach across the evolving business ecosystem at a rapid pace than ever, at the same time protecting  their intellectual property . Teamcenter Active Workspace enables product development companies to

  1. Reach More people by connecting more people in more places with product data and processes; both internal and external. With a light-weight, web based user interface, they can harness the power of a changing workforce to get ahead of the competition.
  2. Reach across the business processes and leverage disruption to be a market leader. Using new tools for configuring Teamcenter, they can easily adapt to change now, and in the future.
  3. Reach greater returns by finding new ways to support the business. By reducing the burden of software support and maintenance, companies can focus on driving revenue.

User experience is the key factor when it comes to reaching more people in more places. The user experience focus for Active Workspace is to provide a clean, efficient, and simple user interface that works across multiple devices and use cases, from the basic, to the more sophisticated.  Active Workspace  UI guiding principles includes

  • Simple – A clean, efficient, and responsive layout that works in various form factors and conditions
  • Engaging – Embedded dashboard views and big picture reporting
  • Effective – Easy data and relationship visualization and creation
  • Active – Configure search results in relevance of best match, allow fast and efficient refining of the results

Active Workspace is focused on delivering content for the use cases people need to execute, making it effective to easily create, find, relate and work with data . This focus makes the experience more engaging and active for the users as opposed to a static non intelligent user interface.  Throughout the interface, companies are able to personalize the user experience to minimize training and encourage participation from key stakeholders throughout the enterprise.

The key business drivers for Active Workspace are

  • User productivity –  The expectation from today’s web users is that there should be no need for training.  Applications on the web should be easy to learn and be simple to use.  .  Active Workspace User experience design is simple enough for occasional use, yet productive and powerful enough for complex business problems making it consistent and efficient for all users and process
  • Reducing information overload  –  This is key to help make smarter and faster decisions.  Users should only see relevant and necessary information in context of what they are doing.  The UI actively guides user to what needs attention and it automates the mundane as well as provide contextually integrated tools. 
  • Reducing Cost of Ownership – Active Workspace can be easily configured, extended, and deployed with lower cost of ownership.

The structural model creation app of 3D Experience 2017x is primarily the pre-processing application for structural models that is available in Structural Analysis Engineer (DRD) and Mechanical Analyst (SMU) roles. This article briefly explains the meshing algorithms available in the given app. The mesh creation module of structural model creation app looks like this:

This meshing algorithm is simplest and easiest to use to create continuum linear/quadratic tetrahedral meshes. Global mesh specifications can be applied to control overall mesh size and local mesh specifications can be used to make finer or coarser mesh regions of the model. Few advanced parameters such as minimum mesh size and quality control factors are available.

 

 

In this technique the surface of geometry is meshed with triangular meshes which then fill the inside volume with solid elements using the specified volume growth parameter. Basic parameters such as mesh size, element order and absolute sag are available in this method. This technique captures the surface geometry of the model more precisely than the Octree Tetrahedron mesh method. Accordingly, the mesh appears a lot smoother.

 

 

This algorithm fills solid geometry with tetrahedral elements working inwards from an existing surface mesh. The approach is like tetrahedron mesh. However, in this approach support is an existing surface mesh instead of solid geometry. The order of filled element type is independent of the order of surface element type.

 

 

This meshing scheme is a big bonanza for Abaqus CAE users, specifically those users who have been using Abaqus CAE for computationally fluid dynamics applications. Unlike other FEA pre-processors, 3D Experience platform offers one click linear hexahedral meshing of complex geometries through this meshing technique. For CFD applications, this includes boundary layer as well. Moreover, no fluid domain geometry needed to create CFD mesh. Application computes fluid domain automatically based on certain input/output parameters. The ratio of Hexahedral elements to other elements depends on the complexity of geometry. Higher the geometry complexity, lower is the ratio.

Many more meshing techniques exist such as beam mesh, surface triangle mesh, octree triangle mesh for shapes of varied topologies. To know more, please contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

In previous blog article on simulation in collaborative environment, we introduced SIMULIA 3D Experience platform and discussed the concept behind its inception, the reason why it exists in the industry and briefly discussed its four integrated components: 3D modeling, information intelligence, social & collaboration and simulation. All four of these collectively form 3D Compass. This blog article explains the configuration of simulation component in more detail.

In general, 3D Experience platform uses few specific terms with respect to its configuration: Personas, Roles, Apps and Extensions. These terms primarily govern how various platform functionalities are bundled, licensed and made available to users.

Personas: Defines the job responsibilities of a group of users. Every user has at-least one persona. Configuration requires estimation of number of personas and number of users in each persona.

Roles: Based on job activities, each persona has to be mapped with a specific role. The platform offers a library of different roles. Each role is a bundle of sellable license features or apps.

Apps: An app can be defined as a group of functionalities to achieve a specific task. For example, a fluid model creation app offers multiple GUI features to define fluid model such a fluid domain creation, fluid mesh, boundary layer mesh, fluid material definition etc.

Extensions: These are a bundle of top-up apps that can be added to a given role to enhance its overall functionality.

Role Categories

Remember that in case of standalone point solutions, we discussed two broad categories: designer level solutions that are primarily CAD embedded vs. expert level solutions with their own graphical user interfaces and complex workflows. In 3D Experience platform as well, Simulation roles can be differentiated into engineer roles and analyst roles. There is also a third category of roles called as process roles. Each of these types of roles require some basic platform roles as pre-requisites.

Extensions vs. Roles

Each extension can be ideally treated as a mini role. Extension, if compatible with a given role can be added to it to enhance its functionality without duplicating any app available in the role. Here is an example for demonstration.

Mechanical Analyst and FEM Specialist are roles with number of apps as shown above. Now if an SMU user needs SIMULIA model assembly design app, there are two ways to do it. An expensive approach would be to procure entire SFM role that would not only increase cost substantially but would also duplicate apps common between SMU and SFM. An economical approach is to add the SMA extension with only relevant app to the SMU role.

Simulation capacity: Tokens vs credits

A token is a governor of maximum amount of simulation that can run concurrently. More tokens mean more concurrent simulation. A token is a renewable simulation resource. Once simulation is complete, tokens are returned to the token license pool. Jobs can be submitted either on premise or on cloud. Both these options have different token categories.

A credit is a consumable computation resource that is not replenished once the simulation is complete. There is no limit on how fast a credit may be consumed during concurrent simulation. The user procures compute credits that gets consumed as simulation progresses. The rate of credit consumption is directly related to speed of simulation. Quite often, analysts prefer to use tokens as one-time investment. The credits are used to meet occasional peak demand when tokens are not enough to meet simulation capacity needed.

In future blog articles related to 3D Experience platform, we will discuss various roles available for stress analysis as well as their underlying apps, extensions and simulation capacity.

 

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