A radical evolution has been occurring recently in the engineering community. As reported by several technical publications, online “social” communities and collaborative environments have begun reshaping the engineering world, resulting in the phenomenon usually described as “Social Engineering”.
Limiting our scope to computer simulation (CAE), we see a similar trend within our user community.
Reconciling Users with Simulation Data Management
CAE is an increasingly utilized and accepted way to validate a product’s performance. As a result, more and more simulations are being performed, and ever-increasing amounts of simulation data are being created. The organization and management of all of this data is critical to the data’s usefulness, and providing access to the data is crucial to an organization’s decision-making process.
Implementing simulation data and life cycle management is traditionally very expensive and time consuming. It is often a daunting task that organizations dread taking up. It typically requires a top down implementation project, and it takes very long time before users experience a direct benefit in the CAE pre- and post-processors for their daily work.
CAE Collaboration Tools
Building and correctly integrating CAE collaboration tools is a very challenging issue. HyperWorks 11.0 includes a novel and user-oriented approach, introducing a set of tools – tightly integrated with the HyperWorks desktop products – for efficient simulation data and lifecycle management. The new Collaboration Tools can be used in Personal or in Team mode, which allows users to organize their personal data and provides them with access to information shared over the network. This enables active collaboration between teammates on CAE projects for pre- and post-processing tasks.
Explore, Organize, Connect
Documentation, traceability and collaboration are very important in order to improve the efficiency and quality of the overall CAE process. With Altair’s approach for the Personal and Team modes, all HyperWorks users can immediately start to organize and manage their simulation data, including their metadata and additional documents. They can create different versions of files and track changes between versions. And, they can collaborate and access shared data and information, all using the out-of-the-box HyperWorks installation, resulting in an immediate benefit in their daily work.
Starting from CAD/PLM, the overall CAE process needs geometries and product structure with metadata information to manually mesh or batch-mesh, assemble the meshes, apply load cases, and create the simulation models. To assure the quality of the CAE process, the assessment and comparison of the results, it is very important to know which product structure and geometries have been used to create the simulation models. The interface to a CAD/PLM System is important in order to integrate the CAD/PLM and CAE processes and to guarantee the required traceability.
For this reason, the HyperWorks Collaboration Tools provide a connection to corporate PLM systems, like Teamcenter and others. Users can seamlessly retrieve information such as CAD files into HyperWorks from a PLM system, eliminating the need to leave their CAE authoring environment to search for these files while assuring access to the most up-to-date versions.
Elevate CAE to the Enterprise
Lastly, the natural – but not mandatory – evolution path, after starting to use the Collaboration Tools in Personal or Team mode, is to implement the Enterprise mode, which requires additional implementation.
The implementation of the Enterprise mode closes the loop, bringing knowledge and contents “to the cloud,” where they can be easily and securely shared with a larger “enterprise” engineering community. The HyperWorks Collaboration Tools and HyperWorks Enterprise are making social CAE a tangible reality.