Why We Shouldn’t Be Conservative with Energy

By Karun
Image courtesy of DELMIA

Image courtesy of DELMIA

The Energy & Process industry has traditionally been conservative in adopting new technologies. But at a time when many are grasping onto conservative business decisions to ride through the economic crisis, it’s time for Energy & Process to get more radical.

As new build and maintenance/refurbishment projects reach high complexity levels, we need a fresh look at how processes are accomplished and what new technologies have to offer.

Let’s get innovative . . . by looking at the shipbuilding and aerospace industries, for example. How are these sectors working to complete projects on time and within budget?

Part of their ‘secret’ is employing 3D virtual planning software. An example of this technology is Dassault Systèmes’ DELMIA, which allows companies to plan, visualize, and validate the schedule of any capital project. This allows companies to minimize project delays by optimizing the schedule, and ensuring the health and safety of the workers.

Though this technology has been successful for many years in other industries, it’s comparatively new to the Energy industry. DELMIA has perfected the technology with years of development and implementation experiences and has been successful in innovatively applying the solution to the Energy & Process industry.

When we first present our solution to prospective customers, however, some have doubts on whether our technology can do the job. We are always pleased to see when the customers show tremendous faith and confidence in our solution as the project progresses and results become available. And what speaks better than actual results?

The savings to the projects have been millions of dollars with a return on investment (ROI) of up to 20-to-1. Check out some of these examples here.

The Energy and Infrastructure industries are leading the pack in the economic recovery and growth efforts in most countries around the world and are all set to emerge with advantage when the crisis tides over.

It’s an exciting time for all of us as new and innovative technologies are making their way to this traditionally conservative field.

As of today, the Energy & Process Industry is on the upswing in adapting new technology.

But are they moving fast enough?



Karun Chakravarthy works on industry solutions for Shipbuilding & Energy.

The Ewey-Gooey Side of Human Simulation

By Tim
Courtesy Argonne Labs

Courtesy Argonne Labs

Yep, it had to come to this. If you’re a bit squeamish, you may want to stop reading now. But if you want to know what it takes to accurately simulate the human body and develop innovative medical treatments, then read on… at your own risk.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, bioengineers must accurately model human body tissue in order to perform realistic simulation of medical devices and treatments. So, what is human body tissue? Here’s a simple definition of biological tissue from www.dictionary.com: “An aggregate of similar cells and cell products forming a definite kind of structural material with a specific function, in a multicellular organism”.

Still with me? This blog is going to get gooey really fast.

Check out how engineers at Argonne Labs along with researchers as the University of Chicago Medical School are using Abaqus FEA to simulate the effect of cooling kidneys with ice slurry to prolong surgery procedures. Their innovative coolant enables surgeons to nearly triple the time allotted for laparoscopic procedures. Take a peak at their animation of the kidney cooling analysis here.

Courtesy University of Frankfurt

Courtesy University of Frankfurt

Who wants bedsores? Not me, nor the patients who experience prolonged periods of bed rest. Unfortunately, this painful and health-threatening problem strikes thousands of patients every year. Researchers at the University of Frankfurt are working to solve this problem by using Abaqus to analyze how patient contact with hospital beds cause internal stress and strain on human tissue. Check out their case study at Product Design and Development’s website.

Prefer some more cerebral images? Check out the analysis and visualization being peformed by bioengineers at Boston University.

Courtesy Boston University
Courtesy Boston University

They are using Abaqus to study how electrodes perform when implanted into a patient’s brain to monitor epileptic activity for surgical pre-evaluation. You can read details of their brain EEG study in this related Abaqus Tech Brief.

So, if you’re not completely grossed out by all the human tissue flying around, then do a Google search using the key words human tissue simulation with Abaqus.

Let me know if you find some good, ‘ewey-gooey’ realistic simuation examples.


ps – In future posts I will continue our medical journey, but for now I need some fresh air.

More VIRTUAL Better REAL Engines

By Jonathan

We hear lots of examples of how VIRTUAL simulation can save time and costs and improve quality, well…I’m going to give you another one!

I’ve been talking recently to two REAL engine manufacturers:

Manufacturer A uses virtual simulation in their engine development process (for structural limits, NVH, fatigue, dynamics, lubrification, etc.). They have a big analysis department, but strangely the engine engineers still do a vast majortiy of their simulation on physical prototypes – they just don’t have enough confidence in their virtual simulation processes. Today’s economic situation is cripling this company where teams are much smaller (contractors have been fired), budgets are even tighter BUT better products need to get out of the door faster than ever to stay competitive.

Manufacturer B also uses virtual simulation but it is much more of an integral part of their product development, EVERY engineer or designer has bought in. They are nearly at a point where they can virtually simulate the whole engine, using physical prototypes for the final sign off before going in to production. They have been able to reduce their previous 6 validation cycles, i.e. design + FEA + physical prototype, to 5 or 4 cycles. The first thing that comes to mind is “great, they’ve been able to make significant cost & time savings in removing 2 physical prototypes” and yes they have reduced costs on product development. But what’s interesting is that they have chosen to keep the overall development time as before and use the “extra” time to improve product quality and more importantly improve their ability to bring new ideas to market with greater confidence, i.e. reducing risks.

So what’s the difference between these two manufacturers? Well, to put it plainly, Manufacturer B is using Dassault Systèmes’ products and Manufacturer A isn’t!

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s look closer as to why there are differences and how our software has really helped Manufacturer B.

Manufacturer B suffered from the situation below (as Manufacturer A still does). Physical testing would start without sufficient enginering maturity, i.e. new ideas would get modelled in 3D based off the experience of engineers, the parts got made and tested on dynos. Engines are very complex, the engineers can’t think of everything many problems would be found on the dyno, the next cycle would involve some heavy re-design. In other words,

Difficult to reduce program timing because a minimum of physical validations are necessary for a required quality

Now let’s have a look at the same development process but now using tools that allow engineering to be much more mature before physical prototypes are built and tested. So how do these tools provide these values?

  • Integration between disciplines is key to enable cycle times to be reduced. By greatly reducing the need for data preparation and conversion, engineers & analysts can simply get on with defining boundary condition and use cases – reducing pre-processing from weeks to days.
  • Collaboration between disciplines is obviously required and now it’s a whole lot easier when the all data is stored in the same database under the same reference numbers. This means any one can find the information associated with the parts they are interested in, and even push the data to colleagues for their review.
  • Extensive portfolio of quality simulation tools from linear, non-linear, NVH, MBD, System Engineering, fatigue. There’s no point having simulation tools if they don’t accuractely simulate real life…

Thus, integrated simulation tools can now be an integral part of the engineering process by providing early input into the feasibility of new ideas and continous validation of detailed designs right up to the moment when physical prototypes are needed for final validation. This may all happen so much quicker that the prototypes can be built earlier!

On-time engineering maturity per prototype provides the opportunity to reduce the number of total validation steps

I hope this post has given you an idea of just how simulation can and does help product development today and will be very much part of all future development.

Let me know your thought…

Sustainably yours,


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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.