Improving the Reliability of Consumer Electronics Products through Realistic Simulation

By Neno
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Early product failures and product recalls are very costly. They result in loss of revenue, litigation, and brand devaluation among others. Hardware recalls are often costlier than software recalls as software patches can be easily downloaded and installed once flaws come to light.

Recalls and early product failures tend to happen over and over again. Why?

The answer is because engineering teams are constantly under the gun to improve product performance, reduce form factors, and reduce time to market, all while cutting costs. In order to mitigate risk, engineers need to develop a deeper understanding of the product behavior under real operating conditions and quickly evaluate design trade-offs based on overall system behavior.

Physical tests provide an excellent means to understand product behavior. However, physical testing is expensive and time-consuming. Simulation provides a cheaper and faster alternative to physical tests. It is critical to strike the right balance between physical tests and simulation during product development. In order to get the maximum bang for your buck, simulations should be deployed starting early in the design cycle when physical prototypes are not available and the design is not fully developed. The earlier you find flaws, the earlier you can fix them.

Graph: Relative cost of fixing errors in embedded systems

Since the cost of fixing flaws grows exponentially through the design cycle, identifying and fixing design flaws early in the design cycle is super critical. Not all simulation tools are created equal. You don’t need any answer. You need the right answer. For that, you need simulation tools that most closely depict reality. And you need answers fast. Hence you need product testing and validation tools with industry leading physics and solver technology. Those will make you obtain accurate solutions faster in order to help you improve product design, ensure product reliability and reduce time to market. Accurate depiction of material behavior and physics of failure are essential to obtaining realistic results. Such capabilities are critical in predicting the behavior of materials such as glass, adhesives, and polymers that have a high propensity for damage.

Consumer electronic products, especially mobile and portable devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, are subjected to a variety of operating conditions. The devices need to be designed to protect them from damage. Engineers need to ensure that “portable” doesn’t mean “breakable.” The challenge is to design a light-weight product that can withstand not just the loading cycles associated with regular usage, but also abusive loading scenarios that are encountered less frequently (According to surveys and insurance claim statistics, drop and water damage constitute the two most frequent causes of damage for mobile devices).

Simulation should be employed at the ideation, product development, and failure analysis stages in order to improve product quality and reduce time to market. Refer to the case study is this e-book to learn how a leading manufacturer of consumer electronics used simulation to improve the keystroke feel and enhance frame rigidity while reducing weight.

While drop during daily usage is a concern for mobile devices, transportation drops are the main concern for office equipment. Engineers are faced with the challenge of identifying the structural members that are most susceptible to damage and then improve their damage resistance while reducing the overall weight of the structure. Here’s how a leading manufacturer of office equipment designed a low cost printer that can withstand a series of transportation drop tests.

The examples above provide a snapshot of applications leveraging realistic simulation technology to successfully improve product durability while satisfying other constraints such as weight and cost. Learn more about how you can leverage this technology to improve your electronic product design. Read our e-Book, “Improving Product Performance and Reliability through Multiphysics Simulation.”

 

Revolutionizing Smart Appliance Innovation through Collaboration

By Neno
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According to Berg Insight, in 2014, smart appliances made up one-third of the estimated 5.9 billion smart and connected products sold worldwide: that’s 2 billion smart appliances. With that level of production, and a market growing at an estimated CAGR of 15.4% toward a value of $37.2 billion USD by 2020 (MarketsandMarkets), there’s no doubt about it: customers love smart appliances.

Puremotion video washing machineIn the recent post “A New Spin on Washing Machine Design”, we explained how customers today expect more than just a product when they do business with a company: they would rather spend money on an experience than a thing. The ability of smart appliances to deliver delightful, intuitive experiences that make daily life easier and more pleasurable is in large measure the key to the smart appliance market’s success.

This is a theme we returned to in “The Secret to Creating Market-Winning Experiences”, in which we explored the use of collaborative simulation and design exploration software to help craft these compelling experiences, enabling manufactures to simulate virtual product experiences while evaluating and analyzing hundreds of design options.

engineer-puremotionSuch advanced software is invaluable because at technical level, designing great smart appliance experiences can be a daunting challenge. It requires that companies have engineering proficiency in a wide array of areas such as software, mechanical, electrical, fluid, electronics, software, and other specialized areas.  What’s more, success requires bringing all of these competencies together to collaboratively develop requirements, solve problems and optimize outcomes (see our post “How to Stay Competitive? Develop Smart Appliances in the Era of Experience”).

This kind of collaboration is essential for success in systems engineering in general, but the need for collaboration in the fast-growing but intensely competitive smart appliance market requires expanding collaboration to an enterprise level. It requires establishing an ongoing dialogue between design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing and support.

We’ve developed a short video, Pure Motion, to introduce the ways in which these disciplines can revolutionize smart appliance innovation through collaboration on a single platform – the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, while leveraging common 3D system models and digital assets across optimized processes.

Watch the video now, or to learn more, visit our white goods webpage or download the V-ZUG case study today, which details how the Swiss High Tech appliance maker is innovating for perfect cooking and washing experiences with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

platform-puremotion

 

The Internet of Experience

By Olivier R.
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In an age where connectivity and the internet of things are enabling new business processes, Dassault Systèmes is looking to move a step further and help deliver compelling and connected experiences

Olivier Ribet Dassault Systemes

by Olivier Ribet, Vice President High Tech Industry

At Dassault Systèmes, we’re no longer talking about ‘internet of things’, but rather about the ‘internet of experiences’. Why? Because we believe that the business of every industry is rapidly transforming from ‘delivering compelling experiences’ – which defines the age of experience we have spoken of for three years – to ‘delivering compelling and connected experiences’, capable of enhancing people’s lives.

Although the objects or ‘things’ we own have ears (recording devices), eyes (cameras), voices (speakers), and some even have touch, this silicon nervous system does not send all of its information to a single brain, but rather to far too many brains: company platforms, city platforms, government platforms and individuals’ platforms, which in the end makes my experience cumbersome rather than enjoyable. Applications (both business and consumer-facing) that are single-device, single-purpose, and run on closed systems do not enhance our lives. They can even be gimmicky.

The real challenge will be to ‘connect’ those brains. This is why Dassault Systèmes is developing powerful solutions for the internet of experiences that permit manufacturers, communication providers and users to see, analyse, dashboard, program and optimise their ‘things’ from within one simple, visual environment. Our solutions enable companies to track and understand customers specific behaviours in order to offer meaningful and personalised experiences.

The internet of things, as it is being built today, is an internet of smart things that don’t always live up to their name. When companies that build the ‘things’ fail to meet customer experience demands, the internet of things is destined to stumble and fall. On the other hand, businesses that take an ‘experience thinking’ approach genuinely enhance people’s lives. They are reaping the rewards of the internet of experiences.

In the high tech industry, our customers work with us on enabling what we call High-Tech 3C Experiences: the ‘Connected’, ‘Contextual’ and ‘Continuous’ experiences:

  • Connected: it becomes common practice for companies to embed sensors, actuators and network connectivity in their products, thus realising the potential of connecting products, nature and life.
  • Contextual: as a result of this constant connectivity, the product can dynamically adapt its behaviour, the content it exposes, the services it offers, and realises the promise of an individualised and highly customisable experience.
  • Continuous: companies want to keep a constant contact with their customers to grow loyalty and repurchase, in order to deliver the promise of evergreen delightful experiences.

Beyond the Internet of Things

Ultimately, this is all about connecting, contextualising and continuously delivering the necessary software, applications, content and services that make the overall experience of the end user delightful and efficient. This covers everyone from designers, machine operators in manufacturing plants to individual consumers in their car or in their kitchen.

The internet of experience continuously enriches and improves an evergreen experience, in which products learn from its environment and from its usage and adapt accordingly. It enables the simple and seamless connection of smart objects – be it large industrial equipment or small smart medical devices – to other objects. This makes it possible to create a swarm of connected objects and to develop a true ecosystem in which the value of services delivered constantly improves.

Furthermore, the internet of experience is also enabling the rapid evolution of an economy in which people own products and objects to an economy where they use them, based on their needs, on-demand. It allows the development of new value added services, and a larger footprint for brands and companies who can then reach out to new audiences and markets, while also ensuring a very strong traceability of product usage. Companies can continuously learn, adapt, enrich and develop new content, services and a next generation of products. This is achieved by tapping into the intelligence gained from the large set of data coming from real time usages.

Working with our customers and partners, Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform truly bridges the world of ‘digital/virtual’ and the world of ‘physical/real’. It allows continuous experience value creation, leveraging the power of the model-based systems engineering capabilities. It is also the only multi-scale, internet of things-aware environment that enables the system modeling and the simulation of connected experiences concurrently and seamlessly.

A notable example is Miele, who are aiming to change the experience of owning a home appliance through connectivity. As part of the KogniHome project, Miele – in collaboration with universities and other companies – is investigating how intelligent applications can be of benefit in the kitchen. The aim is to create an ecosystem that helps create a greater level of comfort and spontaneity for consumers.

Dassault Systèmes’ uniqueness is to provide virtually-enriched experiences and reality-enriched design. On the one hand, we provide access to 3D data and bill of material in the context of product usage; on the other hand we allow better product design based on insights gained from real usage. With sharing one platform, companies can invent (virtually validate ‘internet of experience ready’ design), run (digitally augmented operations), learn (real time experience optimisation) and improve (accurate data enriched simulation).


To find out more, visit our High Tech website or read the Compass Mag article ‘Beyond the IoT‘.



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