Improving the Reliability of Consumer Electronics Products Through Realistic Simulation

By Harish

Realistic simulation for Electronic products

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. But recalls and early product failures tend to happen over and over again. Why? 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. Since the cost of fixing flaws grows exponentially through the design cycle (figure below), identifying and fixing design flaws early in the design cycle is super critical.

Relative Cost of fixing errors in embedded Systems

Relative cost of fixing errors in embedded systems

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 to 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 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.”

Tablet drop

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 this  case study to learn how a leading manufacturer of consumer electronics used simulation to improve the keystroke feel and to enhance frame rigidity while reducing weight .

Tablet drop simulation

While drop during daily usage is a concern for mobile devices, transportation drops are the main concern for office equipment. The engineers are faced with the challenge of identifying the structural members that are most susceptible to damage and to improve their damage resistance while reducing the overall weight of the structure. Refer to the ebook below to know 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 SIMULIA Abaqus technology   to successfully improve product durability while satisfying other constraints such as weight and cost.

More example related to  how engineering teams are using virtual testing to predict stresses, optimize design performance and reduce time to market can be read in  this ebook .

How to Make a Human Heart

By Alyssa

A pain in your chest that quickly spreads to your arm causes you to fall to your knees. Inside your body, oxygen-rich blood that normally flows to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, your life hangs in the balance.

Chest pain

In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. While stents, transplants, angioplasty, by-pass operations, drugs and improved patient care have dramatically cut deaths from heart disease, it remains the number one killer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated in 2013 that the disease globally accounted for 17.8 million, or one in three, deaths.

But what if one day doctors could simulate an exact replica of your heart, imitating its unique electrical impulses, muscle fibre contractions and potential abnormalities? The model would not only allow doctors to observe how the heart had changed after the attack to help treatment, but might even have prevented it in the first place.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dassault Systèmes welcomes Safe Technology!

By Mark

I’m very pleased to announce that Dassault Systèmes has acquired Safe Technology, Ltd., the developer of the fe-safe durability simulation application suite.

Even if you haven’t used their products, you’ve probably heard the name – Safe Technology has been a partner of ours for over 15 years, providing a fatigue solution to Abaqus users through fe-safe. As an add-on to Abaqus/CAE, fe-safe uses proven techniques to accurately determine the fatigue life of metal components under complex cyclic loading. fe-safe combines finite element analysis results for multiple loading conditions from Abaqus with the cyclic load history to predict the life of the component. Reading from & writing to the Abaqus results files allows the users to view fatigue results in Abaqus/CAE or Abaqus/Viewer as contour plots for damage, fatigue life and safety factors. Similar interfaces are available for many other leading FEA product suites.

In addition to fe-safe, there are several complementary modules available which expand the capabilities of fe-safe to account for specific applications, such as composite materials, creep and  thermomechanics.

Check out this short video tutorial for an overview on fe-safe, and it’s use in solving Fast Gear Fatigue Analysis example.

YouTube Preview Image

This technology can (and to a degree, already has) benefit the analyst in the quest for a complete, unified solution to engineering problems. We’re all really excited to welcome our new colleagues and begin our journey to provide an even better 3DEXPERIENCE with this exceptional acquisition in the field of durability & fatigue  :-)

Mark MONAGHAN is a Senior member of the SIMULIA User Advocacy team and manages the SIMULIA Learning Community



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