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Survey Highlights Potential for Increased Use of CFD by Mechanical Design Engineers

April 2007

Flomerics has released the results of a recent survey investigating the opinions of mechanical design engineers regarding Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. The survey was promoted through a global Internet forum for mechanical designers that is independent of any particular software vendor. The survey shows that although the vast majority (75%) of mechanical designers have heard of CFD, an even bigger majority (80%) do not use CFD today. "This survey gives a clear message to CFD software vendors that we need to do more to embed our software in the mainstream mechanical design environment, and make it quick and easy to use," said Dr. Mike Reynell, Director of Marketing for Flomerics. "This survey is very encouraging because it indicates that the use of CFD can and will spread rapidly amongst general mechanical designers in the future."

The most common reason given why relatively few mechanical design engineers are using CFD was that "most mechanical design engineers don't have the necessary expertise and knowledge to use a CFD code." The second most common reason was "most mechanical design engineers are not aware of what CFD can do for them." When asked about the most important benefits that CFD simulation brings (or could bring) to their company, 61% selected "improving product performance and functionality", 59% selected "reducing prototyping and testing costs", and 57% selected "reducing the risk of design mistakes". Surprisingly, only 43% identified "reducing design time" as a key benefit.

When asked which CFD application areas were most relevant to their jobs, 37% chose "Pumps, Valves & Hydraulic systems", 25% chose "Electronics Cooling", 23% chose "Engine design", and 22% chose "External airflow around cars, vehicles, and aircraft". Just 5% of respondents chose "External airflow around buildings".

Flomerics is contributing to the wider use of CFD among design engineers by developing its EFD product line specifically for busy mechanical designers with limited time for CFD analysis. EFD interacts directly with the native 3D CAD geometry at the heart of the mechanical design process, while the user operates the CFD software inside their familiar MCAD environment. The EFD software family includes FloEFD.Pro - a fully embedded CFD solution within the Pro/ENGINEER environment; FloEFD.V5, - a fully embedded CFD solution within the CATIA V5 environment, and FloEFD – a general-purpose fluid analysis tool that includes a built-in solid modeler and works with Autodesk Inventor, UGS NX, Solid Edge, etc. The EFD software requires no translation or copies of data, so the solid model maintains intelligence such as assembly hierarchy, design constraints, and features. EFD makes it easy to perform flow simulation because it analyzes the geometry, calculates the fluid spaces and generates the computational grid automatically.

Of the 1,444 responses received, 53.6% were mechanical design engineers, 12.6% were mechanical design managers or technical directors, 8.5% were project managers or product managers, and 25.3% have other titles. The breakdown of respondents by industry was automotive (28.9%), aerospace and defense (21.7%), consulting (15.5%), electronics and consumer appliances (13.7%), education (10.4%), medical (9.8%), computers (8.3%), construction/heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) (8.3%), power generation (7%), energy (6.7%), telecommunications/networks (5.1%), chemical/pharmaceutical (3.3%), and other (29.4%).

For further information, please contact:

Nazita Saye
Head of Marketing
Mentor Graphics Mechanical Analysis, UK
81 Bridge Road
Hampton Court
Surrey, KT8 9HH

Tel: +44 (0)20 8487 3000
Fax: +44 (0)20 8487 3001

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