I’m rather proud of our products so whenever I speak with people I have a tendency to talk about features and functions… the juicy stuff. So it’s easy to forget that one of the main benefits of simulation is time compression.
In the not too distant past, most companies used to do analysis only after the physical prototyping phase. The design team would create a cool design, the proposed design would be tested and then if the prototype failed it would be sent to the analysis department for investigative work. After the problem areas were identified, the model would go back and forth between the two groups until the right design was identified. A rather time consuming process …
But with the availability of easier-to-use simulation tools, a lot of companies have adopted CFD earlier in the design process. As a result, they have reduced the time it takes for progressing the model from concept design to prototype testing. By making analysis as an integral step in the design process, you can easily shorten the time it takes to move a model from concept to prototyping. This compression in design time can have a significant impact on the company bottomline because you can get your product to market faster and start making those crucial sales.
We have a lot of customers who are enjoying the benefits of time compression as a result of using simulation. Watts Industries Netherlands B.V. manufactures and markets backflow prevention devices and automatic control valves for domestic, commercial and industrial uses of water. These control valves and protection devices typically have to satisfy up to 15 separate hydraulic functional requirements such as minimizing pressure loss, providing high-pressure relief, avoiding cavitations and “water hammer” etc.
In the past, Watts’ R&D process consisted of creating physical prototypes for all design options. The process took 1 to 2 weeks for creating a new model and building a real-life prototype. Testing the model on the test rig took an additional 1 to 2 weeks thus resulting in a turnaround time of about 2 to 3 weeks for each new idea tested. But with an ever expanding catalog of products to build and test, Watts realized that they no longer had the luxury of time. Within the first 10 months of using CAD-embedded CFD, Watts was able to build and test 1 to 2 virtual prototypes a day. This is a significant improvement especially as they develop such a wide range of products. “Testing, which used to take 2 weeks, now takes only one day; therefore, our production schedule has shortened dramatically” said Rene Aarntzen, R&D, Engineering, Manager. But time compression is not the only benefit they’re received — the experienced team has even learned new things! If you’d like to read more about what they’ve learned please follow this link. Long live the king!
And if you’re interested in learning more about how CAD-embedded CFD can help you, why don’t you attend the upcoming Measuring and Optimizing Pressure Drop webcast on October 14 — even if you can’t attend the session please sign up because we’ll forward a link to a recorded version of the session to you as soon as the recording is available. By the way, this is just one topic in a series which includes simulating and optimizing flow fields, mixing processes, heat transfer and reaction forces. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these other events please follow this link.
One last thing before I sign off I’ve got a question: if time compression is king, what is the queen? We’re going to talk about our queen in my next post but in the meantime, any guesses as to what the queen is?
Until next time,