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System Simulation with FEA-Base Motor Models

This week I intended to continue my simulation experiments discussion (see Part 1 and Part 2) by introducing an example using Experiment Manager. But last week I watched a web seminar collaboration between folks from Mentor Graphics and Infolytica and thought you might find it interesting, particularly if your company’s systems contain motors.

In the engineering tools software market there is a continuum of functionality. On one end are the all-in-one general tools, or tool combinations, designed to be a complete solution for a design task. On the other end are the point tools, those designed to focus on a narrow application or design technology. Most tools fall somewhere along the continuum, not having enough functionality to be a true all-in-one solution, but still offering functionality beyond a narrowly focused design tool. Of course, the interpretation of where a tool fits between these extremes depends a lot on what you need a tool to do in your design flow. A point tool may be a complete design solution if it answers all of your design questions.

There really aren’t very many all-in-one, Swiss Army knife-type software tools. Most modern systems are complex enough that a single design environment just isn’t able to do the entire design job. That’s why many EDA companies either try to integrate with other tools, or provide capabilities for other tools to integrate with their design applications. If the integrations are well planned and developed, it’s possible to create tool integrations that have the look and feel of an all-in-one environment. Another level of integration, at least for simulation tools, enables co-simulation, where each tool runs independently, but communicates with other tools when needed via well-defined process communication protocols. Finally, there are the simplest integrations where one tool outputs information in a format useful to another tool, but there isn’t a direct link – less an integration and more just a simple information sharing. The link between Mentor Graphics SystemVision and Infolytica’s MotorSolve falls into this latter integration category.

SystemVision is a modeling, simulation, and analysis environment for mechatronic systems. MotorSolve enables FEA-based modeling and design of brushless DC and permanent magnet AC machines. Among its capabilities, MotorSolve can generate a VHDL-AMS-based motor model for use in a SystemVision mechatronic system simulation.

Engineers from Mentor Graphics and Infolytica recently collaborated on a web seminar demonstrating how the two tools can be used to model, simulate, and analyze electromagnetic machine-based systems. If you or anyone on your team works with motors, I think you’ll find watching the web seminar worthwhile.

Mechatronics, motors, MotorSolve

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About Mike Jensen

Mike JensenMost career paths rooted in high technology take many interesting (and often rewarding) twists and turns. Mine has certainly done just that. After graduating in electrical engineering from the University of Utah (go Utes!), I set off to explore the exciting, multi-faceted high tech industry. My career path since has wound its way from aircraft systems engineering for the United States Air Force, to over two decades in applications engineering and technical marketing for leading design automation software companies, working exclusively with mechatronic system modeling and analysis tools. Along the way, I’ve worked with customers in a broad range of industries and technologies including transportation, communications, automotive, aerospace, semiconductor, computers, and consumer electronics; all-in-all a very interesting, rewarding, and challenging ride. In my current gig, I work on technical marketing projects for Mentor Graphics' SystemVision product line. And in my spare time I dream up gadgets and gizmos, some even big enough to qualify as systems, that I hope someday to build -- providing I can find yet a little more of that increasingly elusive spare time. Visit Mike Jensen's Blog

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