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the process Going through

Mapping production processes is far from simple given the many aspects that need consideration. Industry professionals offer

Beth Sharp their views Bruce Klimpke, Integrated Engineering Software W

hether they were building a motor, integrated circuit or turbine, in the old days design engineers would

begin their work simply by cutting metal and evaluating the results. Modelling and simulation soſtware has circumvented that by enabling users to design, test and construct the product before approaching anything in the real world. Te simulation industry can be broken down

into three major groups: the mechanical, the thermal and the electromagnetic. Products and especially structures need to be mechanically sound and, should they become too hot or too cold, they tend not to work. Our area of focus is the electromagnetic. Within process design, electromagnetic interference needs to be taken into account to ensure that when the different components come together, the process works. Te areas of relevance are amazingly varied – take food packaging, for example. People may question where electromagnetic fields fit into food production, but if someone is trying to design a bag that needs to be hermetically sealed there are many components within that process that involve electromagnetism. To seal the bag, two pieces of plastic need to be melted together to a precise temperature, oſten through induction heating. One of the biggest challenges, however,

comes from a system level. If a design engineer is working on a new type of running machine, for example, there are many components that need careful consideration such as the functionality of the electronics, the tension of the belts and the precision of the motors that drive them. It may seem simple to begin with, but once all those components are being pulled together, system simulation becomes invaluable


as it enables the user to see how the product will work over time and how each part will interact with the others. Simulink, an environment for multi-domain simulation and model-based design, is the major product in this area, but CASPOC – our solution for modelling and simulating physical systems – is a little more specialised in that it’s geared to people who are tying electromagnetic components into their designs. Te key element of system simulation is

that it presents a top level view. Knowing how a motor performs is one thing, but design engineers also need to tie that in with the fact that motor may need to drive a chain, and that chain could be attached to a gear that is turning onto a shaſt that’s driving a belt. If you

be done without an advanced system simulator. Looking at products from the middle of the last century, we see that not only were they incredibly simplistic in their design, but that they weren’t subject to the safety, noise or weight requirements now placed on a product before it can be brought to market. Without a system simulator, it becomes difficult to meet those requirements. Design engineers are being faced with having

to learn more disciplines – they may have a clear understanding of thermal considerations,



stack them together, each of those components has a slight time delay in how they react – the speed readout doesn’t appear instantaneously, for instance. Treadmills may seem like a crude example, given that the delay may not seem of consequence, but if the design relates to being able to turn a plane in order to avoid an incoming missile, then those time constraints are suddenly far more important. Te physics behind those two examples are the same; it’s simply that one is more critical than the other. I would say that, in the industry today, there is no way that a serious design of a system can

but the chances are they will need to at least talk the language of mechanical and electrical people. System simulations are emphasising the fact that great designs are no longer done by individuals. Te team approach to design is becoming more critical and system simulation enforces that because design engineers can’t look at projects from their own specific point of view or be happy with the thought that ‘well, I got it working from my perspective’. Rather, they have to look at things in broader terms. Tis is a natural evolution of design, and system simulation is a big part of that.

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