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needs and expectations, and also to validate the performance of our solutions in their specific industrial context.’ Tis close collaboration between consumer

and corporation allows Noesis Solutions to develop the processes and methods that robustly handle the simulation models and performance data sets its users want to work with. Te collaborative approach taken by Noesis

Solutions has led to the firm being challenged by its customers. While installations with more than 30 seats at major aerospace and automotive manufacturers illustrate successful Optimus deployments on an industrial scale, this does not come for free. Platform stability is key in such major deployments, as is the flexibility to scale the solution to accommodate the number of users from geographically distributed engineering teams, according to Noesis Solutions. Its multidisciplinary approach,

though, has brought disparate teams together and changed the way such teams work. Noesis Solutions sees a number of common

requirements emerging from its engineering customer base. Tese include: optimising in the real world; consolidating data into knowledge; and, doing it fast and smart.

Optimise in the real world Tackling real-world optimisation challenges requires engineering teams to execute the optimisation process ever faster, yet in a highly interactive manner. Tis process typically involves balancing multiple, conflicting design objectives, as well as constraints arising from market and manufacturing driven requirements. For example, car design is never just about

lowering the weight of a vehicle; rather, the challenge is linked to a range of performance attributes such as safety, economy, and comfort,

which should be balanced to deliver brand values, while not increasing weight – and yes, preferably still reducing it. Tat’s why customers in the automotive industry are increasingly looking toward solutions that enable them


to follow up and influence the balancing strategy, and manage constraints transparently throughout the entire process. An interactive dashboard that monitors the

status of individual objectives and constraints is what users need in the first place, according to Noesis Solutions. Such a dashboard would help them to develop a clear view on the design space potential, while informing them on the

Simulation apps for everyone T

In her profile of simulation software company Comsol,

Gemma Church hears about creating modelling applications to further the reach of multiphysics simulation

he Comsol Group is at the cutting edge of research and engineering simulation. It specialises in multiphysics modelling, and its simulation soſtware is used

by those working on a vast range of innovative scientific and engineering endeavours. Comsol customers work for technical

organisations, universities, and research laboratories. Tey produce simulations to make aircraſt and cars safer and improve fuel efficiencies; develop medical equipment to enable more accurate diagnoses; explore the universe, and educate the next generation of scientists. It’s a diverse marketplace for a range of specialist research areas. Svante Littmarck, CEO of the Comsol Group,

told Scientific Computing World: ‘Te list of current customers includes almost all big high- tech companies, many smaller companies, and almost all technical universities in the world.’ Te company was founded in 1986 and in 1998

the first version of its flagship product, Comsol Multiphysics, was released. Te product line has expanded over the years to include a suite of discipline-specific add-on modules for a range of physics areas, including structural mechanics, high- and low-frequency electromagnetics,


MEMS, acoustics, and chemical reactions, to name a few. Te soſtware may also be integrated with CAD packages, as well as Matlab and Excel. Comsol now has a user base of more than

100,000 scientists and engineers. Te latest release of the Comsol Multiphysics soſtware introduced an ‘application builder’, which makes it possible for experts to add customised user interfaces to the multiphysics model that they developed and verified. It’s an important step, as the Application Builder removes the feature-rich technology from the simulation and allows users with little knowledge of the simulation world to interact with it. Littmarck said: ‘Such apps makes analysis

and simulation available to people outside the relatively small group of experts in numerical analysis and mathematical modelling. Engineers in product development and manufacturing, and even consumers, will benefit greatly from this.’ Te application builder allows users to

ditch detail-oriented tools and to fashion a more approachable application, or app, that is intuitive and easy to use. For example, the app creator can build a simple interface that holds an assortment of buttons, menus, lists, graphics and text to make the operation of a simulation



for demonstration purposes and educational outreach. Te application builder is essentially building a bridge between the modelling expertise of the simulation expert and the scientific and engineering expertise of the app users. Tere are many ways in which the application

builder could be used more efficiently to communicate complex design ideas across

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as straightforward as possible. Te application builder relies on the Comsol Server platform to distribute, manage, and run simulation apps. Comsol Server gives modelling experts the choice of launching an app from within the Comsol Multiphysics environment, or of running the app as a standalone application on a desktop-installed client, or within a web browser. Tis makes the application builder a highly

accessible and versatile tool for the wider academic and engineering community. It gives users real-time, live examples of modelling and simulation results, rather than a static chart or graph. Tis is a great communication tool

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