Regulations such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), new emission norms, etc are forcing auto makers in India to accelerate research and capability improvement activities. Simulation is helping automotive OEMs and suppliers to enhance the speed of technology development to meet these norms, says Rafiq Somani, Area VP, South Asia Pacific and Middle East, ANSYS – a leading global player that provides engineering simulation software. He says there is a rise in usage of engineering simulation among SMEs in India as product development and manufacturing is shifting to SMEs with OEMs becoming more like system integrators. In conversation with Rakesh Rao, Rafiq Somani stresses on the importance of simulation and its impact on emerging trends such as electro-mobility, autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing, etc.
How important are simulation and testing in the development of products?
In today’s competitive world, innovative products are not enough. Companies need to provide transformational products and solutions to their customers. They need to out-compete and accelerate their innovation. With simulation, the product development time is shortened with increased cost awareness and high demand for quality and innovation.
ANSYS’ mission is to empower our customers to design and deliver transformational products using ANSYS Simulation solutions. Using simulation, companies can verify the product behaviour against customer requirements during the concept stage itself, even before CAD is made. They can optimise the product performance and robustness during the design stage, use digital twin of the real asset to perform conditioned based maintenance, estimate the remaining useful life etc. during operation stage.
Thus, simulation has become pervasive across product life cycle.
How is the demand for engineering simulation software? Which end-user industries are driving the market?
The engineering simulation demand is growing and is excellent. There is and will continue to be consumption of more of the classic simulation as we know it today, along with the release of new solutions that will enable every engineer to use simulation. Simulation will also expand from its traditional realm of product design into manufacturing and operations. Simulation software itself will also become easier to use in the near future.
With regulations like Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) norms, BS-VI norms, etc kicking in, how can simulation software help OEMs to overcome the challenge?
The CAFE and BS-VI norms are accelerating research and capability improvement activities in India. To acquire technology is a very costly affair. Automotive companies in India are developing in-house capabilities to develop products that will meet regulations such as CAFE and BS-VI norms.
Simulation is helping automotive OEMs and suppliers to enhance the speed of development of technologies to meet CAFE and BS-VI norms. How ANSYS helps through simulation is with the aerodynamic design of cars, optimising the thermal management of the engine room, predicting emissions during in-cylinder combustion, estimating the efficiency of after-treatment devices such as DPF (Diesel particulate filter), SCR (selective catalytic reduction) etc. and the overall optimising parameters for designing efficient powertrain.
India is a signatory of Paris Climate Change Agreement and has set ambitious targets for non-fossil fuel emissions. India’s commitment to advancing emission norms – from BS IV to BS VI norms by 2020 – will push OEMs to invest more in e-mobility, meaning electrical/hybrid powertrains, including batteries, as well as in lightweight and aerodynamic drag-reducing technologies.
Electrification is gaining traction. How will it affect the design and development of automobile parts and vehicles?
Technology is improving and the cost is coming down profusely. All major car manufacturers and a number of start-ups are developing electric models, with better and better range. Simulation plays a big part in helping engineers meet the challenges of this new electrification revolution. Game-changing technologies demand game-changing solutions.
How does simulation software contribute to the development of autonomous vehicles?
Research has shown that for a self-driving car (autonomous vehicles), it would take between 8 billion to 11 billion miles of road testing. At the current rate of progress, road testing would take centuries to complete. So as you can see there are significant technology challenges for us as engineering professionals. Because physical testing is not a practical solution, autonomous vehicle makers are turning to “simulated miles driven, flown or maneuvered” as an alternative means of performing the required testing in a reasonable timeframe. ANSYS has been developing a holistic solution to enable autonomous vehicle makers to perform such simulated miles virtually using physics based simulation.
Additive manufacturing is leading to drastic change in the way the products are designed and produced. How is simulation software aiding the development of 3D printing technology?
ANSYS offers a complete simulation workflow for additive manufacturing (AM) that allows to transition R&D efforts for metal AM into a successful manufacturing operation. We use simulations to provide solutions for customers to get into additive manufacturing from the conventional system.
In the AM process, a digital data file is transmitted to a production machine, which ultimately translates an engineering design into a 3D-printed part. Initially, AM was utilised as a rapid prototyping method – an accelerated method to create (mostly plastic) parts before manufacturing by well-accepted methodologies, such as injection moulding, casting, forming, joining, etc.
Metal-based AM processes were developed in the 1990s and then several companies launched laser sintering systems that could 3D print metal parts directly, thus providing an alternative to direct, multi-stage manufacturing processes. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an AM technique that uses a laser as the energy source to melt powder (metal or polymer). The laser targets points in space defined by a 3D model, and binds the powder material together to create a solid structure.
ANSYS helps them in the design process by estimating residual stresses and distortions that occur during the additive manufacturing process. The major role that ANSYS has played is not just in producing tools but in ensuring that our customers know how to use them effectively to their best advantage.
Industry 4.0 is likely to revolutionise manufacturing landscape. Will it let to new opportunities for companies like ANSYS?
Simulation practices are key for realising the next-generation manufacturing enterprise. The Internet of Things for industries will influence design innovation, connectivity and mobility, and Big Data analytics so that successful companies will need to find new engineering processes and tools to support product change. It will definitely lead to new opportunities for companies like ANSYS.
Manufacturing is becoming the key focus point for all global economies. With manufacturing’s significant contribution to a country’s GDP and a rapidly expanding consumer market, policy makers around the globe realise that a strong manufacturing footprint has become a strategic necessity for growth. Because of a strong push from governments, the manufacturing industry is set to undergo a wave of transformation in the coming years, aided by the influx of commercial information and communication technologies. One of the key catalysts aiding this transformation is the Internet of Things (IoT), which is set to re-invent every entity in the manufacturing value chain.
The IoT for industries will empower new ways of ideation, engineering innovation, production execution and service excellence. Although the impact of the IoT is expected to pervade all elements of manufacturing, its effect in the initial phase of product conception is expected to be particularly significant.
How important are engineering simulation software for SMEs? Are you see rise in usage of simulation software among SMEs in India?
Engineering simulation is equally important to SMEs for developing quality product at the same time confirming within the cost. Yes, we see rise in usage of engineering simulation among SMEs in India. Today, innovation on product development and manufacturing is shifting more and more to SMEs as OEMs are becoming more like system integrators. Also, if there’s any failure, the SMEs are responsible for recalls and its cost associated. SMEs are ambitious and want to be suppliers to global OEMs and not just to Indian players. This dynamic is forcing SMEs to invest in simulation, as it gives them competitive advantage.
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