How has engineering simulation changed over the years?
The past decade has seen a rapid transformation in the adoption of engineering simulation in industrial processes and new product design. For example, during the manufacturing process of a simple nut-bolt pair, traditionally, a number of prototypes would first have to be manufactured. These would then be physically tested for different critical parameters. Furthermore, depending on the desired results, certain changes would be incorporated into the prototype. This iterative process would continue till the optimised design was obtained, only after which full-scale manufacturing could begin.
However, with emphasis on Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), prototyping has now reduced considerably. Hence, this has made it even more important for simulations to accurately capture the inherent ‘multiphysics’ nature of real-life problems. This, in turn, leads to a greater demand for high-fidelity simulations.
So, it’s safe to say that engineering simulation has matured significantly. But there is a need to make available an easy-to-use tool in organisations which will enable designers and field engineers to make quick decisions on design feasibility or the change of operating conditions.
What is the USP of COMSOL Multiphysics software? How is it different from the other simulation tools?
COMSOL Multiphysics® can couple different physical phenomena and model their interaction as it happens in the real world. This enables the simulation of virtually any physics-based system. The simulation platform can be further expanded, with tools for electrical, acoustic, chemical applications, and so on.
Once ready, any COMSOL® model can be converted into an app with its own interface using the Application Builder tool, which is built-in to the COMSOL Multiphysics® software platform. These apps can then be launched over the web, without the need to have access to the full Software.
How is COMSOL Multiphysics contributing to the Indian market? Which industries majorly adopt engineering simulation software and how are they benefitted from it?
The Indian industry has embraced simulation with open arms. There are also quite a few case studies presented by Indian users from the automotive, electrical and chemical domains, which are available online. The COMSOL Annual Conference 2018, which will take place in Bangalore this August, will feature many companies discussing their successes with us.
What are some of the challenges faced while using engineering simulation software? How can they be overcome?
The simulation of real-life systems can be a complex process which requires expertise in using the simulation tool and also an understanding of the various coupled physical phenomena that occur within the system. As more industries adopt simulation, there is an increasing dependence on CAE experts, leading to a simulation bottleneck across the industry.
COMSOL simulation apps can help overcome this challenge by democratising the benefits of simulation among non-experts. CAE experts can now easily build a custom user interface, i.e. application of any COMSOL model to share with their colleagues and customers. The apps can be deployed across the organisation via the COMSOL Server™ license.
There has been a rise in the demand for engineering simulation software from start-ups. How does COMSOL make it affordable for them?
Through apps, COMSOL Server™ gives users access to the same powerful simulation technology that is found in COMSOL Multiphysics®. Moreover, the apps can be conveniently run from the users’ workstations via the web browser itself.
What is the road ahead?
We will continue to improve the software and make it even more relevant to users. We plan to keep providing exceptional technical support and online training sessions, webinars and other similar events to facilitate the usage of the software.