The consumer Goods Industry Sector is a wide one with products varying from small handheld devices to heavier household equipment. Modern consumer goods have short operational lives compared to many other products; cycle times need to be correspondingly short, with the gap from concept to product being measured in months rather than years. To effectively integrate FE into the design process communication between CAD packages and analysis packages must be easy and accurate, (not necessarily the same thing).
Accurate tracking of material properties that go with the model and validation of the results must all be considered as part of the analysis process that is followed all the way to the display shelf. CAD plug-ins and “designer level” analysis systems promise “one-click” analysis, but the question of the required level of training and expertise for these programs has yet to be properly answered independently from the vendors. With the next generation of these packages promising automatic optimisation of features based on broader criteria than shape alone, the line between draughtsman and analyst is becoming difficult to draw.
Business drivers include reduction time to market. Barriers include high costs of simulation and quality control, low CAD integration and lack of people with adequate skills.