Terms like UpFront CFD, Engineering Fluid Dynamics and Simulation Driven Product Development have become associated with the areas of rapid growth in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) implementation in recent years. The basic message behind each of these phrases is that there are major benefits in introducing CFD tools early on in the engineering design process, as this is when the biggest changes in the design are practical.
The more traditional approach of using CFD as a troubleshooting tool late in the design process, or even after the device has gone into production, means that any changes suggested by the simulation are far more expensive to implement. The effort involved with the simulation at this stage may well, as a consequence, turn out to be worthless. Simulation early in the Design Cycle can also save on the time and costs involved with multiple prototypes.
To encourage this up-front approach to simulation, many software packages are now targeted at multi-tasking design and development engineers. This is possible by either integrating the software closely with the CAD tools commonly used by these engineers, or by providing application specific graphical user interfaces (GUI’s). Of course, in some larger organisations, the same effect can be achieved by calling in existing CFD expertise at the design stage and allowing these engineers to influence the design process, but in small and medium (SME) companies these experts often do not exist.
The idea of giving access to CFD tools to design engineers has been frowned upon by some, And due to the complex non-linear nature of the physics and mathematics involved there is some basis to their reluctance, but many companies who have invested in such technology are reaping major benefits.
This NAFEMS seminar addressed all of these issues, and answered some of the relevant questions, such as:
The seminar provided an insight into the CFD processes within industries such as Formula 1, IndyCar racing, telecommunications, and motion & control, with top-class presentations made from each of these areas.
Integrated CFD simulation in F1 (this presentation is not available for publishing)
Kris Midgley, Renault Formula 1 Team