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Essential Principles of Simulation Data Management 


Engineers and engineering departments are facing a rapid and continuous increase in the size and complexity of the data sets they need to manage. Simulation Data Management solutions have now been in effective, productive use for eighteen years. SDM solutions have both enabled organisations to get their data under control and to achieve significant reductions in time spent on laborious data management tasks. SDM has enabled breakthrough increases in engineering throughput through productivity increases, global working, and democratisation of simulation processes and accelerated analyst development.  But there have been notable, expensive, SDM project failures which could now be avoided by following the methodology described in this course.


Course Overview

18 years of SDM deployments have proved that SDM is significantly different from other data management challenges, which is why this course was developed. While most domains of product-related data management are now available on PLM platforms, most PLM vendors still do not offer Simulation Data Management. SDM is so different to other data management domains that most successful SDM deployments are either bespoke developments or the deployments of dedicated SDM Systems. While it is possible to build and deploy an SDM solution on a PLM platform, only a few industrial companies have taken this approach.

This course teaches the essential principles of Simulation Data Management technology to cover the standard Professional Simulation Engineer Competencies. This complements PSE competencies in the planning of simulations, identifying key data and recording results which are addressed by NAFEMS publications such as “How to Plan a CFD Analysis” and “How to plan an FEA Analysis”.  

The course will provide delegates with an understanding of the technology of Simulation Data Management Solutions and of the benefits achieved through the deployment of SDM by reference to case studies taken from the experience of early adopters of this breakthrough technology.  It also catalogs the potential benefits achievable from an SDM solution to help delegates identify suitable opportunities to deploy SDM in their organisation and to justify such an SDM project.  SDM success is critically dependent on the delivery of SDM capabilities that deliver direct benefit to Simulation Engineers, as well as its alignment with the overall IT and PLM landscape.  The course identifies the key success factors and risks specific to SDM solutions, notably selecting a fit-for-purpose solution, identifying & closing gaps in capability, ensuring adoption by analysts and alignment with overall IT strategies. The course complements the NAFEMS PSE scheme and enables students to develop the SPDM-related competencies.  The content draws on the lessons learnt from the 250+ SDM papers presented to NAFEMS conferences, the NAFEMS SDM deployment workshop and the experience of the author in designing & building SDM solutions and providing SDM consulting for companies. It describes the key steps to achieve a successful SDM deployment and identifies the pitfalls to be avoided.

Note: The acronym SPDM (Simulation & Process Data Management) is also used to refer to SDM to emphasise that process data is an essential part of Simulation Data Sets.


Why attend the course?

SDM is not yet widely deployed in industry so SDM know-how is not widely available. This course provides a vendor-neutral introduction to SDM and how to use this technology successfully for your organisation.  An SDM evaluation and initial deployment can take 6 months to a year and cost €100,000 to €1Million so this course is a worthwhile investment to assure the success of the SDM project. This course has proved necessary because standard methodologies, for example for PLM deployment, while useful, have not proved sufficient to achieve successful SDM deployments.


Who Should Attend?

Managers, engineers, analysts, methods consultants and IT/PLM staff who wish to understand the capabilities and potential benefits of SDM and how to successfully implement SDM solutions. 


Course Program

Course Program

  • Course Introduction

  • Introduction to SDM

  • The NAFEMS SDM Working Group

  • Business & operational challenges

  • Why is it hard to manage simulation data?

  • How can SDM help?

  • Where does Democratisation fit?

  • Key Challenges & Risks of an SDM Project – before it starts

  • SDM Fundamentals – System Level Requirements

  • The 7 Core Capabilities of an SDM Solution

  • Early Adopter Case Studies and lessons learnt

  • Requirements to replace the File system, Content Management

  • Technologies for SDM Solutions: SDM, xDM, Standards-Based, CAE, PDM

  • Current COTS Solution Strategies

  • How does SDM fit with PLM & PDM

  • 4 Generations of SDM solutions with case studies

  • Latest Technology Trends

  • Standards in SDM

  • Engineering Improvement through Managed Simulation – presentation

  • Business Value from SDM

  • Operational Business Value from SDM

  • Justifying an SDM deployment

  • Developing an SDM strategy

  • An SDM Proof Of Concept

  • The SDM Project Plan

  • Data lifecycle management

  • SPDM in an overall PLM landscape

  • Conclusion






Course Tutor:
Mark Norris 


Mark Norris - NAFEMS Instructor


Read Mark Norris' bio on the NAFEMS tutors page