In this Issue:
Engineering simulation can rightly be regarded as one of the success stories of recent decades. Aspects of FEA and CFD are now vital components of the product development process in almost all industry sectors. The rapid proliferation of new models of mobile phones and the dramatic decrease in the development time for new models in the automotive industry are just two examples of advances which would simply not have been possible without relying on simulation.
However, whilst the business benefits of simulation are real, and being enjoyed by a multitude of organisations, it is clear that there is so much more benefit that can be gained. Many have the vision of true “simulation driven design”, in which the whole product development process is centred around simulation, with other associated engineering disciplines (CAD, testing etc.) playing a supporting role. In this issue of BENCHmark, we illustrate a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, which attempted to quantify some of the benefits of taking a further step towards this vision. This, and other studies, can reveal interesting results. At a symposium that we held recently in Chicago, Dennis Nagy from CD-adapco made the audience aware of another study from US Bancorp Piper Jaffray which estimated that most organisations only use 20% of their application software functionality!
In order to reap the full rewards of using simulation, organisations will need to fundamentally change their engineering processes. To help bring this to pass NAFEMS, and indeed everyone who promotes the greater use of simulation, needs to spread our reach beyond the technical arena, and start communicating the message to all branches of senior management. This is not an easy task, but one of the goals of NAFEMS is now to become “the voice of the CAE world”.