The Role of Simulation Governance in the Democratization of Simulation through the Use of Smart Sim Apps

This presentation was made at CAASE18, The Conference on Advancing Analysis & Simulation in Engineering. CAASE18 brought together the leading visionaries, developers, and practitioners of CAE-related technologies in an open forum, to share experiences, discuss relevant trends, discover common themes, and explore future issues.

Resource Abstract

The technical and business value of numerical simulation performed by engineers across many industries, including those in the aviation, aerospace, and defense sector, is well established. However, the performance requirements and complexity of the products that engineers in these industries design has dramatically increased. This has created additional demands on the engineering organization to improve the speed, accuracy, and reliability of the simulation function.
Incremental improvements to legacy finite element methodologies and software tools based upon them, are reaching a point of diminishing return as they struggle to address these new business challenges. All of this is occurring at the same time that the capabilities and complexity of these traditional FEA-based tools require ever greater levels of expertise and specialization from the engineering staff.
Simulation Governance, a concept that originated from the appreciation that numerical simulation is a highly complex activity, is essential to address these challenges. A continuous investment in the training and management of simulation professionals, tools, and processes with numerous interdependent multi-disciplinary competencies is required. As the value on the simulation function increases, the practice of simulation governance, that is the command and control over simulation activities, becomes critical for ensuring the reliability and robustness of analysis methods and tools used in support of engineering decision-making processes. Simulation tools properly managed can be a major corporate asset, while when they are poorly managed can be a source of systemic risk. As example, for many valid reasons, finite element analysis software is regarded as so specialized that only expertly trained analysts can employ it with any degree of reliability and confidence in the results. Attempts to promote the use of FEA by general design engineers without expert training have been disappointing for equally valid reasons.
There has been much discussion about the democratization of simulation, but is it feasible in industries like A&D, industrial equipment, medical device, or automotive? The admirable vision for expanding the use of simulation by non-experts cannot be safely realized unless a new approach to analysis based on predictive computational science and numerical simulation emerges to replace the art of finite element modeling as it has been practiced up to now. The solution lies in the practice of Simulation Governance which provides safeguards to ensure that the most difficult computational problems can be solved by experts with confidence, while more routine analysis in support of design decisions can be performed by engineers without expert training.
To illustrate that a level of democratization is not only theoretically possible but readily feasible, examples from the aerospace industry of expert-designed smart simulation apps in the area of analysis of laminates composites and durability and damage tolerance analysis will be presented. The technical requirements and challenges to the creation, deployment, and use of Sim Apps will be examined without advocacy of any commercial software product or solution provider.
The standardization, automation, and democratization of new technologies such as Sim Apps through the adherence to the practice of Simulation Governance offers many benefits to industry at the engineering, product, and business levels. These benefits include encapsulating complexity, improving productivity, containing cost, and ensuring reliability for the expert simulation analyst and non-expert design engineer alike.

Document Details

AuthorActis. R
Date 5th June 2018
OrganisationESRD, Inc.


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