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Changing the role of computer simulation in businesses

Simulation Technology

Investment in computer simulation has grown by double digits each year over the last 40 years, driven by the massive use and great knowledge about this technology, according to Cambashi. Such cumulative growth has brought a consensus that simulation is the key to increasing competitiveness and leads it to a level where today its role is more related to business transformations than technological changes.

There have been several technical drivers that have steered the evolution of simulation, starting with failure analysis, moving through design validation, simulation as decision support, simulation-based design, and, recently, systems engineering. Changes in simulation were  based on increased availability of resources and application of these technologies just a few years ago. ASSESS, in the “Simulation 20/20” series offered by NAFEMS presents a new business driver incorporated into the simulation value proposition and highlights that the changing role of simulation is related to the business benefits that can be achieved from its use.

Simulation Development Drivers (Source ASSESS)

Since the recession began in 2008, competitiveness has become key for managers around the world. They began to exhaustively monitor success points such as innovation, risk management, and cost reduction. Computer simulation is closely linked to each of these points, as it allows detailed insight into the operation and performance of products, and stands out as the main resource for understanding and managing risk and cost reduction.

Cost reductions that once stemmed from changes involving lean manufacturing now require the ability to perform test optimization, evaluate material and design cost, and reduce development time, attributes achieved through simulation. Understand how computer simulation can help overcome these optimization challenges.

Simulation for all engineers

In addition to the rapid growth in demand for competitiveness, other aspects such as exponential growth of complexity in products and processes and development of the computational power of hardware, have boosted the use of computer simulation.

In this evolution, moving from Technology Drivers to Business Drivers, companies realize that simulation is essential to be competitive, and intensify its use further. This generates a fundamental problem, as the demand for the use of these resources tends to increase faster than the number of specialists available in the market. Learn about the importance of the Engineer in Computer Simulation.

To overcome this barrier, CAE companies are developing tools to democratize simulation, which involve both custom applications and software with user-friendly interfaces and a simplified simulation environment, such as Ansys Discovery.

A revolution in the role of simulation is now taking place and it is bringing its use to the entire production chain, from the conceptual design phase to post-sales, strengthening the vision of “Every engineer using simulation“.

Silvia Firmino holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidade Federal de Santa Catariana (UFSC), and an Executive MBA from Fundação Dom Cabral. She has worked as a product engineer and sales engineer. Currently she manages the Marketing area at ESSS.