SimApp Authoring Workspace
The Comet SimApp Authoring Workspace is an enterprise-class, vendor-neutral, highly-scalable process automation platform that is built specifically for CAE/Simulation. This workspace is used to develop what we call SimApps.
SimApps are targeted, simple to use, web-deployed simulation applications that allow members of sales and product teams, who are not experts in the use of simulation tools (such as Abaqus or ANSYS), to perform complex simulations, safely and robustly. SimApps answer particular questions about the product design of a member of a particular product family, at a particular level of modeling fidelity. For example, an engineer might as the question, “What is the maximum deformation and stress in an automotive bumper beam when it crashes head on against an IIHS barrier at 10 mph?” One SimApp might answer this question rapidly, using simple, approximate equations programmed into an Excel spreadsheet, while another SimApp might take a lot longer to provide a much more accurate and detailed answer, in glorious color and in 3-D, using complex finite element calculations that the user of the SimApp knows nothing about!
The Comet SimApp Authoring Workspace is an integrated environment to help the experts rapidly build, analyze, and optimize Intelligent (simulation) Templates that are at the core of SimApps. SimApps consist of a simple-to-use, web-deployed front end (GUI) which gathers minimal data from a user and then sends these data to an Intelligent Template. The template then runs the required calculations using the pre-specified software. For example, in the case of the bumper example above, the user might pick a particular bumper architecture, vary the configuration (e.g., change the rib layout), specify various geometric and material parameters, and then run the SimApp. The SimApp transmits the required data to the underlying template which might then use a CAD tool (e.g., NX CAD), a mesher (e.g., ANSA), and an explicit dynamics tool (e.g., LS-Dyna) to run the required impact calculations, post process the 3-D results, and automatically generate a report that a non-expert would find easy to comprehend. The template is created by the expert – it captures the “CAE recipe” that the expert uses to answer particular questions about a product design.
A key aspect of such Intelligent Templates in Comet is a single functional model for a product system – the Abstract Engineering Model (AEM®). This single, integrated model is “abstracted” from the details of the underlying FEA, Multibody Dynamics, CFD, or other tools used to analyze it. Successfully using these tools requires deep knowledge of the unique and complex ways they refer to and represent the engineering components and functionality of your “real world” product. In other words, these tools can only be used safely by CAE experts who have years of experience using them and, hence, understand the CAE jargon that they use and the myriad subtleties inherent in getting accurate results from them.
Using SimApps, everyone who needs simulation can safely and robustly perform them without needing to be an expert in the use of the underlying CAD and simulation tools.
Another fundamental aspect of Comet’s integrated data model (AEM) is its ability to capture “simulation rules” related to the functional architecture of the product family that a template is set up to analyze. Said differently, the rules captured within a Comet template are not tied to the geometry and topology of a particular instance of the design, but to the functional aspects of the product family, shared by all of its member products – this is a technique called Abstract Modeling. For example, when considering the family of all plastic containers manufactured by a company, one can imagine that there are common functional and architectural aspects to them all – they all have a base, a body and (optionally) a lid, and all need to have a top-load analysis performed to determine the maximum top load the container can sustain before buckling. Capturing these common functional rules allows the template to execute robustly across significant design changes, and more importantly, across the entire product family – in this example, across all the different containers in the container product family. When a Comet template executes, it does not depend on “run-ready model files”, but generates from scratch the model files required to drive the underlying CAE tools. Hence, SimApps that drive such templates are much more broadly usable and useful.
Leveraging Comet’s proprietary Abstract Engineering Model (AEM®) to capture this single, integrated functional view of a product family within templates, Comet SimApps enable our customers to:
- Automate modeling & simulation tasks to enable “what if?” studies (automated Design Space Exploration)
- Evaluate the impact of design changes, including swapping out components and entire subsystems
- Encapsulate and globally enforce modeling & simulation “best practices”
- Deploy these best practices to non-experts, allowing them to safely and robustly perform simulations
- Facilitate more effective collaboration within and between silo’ed design & engineering teams
Using Comet’s SimApps, you can automate many repetitive, tedious & error-prone design & simulation tasks, allowing more time for your team to use their skills to optimize your products. You can capture the “expert knowledge” of your specialists in reusable simulation templates that can be deployed consistently and reliably to your entire engineering community, using web-deployed SimApps. Finally, you can ensure simulation data consistency across your globally-distributed team, significantly reducing the amount of time and money spent dealing with errors that arise out of your current, highly-manual process.