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Faster fluid flow simulation. (WIP).

Blue Ridge Numerics Inc. [Charlottesville, VA] says that its newly introduced CFDesign v.6.0 fluid flow and heat transfer simulation software can "reduce the time it takes to develop, test, and prove a new product design by 70% while also reducing the costs associated with staff time and materials by 65%." It does this largely by using native MCAD models to analyze and qualitatively compare design variations, as opposed to employing specialized computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software that requires simulations to be converted back and forth. Jim Spann, vice president, Marketing, says, "No other software is driven by the CAD geometry. All design changes are made within the existing MCAD system, not off-line which is currently the case." Spann explains that this Feature can be a big time saver since project teams often have to hand their designs over to a fluid flow specialist For a time-consuming analysis, creating a process bottleneck. But, he continues, "CFDesign is designed to be used by the team within the flow of the project."

The software further reduces development time by allowing engineers to run multiple design simulations simultaneously and then compare results. This can be done using idle CPU computing power in a group computing environment, so capital equipment investments are kept to a minimum. Len Whitehead, CFDesign's product manager, says that further cost reductions come from a drastic decrease in the number of physical prototypes needed for a project. Also, in order to facilitate quick input From non-engineering decision-makers, simulations can be sent via Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or a web browser. Whitehead says this Function, which obviates the need for specialized CFD software, brings high-quality fluid flow simulations "to the engineering masses."

Spann thinks that the automotive supply chain is fertile ground for this new software, citing several areas where automotive engineers could reduce development time by using the software to experiment with fluid and airflow and heat transfer. These include oil and fuel pumps, transmissions, thermal management of underhood electronics, catalytic converters, intake and exhaust manifolds and interior cabin air circulation. In an example of the software's speed, Spann and Whitehead ran through several simulations of a part within minutes, adjusting and comparing flows until they reached the desired outcome. "What we just did in three minutes might have taken up to three days with traditional tools," Spann says. Which may explain why Blue Ridge Numerics has DaimlerChrysler, Honda, Saturn and Delphi on their customer list.
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Title Annotation:fluid flow and heat transfer simulation software
Author:Whitfield, Kermit
Publication:Automotive Design & Production
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:406
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