Simulation has landed a starring role in Siemens PLM Software’s vision for how complex cyber-physical products are going to be built in the future as the company rolled out its new Simcenter CAE portfolio in concert with an approach it’s calling predictive engineering.
If the concept has a ring of Big Data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s for good reason. With products evolving into smart systems while also leveraging new materials and manufacturing methods and embracing mass customization, Siemens contends that companies need to make significant changes in product engineering, including integrating use of simulation at every stage of the lifecycle. To turn the best practice into a reality, Siemens is pooling its simulation and test solutions — some organic, many acquired — into the Simcenter simulation suite, wrapping them with what it calls intelligent reporting and analytics capabilities. The result is a portfolio of simulation products that can be used to create a digital twin that will more accurately predict product performance throughout an entire lifecycle, according to Ravi Shankar, director, Global Simulation Product Marketing for Siemens PLM Software.
In Siemens’ vision, simulation needs to evolve from being a separate practice managed by an independent system or manual process to an integral practice performed throughout the product lifecycle and managed as part of the underlying data management or PLM platform. “Companies are at the cusp of having to make significant changes to the way they do product engineering,” Shankar says. “A digital mockup of 3D geometry is no longer enough because the product itself is no longer simply a 3D mechanical product,” he explains, adding that the product description now needs to include representation of the software, electronics controls and product performance.
Simcenter, with its full complement of multidisciplinary 1D and 3D simulation tools, underlying data management system, and analytics-driven dashboards and reporting functionality, enables companies to create a multi-fidelity digital twin that is about as close to the physical representation of the product as you can get, Shankar claims. “The whole purpose of predictive engineering analytics is to allow companies to move beyond using simulation for pure verification to using it to truly drive faster design decisions with greater confidence,” he says.
The first official product in the Simcenter portfolio is Simcenter 3D, the next-generation version of the NX CAE application, which will be released in August as part of NX 11.0. This release will include the usual new bells and whistles that accompany any new Siemens release, but more significantly, begins to meld capabilities in areas like acoustics, motion solvers, thermal, flow and composites simulation culled from NX Nastran, LMS Virtual.Lab, LMS Samtech and other acquired offerings into a common, multidisciplinary CAE platform. “This will allow companies to have a single multidisciplinary environment that scales from a general analyst all the way to a discipline specialist with specialized workflows,” Shankar says.
Moving forward, Siemens PLM Software will fill out more elements of the Simcenter portfolio from acquisitions like CD-adapco and others. For example, it is plans to leverage capabilities such as the HEEDS optimization technology for design space exploration and the Omneo Big Data predictive monitoring tool to round out the analytics layer of its predictive engineering vision.
As part of the Simcenter announcement, Siemens PLM Software also announced support for a more flexible and cost-efficient token licensing scheme.
Click here to watch a video explaining how Simcenter 3D fits into the broader picture of design, 1D simulation, test and data management.