Product complexity has increased. There are so many more design variables to consider, which puts additional pressure on engineers. The expectation at most companies is to get it right the first time. The fail early, fail often mantra sounds inspiring, but generally the reality for engineers is “Don’t screw this thing up!”
That’s what you’re paid for, right?
Independent research firm Tech-Clarity surveyed 272 manufacturers to examine various factors engineers consider when making design decisions. The resulting study found that the significant increase in the amount of electronics in today’s products is one of the reasons design challenges are increasing in complexity.
Product Performance Variables
For example, the impact of electrical fields, along with heat and vibration, are top sources of electronic failures, so engineers must carefully consider their effects to ensure quality. Engineers must also consider a variety of factors to ensure products meet customer expectations. The performance of many products manufactured today is impacted by at least one of the following:
- Electrical components
- Elastic materials
- Antennas and communication systems
Strikingly, 54 percent of survey respondents say that at least three or more of these factors impact their products’ performance. Even 28 percent of engineers developing “simple” products indicate at least three of these factors impact performance.
What It Takes to Produce High-Quality Products
Each factor in the bulleted list above is complex in its own right, involving multiple physics and requiring a deep level of specialized expertise. When considering the context of an entire product, complexity can grow exponentially with multiple interacting components.
It is nearly impossible for a single engineer to possess the in-depth knowledge required to confidently make the best design decisions based purely on personal experience. To develop high-quality, top-performing, reliable, innovative products, engineers need to consider much more than structural integrity.
The Importance of Multiphysics Simulation
While engineering decisions are critical to product success, making the best decisions can be very difficult. Close to half of the respondents in Tech-Clarity’s survey say it has become harder to make the right decisions that lead to improved competitiveness. Increasing product complexity is one of the major reasons decision-making is so tough.
Tech-Clarity’s survey indicates that the ultimate benefit of simulating multiple physics is better products. Multiphysics simulations improve the accuracy of analyses, which leads to better decisions and results in higher-quality products created at lower cost.
Cloud-based Solutions Can Help
Cloud-based solutions enables you to access the physics simulations you need when you need them, so your design requirements drive which simulations you use rather than license limitations. This capacity can be particularly helpful for small- and medium-sized companies that have few, if any, simulation specialists or analysts, but still need different tools, depending on the project.
A cloud platform for simulation also offers additional benefits, such as easier collaboration and a single source for accessing multiple data types, such as material and test data.
Imagine an environment where it is easy to communicate concerns, identify issues, and propose resolutions—amongst all team members, regardless of physical location. Communicating product issues is simplified because all team members, from engineers to managers to executives, can participate in design reviews without access to requisite CAD or simulation tools.
Potential issues are discovered earlier in the process, so they are less costly to resolve. This enables real-time concurrent design, enhanced decision-making, and faster design maturity.
Confident Design Decisions
As products grow in complexity, more physics become involved, which make it that much harder to confidently make the right design decisions. Engineers need better insights to guide them on the path to fully optimized designs.
The Tech-Clarity research cited in this article examines various factors engineers must consider as they make design decisions. This study reveals best practices for obtaining better insights during engineering and design, including why simulating multiple physics is a key enabler of more informed decisions.
If you are interested in learning more about how to incorporate a cloud-based environment into your product development process, contact your local reseller to learn about the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio of simulation tools.