Imagine being able to fly one of the world’s fastest aircraft in a digital environment. In this virtual world, you can test the aircraft’s viability by adding or removing environmental and man-made variables. Or simulate the performance of a jet engine to reduce fuel consumption and wear. Aircraft tested in these environments are more efficient, safer and more sustainable. Existing aircraft are proactively maintained, and the next generation is designed for the air mobility needs of the future.
These digital environments that mirror reality, also known as digital twins, are based on fundamental principles of modeling, physics, mathematics and computer science. It is brought about by Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) Enhanced by High Performance Computing (HPC). This new configuration has the capacity and speed to handle data-intensive simulation applications across a variety of industries. The result is a quantum leap in performance and capabilities.
Today’s engineering challenges and the promise of digital simulation
While engineers’ expectations for more (better and faster) design haven’t diminished, the industry faces some daunting challenges. Today’s engineering workforce is more distributed than ever before, which can hinder collaboration and performance between teams. The engineers were also tasked with producing products that were more fuel efficient, reduced emissions, and improved maintenance, repair and window repair to save costs.
As engineering teams grow beyond their capacity, HPC-powered digital simulations help ease the burden. Engineers can collaborate with each other and do their work in a virtual environment, improving the speed and efficiency of engineering workloads. Simulations give engineers the ability to see how their designs will behave in millions of real-world scenarios, while reducing or even eliminating the need for costly physical testing. Ultimately helping engineers improve product safety, sustainability, and performance.
Engineers in the UK McLaren Group They use simulation and prototyping to design faster, more aerodynamic cars. The engineering team runs HPC-powered simulations based on up to 100,000 data points per second from Formula 1 racing cars as they move at up to 200 mph. McLaren engineers design 3D digital twins and 3D print models for continuous rapid prototyping and to generate analytics to improve the car’s performance in subsequent races. The results of these efforts lead to rapid prototyping and component testing.
HPC for power plant design
The simulation was the solution for California-based engineering firm RJM International, a provider of emissions reduction and combustion improvement technologies, which serves large combustion plants such as refineries and steel mills. The company runs analytics and operational simulations that include a series of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) on the HPC family with the goal of helping plants run more efficiently and reduce emissions by adopting co-combustion, biomass fuels or the next generation of energy pellets.
Engineers at RJM International use audits and detailed data sets to build accurate power plant performance models. The team uses Ansis simulation software Integrated with Dell HPC Infrastructure. This solution allows engineers to use CFD data to devise, test and prove new solutions prior to installation. It’s also modular, so engineers can easily deploy an optimized system for compute, storage, networking, and software that their HPC workloads require.
The week-long simulations now complete in one day – using 86% less computing time than the company’s previous computing infrastructure. The combination also enables RJM to run a variety of large and complex calculations to solve other complex engineering challenges. Engineers can quickly and cost-effectively verify product integrity before creating prototypes by modeling behavior across real-world variables.
Simplify and speed up HPC
Retooling your IT environment for high-performance engineering workloads can be simplified with validated architectures that include servers, storage, networking, software, and services in customizable configurations. They are designed to help simplify and speed up the configuration of HPCs whose design and tuning have already been tested for CAE.
As teams continue to work remotely and CAE software continues to evolve, engineers are leading the way in adopting advanced computing technologies to overcome new challenges. HPC is not one size fits all. Configuring the correct solution depends on a specific mix of applications and simulation types, with a variety of options to consider. But once these hurdles are overcome, HPC plays a key role in advancing the use of simulation in engineering, accelerating time to market and contributing to the design of innovative, high-quality products.
For more information on how to take advantage of HPC-powered engineering simulation tools, click here.
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