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The True Impact of SOLIDWORKS Simulation

What is the true impact of SOLIDWORKS Simulation? My response? What if I could see into the future and prevent a costly design decision? Or mistake somewhere in the design process? Would I take action based on that insight? Of course, I would. And many of you probably would, too. So what if you had a tool that could effectively do that?

I want to discuss three key points around the impact that SOLIDWORKS Simulation has on businesses:

  • What Is the Business Case for SOLIDWORKS Simulation?
  • What Is Finite Element Analysis (FEA)?
  • How Does SOLIDWORKS Simulation Impact Your Business?

What Is The Business Case for SOLIDWORKS Simulation?

The traditional development process is sequential. From the preliminary concept design of the product up to the manufacturing process, product development engineers take their jobs step by step. Product design, product testing, and simulation design review, followed by additional testing, product communication deliverables, and product manuals, one after another.

Often, steps do not start before the previous step finishes. Moreover, if one of these steps, for example, a design review identifies design flaws, then the entire product development cycle is longer than planned, and the time to market increases. This process affects the productivity of the company and the ability to deliver the product on time and on budget.

It is a fact that 80% of the product cost comes from the design phase. That means it is worth spending time and analysis to understand how to optimize this process.

Where Does Innovation Occur in the Design Process?

We’re too busy to explore ways to innovate, especially in this day and age where manufacturing is booming. If we do have time during the project, we may not have the correct information to decide the proper course to follow. So it’s complex to evaluate the risk of those decisions.

So companies, in short, wish to innovate in their industries to win new customers, stay as leaders, or bring new technology to the market. They emphasize that they do not have the proper tool to get technical insight into the behavior of their latest products and can balance the risk versus the benefits of that product.

Companies will design the same product. They may add small changes, but they’re not positioning these products the way they want, and they may not grow the products.

Companies need to be able to do the product development process steps in parallel instead of sequentially. We can change this process up by creating that parallel process. We can also help you make better business decisions earlier because you can invest the time needed to do the job.

Companies can use design simulation as a concurrent engineering tool during the design process. The objective is to simulate the product behavior while testing it early.

What Is Finite Element Analysis (FEA)?

Virtual Simulation (FEA or CFD) has existed for decades. But the unique value of SOLIDWORKS Simulation is its philosophy towards concurrent engineering and the use of Simulation by product engineers, which means that it is developed with product engineers in mind.

In short, SOLIDWORKS Simulation is a 3D tool suite explicitly designed to test product designs to improve quality and safety. Suppose your company designs, prototypes, fabricates, validates, or approves products that you sell. In that case, you’re in the right place today to talk about the impact that Simulation can have on your business.

If you have SOLIDWORKS Premium, you already have an FEA tool. However, if you want to leverage Simulation quickly, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard is one of the more common ways users gain access.

Within Simulation, 80% of our customer’s leverage Simulation’s Standard Validation Tools for Static Assemblies. We always start with a SOLIDWORKS model to predict the performance of the design by adding material, fixtures, loads, and boundary information that emulates a real-life environment for the assembly.

In short, this is a powerful tool because users do not have to import or export a model into additional software. SOLIDWORKS Simulation conducts real-time “what-if” scenarios as users design their products concurrently. Because of this process, Simulation allows for innovation, design optimization, and cost reductions when prototyping products.

How Does SOLIDWORKS Simulation Impact Your Business?

Let’s explore some key company personas that the benefits of design validation might impact.

The CEO or Executive Team

Let’s start at the company’s top, the CEO or Executive level. Typically, the CEO has responsibilities as a communicator, decision-maker, leader, and manager. The decision-making role involves high-level decisions about policy and strategy.

As a leader, the CEO drives change within the organization. The executive team is driven by the desire to improve the value to the customer and better illustrate it, reduce operating costs to enhance profitability, develop corporate sustainability strategies and position the company as an innovative enterprise.

The Technical Manager

A technical manager’s role is to manage and investigate new products and oversee processing and manufacturing equipment. Often, this involves leading the product development team. The technical manager executes the corporate strategy, such as an innovation in a particular technology or implementing corporate sustainability targets.

The Technical Manager provides technical direction in the execution of product development projects. They often oversee several projects and manage each project’s budget and schedule to meet delivery time. This manager also typically keeps close contact with manufacturing managers.

The Manufacturing Manager

The primary mission of manufacturing managers, also called production managers, is planning the production schedule with budgetary limitations and time constraints. They determine which personnel will use machines, whether overtime or extra shifts are necessary, and the production sequence.

Manufacturing managers monitor the production run to ensure it stays on schedule and budget, and they correct any problem that might arise. They also monitor energy and material costs looking for optimized material usage and disposal.

The Sales Team

Without product sales, there is nothing. If the sales team doesn’t sell products to customers, the product development process efforts are useless.

The sales team will promote the company’s products to customers, so you have to innovate to excite customers.

The Marketing Team

The marketing team develops a marketing strategy designed to maximize the revenues and profits of the company. With this strategy, they need to position the company’s technology as reliable and innovative in their market. Marketers would also leverage environmental claims for greener products to illustrate the corporate sustainability targets.

The Quality Manager

Lastly, quality managers develop, coordinate, and improve the company’s quality policy. One objective is to achieve the Corporate Quality targets to meet customer needs.

Quality is related to product quality and the quality of the entire development process, including prototyping. Quality management, therefore, uses quality assurance and control of operations and products to achieve more consistent quality.

The true impact of SolidWorks simulation, in my own words, is what it can change about Your design process, the time and money it can save at several points in your engineering processes, usually measurable and far above the investment cost of the software. If you’re currently evaluating these tools or are interested in the impact of this technology on your business, please reach out to us.