Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Noran Engineering has been going about it business for years, slowly, steadily, and quietly building up an impressive and diverse array of world-class CAE products as well as an equally impressive list of world-class clients — Boeing, Cessna, Ford, General Dynamics, Hitachi, Honda, Honeywell, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Raytheon, Toyota, and Volvo, to name but a few. They are at it again.
First, sometime in June, they changed their name – quietly – to NEi Software. Good choice. Everyone referred to them as NEi. I then find out that NEi Software quietly slipped by me version 9.1 of their flagship product, NEi Nastran. I missed it, and I'm sorry that I did not tell you about it sooner. But this time, I've learned that they are going to be announcing NEi Nastran v9.2 sometime in September.
NEi Nastran is a general-purpose finite element analysis (FEA) tool. Um, a brief digression. The compound adjective "general-purpose" often gets a bad rap because it's used by late-night TV pitch people to cover up for something that's as useless as a milk bucket under a bull. Nothing could be further from the truth with NEi Nastran.
NEi Nastran is a "what do you have to do well?" tool. Linear and nonlinear stress? Dynamic and heat transfer analysis? Yep. And with the heavy-duty power and accuracy you need to do the job right. For that matter, I'm told that NEi Nastran has at least 16 features not offered in other versions of Nastran.
So, general purpose? Well, sure, if you mean flexible enough to be used earlier in the design validation stage as well as powerful, fast, and accurate for the most demanding simulations and analyses. You can even extend it for specialized analyses such as acoustics, DDAM (Dynamic Design Analysis Method — i.e., shock spectrum analysis), fatigue, CFD, and event simulation. NEi Nastran is as general purpose to engineering and manufacturing as breathing is to you and me.
Anyway, version 9.2. I do not have any details. But I know that 9.1 has more than 80 enhancements ranging from ease-of-use upgrades to automated impact analysis to 2D orthotropic material (MAT8) support for composite solid elements to faster solver and overall performance. You can read about a lot of the improvements and sign up for video feature demos in today's Pick of the Week write-up.
Which reminds me, NEi Software is obsessed with technical support, teaching you how to leverage the software, and learning from you what you need it to do. All the changes in version 9.1 are engineering-driven. I'm betting that 9.2 will be the same because CEO Dave Weinberg and crew are way into it. Their focus on development, support, and education means that NEi and NEi Nastran become a part of your team, not just another vendor with another tool. Sign up for the videos I mentioned or an on-demand webinar linked off today's write-up and you'll see what I mean.
NEi Nastran and NEi Software have a long, proven track record as one of the leading engineering, manufacturing, analysis, and research firms worldwide. NEi Software may be a little quiet when it comes to press coverage, but that's because they've been busy making better CAE software.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine