Paul Lalor, SIMULIA
It’s a given in today’s high-tech world that design simulation technologies, when used properly and efficiently, are helping product development companies reduce costs, explore more design alternatives, and accelerate the delivery of innovative and reliable products. However, even those companies that are gaining significant benefits from simulation will admit that they often fail to capture their design analysis processes in a meaningful way. Furthermore, these companies often lack the tools to efficiently manage and share simulation results or explain how they influence design decisions.
|To capitalize on simulation, assets must be retained and protected. |
Although valuable intellectual property (IP) is generated during the development, deployment, and execution of simulation methodologies, industry research firm CPDA reported in 2007 that 42 percent of companies surveyed were keeping their simulation data on local or departmental drives. If you are not capturing and managing your simulation IP with full traceability, think of the efficiencies and business values that you are losing.
When simulation data on product performance is lost or confused with similar results, there are two possible negative outcomes. One is that wrong decisions are made and the second is that simulations are repeated. This results in cost increases and time delays.
When individuals design and execute simulations using their individually preferred methods instead of standard methods, the simulation results are subject to interpretation, they lack repeatability, and cannot be used reliably.
When simulation data is stored on local hard drives, you lose the ability to share simulation results and collaborate to make effective and timely performance-related decisions. This usually results in a negative impact on meeting product-development schedules.
If you are not using a simulation lifecycle management solution, technology that enables you to govern and manage all of your simulation IP and maintain traceability and an audit trail, you lose the ability to understand the decision-making processes related to achieving specific simulation results. Often, meeting regulations and quality processes requires a company to report on exactly who did what, when, how, and why.
If your simulation data, processes, methods, and tools are not understood, captured, managed, and released within workgroups or throughout an enterprise, you lose quality and consistency. These inconsistencies can result in lower product quality and you risk losing valuable IP.
As you can see from these issues, simulation tools, methods, and data offer intrinsic business value to product development companies—beyond just getting simulation results. The development and capture of best-in-class simulation techniques is essential to expanding the benefits of its use and improving its impact on the bottom line. Failing to capture, manage, and use this IP not only means that you are losing time and money, but you risk your long-term competitive advantage.
To capitalize on the full advantages of design simulation, which can improve product quality, time-to-market, and profitability, simulation assets must be effectively deployed, adopted, retained, protected, and reused.
Take a moment to think about your organization’s simulation processes and consider this: what valuable information have you lost today?
Paul Lalor is project manager for SIMULIA. Send your thoughts on this commentary to DE-Editors@deskeng.com.