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Editor’s Pick: CAE Simulates Particle Flows, Bulk Material Handling

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

Simulating the processes and equipment for handling bulk materials such as coal, ore, soil, pellets, tablets, and powders is a bear. Each of those little particles is a variable in motion, interacting with one and other as well as a structure, causing reactions to reactions to happen all over the place. DEM Solutions specializes in simulation software for analyzing and optimizing the events, processes, and the equipment to deal with these phenomena, and the company has just released version 2.3 of its flagship software EDEM.

EDEM is based on the Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) technology. This physics-based discipline is designed to help you understand your systems’ fundamentals by enabling you to simulate and analyze the flow of bulk materials. Once you understand what’s going on, EDEM then helps you optimize your bulk materials handling equipment and processing operations through virtual prototyping and animated visualizations.

One of the cooler aspects of EDEM is that it is one of the few commercial applications that do this sort of thing. Most of the tools for this operation are academic research or even home-brewed affairs. EDEM is made for engineers whose valuable time is better spent running analyses and not coding some one-off application (although EDEM is user-customizable for your unique process).

EDEM 2.3 has been enhanced with multi-format CAD file import and automatic meshing. This lets you manipulate geometry – say, chutes or, baffles — in your imported CAD models from inside of EDEM. It also has new tools for visualizing equipment and flow performance. It even has functionality to handle such particle-structure interactions as impact loads and charge distribution. But you can read the full skinny on EDEM 2.3 in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. At the end, make sure to hit the link to the videos. They are definitely worth watching.

EDEM is a specialized system, no doubt about it. Still, let me tell you that I had the pleasure of spending a day at DEM Solutions and seeing what this solution is all about a couple of years ago. I left highly impressed. If you have anything to do with bulk solids handling and processing, you need to know about EDEM.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

Read today’s Pick of the Week write-up.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.