By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
The first car I owned was a beat up 1968 Plymouth Fury. It had the 426 "Street Wedge" V8 engine and something like a 121-inch wheel base. It ran on jet fuel – it had a sweet tooth for 100 octane or better – and, when I was booking it, the PF Flier was so loud and rattly that you would have thunk it was approaching lift-off speed. Today, such a noisy car, not to mention the pieces gunning off the interior at high speeds, would drive me wild. A quiet car that doesn’t shake loose screws at you while racing along the highway is a good car. But unlike my 68 love machine, you can’t get away with designing a car with ambient noise levels on par with a fireworks display. That’s where a simulation environment such as VA One from the ESI Group proves invaluable.
VA One might not be the first product you think of when you hear the name ESI Group. It’s the quieter sibling of the widely deployed PAM analysis products. VA One, recently released in version 2009, focuses on vibro-acoustics. And – get this – it has been a part of many of the world’s leading companies design processes for the past 20 years. So like me, you have been enjoying the fruits of its abilities pretty much every time you got into a good car, took a plane or train, fired up some electronic gizmo, or ran the dishwasher.
VA One integrates with your existing CAE tools and adds the vibro-acoustics functionality these tools don’t have. In fact, it enables you to leverage in a desktop application the high-level noise and vibration analysis methods that used to be the magic wands held by pricey consultants and high-end analysts. VA One combines finite elements (FE), boundary elements (BEM), and statistical energy analysis (SEA) in a single model. And you can use it whenever during your design stages, so it minimizes physical prototypes, last-hour design corrections, and a ton of best-guess work. With VA One you can set up your NVH model in a few hours and have your results in minutes if not sooner.
So, VA One can save you both time and money. OK. Good enough. But where VA One really shines is that it can also help you engineer products that comply with all those government-mandated noise regulations, manage all those lightweight and exotic construction materials, and meet the unrealistic schedules your boss set for you.
Poroelastic materials, such as foams and fibers, are the key enhancements in VA One version 2009, and there’s even a fully integrated foam-specific finite element solver that sounds very interesting. You can read about all about that and the other enhancements in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Make sure to click the link at the end of the write-up to go to a dedicated VA One web page. Under the big photo, you’ll see a series of screen shots. Click on them to get in-depth information on specific capabilities such as BEM, SEA, and structural finite elements.
You know already that the people at the ESI Group know their physics.Now you know that if you need to ensure that the products you design meet stringent noise and vibration performance criteria as well as government specifications, the same people who have engineered and improved the industry-standard PAM analysis solutions have been quietly working on VA One for 20 years. Definitely, VA One is something you needed to hear about.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering