If you’re a blender, you’d never want to see the inside of the testing lab in Blendtec‘s headquarter in Orem, Utah. This small room is the equivalent of The Tower of London for blenders. The products that go in don’t usually come out in one piece.
“We call [the test facility] ‘the Torture Chamber’ because we line up all of our blenders and brutally test them until they die,” said Reid Stout, a research and development engineer with Blendtec.
If you’re an automaker, conducting a destructive test on your product means crashing a fully built car rigged with dummies into a wall — a costly experiment you can’t undertake willy-nilly. If you’re an aerospace manufacturer, crash-testing a plane for every new model is certainly out of the question. (Boeing conducted one such test in 2012 with a remote-controlled 727. The rare incident was captured in a Discovery Channel documentary.)
To bypass these costly tests involving massive products (not to mention the cleanup required afterward), manufacturers now rely mostly on digital simulation and software-driven analysis to perform tests. But if you make blenders like Blendtec does, you can afford to sacrifice a few blenders every month for the good of your customers. Continue reading
Are the upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards realistic or achievable? It’s something EPA has to first find out for itself. To do that, the Agency is using ANSYS FORTÉ, a package for simulating combustion engine activities.
According to the announcement released by ANSYS today, EPA plans to use FORTÉ software “to model in-cylinder combustion to develop an advanced test engine that will demonstrate fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technologies.”
ANSYS FORTÉ used to be a product of Reaction Design, based on San Diego, California. The product became part of the ANSYS portfolio when Reaction Design was acquired by ANSYS this January. Continue reading
With the World Cup 2014 games kicking off this week, the entire world is transfixed with all things soccer (or football-related, depending on where you hail). As we get ready to cheer on our favorite teams and marvel at the unbridled athleticism, it’s worth a look at the serious science and engineering at play behind all of that fancy footwork.
Physics plays a starring role in any sport, and soccer is no exception. The Magnus effect, a principle that explains the side-force on a sphere that is both rotating and moving forward, is used extensively to analyze the World Cup match balls used in this and previous years’ games. Continue reading
It was a mission so perilous D-Day’s head of airborne operations predicted 70% of the planes and up to half the men involved would be lost, according to NOVA (Reconstructing the D-Day Gliders). The mission was to deliver an advanced force behind enemy lines to secure some of the bridges and crossings before the primary assault began on D-Day. The idea was to have C47 planes tow a series of gliders across the English channel. Upon reaching the landing site, the tow ropes would be cut to let the glider pilots land the planes, made of mostly wood and fabric. What’s worse? The pilot would have to land the unwieldy gliders in the dark, in about three minutes.
Seventy years later, a few people from Dassault Systemes got to experience what it was like to land a WWII-era glider in the tree-strewn French countryside. They were part of the production team that helped NOVA recreate the D-Day landing for a documentary series. Continue reading
San Francisco-based start-up Rescale, which specializes in providing on-demand computing platform (a mix of middleware and hardware), has just added one more name to its growing list of partners. The new addition, Siemens PLM Software, rounds out a partner list that already includes household names in simulation, like ANSYS, MSC Software, CD-adapco, and Dassault. Continue reading