Is Your Simulation Data Traceable to the Source?

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Guest post by LiveWorx Sponsor Granta Design

As any simulation analyst can tell you, quality materials and property data is essential for modeling and simulation within product design. However, this information often exists in many different formats and locations throughout an organization. For authors of data, generating the right materials information for simulation (usually by analyzing populations of materials test data) can be time consuming, the process can be inefficient, and it’s certainly always complex. Moreover, the final data that’s produced out of this process is not always then traceable to its source.  

On the flip side, consumers of that data can often spend precious time searching through different silos of data only to end up with inaccurate or inconsistent information. There may also exist significant gaps in that data, rendering it essentially unusable. Within this type of organizational landscape – and it is a common landscape – the best datasets don’t tend to be reused as the lack of context makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between them.

A New Approach

There are several key considerations here: that data is generated in a consistent manner, traceable back to the source, and with a mechanism for change control. In terms of the test data to simulation workflow, it’s important to capture the artefacts of this transition: the test data itself, the analysis files, and the final simulation data. A systematic approach is needed to ensure that critical materials information is integrated within the design and product development environments.

This approach begins with the capture of the raw testing data generated in an organization. This can come from a variety of input formats, whether it’s spreadsheets or text files, directly from test machines themselves, or via intermediate formats. This test data must be captured with full pedigree information, and connected to other related data sets within the system for full traceability. Once this data is consolidated, materials specialists can manage that data, import subsequent data sets into that structure, and ultimately push that out to their users for simulation, comparison and analysis. Having this information connected with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) environments adds a further layer of confidence, and saves both time and cost. But how can all this be achieved?

One Corporate Materials Database

The GRANTA MI platform provides one solution – enabling organizations to capture and store all of their material tests and resulting analyses, including CAE data, in a single corporate materials database. Integrated into the same system is a library of reference data, much of it suitable for simulation. Users of Creo® 3D CAD software from PTC will find a sample of this reference data covering 117 representative materials with every copy of Creo version 4.0. Through the MI:Materials Gateway app, Creo users can also search and browse their company’s GRANTA MI database, enabling them to access the full library of reference data, and managed proprietary data.

A similar integration with the PTC Windchill PLM system supports assignment of materials into the product definition. Crucially, from the simulation perspective, GRANTA MI also integrates with leading simulation packages, such as ANSYS Workbench, HyperMesh, NX, and Abaqus/CAE. So simulation analysts get accurate, traceable, materials data when and where they need it, and can even be notified when this data changes so that they can review their simulations. Their organizations have the added reassurance that there is consistency between simulation projects and the materials assigned in CAD and PLM. More information on managing the full lifecycle for simulation data and all related datasets can be found here: https://www.grantadesign.com/products/mi/simulation.htm.

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