CAE Technologies, Innovation, Competitiveness
Numerical simulations, virtual prototyping, CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) technologies, are synonyms that define methodologies able to represent, thought mathematical models, the real world and to simulate it using calculators, in order to gain insight of it and understand its behavior.
CAE technologies are used during early stage of product design in order to verify technical requirements satisfaction, identify, correct and prevent re-design costs and also to reduce physical testing and prototyping. Simulations help to reduce overall product development time cycle and allow manufacturers to bring new products to market much faster.
Another big advantage of simulations is the possibility to get more and more complete information on the system then it is possible to get with laboratory experiments: simulations furnish a much more wide set of sampling points and, most important, permit to analyze even phenomena that can not be reproduced in laboratory for their prohibitive costs or even for their technical issues (high pressures, critical temperatures...).
There are different methodologies in mathematical simulations, that differ in physical phenomena to be represented:
- Structural analyses: analyze behavior of loaded solid components in order to evaluate the resulting displacement; they usually exploit FEM (Finite Elements Method) methodologies.
- Fast dynamic analyses: they are similar to structural analyses but use methodologies adequate to simulate big deformations in very short time scales (crash test).
- Fluid dynamics analyses: analyze fluids behavior, their movement and their interaction with the surrounding. These analyses usually exploit FVM (Finite Volume Method) methodologies.
- Optimization: are mathematical algorithms able to drive the simulations to the optimum configuration, given constraints and objectives to be reached.