Category: Collaboration

21 Oct 2022

PowerFLOW: Vehicle Styling for Aerodynamic Performance, Efficiency, and Product Certification

Vehicle manufacturers face challenges from all sides. As new competitors enter the industry the pressure is on to create stylish, differentiating vehicles and get them to market fast. But every vehicle must also pass stringent certification tests to satisfy regulators that it performs efficiently and meets emissions standards.

When aggressive styling leads the design process it can compromise aerodynamic performance, causing delays as engineers have to spend extra time putting things right so the vehicle can be certified for sale. Electric and autonomous vehicles intensify the challenge, bringing big opportunities to experiment with form but also increasing risk, as designers don’t yet have tried and trusted data to tell them what has worked in the past. As if this wasn’t issue enough, customers continue to expect the experience of driving any new car to match the promises of its eye-catching style. Trade-offs between looks and performance are no longer acceptable and to avoid them, manufacturers need a rapid, robust process that brings styling and engineering together from the start.


Designers are under pressure to innovate but also to get it right-first-time. If the aesthetic theme causes problems with aerodynamics, for instance, it’s time-consuming, costly and sometimes not possible to rectify those issues later. As a result, designers need to be confident that as well as looking good, the vehicles they create will meet all performance targets.

So, just how can vehicle manufacturers accelerate innovation, while reducing risks and time to market? One crucial step is to integrate modeling and simulation from the beginning of the design cycle. This is because Simulation-driven design allows both stylists and analysts to create innovative concepts, refine details and meet performance targets. Simulation allows designers and engineers to create and test virtual models of vehicles while avoiding the time and cost of building multiple physical prototypes. In general, simulation enables the final product to be built faster, and to higher engineering standards, all while reducing costs. This is especially important in a crowded automotive market where manufacturers are under pressure to expand their range and offer custom configurations. 

All the challenges listed above can be addressed through a simulation approach that helps designers and engineers connect the geometry between performance analysis and styling, while managing complexity across the entire development process. SIMULIA has solutions to do that.



PowerFLOW is SIMULIA’s computational fluid dynamics solution that simulates fluid flow over the vehicle with full-time accuracy. Unlike many fluid dynamics solutions which show only the average drag or condition of the flow field, PowerFLOW provides transient aerodynamic simulations using either ideal, uniform flow conditions or a realistic wind environment. Every element of the vehicle can be analyzed, enabling designers and engineers to quickly evaluate vehicle performance and drag, whether in ideal conditions similar to a wind tunnel or in the fluctuating conditions drivers will experience on the road. When this information is available early in the design cycle, it can be used to inform style decisions to ensure that great style does not mean compromises on performance. In fact, multiple vehicle manufacturers have already received approval for digital certification under WLTP using SIMULIA PowerFLOW.



DesignGUIDE, introduced in the 2020 release of PowerFLOW, empowers vehicle manufacturers to interactively explore the impact of design changes on performance. It provides feedback that connects performance to design in a graphical, intuitive way that gives stylists the freedom to craft appealing aesthetics while also achieving performance targets.

Using a color-coded surface map, DesignGUIDE provides a 3D representation of the vehicle which tells the stylist, designer or engineer how moving a surface in a given direction will affect aerodynamic performance. Colored areas indicate, for example, that pulling a certain surface outward will make the drag worse while pushing it in will improve it. It also provides vital information on the areas where designers can make styling choices that will have zero impact on the vehicle’s performance. This intuitive guidance leaves creative decisions firmly in the hands of designers, providing them with the information they need to combine aerodynamic performance with the aesthetics consumers want.

Crucially, by marrying creative freedom with the ability to optimize aerodynamic performance from the start of the design process, DesignGUIDE can rapidly accelerate vehicle development. Better communication between engineering and design teams, coupled with intuitive guidance, speed up the process of creating right-first-time designs that combine aesthetic with aerodynamic performance



SIMULIA tools are available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which allows designers and engineers to collaborate seamlessly across disciplines and different teams throughout the organization. Breaking down silos increases the potential for innovative solutions that improve vehicle performance while freeing designers to create exciting new concepts. In addition, manufacturers and suppliers can share data easily and build accurate simulation models.

  • Detect product design flaws early
  • Measure the impact of design changes on performance
  • Compare design alternatives under operating conditions 
  • Reduce the cost of material by simulation-driven lightweighting 
  • Reduce or eliminate costs and time required to perform prototype testing 
  • Gain certainty that the product will pass acceptance testing



In a competitive and rapidly changing global automotive industry, manufacturers need to be able to create stunning new vehicle designs that meet stringent certification requirements and deliver a superb driving experience on the road. With the solutions offered by SIMULIA, they can bring design and engineering decisions together from the very start of the design cycle, reducing the risk associated with new styling elements by providing intuitive guidance on how design decisions will affect aerodynamic performance. Integrating engineering insights into the design process gives vehicle stylists the freedom to create innovative, aesthetically pleasing new vehicles while ensuring they meet and exceed performance goals from the start. Virtual prototyping and testing of every variant also reduce the number of physical tests required, speeding up the certification process so manufacturers can get exciting new models to market faster.

06 Oct 2021

Global Collaboration using Design Share with 3DEXPERIENCE CATIA Video

In this video demonstration, two design engineers located in different parts of the globe work together on a design by making edits on part at the same time. The engineers are using 3DEXPERIENCE CATIA to collaborate and better communicate to:
  • Simultaneously work on the same part
  • Avoid overwriting of data while edits are being made
  • Use 3D Messaging to communicate with other team members using CATIA
  • Preview edits of design with all features using Design Share prior to accepting the new model
  • Merge data with all the new features once the preview is approved
Watch how this process unfolds with Bart and Flo, the two design engineers, who work on updating a part together. 

Watch other videos:

3DEXPERIENCE Project Management Series

18 Dec 2020

6 Habits of Top Performing Collaborators—And What You Can Learn

Collaboration. Inter-departmental collaboration. Cross-functional collaboration. Dress it up however you like, we all know we need to do it. And we know it’s problematic and even detrimental to our business not to do it. Manufacturers’ top goal for product development success is engineering efficiency—and one of the keys to engineering efficiency turns out to be the one thing that’s really hard to quantify and measure. That’s right, successful collaboration.

An overwhelming 93% of companies report they need to improve collaboration with different groups.


Manufacturers face more roadblocks on the road to profit every day. Timelines get shorter, margins grow tighter, and products are more complex—which means more teams and systems have to be involved in design and production. No one works in a vacuum anymore: engineers report collaborating with an average of 21 people for “simple” products and 35 for more complex products.

Collaboration isn’t something manufacturers can avoid, either. In fact, the problem only gets worse if you ignore it. Across industries, poor collaboration is so common that engineers say they work with outdated data 28% of the time—that’s almost a day and a half per week wasted with bad information. In other words: poor collaboration is an enormous cost to business.

So how do we measure the impact of collaboration, or more specifically, the lack of it? Fortunately, Tech-Clarity found a way. Their recent report, “What’s the Cost of Poor Engineering Collaboration?” takes as its baseline the idea that products can’t be brought to market without collaboration, because it impacts every aspect of product development.

They surveyed 155 manufacturers doing business globally across a wide range of industries. Of that group, they identified as Top Performers the top 25% of companies that outperform their competitors in product development success metrics. By studying what the Top Performers do differently, Tech-Clarity identified six areas of opportunity for better collaboration that contribute to Top Performers’ success. That means six areas that you can focus on to help your bottom line.

Why Collaboration is Important

In Tech-Clarity’s survey, engineering efficiency ranked as the most important goal for design team success. To these manufacturers, increased efficiency means a faster time to market, a maximized window for new revenue opportunities, and more bandwidth to improve existing functionality.

When asked how they would achieve success, respondents’ top five answers all contribute to improving design efficiency:

  1. Finding design data more easily
  2. Improving collaboration
  3. More design reuse
  4. Better traceability across design
  5. More design work done in parallel

When they happen, the top three all mitigate the impact of poor collaboration on engineering. Unfortunately, they don’t happen enough.

Sixty percent of survey respondents say the impact of poor collaboration on engineering is more design rework, and 59% say it’s missed deadlines and longer design cycles. A whopping 53% of respondents say it’s designs that are wrong or contain errors. A survey of how engineers spend their time reveals that only about 50% of their days are spend doing design work. Collaboration accounts for 20% and design rework for another 20%.

Tech-Clarity argues that most of that rework time is due to poor collaboration, whether from designing with outdated information, from a lack of input by simulation experts or analysts, or even from a lack of input from customers. The opportunity for you and other manufacturers is the possibility of reclaiming that 20% of time spent on rework for value-added efforts, such as more design work, improvements, and innovations.

Clearly, the cost to engineering of failing to collaborate well is wasted or duplicated effort—and the opportunity cost is the lack of time for other improvements, which ultimately is a cost to the business.

Unsurprisingly, the Tech-Clarity survey found that poor collaboration has a significant negative impact on profitability. Impacts of poor collaboration on the business include delayed time to market (61%), higher development cost (60%), and higher product cost (56%). As abstract and hard-to-measure as collaboration is, it has to be addressed if a company hopes to be successful in today’s marketplace.

6 Areas of Opportunity

Tech-Clarity examined the practices of all survey respondents and focused on those that Top Performers rated as extremely or very effective by a significantly higher percentage than other companies did.

  1. Improve engineering efficiency by keeping data in sync across teams and implementing instantaneous file-sharing whenever possible.
    à 78% of respondents agree instantaneous file-sharing would help and save time
  2. Recognize collaboration requirements, whether that is groups who need to be collaborated with, such as manufacturing or customers, or that is processes that need better collaboration, such as market validation or release to manufacturing.
    à Top performers are 2.3 times more likely to share design details with internal, non-engineering staff
  3. Provide non-CAD users visibility to CAD, which provides benefits such as the ability to identify field failures/design flaws and access to more innovative ideas.
    à Top performers are 2.3 times more likely to share design details with internal, non-engineering staff
  4. Improve engineering-manufacturing collaboration to ensure smooth handoffs and help identify potential manufacturability issues early.
    à 93% of top performers give manufacturing visibility to design before release to manufacturing
  5. Connect engineers and simulation analysts throughout the design process to help identify potential issues earlier and avoid late-stage delays.
    à 73% of manufacturers say early analyst input into designs would help
  6. Support market validation with improved customer collaboration by soliciting customer feedback earlier in order to validate that products in development meet customer needs.
    à Top performers are 33% more likely to collaborate with customers

Those six habits of top manufacturing performers provide a guide for how you can start trying to improve collaboration in your own company in a targeted fashion. While products and processes get more complex and demand ever more collaboration, Tech-Clarity points out some good news: there are a wide variety of technologies, such as the cloud and innovation platforms, that can help you improve design collaboration across your organization—and help you break through the roadblocks keeping you from even greater success.

For more details on technology platforms that can help you meet your collaboration goals, contact Adaptive.

To download the Collaboration report, visit Tech-Clarity’s website.