Adaptive sponsored a webcast with Digital Engineering to present insights on making difficult PCB design decisions that minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI) using CST Studio Suite, part of the 3DEXPERIENCE SIMULIA family. This webinar was held June 25, 2020.
About the Webinar:
As IOT products and devices get smaller and more powerful, it becomes challenging to balance the design goals, high speed, high density, low power, and reasonable cost.
Engineers must make delicate tradeoffs while keeping radiated emissions under control. Tune in this webcast to learn:
How critical PCB design decisions affect the total radiated power
How EMI simulations in the early design phase can prevent costly fixes later on
How to use CST Microwave Studio to conduct EMI simulation
Download the CST EMI Pack which includes: (1) Webinar replay: Electromagnetic Simulation for Design & Analysis of Antennas and MW/RF Components (1) Solving Design Challenges for Electric Vehicles White Paper (1) DesignCON paper on EMI
Manufacturers have many options for managing documents within their organizations, options that range from the simple to the complex. At the most fundamental level, Microsoft Windows Explorer allows everyone to organize files in a folder structure. But when an organization has more complicated needs – and most do – there are a variety of potential tools to use. Which one you choose will depend on your needs, as well as what enterprise software might already be implemented.
Manufacturers are most likely dealing with not just Microsoft Office documents, but also engineering files. In addition, they typically have complex project management processes and information sharing or collaboration needs. Given those facts, making use of the document/content management capabilities that are integrated with a product lifecycle management (PLM) platform can often be the best option.
This ebook provides an overview of how ENOVIA, part of Dassault Systèmes industry-leading3DEXPERIENCE PLM platform, provides comprehensive and robust functionality to suit any manufacturer’s content management needs.
There’s no magic bullet for manufacturers in their quest to stand out in today’s marketplace. Every organization is trying to differentiate products through innovation, quality, performance, and/or cost, and often the changes required to do so require huge cultural changes, which can be more challenging than putting in the technology itself.
However, manufacturers can take some steps in one area that will make a difference: fixing inefficiencies in the engineering process—primarily, how teams access design content and data. A recent report from Tech-Clarity uncovers some best practices and makes recommendations aimed at helping manufacturers run faster and leaner.
In the how-to guide, “Increase Profitability by Reducing Non–Value Added Work in Engineering,” Michelle Boucher, Vice President of Engineering Software Research, analyzed survey responses from almost 250 manufacturers for insights into the management of data, communication of engineering changes, and collaboration with internal and external development team members.
Insights from Survey
To start with, an overwhelming 98% of survey respondents see business value in reducing non–value added work. The key findings center on three points:
One-third of engineers’ time is spent on non–value added work, including searching for information (25%), checking data in and out (18%), incorporating changes made by others (16%), and recreating data they can’t find (14%).
Twenty percent of the time, engineers work with outdated information, as a result of delays in updated information from internal or external/third-party collaborators—41% of respondents say it takes a couple days or more for changed product information to get to the full team.
The most successful companies are nearly twice as likely to maintain up-to-date models. Tech-Clarity reports these Top Performers are 8% closer on deadlines than their competitors.
Non-Value Added Work Drill Down:
23%Searching for information
Engineers need access to a significant amount of product data to complete their work. This includes product specifications, requirements, material specifications, engineering change requests, bills of materials (BOM), supplier information, other components, and more. With so much to manage, it’s not surprising that searching for data can be a bottleneck.
18% Collecting data for other people
Engineers are often asked to bring information to meetings for others. This requires taking time to collect data for activities such as status updates, design reviews, and project meetings.
16%Checking data in and out
Some companies use PDM (Product Data Management) or PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) systems to centralize data and make it easier to find. To continue design work or make changes, engineers must first check out and download the relevant CAD files. After making changes, the file must then be uploaded and checked back in so that others may have access to it. This whole check in/ check out process can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if CAD files are large. Data check-ins will be explored further in this report.
14%Incorporating changes made by others
With the fast pace of product development, changes can be constant, but they are not always communicated. For example, during a project meeting, an engineer may discover that a coworker changed the BOM. That change has to be reflected in the CAD model as it may impact other parts of the design. In another scenario, perhaps after a change to the PCB layout, the housing no longer fits. Seemingly small changes may have a significant impact on the rest of the design, especially if the design evolved a lot before others became aware of the change. Engineers waste much time when they do not immediately see changes made by others. In some case, they may have to redo hours of work.
12%Recreating data you couldn’t find
Recreating work can be especially frustrating. No one wants to redo work because the data was either lost or misplaced. This can happen when data is stuck on personal laptops, stored on external drives that other people do not have access to, or no one can remember where it was stored. Additionally, search features on shared drives can’t search metadata and may be insufficient to find specific files and information. These results reveal the many different reasons engineers need better ways to find and reuse data.
Communicating Engineering Changes to the Team
This was another area that showed promise for productivity and efficiency improvements if addressed. Many engineers noted in the survey that finding the right information and then communicating it effectively is a major challenge and slows down progress in any given day. Engineers noted their top 5 challenges in executing changes:
What is the Solution?
If you could capture that time that represents just under 25% of an engineer’s day by using better tools and technology, imagine the gains that could be realized!
Ultimately, the answer is Technology, meaning CAD models updating in real-time and ensuring files are managed in product data management (PDM), but more preferably product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms and definitely not email.
Top performing companies are significantly more likely than other manufacturers to rely on an integrated design and development environment—such as PDM/PLM—to manage and communicate engineering changes because of the proven benefits such platforms deliver, including improved productivity, shorter development time, and reduced product development costs.
Adaptive has been helping customers root out process inefficiencies by automating the full digital to physical design process, one step at a time. Our solutions can be deployed on the Cloud or on Premises, and we can help determine what is best to help your organization get working quickly remotely or on-site.
A recent ebook from Tech-Clarity, “Solving High Tech’s Top Six Critical Business Issues,” reinforces what many in the high-tech product development world know: it’s a tough marketplace out there. New technologies offer exciting opportunities for innovation, but they also create implicit requirements for companies whose success depends on responding to ever-changing consumer desires.
This is a particular challenge given that lack of response to market trends could mean irrelevance and even obsolescence. In the drive to make connected, smart products, the pressure is on to be first or early to the market to capture share, but also to deliver something new and exciting for the market. We are all aware of products we once used that are no longer in existence. I was an early adopter of the PalmPilot (several versions), now they are nowhere. One study projects that 50% of the current S&P 500 will be replaced over the next decade. It happens to the best of them… Polaroid, Prime, DEC, Wang, just to name a few. No one wants that to happen to their company.
What are the critical business issues that organizations need to address to prepare for the future? Tech-Clarity identifies six:
1. Taking cost out
It is noted that 70% of a product’s cost gets locked in during the design cycle. Are you using the right tools to fully optimize your design? Using a platform of simulation tools like 3DEXPERIENCE will help design teams fully assess a given design such as the best material, the ideal weight, the full load anticipated, hot spots on boards. Identifying these characteristics early in the design process will play a significant role in designing right the first time before producing a prototype.
Top Engineering Challenges in High Tech Source: Tech-Clarity
2. Avoiding quality problems
One solution to this is creating a single source of truth for data management. In a separate study, Tech-Clarity found that 20% of time engineers are not working with the right data. This is a big issue for high tech who have mechanical, electrical and systems engineers working on the same project. Using a collaborative PLM platform that manages all product data will enable greater team efficiency and reduce quality issues down the line.
3. Achieving shorter product development schedules
Productivity gains rarely happen by maintaining current processes. When the right process changes get put into place, significant gains can be realized. Creating a collaborative design process ensures that all the teams have access to the right data when it’s needed. In high tech, a combined ECAD-MCAD platform is the key to bringing all the pieces together to shorten the design cycle and mitigate risks by putting the right checkpoints in place. Tech-Clarity identifies that 23% of the time engineers spend their time just “looking” for the right information. This gets even more time consuming when companies have multiple systems to check. A platform approach like 3DEXPERIENCE can remove these roadblocks and increase the throughput of all involved.
4. Facilitating innovation
Being nimble and agile is critical for high tech companies due to the rapidly changing needs of their consumers. Many design teams need to pivot off a current design but improve on it and create more interesting capabilities. Managing across engineering disciplines is critical for facilitating innovation and enables cross-pollination of ideas. Having an ideation repository can help spur new approaches to old designs along with a platform that manages data and other information in one place to support real-time collaboration.
Cost Impact of Design Changes Source: Tech-Clarity
5. Ensuring performance and reliability
Heat and vibration are the two biggest culprits that cause performance and reliability problems. It’s important to work with a team who has deep experience with electromagnetic simulation such as low-frequency applications such as electric motors to high-frequency applications such as sensors and antennas. There are many aspects to setting up multiphysics models correctly, never mind understanding the tools behind them. The good news is when you do work with experienced consultants (like Adaptive), we can help establish a testing and analysis process from concept through to final validation phases. Further, the process will also document and incorporate these tests into your design process so that you know why decisions got made and have access to the supporting data behind it.
6. Compliance with environmental and regulatory requirements
Consumers are hot on environmental-friendly products, and high-tech companies have the opportunity to work with materials that are recyclable and have better sustainability. Beyond pleasing consumers, high tech companies need to make sure they are in compliance with RoHS and other local regulations as it relates to their product life and obsolescence. A strong PLM platform can help ensure that the right steps are documented and signed off to meet compliance regulations.
Overall, the eBook supports an integrated platform for PLM to bring together ECAD and MCAD systems, the mechanical, electrical and system engineering teams and their design processes. A single version of the truth for data and contextual information (2D and 3D drawings) need to be accessible and a fundamental building block for any product lifecycle management (PLM) platform. Implementing tools that will not only enable but also promote and even require collaboration and virtual simulation, among other functionalities, will enable companies to overcome many of the unique challenges faced by the industry.
If you want to learn more about how your organization can address these critical business issues with a powerful PLM platform that addresses many of these challenges, call us at (440) 257-7460 or click below to schedule a demo.
This article first appeared in Automotive Engineering – October 2019.
Unique acoustic and harmonic challenges require an integrated approach to simulation and analysis. An expert at Adaptive Corp. explains.
Despite global sales market share stuck at single-digit levels, electric vehicles (EVs) are steadily filling the development pipelines at major OEMs. And as engineers are acutely aware, EVs bring a paradigm shift in the noise, vibration and harshness (NVG) arena. Their harmonic spectra are dramatically different than those of even the smoothest, most refined combustion-engine vehicles and hybrids.
EVs are anything but silent, however. They’ve got their own acoustic challenges, experts assert. Traction motors can be relatively quiet (in terms of tonal harmonic noise) in the low and mid frequencies, but unmasked gear whine and various sounds in the propulsion system are far more noticeable and potentially annoying. There’s also the relative cacophony of the tire noise, HVAC fans and compressor cycling. Even electrical switching and the muffled gurgle of battery coolant can be heard in some EVs while at rest.
While the industry is likely years away from customers complaining of EV cabin noise, leading practitioners in the NVH-reduction field are already working on up-front solutions. One of them is Adaptive Corp., a specialist in simulation, structural analysis and product lifecycle management for automotive, aerospace and other industries. Optimizing designs for improved performance (including NVH, weight, cost, durability) is Adaptive’s specialty, according to customers with whom Automotive Engineering spoke. The NVH science behind EVs and hybrids is increasingly a focus of Adaptive’s services, explained Wayne Tanner, the company’s chief operating officer.
“It’s true that we have to ‘up our game’ with EVs,” Tanner told AE. “We’re hearing this from all our customers who are in the EV supply chain, such as those who make tires and suppliers of motors. We’re looking at components and subsystems that were never before considered to make the vehicle quieter.”
Easing the development crunch
The industry’s move to electric propulsion is driving new business across the engineering-solutions sector. Tanner, who is responsible for all his company’s activities related to simulation and analysis, notes that the industry trend is toward clean-sheet vehicle platforms dedicated to battery-electric propulsion. OEMs such as Tesla and Volkswagen – the latter’s dedicated and modular MEB platform to be shared by Ford on some models – are committed to this strategy that optimizes structural stiffness (with its related NVH benefits) and other attributes.
“The time-to-market is increasingly short, which is why product-development teams need simulation to do their fast, quick iterations,” Tanner said, “and to make accurate predictions before they build prototypes and test vehicles.”
The aim is to avoid the dramatic and often eleventh-hour ‘band-aiding’ of vehicle structures. Such activities include costly material replacements and noise-path mitigation by adding heavy NVH countermeasures, in order to meet production deadlines. “That’s certainly something that we can help with if we’re brought into the development process sooner, farther upstream,” Tanner noted. Engineers sometimes don’t think of components and subsystems as a system until they’re actually put together, he observed.
“Some customers, because they’re moving so fast, can’t find time to do a simulation upfront – then they discover the need for add-on countermeasures at a late hour,” he said.
Tanner has worked in simulation for over 20 years in various disciplines including design optimization, load development, weld fatigue and dynamics. He and other NVH experts assert that the sooner system-level and full-vehicle models can be developed in any vehicle program, the more effectively predictions can actually improve those designs to reduce NVH, rather than being band-aids in the end.
Inside the toolbox
For its simulation platform, Adaptive partners with Dassault Systèmes, whose 3DEXPERIENCE is rated by users as state of the art in comprehensive NVH simulation toolsets. “The advantage of (3DEXPERIENCE) is, it gives us a single data model that can contain CAD and simulation data,” Tanner said. “We connect that to systems engineering to drive requirements all the way from start to finish, to manage the workflow. Some of the tools we have at our disposal aren’t fully integrated into the platform, but we’re able to put everything together and manage that data. This allows our customers to access a single data source.”
Tanner offered a peek inside Adaptive’s extensive sim toolbox. On the aerodynamics /CFD side is PowerFLOW; on the acoustics side is another Dassault tool called Wave6 that’s used to project an acoustic signature. On the mechanical side, Adaptive engineers use Simpack, which helps them develop all the mechanical vibrations needed for a given analysis. There are also electromagnetic tools.
“We connect all these tools into a single workflow – to drive mechanical and/or aerodynamic vibrations into the acoustic field, for example – on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” he said. Once an OEM is ready to begin road and/or dynamometer testing, they employ Adaptive to validate and correlate from the company’s virtual model into production models.
Another weapon in the arsenal is True-Load from WolfstarTechnologies. It leverages finite-element models to determine the optimum location for strain gauges on unmodified physical parts then generates load-scaling functions. The company claims typical strain correlation within 2% of measured values. Output feeds directly into True-QSE events, described by Tanner as “a powerful post-processing tool” that supports rapid virtual iteration.
“It allows us to take that test mule and put information-gathering tools on it, whether it be strain gauges or accelerometers, capture real-time load and vibration data from that system, and correlate it to our FE models,” Tanner explained. “We use that to drive our simulation – and to predict more that may happen.”
NVH simulation and analysis is “at the beginning of the power of what we can do,” Tanner said. “The tools are becoming more inter-connected and fully integrated, allowing us to run seamlessly from CAD to simulation to structural analysis to acoustics to vibration. The workflow is increasingly faster, enabling us to run multiple simulations in a single day. It used to take weeks.”