Apr 27, 2010

Altair Smashes Full-Vehicle Crash Simulation Time Barrier: CAD-to-Results in Less Than 24 Hours

Global software developer and design consultancy proves nearly four weeks can be slashed from the normal crash analysis process.

TROY, Mich — In a breakthrough, for advanced manufacturing, that ranks with the efficiencies gained by shifting from drafting tables to CAD stations, Michigan-headquartered Altair Engineering has succeeded in compressing the time required to mesh, assemble and simulate a full-vehicle crash finite-element model – directly from OEM native CAD data – to just 24 hours. This milestone achievement represents a two-to-four-week reduction in turn-around time that is typically required for this type of analysis.

Never before has this level of automation been successfully demonstrated. The implications are enormous for all industries developing products that require complex virtual prototype testing to address and improve crashworthiness, consumer safety, reliability and quality.

Ford Motor Company, which has earned more five-star vehicle safety ratings than any other auto company, supported Altair's ambitious project by supplying representative CAD data for the proof-of-concept effort.

The record time follows on the heels of Altair's November 2009 announcement that RADIOSS, the solver in the Altair HyperWorks CAE software suite, was the first in the industry to solve a full-vehicle crash model in less than five minutes. The model contained more than 1 million elements and was successfully executed using the latest Intel® software tools and compilers to optimize communications schemes and extract the best performance using an Intel cluster.

This new milestone extends the five-minute analysis achievement to address the entire crash analysis process, from CAD importation to results post-processing. Altair leveraged the pre-processing power of its premier modeling tool, HyperMesh, along with the automotive-specific model setup capabilities of HyperCrash and tailored automations to dramatically cut the time required to get the run-ready model to RADIOSS for analysis. Altair's job management portal, PBS Catalyst, was then used with the computing resource management strength of PBS Professional to simplify and accelerate the analysis process. Upon job completion, automated results post-processing was performed using HyperView, yielding a custom auto report and Microsoft Office presentations ready for engineer review.

The accomplishment was executed at Altair Engineering's world headquarters in Troy, Mich., from 7 p.m. April 19 until 7 p.m. April 20. The simulation entailed the use of 64 CPUs in Altair's compute center. The "CAD2CRASH24" initiative was announced today during Altair's opening keynote address at the 2010 Americas HyperWorks Technology Conference taking place April 27-29 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Mich.

"With this kind of speed, engineers gain more time to carry out more investigative studies and explore more alternatives relating to weight, materials and performance, while still accelerating the time to market of the final product," said Dr. Uwe Schramm, chief technical officer for HyperWorks. "These types of turn-around times now provide the opportunity to perform statistical and stochastic studies in the crash domain to further improve for the performance and robustness of designs."

Altair's CAD2CRASH24 process can be customized and implemented for manufacturers globally, offering weeks of additional simulation time annually to meet program objectives and product safety requirements. The process extends to any industry that must ensure the soundness of its products, including the execution of drop tests of cell phones, bird strikes on airplanes or fatigue analysis of implantable medical devices.