Simulation-based engineering (SBE) tools — such as finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics and electromagnetics field solvers — are a proven value-added contributor to the product development process in the defense industry. In fact, numerous reports demonstrate significant return on investment in this sector. All too often, however, the industry focuses on the tools’ capabilities. While fundamental capabilities are necessary for effective contributions, they represent only a fraction of factors that enable best-in-class organizations to leverage the tools’ full value. In general, how the tools are used (process) and who is using them (people) are assigned lower priority — or neglected altogether — by the wider modeling and simulation community. This introduces inefficiency factors that become embedded and accepted as a cost of business in operations and new program proposals.
In this era of defence spending constraint and uncertainty coupled with a re-emergence of design for affordability (DfA) as the governing mantra, organizations must address these inefficiency factors to support the need to do more without more. By surveying the defense modeling and simulation community that leverages simulation-based engineering at leading government facilities and contractors around the globe, ANSYS has identified the top three contributors of embedded inefficiency:
- Flawed processes for data exchange between segregated engineering disciplines and functions
- Limited data and knowledge re-use
- Lack of focus on staff development, training and task automation
This white paper discusses the relevance of simulation-based engineering to the design for affordability initiative and the origins of embedded inefficiency. It introduces some best practices that best-in-class organizations implement to overcome it.