"Getting it right the first time!"
Why virtual testing, and what is it?
Virtual testing is a process in which your product is tested on various characteristics, for instance drop resistance or pressure characteristics.
The process of development has several stages. It starts with an idea and product knowledge, followed by a succession of steps, such as design (concept generation, test models), prototyping and pilot production. Eventually, production follows (practice). Ultimately, the goal of every product is to meet the agreed performance criteria. A football should be able to bounce, a pump to pump, for a specified time. A production machine should be able to have a certain accuracy. The actual performance becomes apparent, however, only when the product has been (partly) completed. What if it does not perform well enough? You start again and repeat the cycle until you succeed? The risk of a prolonged process of trial and error is real, because you do not always know exactly "which knobs to turn" to get the desired performance. Lack of time or knowledge may force you to settle for a sub-optimal results! The whole process can become much faster, cheaper and better by using virtual product testing.
Reden builds a virtual model of your product. Most of the tests you perform on your physical product can be performed by us on the virtual product. This means you know in the design phase whether or not your product will achieve the desired performance. In this phase of the process, you can change one or more parameters and repeat the virtual testing until the performance is all right. The cost of modifying the design in this phase is a fraction of the cost of redesigning a product in the prototype phase. Thanks to the virtual model, we know exactly which design parameters affect the performance and which modifications are most effective to optimise the product performance.
To what can we apply virtual testing?
We can simulate almost any aspect of ‘mechanical’ behaviour, such as:
- stiffness and strength
- impact analysis
- dynamic behaviour
- vibrations / resonance
- fatigue and life time
- crack growth
- heating, cooling
- fluid flow
- seismic effects
- manufacturing processes
Material behaviour that we can take into account:
- large deformations / non linear behaviour (material & geometry)
- rate dependency / viscoelastic behaviour
- history dependent / plastic deformation
- advanced materials / composite structures
- failure behaviour and failure mechanisms
What does it mean for the designer?
Using our models (virtual version of your products), we can give you insight in the relation between the design parameters and the product performance. We can investigate the sensitivity of the performance on variations of a certain parameter. Moreover, we can determine the limits within which a parameter must be specified in order to achieve the required performance with a high degree of robustness (6 Sigma). Variations in the product due to variations in the production process can also be included.
In short, virtual testing (modelling and simulation) gives you insight into the relationship between performance and design parameters. This insight enables you to take sound decisions about the feasibility of concepts in the design phase. Therefore you need to build fewer prototypes and physical models. The insight can be consolidated and used to make better products faster.
Reden approaches development scientifically without being too academic or head-in-the-clouds. We remain pragmatic and aim for both short and long term results. Our approach makes your knowledge advance by leaps. Your design decisions will be taken with a firm basis in knowledge. The widely used trial-and-error method is abolished, which saves a considerable amount of time and money.