Computer Aided Engineering (CAE)
Computer-aided engineering (CAE) empowers manufacturers with the capability to use computer software to simulate and validate the performance of their product designs. While it does not do away with the traditional process of needing to build a physical prototype, advancements in CAE have allowed today’s manufacturers to benefit significantly in terms of reducing the cost and time taken to bring a product to life and into the market.
The use of high-powered computers and sophisticated analytical algorithms allow manufacturers to perform a wide range of tests and evaluations on prototypes. The types of simulation analysis among others, include finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, thermal analysis, multibody dynamics, statistical energy analysis, acoustic analysis, transfer path analysis and optimizations.
This enables complex equations for instance in calculating stress distribution, product fatigue and even heat distribution to be undertaken in less time and eliminating errors that may arise from manual calculations. CAE essentially provides important performance insights in the earlier development process of a product whereby design changes become less expensive. Simulations also provide valuable insights into the risk and reliability of a product design, an area of concern which was previously not available to manufacturers on such scale.
CAE works in tandem with computer-aided design or CAD, which has become an essential tool for nearly all manufacturers today in creating a three dimensional representation of their intended product. By using CAE, designers and engineers can quickly identify weak spots or areas where the digital prototype’s performance require further enhancements, and the results of the simulation analysis can then be fed back into making the necessary alterations to the CAD design for further testing until the desired outcomes are achieved.
In comparison to the building and testing of physical prototypes which may take days or months to complete, the use of CAE means a product can be ready for evaluation in a matter of hours. Simulation also means that manufacturers can greatly minimize mistakes in their designs before going on to build a physical prototype. CAE offers a wide range of applications and can be used in almost any industry ranging from automotive, aerospace to engineering and electronics.
Malaysian companies with design capabilities but do not have access to CAE facilities are invited to utilize the MARii Simulation & Analysis Center (MARSAC) [link to MARSAC page]. The center, which is dedicated to CAE, is a shared facility that can be used by all Malaysian automotive and mobility component manufacturers at the fraction of the cost as opposed to setting-up their own infrastructure, to perform a comprehensive suite of simulations and tests.