Background

Modeling and simulation during product development are costly and slow. Complex systems must be broken down into manageable pieces amenable to engineering analysis by individuals on workstations. An engineer often struggles to make changes to the product that affects parts outside of her domain. The need to distribute the system for analysis, and the subsequent lack of collaboration and communication, increases the cost of non-recurring engineering and introduces delays in time-to-market. Simrev (Simulation Revision) allows the application of software collaboration and design tools to engineering and product development. Enterprise management tools are products for the $375B TAM of software development compared to, e.g. $97B TAM for the Aerospace segment. Simrev is a bridging technology that allows physical products to be managed and designed with development practices from the software sector, including agile.

Description

Simrev is a python library imported into a user-generated program. As the program grows in capability and complexity, the engineered product matures. The "software twin" handles all changes to product configuration and is the portal to running supercomputing analysis and managing workflow for engineering simulation codes. Assemblies become program modules; parts, materials, boundary conditions, and contact interfaces become user defined classes or library-provided objects; and simrev and handles mesh export, input translation, and batch job submission. Simrev has been used to develop models that run in LLNL-developed analysis codes ALE3D, ParaDyn, NIKE3D, and Diablo.

Simrev contains patent-pending technology where the version-control state of the software-twin can be mapped one-to-one with the results of the analysis. Simrev has been used on simulation campaigns totaling thousands of commits, processed with thousands of CPU-years, and resulting in hundreds of terabytes of simulated data.

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Advantages

Simrev is a value-added technology for end users who collaborate during product design and development who use advanced engineering simulation codes. The competitive benefits of LLNL's simrev include:

  • Enabling all engineers to work on the same model. This reduces rework, speeds modeling development time, enables version control, and ultimately reduces the NRE/R&D costs of product development.
  • Easier use of massively parallel computer horsepower for model development and simulations, either internal on high performance computing clusters in a company or available in the cloud.
  • Allowing for quick turnaround to answer design questions and more resources for "what if" scenario development. Accurate tracking of these “bursts” of creativity will lead to unexpected innovations in the product development process.
Potential Applications

Simrev could be adopted by an OEM supplier of modeling and simulation tools. By providing a new geometry kernel and analysis API to simrev, such tools could replace the current GUI with an "Integrated Development Environment" (IDE) while building the simulation model. An IDE would allow the transition of existing point-and-click simulation tool users to the software development paradigm. The analysis platform provider would then expand their proprietary model collaboration and revision management tool to a software development model that is compatible with a wide variety of enterprise management tools, unlocking customer value by finally placing modeling and simulation at the core of an enterprise decision making. Additional post-processing tools would then be implemented to close the loop on "continuous development," by evaluating a product’s physical and market fitness in the same way software is tested for bugs as it is deployed.