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.

Development Status

Simrev is a functioning prototype that has been used to version control models distributed among working groups of 5-10. Atlassian enterprise management tools are used to plan model revisions, collaborate, and accomplish analysis goals. Simrev has been optimized to run models in LLNL's specialized engineering codes that are not distributed to the public. The first route to commercialization would be for a commercial partner to provide input translation to a commercially available analysis code and adapt simrev for analysis workload management in the cloud. Simrev uses the Cubit python API for meshing and geometry. This tool is commercially available as Trelis. The second route to commercial use is more immediate; a company may establish a business relationship with LLNL and use simrev to develop models for LLNL's codes, on our computational supercomputing platforms, including ALE3D for Industry (ALE3D4I, with GPU acceleration). Both add a unique value that a commercial partner can offer to their own enterprise or their customers.

A webinar on Simrev was launched. LLNL has filed a copyright, patent application, and trademark for this code.

LLNL has filed two copyrights "SIMREV, v1.0 Simulation Revision (CP01826) and SIMREV, v3.0.0 (CP02235); and a U.S. patent application 15/597399 (IL12889) "Tool for Shared Engineering Mesh-Run Integration with Version Evolution Tracking".

Reference Number
44920