Interview with Dr Ian McLuckie of AIES Ltd part III

Interview with Dr Ian McLuckie of AIES Ltd part II What is the biggest advantage of your software?

Dr Ian McLuckie: We are, as far as I am aware, the only company that has its own solid modelling and hex mesh fused together. So you can start to design in our environment and mesh at the same time. The solid and mesh are always connected, so if you change the size of geometry the mesh follows and you don’t have to re-mesh it.

However if you are scaling the model to twice its size you may wish to double the mesh density. This is very easy to do. Or you may wish to bias the mesh to get an improved stress result at a kt feature for example but keep the same number of elements.

Because our finite objects start off as 2D you can easily generate 2D and axisymmetric models. Using our operations, you can easily revolve and extrude these models to 3D, which follows the natural design and analysis process.

Also whilst doing 3D design you can carry out cyclic symmetry and then use this model to create a 3D model by copying and connecting the sectors together. Our software is very flexible in this matter.

Examples of this are building gears, shafts, splines etc. it follows the principles of object orientation, object abstraction and object reusability.

Our software for Tribology is very user friendly and has been designed to be generic, as it started out as a journal bearing code looking at dynamic and transient loads for cam shaft bearings, small end, big end and crank shaft main bearings.

It has been easily adapted for pistons, piston ring and turbocharger applications. For turbochargers we are looking at bearing instability and the effect of unbalance and blade forcing.

We also have an EHL code that was developed for cam tribology and scuffing predictions and we will be adapting it for gears and rolling element bearing simulations.

Our solid modelling and meshing technology is used ahead of our tribology solvers and that means we can enable users to set up machine simulations much more easily than most others.

This all means that multi-physics can start to be considered much earlier in the design phase than ever before. For example with our multi-fidelity approach to Tribology we can carry out an early analysis with an analytical model like SBA and SALBA, that can then seamlessly and easily move on to an RHD solver. RHD is a numerical approach, where you can have any shape and any grooving and also moving holes. The user can then move on to methods like EHD which allows elasticity to be considered. Then the user can easily move on to TEHD which allows thermal effects to be considered. This makes the whole process much more user friendly and very productive.

Never before has it been so easy to design and analyse a tribological system, and by bringing the more advanced solvers of EHD and TEHD earlier in the design phase it reduces risk, allows optimisation and allows right first time strategies to be implemented. On your website there is mentioned that “AIES tries to revolutionise CAD/CAE and dramatically reduce costs and time for its customers.”  What do you mean by that? What does AIES do to reach these ambitious goals?

Dr Ian McLuckie: In answering your questions to date, I have gone over the approach and how we do things and if you compare our approach to CAE, you will surely see it is very different and hence revolutionary. It places solid modelling, meshing and parametrisation in one place and for use by one person, surely this is revolutionary. No more lost licences between CAD and FE packages, no more need to mend broken geometry. Hex meshes are standard in our software with the lowest number of elements and equations to solve.

When we look at kt features at a fillet radius for example, we have a number of options, a) single radius, b) compound radius or c) an elliptic fillet radius. You don’t have to try and make these yourself in CAD they come free issue with our finite objects. Also this approach applies to our gear geometry.

The way we build our models means that the outline can be used for a number of functions. a) Controlling result file sizes, as you may not want all nodal/element data but just the outside where the stresses and strains are highest. b)  Use as a BE mesh, so you can use boundary element packages like BEASY for example.

Also we connect our objects (solids) via interface objects and this controls the following, a) contact surfaces for bolted joints, b) tribology interfaces including EHL, EHD & TEHD, c) modal condensation and finally d) data inputs and outputs.

This is all done automatically within our software so the user doesn’t need to worry about doing this.

We have made our software so it takes away the difficulties in setting up simulations of real systems. This is very revolutionary, when you consider what you have to do whilst carrying out machine designs and simulations with other, well known, finite element packages and engine related system programs where you have to use CAD and FEA packages.

Our SystemDesigner software allows the builders of systems to construct design environments. This is where designers or application engineers can carry out system related analysis, engine bearing design and the like, in a very user friendly and productive environment. For an example of such a system please look at our EngineDesigner software. What kind of industries does your software fit the most and where can it be placed?

Dr Ian McLuckie: The tribology software was designed with rotating machinery in mind, automotive, aerospace, power generation, wind energy and rail. So it can be used for engines, turbochargers, gear boxes, traction drives, power generation gas turbines and generators, gas turbines, and aerospace actuator systems.

Our solid modelling and meshing technology is generic so can be used in any industry including all the above, plus construction, civil and any other areas where CAD and FEA has evolved into. Please tell us how you see a future of CAE analysis?

Dr Ian McLuckie: Obviously I would like to see our products grow quickly into the market place? However there is already a lot of money invested into PLM, CAD and CAE in the way it is done currently and people do not like change. So growth may have to be a little slower than I would like. We hope people will see the benefits of what we offer and contact us.

People are already talking about how can we do bigger models and analysis by using cloud based applications, but we are tackling the problem from the other end of the spectrum. We are trying to get the fundamentals and build the foundations right, which should have been done a long time ago.

How do you get the most efficient model by using hex models rather than using tetrahedrals. Biasing meshes rather than adding more elements, using modal condensation methods rather than running much bigger and bigger models.

Carrying out abstraction to lower fidelity models, such as beams and shells where we can, so we are trying to be greener by getting more for doing less. This has been our goal from day one.

It will be quite a struggle to displace the current process in place but we hope that users everywhere will have a look at what we are doing and contact us for a free trial of our software.

How I see CAE going is through my point of view and I am very biased towards object oriented methods of design, multi-physics and the methods we do at AIES Ltd.  Knowledge based systems and our numerical methods and modelling approaches are generic and make the link between the model and reality.

Currently people are looking towards the clouds but perhaps what they really need to do is to look at their processes, procedures and modelling methods as well.  Perhaps that means they might look at ours. If you would like to share something with the readers please feel free?

Dr Ian McLuckie: People are still hoping for the miracle that someone will come up with an automatic hex mesher for their CAD applications.  But if this was to be possible would this really solve every ones problems?

I don’t think so because you still have to deal with FEA, CFD, PLM and all these other issues.

I have worked in CAE for many years, working on CFD, FEA, Electromagnetics, Tribology, MBD, Robust design, Optimisation, DOE methods, automotive, aerospace, rail and power generation industries.

But I have never come across a system method like ours, that’s why I invented it, it allows people to build systems and applications that they can reuse time and again and build solid models with the mesh for free and not have to use CAD or any FE systems to do it, this is finally linking design and analysis.

They will still have to use an FE system or CFD system to carry out their calculations, but one FE system is much the same as any other from the view of solving.

What really matters is how long it takes to build the model, the mesh, and apply boundary conditions. That is really what differentiates vendors from each other.

We have just taken a big leap forward in the model preparation process and we would welcome questions and people asking us how we do it, and come and see it for themselves.

Over the next coming months we will be attending shows and people are welcome to come and see us or attend one of our training courses where they can learn Tribology, Machine Design and Numerical Methods.

Thank you for your questions Pawel. Thank you so much Ian for comprehensive answears.

About AIES Ltd

logoHave worked for and with GEC-Altshom, AEA technology, Federal Mogul Research, AVL, Rolls-Royce, Cummins, Goodrich, ITP, Babcock and Romax. Projects include predictive and experimental methods on whole engine projects, gas turbine dynamics, pump dynamics, transmission systems, turbocharger dynamics, generator and motor dynamics and locomotive drive trains.

From news concepts through to solving in sevice problems.

FEA, FEM, CAE, CAE software, Finite Element Method, CFD, engineering, AIES


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