Changing the Landscape of Product Design with Virtual Prototyping

By Bill Mannel, Vice President & General Manager – HPC Segment Solutions and Apollo Servers, Data Center Infrastructure Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

May 1, 2017

The digital age is driving innovation in all corners of the global marketplace. For the manufacturing and engineering (M&E) sector, the deployment of high-end technologies is streamlining every aspect of product development and delivery, challenging companies to rapidly evolve. In order to compete, IT departments must invest in a new style of IT that empowers companies to optimize research and development (R&D), accelerate the delivery of products and services, and enhance operational efficiencies and performance.

Today’s manufacturers are feeling the pressure to deliver high-quality products at increasingly lower costs, well ahead of the competition. M&E companies with the ability to quickly and cost-effectively design, test, and produce new products will not only speed time-to-market, but also ensure continued growth and profitability.

Improving design productivity and reducing time-to-market are essential to any business strategy. Manufacturers are adopting high performance computing (HPC) technologies that are tailored to increase the speed, reliability, and availability of IT resources. Innovations like computer-aided engineering (CAE) software and 3D simulations are dramatically shortening product lifecycles, and enabling designers to visualize and modify virtual prototypes before experimenting on expensive physical prototypes. These powerful software tools deliver an agile IT environment for manufacturers to produce increasingly complex and realistic design simulations to predict real world performance and identify potential issues.

Additional benefits of virtual prototyping include:

  • Development factors like time, costs, and complexity can be modeled against potential risk to eliminate wasted resources dedicated to projects that never reach the production line, and even predict product success very early in the design
  • Historical data from multiple sources can be quickly searched to uncover actionable information, and design data can be reused to offer proven solutions to issues in current projects.
  • Information related to part availability or supplier inventories can be included at design inception to predict potential supply issues long before production is scheduled to begin.
  • Reliable, immediate access to current model versions allows all members of the collaborative design process to improve productivity and gain better insight into real-time product evolution.

Now more than ever, M&E companies must implement CAE solutions in order to efficiently operate, innovate, and scale. According to the 2016 Worldwide CAD Trends report, only 34% of manufacturers utilize CAE software to support virtual prototypes, while 76% utilize CAD 3D modeling. Those companies using CAD 3D modeling but not CAE tools are missing out on valuable speed and insight, giving rivals a powerful competitive advantage.

Source: Business Advantage, 2016

In this ever-evolving marketplace, data-driven insights are key to achieving the fastest possible time-to-market. Many manufacturers struggle to exploit the full power of their business data, and those operating on legacy systems are missing out on the agility and reliability of HPC applications.

Using CAE solutions backed by density-optimized servers in the data center, workers can also use remote virtualization software tools to review and share their models with colleagues globally at the press of a button. HPC-driven simulations are empowering manufacturers to collaborate from a variety of remote locations in order to fast-track the product development process. Those who rapidly deploy end-to-end computing solutions will have the capacity to outpace the competition, driving significant improvements to business growth and longevity.

To learn more about how HPC is helping manufacturers streamline their R&D efforts, I invite you to follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Mannel.

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