Intelligent Application of Multiphysical Software Makes the Difference; Selection and Recommendation of Various Software Packages

December 19, 2014:

 

Selection and recommendation of multiphysics software to implement in the product development cycle

The increasing variety of products alongside shorter product life cycles continuously calls for improvements in product development. Consequently, expectations rise immensely to the highest possible accuracy of simulation models. The application of intelligent simulation software is indispensable.

For almost all products current simulation applications have to consider different physical domains to achieve precise analysis and improvement of product performance. Thinking of electrodynamic loudspeakers, at least three different physical domains have to be taken into account: the electrical, mechanical and acoustic domain. In addition, their reciprocal interaction has to be investigated. Because: It will demonstrate a decisive impact. If you think of the development of complete sound systems in vehicles, the complexity becomes clear: different number of speakers, bass, various enclosures, integrated on a wide variety of positions, cabin etc. For accurate results today’s simulation applications must meet the highest requirements.

In the past, software was first and foremost developed, to focus on solving the different physical domains. Today software is required to analyze the most complex calculations of various physical domains and their interaction. In this context the term multiphysics simulation software is used.

Today a wide variety of simulation software exists on the market, which we divide into two categories: “All-in” and “Best-of-class” software packages. The software architecture of the two types is entirely different. This can be seen directly in the “look and feel” and typical application scenarios. However, important to note is the origin business driver for software development. It shows the significant difference of the software types.

An “All-in” software package was originally designed for multiphysics simulations as the prime application. Of crucial importance is the coupling of the various physical domains. The most important physical effects and applications are considered. The physical details per domain play a minor role. Coupling of clearly more than two domains is the strength of such software packages (typically three to five). The packages usually have a newer, fresher software design and have a modern GUI (Graphical User Interface) and good interaction capabilities with horizontal software packages, such as in the field of system modeling.

Members of the “Best-of-class” area are typically well established single physics packages (for example, in structural mechanics and fluid mechanics), which are being connected by some kind of middleware software. Their strength is in high fidelity of each physical domain, including lots of physical “special” effects, with limitations in the coupling capabilities. The software architecture is mostly older.

For organizations, it is not an easy task to find the optimum solution for their needs.

The following list provides an overview of the main pros and cons of both types of software:

Recommendation/Guideline for the use of multiphysics simulation software


Decisive for the use of “All-in” or “Best-of-class” software packages is the corresponding phase of the product development cycle. Konzept-X (MVOID) recommends the following usage:

  • For the calculation of simulation solutions at system level, where a deep consideration of the individual domains is not predominant, “All-in” software packages deliver best results.
  • For very comprehensive models that are in the product development cycle closer to the SOP – in which the interactions of the different domains need to be examined – “Best-of-class” software packages are appropriate products.

 

A clear recommendation for one of the two types of software packages cannot be provided. The intelligent use of the simulation software during the product development cycle is crucial. It is not uncommon to use software packages of both types.

More information about the comparison and an overview of major multiphysics software packages and classification you will find here