The consequences of apnea in small infants are potentially lethal - any breathing interruption over 20 seconds has the potential to cause serious damage or even death.
Using STAR-Works, VIASYS was rapidly able to evaluate multiple design changes using desktop computers. All of the analyses were performed within the SolidWorks environment. As all of the CFD functionality is accessible through additional menus in the SolidWorks GUI, the team was able to begin using STAR-Works for serious design analysis within a few hours of first installing. "The whole project took about three days, with about a day to get familiar with the software", says Steve. "Within three days STAR-Works had paid for itself!"
The improvements were both immediate and impressive. "It was difficult to believe at first", says Steve, "almost every design change resulted in a significant improvement. Incredibly, within three days we had reduced the supply pressure required to the unit by 48%."
This significant reduction in supply pressure has a number of positive ramifications, not least of which is a significant increase in the salability of the product. "Saving 48% of the supply pressure allowed us to use the CPAP unit with the majority of our patient ventilators, rather than just two 'critical care' ventilators as had been the case previously", says Steve. "The reduction in cost achieved in doing this alone, has the potential to treble sales of the product".
By reducing the development time to just a few days from a year, VIASYS Healthcare has managed to save several hundred thousand dollars in development costs alone. The introduction of CFD simulation into their design process enabled VIASYS to deliver a more patient friendly product and steal a critical advantage over their competitors by radically reducing their time-to-market.
Steve Han will be presenting this work, alongside other biomedical application presentations, at CD-adapco's STAR 2006 Conference in San Diego on May 25th.