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CD-adapco's STAR-Works Reduces Development Costs
Posted Wed May 17, 2006 @11:49AM
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Application CD-adapco, the leading provider of full-spectrum CFD solutions, today announced that partner VIASYS Healthcare had delivered huge savings in product development by utilizing CD-adapco's upfront CFD tool STAR-Works. By using STAR-Works early in their design cycle VIASYS was able to reduce the timescale for the initial design phase of a new ventilator from a year to just three days, saving several hundred thousand dollars in development cost.

VIASYS pneumatic specialist Steve Han and his colleagues were responsible for the redesign of an infant CPAP ventilator device. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (or CPAP) is a method of respiratory ventilation used in the treatment of apnea, a condition in which a patient's natural external breathing suddenly stops due to a self imposed (but involuntary) obstruction to their airway.

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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.

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Related Links
  • CD-adapco
  • CD-adapco's STAR 2006 Conference
  • STAR-Works
  • VIASYS Healthcare
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